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Tag Archives: pets

Merry Christmas to all our readers

Clare Champion dog, Daisy, would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas. She has also issued a warning that this time of year can be hazardous for pets, so keep an eye on them. Chocolates and some fruits, including grapes, are very harmful to dogs, so they should be supervised at all times. Most of us are planning Christmas dinner and, next to gifts, food and drink play a huge part in our celebrations. But just as we should be careful not to over-indulge, we need to make sure our pets are looked after as well. Coffee, hot chocolate and caffeine products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cocoa seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some fizzy drinks. When ingested by pets, these can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, panting, excessive hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and sometimes, in excessive amounts, …

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Poison bait danger to pets

DOG owners in the Tulla Road and Knockanean area of Ennis are being advised to keep their pets under control following two separate incidents where traps were deliberately left in open areas. In the first incident, poison-laced food was picked up by a German Shepard that subsequently died, while in another incident, a dog had to have surgery after swallowing a sausage baited with a treble fishing hook. County dog warden Frankie Coote has appealed to dog owners to be on the alert when out walking their pets and to ensure they remain under their control at all times. “This is very sinister. Although we did have a couple of incidents last year where cats were poisoned and shot with air guns, the use of the treble hook is new to me. I would just ask people to be on alert, keep their pets under control and that way they can’t pick up anything harmful,” he said. “If pets are …

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Expelling pet myths

THERE are lots of myths that have existed around pets and these are just a few. * A wagging tail means a happy dog: Dog body language is very complex and a wagging tail is only part of a very big picture. It can mean the dog is happy but it can also indicate anxiety, fear and sometimes aggression. So look at the whole dog. * You should let the dog have one litter before you spay her: Absolutely not. Dogs don’t have the same maternal feelings that people do and the drive to have puppies only comes around when the dog is in season. Pregnancy may cause complicated health issues and can mean expensive trips to the vets. Thousands of unwanted puppies and stray dogs are killed in Ireland each year and if you let your dog have ‘just one litter’, you may be adding to the problem. * Neutering my dog will change him: The earlier it is …

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Complementary treatments for pets

We talk about ‘complementary’ rather than ‘alternative,’ treatments because each type has something that contributes to the whole treatment. Holistic veterinarians believe in what they do, despite a lack of scientific evidence that the tools of their trade – acupuncture, herbal medicines, homeopathy and other complementary therapies – prevent or cure illness in pets. A lot of people like the way their arthritic dog behaves after a round of acupuncture, or how a dog’s infection clears up completely with homeopathic treatment. But holistic veterinarians also understand the limits of such therapies and prefer to use them alongside more conventional ones. So what are the most commonly used therapies? Acupuncture is probably the most well-known complementary therapy. People have found both needle and laser acupuncture beneficial for thousands of years, so why not for our pets. Horses also benefit from treatments and as the equipment is mobile, treatments can be done in the stable or field. Acupuncture is one of the safest …

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Saying goodbye to your pet

Anyone who has owned a pet, be it a cat, dog, rabbit or something a bit exotic, has no doubt felt sadness when the animal has died or been euthanised by the vet. Sudden death, such as a road traffic accident or death due to a long illness are equally hard. The decision to euthanise a pet is one of the hardest decisions an owner will ever have to make on behalf of a loved pet. As a vet nurse, I have dealt with this many, many times and have shed countless tears with my clients over the death of a furry member of the family. It never gets any easier but, as long as the animal is let go with love and dignity, it’s the most loving thing we can do for an ill or old pet. Animals have the same emotions as we do and pain and suffering is a reality in their lives when illness or old …

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Pets can help you be healthier and happier

Our pets need to be companion animals, well socialised with people and our homes to be of benefit to us. Dogs and cats kept outside don’t offer us the same companionship and quite often they themselves suffer by not being invited to live indoors with us. Being part of the family has beneficial effects on humans and animals alike. Spending quality time with a dog, cat or other animal can have a positive impact on your mood and your health. Pet owners, on average, are better off than non-pet owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets. For some active people, that includes playing games, walking and exercising with your dog. For others, who can’t get outside, just petting your dog or cat can help you feel connected. Even talking to a budgie can help. Pets can help you in other ways, too. A healthier heart: Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease …

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Dogalogue with Bev and Daisy

Reptiles difficult to keep THINK very carefully before buying a reptile as a pet. Have you decided on the species of reptile that you want to keep? Read as much as possible about the different species available and talk to some local herpetologists and other keepers. Find out if there is a reptile club in your area that you can ask for advice. Take into consideration the space you have for the vivarium, the animal’s home, and how much you can afford. A good set-up for a small animal can be around €200 to 300. Many factors come into consideration; snake, lizard or amphibian? What size will it reach as an adult? Will it need high humidity or dry desert conditions? What size should its vivarium be? What do you feed it?  Where can you buy good quality food for it? Start small, get used to having a small animal and get used to the equipment you will need. Some …

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Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs, small sociable friends

  GUINEA pigs make fantastic pets for children and adults, as they are happy, sociable little animals that “talk” back and can be house-trained. The young are born exact replicas of their parents, with eyes open, full coat and able to run around. The young should be handled very gently and carefully from around two weeks old to get them socialised and used to people. When a sow is pregnant, her need for Vitamin C doubles and as guinea pigs cannot synthesis the vitamin, it is important that we provide it every day in their food. A Vitamin C tablet dissolved in their water, rosehip syrup or blackcurrant juice is a useful addition to their diet. Feed a good-quality commercial food, like Supa Guinea, once a day in small amounts, along with good quality vegetables and some fruit. Lettuce can be harmful if fed in large quantities and overfeeding green food can cause an upset in the gut. Do not …

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