How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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You can communicate back to them using the same language of eye contact. When a dog gives you long, lingering eye contact, it`s a way of saying “I love you.” A recent study shows that oxytocin, the `love chemical,` goes up in both dogs and humans when they share a kind gaze.
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To help your cat accept the new food It is important to do a transition. There are two reasons to do a transition:
1) Occasionally a pet will have a GI upset when switched to a new diet,
2) A pet will accept a new food better when a transition is done to allow the pet to get use to the new texture and flavor.
There is more of a chance with a hydrolyzed protein or different (high or low) fiber level food to cause a GI upset. Transition recommendation:
1) Recommend ¾ old diet – ¼ new diet
2) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step
3) ½ old diet – ½ new diet
4) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step
5) ¼ old diet – ¾ new diet
6) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step
7) End with 100% of the new food.
Sometimes a transition should be longer, especially for cats. Use the same recommendation, but instead of a few days, recommend doing each step for a week or more. If you cat is still not interested in the new diet you can research other non-prescription diets focusing on the labels for appropriate levels of phosphorus and protein.
Also, home cooking may be an option but make sure to provide adequate nutrients. A good website to consult is balanceit.com. This website helps you to create well balanced home cooked recipes and offers supplements to add into the diet.
Foods require a balanced level of nutrition that is made up of proteins (your meat source and “slow” energy), carbohydrates (short-term energy and needed for brain health), and fats (for stored energy as well as flavor). Carbohydrates can be in grain form which is most common in commercial diets, or in non-grain sources such as potatoes, peas or sweet potatoes (more common now in “natural” or “holistic” diets). Proteins can come from plant sources, but are most commonly found in animals, and fats can be from many things.
When starting a homemade diet, it is always a good idea to add in an extra vitamin supplement to fill in any gaps or holes in the diet while you find the right balance for your dog. Working with your local veterinarian is also good as they can monitor your dog’s weight and overall health, and may also recommend bloodwork to check for any nutrient deficiencies.
While homemade diets are a nice alternative to commercial ones, they are not under the same standards as commercial diets. For a diet to be fed as a commercial product, it must have an AAFCO certification on it. This is usually listed as a statement on the packaging which mentions whom the food can be fed to (adults, seniors, all life stages, puppies, etc) and ensures that the food is nutritionally balanced. This means that your dog would be able to survive fully on eating only this food. While it may seem the food is balanced, it does not mean the food is healthier than others, and may still contain ingredients that dogs with sensitivities or allergies can have a reaction to.
Diet problems can also play a factor in loose stool as well as chronic illness. Dogs can be allergic to many different ingredients in the diet, however grains such as corn, wheat and soy products can be the most problematic. Adding a probiotic supplement can sometimes help such as a scoop of plain yogurt ever meal, or commercial product from your vet.
Illnesses and metabolic disorders may also cause chronic loose stools. German Shepherds are prone to a disease called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency which is a problem with the pancreas (the same organ that dysfunctions in diabetes- however that is ENDOCRINE function in that case) producing enough digestive enzymes. This causes stools that may be loose, discolored grey or yellow and appear very fatty in color. Shepherds can also be prone to chronic small intestine infections that cause loose stool as well. Luckily, treatment for these conditions often just involves adding a daily digestive enzyme supplement to the food, or daily anti-biotic designed specifically for chronic bowel issues.
Male cats can also experience urinary blockage. This is due to a unique anatomical part or the urethra that forms a U-shape before exiting the body in male cats. If a cat has crystals or other debris in the urine, it can block at this point preventing urine from being able to exit. Cats may attempt to urinate without producing anything, may become very vocal (indicating pain) or may have a hunched back, full abdomen or pain in the abdomen (protecting the very full bladder). Urinary blockage IS a medical emergency so if suspected, your vet or local emergency clinic should be contacted immediately. Treatment usually involves a hospital stay and catheterization of the bladder to remove the blockage and allow urine to drain followed by medications and a change in diet to prevent further problems.
It is best to try and collect a sample of urine and make an appointment for your cat if he has had a change in urinary habits. If you do suspect a blockage, then contact your vet ASAP is best.
If the pus is really bad, and continues to get worse, see your vet again and let them know what’s going on. Maybe you could try a diet change, and then see if there are any improvements.
Remember, you should always gradually change a dogs diet. By gradually, I mean you put a tiny bit of new kibble in with a bowl of the old kibble. Reduce the old kibble by just a few bits of kibble. Throughout the course of at least two weeks (or as long as you want depending on whether or not you want to finish off the old food) you slowly add more of the new kibble while removing some of the old kibble. This makes the process gradual, and won’t cause any tummy-upset in your dog.
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 petâ€™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.