855 908 4010

Pet Bucket Blog

June 2013

Urinary Infection in Cats

 by zack on 27 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
One of the most common health problems in domestic cats is that they are especially prone to catching urinary tract infections. While not normally a serious problem in humans, cats can have a rough go of it unless treated in a relatively speedy fashion.  This is because, left untreated, a UTI can eventually spread to the kidneys where it becomes a much more serious difficulty. Luckily enough, while the causes of these infections can often be ambiguous, the symptoms are easily recognizable, and the treatments aren’t too difficult. So let’s spend a bit of time discussing the different facets of each category. Cat Urinary Tract Infection Causes As previously stated, urinary infections in cats often arise unexpectedly. Cats lead some curious and adventurous lives that aren’t always on public display. This can be especially true if they are allowed outside. This being the case, it’s somewhat difficult to know where they might contract any specific disease, particularly one so elusive as a bladder infection.  In general though, UTI’s have been linked to the presence of high levels of bacteria, a variety of different viruses, and stressful situations for the cat. It’s not much to go on, but such are the mysterious ways of kitty cats. Cat Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms While the causes of cat uti’s remain a mystery, uti symptoms in cats couldn’t be clearer. Some of the most common signs of an uncomfortable kitty are as follows: Strain or irritation during urination Blood in urine Frequent urination Difficulty during urination, due to a blockage in the urethra There are a few other things that a physical examination by a veterinarian can point out, but for practical purposes these are the symptoms that you need to look out for. It should be noted that male tom cats will often mark territory indiscriminately and very frequently. This shouldn’t be confused with the need to frequently urinate. Cat Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Assuming there isn’t any blockage in your cat’s urethra, the treatment for this condition will be very straightforward. Simple administration of antibiotics and some conservative dietary measures should do the trick. Wet food will increase the intake of liquid and decrease the occurrence of toxins in your cat’s diet. That way a certain amount of natural flushing will occur. However, if your cat does have a major blockage inside its urinary tract then it will most likely be hospitalized and further measures will need to be exercised. Dietary concerns will again need to be addressed, and in severe situations, the veterinarian may even suggest surgery. Though that is an extreme solution, and certainly not one often employed. Usually, most cats are well again within a week of being treated. As always, severe cases will be the exception to the rule. However, a quick trip to the vet is usually all that’s required to stave off any long-term negative consequences.  After that, it’s a matter of prevention, which will vary significantly case by case. That’s all the helpful pet information for today. Check back for more helpful hints on the Petbucket blog.  

Puppy Prognostication Part 2: Pregnant Dog Complications

 by zack on 25 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Welcome back for part 2 of our series on pregnant dogs. Today we’ll be discussing the possible complications you’re most likely to run into during pregnancy.  Many of these terms we’ll be discussing might sound familiar to parents, as the mammalian processes of pregnancy tend to trend in similar fashions. So let’s jump right in and discuss the signs, causes, and treatments of our first complication. Dystocia Just like most fetal complications, dystocia is a very serious condition. It can be caused by a number of factors. Either by the Mother’s pelvic dimensions or the puppy’s size or positioning within the womb. A condition called uterine inertia can keep a dog from having contractions, which keeps her from being able to push out the pups. This usually comes about because of a formally broken pelvic bone or it can be due to breed conformity causing an animal to have a smaller than average pelvic girdle. Alternatively, the puppy could be at the heart of the problem. If it isn’t positioned head or tail first, the narrow corridors of your dog’s cervix might impede the pups progress.  Or if the puppies are abnormally large the same results can occur. Dystocia is easily recognizable, it’s likely occurring if your dog: has been pregnant for over 70 days has been in labor for over twenty-four hours if there is a rank odor coming from the vaginal discharge is producing a lot of vomit during whelping takes a long break (over 4 hours) between delivering pups This is a bad situation to find yourself in. if you suspect your dog is suffering from dystocia, then contact your vet immediately. Eclampsia This disorder is basically a calcium deficiency in the mother’s blood stream. It’s caused by the increased need for calcium which is required to produce milk for the new arrivals. So long as the milk itself looks normal, the puppies aren’t in any danger. Look for the following signs of Eclampsia’s onset: Disorientation Anxiety/restlessness Stiff or inflexible legs preventing movement Fever above 105°F Muscle spasms Heavy or rapid breathing Seizures To treat the disorder: immediately notify your vet, and prevent the puppies from nursing to keep your dog from losing anymore calcium. It would also be wise to replenish the dog’s calcium with a milk replacer. Other Complications You should also seek veterinary assistance if you notice any of the following: Heavy bleeding Green liquid discharge Prolonged nausea Behavioral dejection Feebleness Dehydration Swollen or firm nipples Insubstantial milk output Rotten smelling discharge All of these are potential signs to problems that could have a negative effect on the mother, the puppies, or both. So keep a watchful eye when your dog is pregnant, and be ready to call on professional assistance if the need to do so presents itself. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do by yourself to help a dog during or after whelping. So it’s imperative that you keep your vet’s number nearby throughout the process. However, it should be noted that while these problems are common enough, it’s far more likely your dog’s pregnancy will go off without a hitch. So stay positive, but be prepared!  

Puppy Prognosis: How to Help your Dog during Pregnancy

 by zack on 21 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Dogs are a lot like people. It’s fascinating to see how much an owner and a pet can have in common. Personalities, dislikes, even physical features can start to blend together. So it’s no surprise that just like people, when a dog is pregnant, it might need a bit more assistance than usual.  Here are some helpful hints about how to help your dog when she’s whelping and during the immediate aftermath. Pre-Birth: It’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of a bitch’s pregnancy. Look out for these telltale signs: Changes in appetite- She’s eating for 7 or 8 now! Behavioral aberrations- Your pregnant dog might get sluggish and lethargic, they can also become much more affectionate—or alternatively, more solitary. The dog will also become very agitated directly before birthing begins. Physical abnormalities- Early in the process you should see swollen nipples, later on the abdomen will swell, and you’ll even be able to feel puppies kicking! In the onset of the gestation, which lasts about 63 days, you should make it a point to go ahead and set up a nesting area for your dog. Some place dark, isolated, and enclosed would be ideal. Often the dog will take care of this herself when the time comes, but you can facilitate the process with some comfortable (and disposable) blankets, as well as some short barriers that the mother will easily be able to traverse, but that will serve as an enclosure for the puppies. It’s important to adjust the expectant mother’s diet, and keep her as clean as possible. It’s also smart to cut her social interactions with other dogs when she’s coming close to term. During Birth: If you feel so inclined, you can bring the pregnant dog to the vet for the birth. However, dogs are slightly more durable than humans in this regard, and can pretty much handle the whole thing unassisted. There will be three stages of puppy birth: Contractions Puppies Placenta Contractions signal the beginning for your pregnant dog, next they’ll birth the pups along with the placental covering that they’re wrapped with. Just be ready for potential complications like an abundance of bloody or green discharge. This can signal danger to both the mother and the pups. So be ready to call the vet for further instructions. After Birth: Next is the fun part. You get to adore the brand new litter. Here’s a step by step process of what to do: Make sure you initially give the new mother some space. She’ll be protective of her newborns. See that all the pups are getting enough milk, especially during their first 12-16 hours. Squeal with joy. Take lots of pictures to post on your social network of choice. Be the envy of all your friends. That covers all of the major stuff. Check back next week when we’ll discuss in more depth some of the potential complications that a pregnant dog can face.   

The Feral Cat Conundrum Part 2

 by zack on 20 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Yesterday’s post gave us a glimpse of the painstaking process behind taming a feral cat. However, as we mentioned this isn’t always the best option for a feral cat. They are basically wild, and that can mean very unsociable. Not only can they be physically hazardous, but pathologically too. Feral cats are known carriers of many dangerous diseases that can infect domesticated cats and humans. Rabies, distemper, feline aids, and Toxoplasmosis are all fairly common in stray or feral populations. So simply being friendly to a family of feral cats and kittens isn’t always going to resolve the situation. You’ll need to catch the cats and have them treated or relocated. Trapping Feral Felines To successfully cat-nab you’ll need to either procure or rent an effective trapping mechanism. You can either purchase one online or rent from your local humane society, animal control shelter, or a veterinary office. Then you’ll have to set the trap up in a high traffic area for the feral feline population, bait it so as to make it more appealing, and finally it’ll be time to sit and wait while the trap is sprung. Here are a few tips to ensure successful feral cat trapping: Be certain that you set up the trap correctly by following any and all directions that come with it.   Cover the bottom of the trap with cardboard or an equally appealing surface for a cat. They find the wire unnatural and uncomfortable. Cover the outside as well. Use a towel to enclose every side but the opening. This will help manage the cat’s stress once caught. There are plenty of different effective types of bait such as tuna, sardines, wet cat food, cat nip, and various sorts of meats. Once you’ve caught the kitty it’s time to decide what to do with it. There are several options. You can try to adopt the cat out, but as we discussed in yesterday’s post, socializing a feral cat is no easy task, and your chances of doing so successfully while the cat is in captivity are very low. The ideal thing to do is TNR. TNR TNR stands for trap, neuter, and release. Before catching your cat, you should schedule a vet appointment. That way you can get the cat in and out as soon as possible, thus minimizing its stress. Once the cat is caught, take it in the following morning, have it fixed, treated for as many diseases as your budget allows, and release it after leaving. Even if you don’t treat the cat for pathogens, it won’t be able to procreate and pass diseases on to its kittens. Animal Shelters: An Unappealing Solution If you decide to take the feral cat into an animal shelter, you should keep in mind that you’ve basically issued a death sentence. There is an abundance of domesticated cats in these shelters, and no room budget for cats with behavioral issues.   That concludes our advice on feral cats. Make sure to come back and visit the Petbucket blog for more helpful advice on various animal issues.  

The Feral Cat Conundrum: Questions and Solutions Part 1.

 by zack on 19 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Feral cats and kittens are an interesting dilemma. They capture our hearts and imaginations, and just leaving feral felines, even particularly unsociable ones, to the elements doesn’t sit well in the cat lover’s conscience. So what to do? Can you tame a feral cat? Let’s take a deeper look into this question, and some possible solutions to the feral cat conundrum. What are Feral Cats? First off, a feral cat is not domesticated. They don’t like people. They're distrustful of them, and will hiss and spit at their approach. Or just look to avoid human contact entirely. Feral cats shouldn’t be confused with stray cats. Strays are domesticated cats that have been abandoned, or have run away. These may still be skittish, but ultimately they are much more open to human contact than their feral cousins. Taming Feral Cats As a rule, taming feral cats is very difficult, if not impossible. This isn’t always the best solution. However, there have been recorded cases of successful domestications.   It is a long process that takes plenty of pet know-how, and even more patience. However, if you’re willing to take on the odds then you should follow this basic procedure: Leave out some food, and give them plenty of space. Cat’s respond to food and it usually is the number one builder of trust.   Be patient. This bond you’re trying to build may take weeks, months, or years to manifest. Never approach the cat. Let it come to you. It has to be the one to take the initiative. Just speak sweetly and leave the food bowl out, then go back to your house. Set a routine with feeding, and stick to it. Cats are creatures of habit. If they know food is coming at regular intervals, they’ll make sure to be on time. Also make a signal noise to indicate feeding time. You could whistle, call out “dinner time!” or something to that effect. After some time has passed, a few months perhaps, try sitting outside while they eat. It might not work at first, or at all, but this is the logical next step. Just don’t look at the cat while you’re outside with it. It’ll feel threatened. Eventually, if the cat accepts your presence during meals, it may want to check you out. Don’t try to pet it, or even move toward it. Resist the urge to pet. Leave your hand dangling, and it might start rubbing against that. Just be patient and allow the cat to take the initiative. Take things slow, and in due course, you may make a friend out of the feral feline. Always be wary of bites and scratches, and remember to move in a patient and sequential manner. If this intricate animal whispering process doesn’t sound ideal, then you will have to look for other options. Join us again tomorrow for part 2 of this post, and we’ll examine these other options together.  

What is Parvovirus?

 by zack on 14 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Whenever you first take your dog to the vet one of the initial tests and vaccinations your furry friend will receive is for the parvovirus. What is parvovirus?  Well, the relatively recent advent of the dangerous virus known colloquially as parvo has decimated dog populations throughout the world. The terrible disease attacks the digestive systems of, not just dogs, but all canids, and occasionally cats as well. Related strains have even been found in human beings. It’s a deadly disease with a lot of ugly implications, especially parvo in puppies. So for your animal’s protection, and your peace of mind, let’s look a little deeper into the nature of this disease. How Dogs Catch Parvo: Parvo in dogs can occur in a number of ways. How dogs catch parvo is usually by ingesting or coming into close contact with the feces of another infected animal. However, it can also be caught by licking anything the infected fecal matter has come into contact with. That means if you step in dog mess, and your dog chews a shoe it could be a very costly vet bill for an unvaccinated pup. Parvo Symptoms: This is where things begin to get really nasty. As soon as your dog shows any of the following symptoms it’s already past time to get to the vet’s office. Depression Vomiting Chronic diarrhea Mucous or blood within the diarrhea A high fever Severe abdominal pain A withdrawn belly due to the abdominal pain Dehydration Not all of these symptoms will always be prevalent, but if you see one or more in quick succession, you might be in for a rough time. So bundle up the pup and head to the local vet, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. Parvo Treatment: Treatment for parvovirus is pretty serious business. First of all it’s almost  always going to require your dog’s hospitalization. They will most likely need    intravenous fluids and medications to correct the dehydration and  the constant vomiting/diarrhea. In the worst cases, your dog might need a blood transfusion. A plasma transfusion, more specifically. During the time it takes to eliminate the vomiting and diarrhea, the dog won’t be allowed to eat or drink, relying instead on the fluids provided by the veterinarian. This process can take up to 5 days, and as such is very tasking on the dog.  They will also be taking antibiotics to stem the flow of infections caused by the viral onslaught. Parvo Vaccinations: With all of the various complications, terrible consequences, and cutthroat  nature of the parvovirus so apparent, the obvious solution is to have your dog  vaccinated against the disease before it ever becomes a problem. Luckily, it is par for the course in any young puppy’s first  veterinary visit. It’s even a known procedure to revaccinate an expecting mother to boost the puppies’ immune systems in vitro. Overall, parvovirus is one of the more threatening diseases a young pup can face in its burgeoning new life. So stay aware, keep your dog protected, and as always stay informed with the helpful tips and advice from the Petbucket blog. 

Pet’s Soft Stomachs: A Hard Problem to Solve?

 by zack on 13 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Dogs are known for soft stomachs and cats are always coughing up hair balls, so what’s an owner to do? First things first, you have to understand that this is a very common problem to be dealing with, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that your pet is violently ill. Let’s take a look at some of the finer points of this complex issue. Differentiating Between Vomiting and Regurgitation A common mistake people make is assuming that all their pet’s mouth expulsions are created equal. In fact, there are two distinct types of digestive deportations. Namely: vomiting and regurgitation.  Vomit is evacuated food that originates from within the stomach. It is acidic and chunky. It’s usually indicative of a more serious problem. Regurgitation comes from the esophagus, and is much more common. It is usually a foamy and white mucous substance that doesn’t require much effort for a dog or cat to expel. Causes of Vomiting There are a lot of causes of vomiting. Everything from serious conditions, like pancreatitis or kidney failure, to the obscure, like Addison’s disease or Pyometra, on down to the mostly benign, like eating garbage or table scraps. In any case, if your dog or cat is vomiting frequently, the best course of action is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. However, if your pet has had no previous health issues and the vomiting events are isolated, it’s probably something you can manage by close observation and dietary discretion. If you’re really concerned, bring it up to your vet at the next scheduled checkup, but don’t lose sleep over it. Causes of Regurgitation As previously mentioned, regurgitation is a much less worrying form of animal ailment. Regurgitation in dogs or cats occurs because of a blockage in the esophagus. Food, fur, debris, and what have you all end up caught in a pet’s throat. Once the blockage becomes intolerable, the animal effortlessly expels the nastiness on top of your favorite rug, or possibly your shoes. Either way, it’s a nasty mess, but not so nasty nor so dangerous as the dog or cat vomiting already described. Treatment Treatment for pet vomiting/ regurgitation can vary wildly. In nearly all cases, the best thing you can do is keep a diligent eye on your pet to see if the throw up  was a one-time thing, or a recurring digestive anomaly.  Once you’ve got a good idea of how your dog’s stomach troubles come about, you can report to your vet. In many cases the vet will offer a variety of solutions such as: Diet change Antibiotics Intravenous fluids Deworming medication These are only a few of the possible treatments your dog or cat could receive for a soft stomach. When dealing with pet vomiting and regurgitation it’s important to remember how varied the causes and treatments can be. It’s not a one size fits all problem and there are no magic all-encompassing solutions. Keep a watchful eye and a positive attitude, and as always check back here on the Petbucket blog for more helpful tips and advice.    

DNA Test for Dogs: Discovering Mixed Breed Ancestry

 by zack on 08 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Image Credit Owning a mutt is advantageous for a few reasons. They’re outbred dogs so they usually won’t have any of the breed specific health issues common to purebred dogs. They are numerous, and much cheaper than a certified full blooded animal, and they are often extremely well-adjusted pets that make for grateful companions. However, you don’t get the added benefit of extensive breed history or managed expectations due to your wide breadth of knowledge concerning a particular animal bloodline. The other less tangible drawback is your own curiosity. Owning a mixed dog breed often leads to a lot of speculation. You’re always wondering whether that short snout is a sign of a pug or a bulldog. Is that curved bushy tail more reminiscent of a huskie or a retriever? Luckily, the answers to these frustrating questions have been available since 2007 and are becoming increasingly affordable to purchase. We’re talking, of course, about DNA tests for dogs. For the last 6 years several veterinary corporations have been offering blood or cotton swab tests that offer to determine your pup’s hereditary history for a nominal fee. These tests don’t claim 100% accuracy, but they do offer enough exactitude to clear up any dinner table debates about a mixed dog breed. The major player in the game of breed determination is actually a candy company. Isn’t that sweet? Mars Incorporated, maker of Mars bars, Snickers, M&M’s, and Milky Way’s—all of which will ironically kill a dog—also owns a very large pet-care division called Mars Veterinary. Mars Veterinary has a product called the Wisdom Panel. For prices that begin around 60 dollars, you can order a sample collection kit from the wisdom panel to find the breed of your dog. The panel will then identify your dog’s ancestry up to its great grandparents. It works by looking at your dog’s DNA and identifying certain genetic markers that match an established database of those same markers which appear in other dog breeds at different frequencies. The greater the number of markers, the more accurate the test. Since Wisdom Panel has been doing it the longest and has the largest database, they are assumedly the industry leader for this process. While the information is fascinating, it serves little more than an informational and entertainment purpose. You can’t use these genetic analyses to determine potential health issues for your pet, nor does it serve any other particularly practical purpose. It’s just to sate curiosity and fuel conversations. It’s basically a novelty purchase for pet lovers, and because we love our useless novelties, it’s a popular one too. Once again, these tests are basically just for fun. No medical information can really be inferred, and you won’t be able to certify your dog as purebred, (that can only be done an official kennel club, and it isn’t cheap.) However, you definitely can use these test to settle a silly argument or bring up a bit of interesting water cooler talk at your earliest given opportunity. 

Shedding Light on Heavy Shedding

 by zack on 05 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
Image Credit Pet owners everywhere are up to their eyeballs in dog or cat fur during the hot summer months. Why do cats and dogs shed so much fur? What causes it, and is there any way to slow down the animal shedding onslaught? Today’s topic concerns finding the answers to these questions and explaining the most practical and applicable solutions for pet owners the world over. First off, we need to find out what causes these massive waves of hair loss. As it turns out, it can be a lot of different factors. The main things to consider are the growth phases. Most dogs and cats will begin growing new coats during the spring and fall seasons. That’s because the change in length of the days activates chemical signals in their brains. When the days get longer, the new coat needs to be thinner and shorter. Alternatively, when the days get shorter, the new coat’s got to be  thicker and longer. This is a natural adaptation that allows these animals to  better tolerate the seasonal temperature extremes. This seasonal effect will still be present, but far less pronounced in an exclusively indoor pet. Other things that can cause shedding are damaged hair, stress, and lifestyle. Damaged or broken hair has to be replaced, and just like a human being can go grey or bald due to stress an animal such as a dog or cat can also experience the same phenomenon. Your pet’s coat is  a reflection of its lifestyle which includes diet. So if the coat is getting thin and dull, you might want to rethink your favorite dog food. So what can be done to prevent tumbleweeds of dog or cat hair from making your home look like it’s been covered in shag? You have to abide by the hair removal standards. Grooming- And lots of it! That means brushing at least once a week, it’s often better to do it daily depending on the breed of animal you’ve got. Bathing is another standard you should add to your routine. Cleaning house- No matter how much hair you get off of a fuzzy friend, they’re always going to have more. Be proactive and consistently vacuum to circumvent the total hairy domination of your dwelling place. Shaving- Not so much of a solution for short haired pets, but if you’ve got a  longhaired shedding dog or cat then a seasonal haircut is one of the biggest favors you can do for your four-legged companion. Protect your assets- Furniture throws, lint rollers, and dryer sheets. Make friends with these items. They’ll keep your possessions as fuzz free as can be expected when sharing space with a furry hurricane. Vet visits- Many hair loss cases are a direct result of poor pet health. Make sure to schedule regular visits to your vet’s office to ensure this isn’t the case. It’s a lot of work keeping a clean house with a longhaired pet, so find the right tools and keep a positive attitude. Otherwise you’ll end up under a mountain of pet pelt. 

Investigating Veterinary Insurance: How to Decide on a Policy [INFOGRAPHIC]

 by zack on 01 Jun 2013 |
No Comment
After deciding whether or not your pet needs veterinary insurance, it’s time to pick a policy. With many different companies offering competitive plans, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here is a short guide to different factors you must consider when committing to a monthly payment that will likely last the lifetime of your pet. Premiums First things first. You need to find out how much you’re willing to pay, and what you’re able to get for that amount of money. Luckily enough, these monthly premiums are relatively affordable. For around what you would spend on a gym membership you can insure your dog against illness, accidents, and vet visits as well. Premium price is predicated on a number of variables. Things like age, preexisting conditions, breed, and whether or not they’re neutered can edge the monthly payments in one direction or another. You should expect to pay somewhere between 10 and 70 dollars monthly in most cases. Having a pet with a preexisting condition can disqualify you from many different policies right away, and if it doesn’t it will likely increase the premium above the average. The same is true for age, so seek insurance early if you’re going to do it. The younger and healthier the animal, the lower your premiums will be. Coverage Next you need to look at exactly what’s covered. Most policies will cover  accidents and illnesses. You can pay extra for routine checkups, usually labeled as wellness insurance. However, many find this to be somewhat superfluous coverage that can be planned for and offset by having money set aside specifically for veterinary care. Take a look at how much this costs and see if it exceeds the amount you would pay for vet visits, teeth cleanings, and nail cuttings. Also important is seeing how far coverage extends, and most importantly what it excludes. As previously mentioned age and preexisting conditions will almost universally disqualify your pet for coverage, so make certain that all of your needs are met by a policy before signing up.   Fine Print A few things to look for in the fine print: Premiums locked in- Many policies will try to sell you on adjustable rates. Be aware. Multi-pet discount- If you have a household with multiple pets, you can probably qualify for a discount on your pet veterinary insurance policy. Make sure to ask about it. Deductibles- Go for a higher deductible, as that will make your monthly rates much lower. Limited Payouts- Some policies might limit a payout according to the incident. Make sure you know the maximum payout you’ll be able to receive. Summing Up A pet’s health is of vital concern to their owner, but the costs associated with maintaing health care for animals throughout a serious accident or illness can be overwhelming financially. Do your own research and make an informed decision before committing to anything. Check back tomorrow for more helpful information on specific policy providers from your friends at the PetBucket Blog!   Feature Image Credit
Call Us - 855 908 4010

Search blog archives

Latest Updates

Tag Cloud

Blog Archives

Subscribe to RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Shop with Confidence
  • Low Price Guarantee
  • Free & Fast Shipping
  • Best Customer Service
Pet Bucket Ltd is a UK registered company | Company no: 08345021 | 21 Pickford Rd. St.Albans | AL3 8RS UK Translation and Localization by Localizer