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Pictures, descriptions, and symptoms of some of the most common worms your cat or dog is likely to have.

Roundworms

Roundworms affect nearly all puppies and kittens.  The worms are passed to the young animals through the mothers milk.  Cats and Dogs pick up the worms by ingesting contaminated soil, insects, or infected animals.

round worm

If your kitten or puppy has a severe case of Roundworms they may have appear pot-bellied and have a dull coat. They may also have diarrhoea,  they may cough and lose their appetite.  It is also possible to see mucus in their stool, or even worms in the stool or vomit.

It is normally recommended that all kittens and puppies are given a worm dose.

Tapeworms

Probably the most common of worms found in cats or dogs is the Tapeworm. Especially in areas where there is a high flea population.

The Tapeworm requires the flea as an intermediate host.  Cats and dogs ingest infected fleas while grooming giving the worm a free ride into its primary host.

Tapeworms are made up of a chain of small segments, each containing hundreds of eggs.  These segments break away when mature and are passed out of the host in stools.

The Tapeworm itself can grow up to a foot in length and can be detected when the segments are found in a litter box, in the fur around your pets anal area, or in their bed.  The segments look like dried rice.  Large infestations cause diarrhoea, possibly blood, and cause a partial blockage.  If you are treating your pet for fleas it is best to also treat for Tapeworm.

Hookworms

The Hookworm is a more serious case.  A Hookworm infection can cause severe anaemia.  Look for signs such as diarrhoea, weight loss, vomiting, unrest, and a lack of energy.  In very young kittens the worms can cause a sudden collapse and death.

The tiny worms are not visible in the stool and can only be identified by a microscopic examination.  The animals are infected by consuming  eggs found in faeces or by the worm larvae penetrating the skin.  They can be treated as with the other worms.

Heartworms

Heatworms are a blood parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. The mosquitoes transfer baby worms when they bite. (picture of worms to ugly to include- click the mosquito to see heartworms)

More common in dogs but heartwoms also infect cats.  Called heartworms because they travel through the body until they reach the heart where they mature and shed microfilaria into the blood stream.

A severely infected animal will suffer from reduced blood circulation and heart function. Cats will often show little sign (any sign is likely to be intermittent vomiting) until they collapse and die.

For cats to become infected they must live in an area where there are microfilariae infected dogs, and mosquitoes that have a taste for both dogs and cats.  Heartworms will require a specific treatment.

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What is the link between Dog Depression and Treadmills?

Is your dog getting depressed?

It is not uncommon for dogs to get depressed.
They can become bored very easily and when they are bored for extended periods of time this can lead to depression.

The more intelligent the dog the more likely it is to get depressed as they need more stimulation in the form of work or activities that can keep their mind active.

This is one of the reasons why dog training is so important, because a dog that is trained well will get a lot more out of life by pleasing it’s owner and it will also have a leader that is can look to for security and confidence.

Often the weather in the area we live can be the biggest problem when trying to keep a dog active with the colder winter months and shorter daylight hours making it difficult to exercise the dog.

There are alternatives for dogs just as there are for humans in these conditions and many people are unaware that it is possible to get a dog treadmill for their dog so they can still be exercised no matter what the conditions outside are like.

This can also be ideal for people who live in apartments or those who are unable to take their dog out for a walk at night due to reasons of safety.

For the convenience of ensuring that your dog remains fit and healthy and doesn’t become depressed and need medication, a dog treadmill might just be the answer that you are looking for.

While you can go to the expense of buying a pet specific treadmill, your dog (and cat if you have the patience) can be trained to use any treadmill – although treadmills without the front upright bar are preferred by animals.

MY FIRST TREADMILL

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Stopping your dog from chewing everything in sight.

It is only natural for dogs to want to chew.
It is a natural instinct, but they need to be trained what they can and can’t chew without causing problems.
While they might feel the need to sharpen their teeth you certainly don’t want them to be doing that on your furniture.

It is a lot cheaper to invest some money in suitable toys that the dog can chew or get their teeth cleaned professionally than to replace expensive household items.

The simplest method of training a dog not to chew everything in sight is to confine it to a small area where only those things that it should be allowed to chew are present.

The dog will then become accustomed to the smell of those things that it is allowed to chew and then when it is allowed out into the household where other items are present you can teach it not to chew items such as furniture, shoes, clothing, etc.

It is also possible to teach an old dog not to chew items by using the same techniques although it is harder if it has been doing this for many years of its life.

It is always preferable to teach your dog the lessons they need to know as soon as possible as training gets harder with the age of the dog.

If the dog is going to be left inside for extended periods while you’re not around it is wise to remove any items that you don’t want it to chew until it is fully trained.
Until that time, the dog should be content with suitable chewing toys.

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Getting a Second Cat

Cats are very territorial and often introducing another cat into the household can cause problems.
It is always a lot easier, if you prefer to have two cats, to get them both at the same time as they’re likely to get on a lot better if they are introduced to the house at the same time rather than one having the run of the house first and then having to share it with another later.

After the initial few fights that the young cats might have, they should tend to get along well with each other and enjoy each other’s company in play and relaxation.

When a kitten is introduced to the house of an older cat you need to make a determined effort not to neglect the older cat.
This is very easy to forget when you’ve got a new kitten as people tend to fuss over kitten a lot more than older cats and it is not uncommon for the older cat to become jealous and start fighting with the new member of the family.

This can lead to other cat behavior problems where a house trained cat might decide to start urinating in the house where it wouldn’t have done so in the past, or it might go off its food and stop eating and get sick.

By considering the feelings of the older cat, not neglecting it, giving it sufficient time and letting it know that it is still special, there is more chance that the new kitten will be accepted better by the established cat.

It is made more difficult when the cats are in confined living conditions, and where possible, if there is conflict try to keep the cats apart for a while until they become used to one another.

You can put their litter boxes in different areas of the house, and also keep the food dishes apart.
Any time that one shows aggression to the other, calmly step in between and stop it going any further.

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Making a Kitten Feel at Home

There are several things that you should do to make a new kitten feel at home.

First of all they need a good place to sleep that is private and they can feel safe.
Fortunately there are many different types of beds and baskets that are available.
The area that the kitten will be sleeping needs to be free from drafts and as warm and comfortable as possible.

It will need a litter box initially as it will have to stay inside until it becomes accustomed to its surroundings.
The litter box can have shredded newspaper for a cheap alternative but the best content for a litter box is commercial cat litter as it will absorb urine better and won’t smell as newspaper will tend to do.
This needs to be cleaned out regularly to ensure that it is always clean.

Put the litter box in a quiet corner where the kitten can be private and don’t have it where the kitten will be eating its food.

Cleanliness is another important factor with kittens and any utensils, or feeding dishes that are used with its food need to be thoroughly cleaned after every meal.
There are also a wide range of suitable products on the market to make feeding a kitten or cat more convenient.

Grooming is very important with cats and even cats in the wild spend much of their time grooming.
You can assist by getting a good double-sided body brush for grooming to make sure that the fur doesn’t become knotted and any lose fur is brushed away to reduce the chance of fur balls causing problems.

Grooming will keep the fur clean from dirt and other problems such as fleas.
Kittens and cats with longer fur will need more time spent on them than short haired cats as they will lose more fur and this will get swallowed if they are left to do all their own grooming.

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