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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Fleas, mites, and lice are by far the most common cause of scabs on your cat. Regardless of whether your cat is allergic to bug bites, fleas and other blood-sucking pests can lead to scabbing and bleeding after they bite your pet. If you notice scabs on your cat, immediately check your cat for any type of parasite.
Antihistamines – If you`ve dealt with allergies of your own, you`re probably familiar with using antihistamines to stop sneezing, sniffling, and itching. Interestingly, antihistamines work just as well for cats. A topical antihistamine can help keep your cat from scratching their scabs as they heal.
The most common causes of itching are parasites, infections, and allergies. There are many skin diseases that do not initially cause itching. However, itching may develop with these diseases due to secondary bacterial or yeast infections. It is possible that by the time itching develops the initial cause is long gone.
It`s fairly typical after you`ve applied Itch Flea for there to be a period of hyperactivity amongst the fleas as the product takes effect, and this can cause an increase in itching. It should settle down though after 24 hours.
If your cat has raised, red, and scabby sores, seems excessively itchy and uncomfortable, or you feel that the flea infestation problem is severe, bring them to the vet for an exam and immediate treatment. There are medications that quickly heal the welts, but these can only be prescribed by a veterinarian.
In addition, an affected cat may have numerous small scabs around the head and neck. These scabs are often referred to as miliary dermatitis, a term coined because the scabs look like millet seeds (see handout “Miliary Dermatitis in Cats” for more information on this skin condition).
Feline dermatitis commonly appears as clusters of small red bumps or as a rash. As your cat scratches the irritated areas, this can lead to scabs, lesions, and bald patches.
Hypersensitivities/allergies are a common cause of itchy skin. Food allergy and atopy (allergy to airborne substances) are two common causes of allergy in cats. Food allergy can manifest in a variety of ways, but itching around the head, neck, ears and face is a classic pattern.
They are so busy scratching and licking that they are ingesting the fleas. Also, in a really allergic cat, it only takes one flea to make them insanely itchy. In my experience, the cats that scratch until they bleed pretty much always have flea allergy.
Scratching that`s more than occasional – a few scratches a day is normal, every few minutes is cause for attention. Over-grooming or your cat pulling out its coat. Chewing and nibbling at their skin and coat. Thinner or balding patches in their coat.
If your cat has flea allergy dermatitis, their skin will appear red (erythema), be mildly to severely itchy (pruritus), and may have crusts or small bumps (papules). Most pet parents notice their cat scratching frequently and excessively grooming.
But even if you can`t spot any fleas, there`s still a few tell-tale signs to look out for. The most obvious one is scratching. All cats scratch now and then, but if your cat is scratching more than usual, they may have fleas. Fleas don`t just bite cats, so be wary of any unaccountable insect bites on your skin.
Your dog or other cats could bring fleas into the house, once indoors, fleas may happily jump ship and feed on your house cat laying eggs in your soft furnishings. This means visiting pets are a risk too.
Fleas are often the culprits behind compulsive cat scratching or cat licking behaviors. Because cats are excellent groomers, they may actually remove all traces of fleas. If you notice your cat licking their lower back obsessively, with or without scabs on the neck, it is a sign that fleas might be causing the problem.
Your vet may recommend giving your cat a soothing oatmeal bath or a rinse of vinegar diluted to one tablespoon vinegar per quart of warm water. Regular brushing is also helpful in distributing the natural oils in your cat`s skin and removing dead skin.
Aquaphor and Vaseline are safe for pets.
Overall, Neosporin or any first aid ointment is beneficial to the superficial wounds your pet may endure but anything bigger, or certainly something looking infected should be inspected by your veterinarian. Definitely do not use any first aid ointment on suture sites UNLESS directed by your veterinarian.
Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Hydrogel is designed to adhere to the cat`s wound to provide soothing relief and protection during healing.
Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex is a skin condition caused by the immune system. It`s a fairly common condition that causes lumpy, sore, red, crusty skin. Stress – some `highly strung` cats will start over-grooming themselves making their skin sore if they are stressed.
Signs your cat may have ear mites

shaking their head or scratching their ears excessively. having red and inflamed ears caused by extra wax and irritation. producing a black, dry ear discharge which can sometimes let off a bad smell.

Typical signs include conjunctivitis, ocular discharge, sneezing, nasal discharge, salivation, pharyngitis, lethargy, inappetence, fever and sometimes coughing. Signs may last from a few days to a few weeks and shedding of virus typically continues for around 3 weeks.
Recovery of Feline Miliary Dermatitis in Cats

The prognosis for cats diagnosed with miliary dermatitis is generally excellent. Once the offending substance has been eliminated from the cat`s environment or food, the cat will recover. Its skin will heal and fur will grow back.

Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis in Cats

Miliary dermatitis or crusty bumps. Eosinophilic plaques or irritated hot spots on the skin. Scratched, mutilated skin. Thin, long, red lesions or linear granulomas.

Cats have a need to scratch. They do it to express emotions, like excitement or stress, to mark objects with their scent (they have scent glands in their paws), to remove the dead part of their nails and, often, just to get a good stretch.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. What’s the best way to train a dog to use a lead again?
ANSWER : A. It depends on how serious your issue is. If you need to start from scratch: Bring out the leash, place it on the ground. Click and treat your dog. Say his name, work on attention, click and treat for attention. Work with the cheese sticks, or with some chicken.. something stinky, soft, and high value. Allow him to sniff the leash, praise him, click, treat, click, treat. Pick up the leash, click treat him. Hook the leash to his collar and allow the leash to drag, click treat him. Have him just follow you around, click and treat him to hold his attention.

Then, pick up the leash, click and treat him. Then drop the leash again, click and treat. Take baby steps. Then, hold the leash while you take a step, click and treat him for following. Open the front door, click and treat him. Then, take off the leash, click and treat him, and end training.

Pick training back up in an hour, and do the same exact thing from start to finish, only this time, “finish” will be you two going outside, you clicking and treating him a bunch, and then you bringing him back inside. Work your way up slowly. You can’t expect to just bring him outside and bring him on a walk right away.

When outdoors, use a front hooking harness like the Sensible/Sensation harnesses: http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ible-harness / http://www.softouchconcepts.com/index.php/product-53/sense-ation-harness. These harnesses will eliminate the pulling power of your pup in a positive way. This will put you in control without the use of force. Carry high value treats with you everywhere, and offer them for good walking behavior – treats like white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks, hotdogs, all cut into tiny little pieces. The more you work on walking on-leash/attention indoors, the better it will be outdoors, remember that.

Q. Why is my son’s cat continually licking her belly to the point the hair is falling out and a sore has developed? She is 12 yrs old inside cat.
ANSWER : A. Many things can cause this such as allergies, auto immune disease,etc. However it could be as simple as your cat is bored or stressed out. Have you had any enviromental changes lately that couild be stressing your feline friend out? Outdoor cats are accustomed to chasing, hunting, and playing with all sorts of critters. Sometimes indoor kitties need added stimulation to keep them “sane”. Try gsetting your cat some toys to play with. A laser pointer can be a great interaction toy for the two of you to play with. You can also try getting your fury friend a scratching post or a cat tower that will allow him/her to sit and look out the window. A good product for stressed out kitties is Feliway. Feliway is a pheremoene that mimics pheromones produced by recent mothers to kittens. This product comes in a plug-in diffuser or a spray and is available over the counter at most animal hospitals. The spray form of Feliway can be particularly usefull to calm kitties who get stressed when put in a cat carrier. Simply spray Feliway in your carrier before you load your cat up. If none of the above has worked it sounds like it is time to use this technique to get yourcat into the carrier and to the vet. There they can perform diagnostics such as skin cytologies, allergy testing, skin scrapes to determine what the problem is.
One thing i forgot to mention at the beginning is you certainly need to rule out fleas as the cause. If a cat has a flea allergy just one flea bite can drive them crazy and cause them to lick thier belly raw and hairless. Revolution is a great monthly topicall product for fleas,heartworms, and intestinal parasites. Even indoor cats need flea protection. Good luck!

Q. I have a cat with that virur (aids) could u tell me about her disposition and care
ANSWER : A. Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately the discussion about what you asked has no straightforward answers and can be quite complex.

First thing that I would double check, considering that your cat is very young, is whether she is really infected. It is important to remember that kittens born to FIV-infected queens will receive antibodies from the queen via the milk, and so will test positive early in life though they may not be infected. Kittens with a positive test result should always be retested when they are 5-6 months of age.

Many FIV infected cats are able to live happily with the virus for a long period of time, and indeed the virus will not necessarily ever cause clinical disease.

Different factors will influence the onset of disease in your cat including:

– The ”subtype” of FIV your cat is infected with,

– Her immune response

– The presence or absence of other infectious agents.

To maintain a good quality of life for your cat, I will give you these general guidelines, but you will then find certainly helpful to speak with your veterinarian for specific cases.

– Some antiviral medications used in human patients with HIV infection have also been shown to help some cats with FIV infection. Interferons may have anti-viral effects and modify immune responses. A recombinant feline interferon (feline interferon omega) is available in some countries. Down side is the cost usually.

– Keep your cat away from other cats and possible source of infections;

– Maintain good quality nutrition;

– Keep your cat indoor if possible regularly checked by your veterinarian;

– Keep your cat away from non-infected cats.

Q. I want to know from a veterinarian that has owned indoor cats if they agree with declawing? Also, is the whole digit still removed?
ANSWER : A. I am not a veterinarian, but a certified dog trainer. I have studied cat behavior as well, so I have some knowledge in that area. Cats need their claws in my opinion. When a cat is declawed, it can sometimes cause serious anxiety and frustration in the declawed cat. This is because the cat can not de-stress by digging at a scratching post, and a cat feels defenceless without its nails. It is a sad sight to see when a cat who is declawed is dealing with anxiety. I’ve met declawed cats who seem very unstable. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the cats would be so unstable had they not been declawed, but I’ve never seen a cat who has all of its nails act the way a declawed cat acts.

That’s just my two cents.

Read Full Q/A … : snopes.com: Declawing cats