Archive of ‘Cats’ category

December Pet Care Do’s and Dont’s

In a new series for ADinLOS, we are featuring monthly pet care do’s and dont’s . As we approach the winter months and the temperature drops it is a good time to develop some good habits. Without further ado:

DO
Walk dogs in parks. Usually, heavily trafficked streets have high salt concentration and other chemicals which can be tough on your dogs paws. People tend to exaggerate about salt burning paws, but it can be a major irritant, or even worse if ingested. Also, most parks have higher tree lines which will cut down on the amount of wind you and your pet experience.

DON’T
Assume that because your pets have ‘fur’ coats they are naturally immune to cold temperatures. The reality is, smaller bodies usually have weaker immune systems and are therefore more susceptible to the cold. A lot of people think animals look ridiculous dressed up, but imagine if you had to walk around naked all year. To some people it might be nice in the summer, but I don’t know anyone who would be okay in the winter. Your local pet shop should have a decent selection of gimmicky articles of clothing, but clothes may be easier to make with your own articles of clothing and a few stitches.

DO
Build adequate shelter for outdoor pets. Typically ADinLOS frowns on outdoor pets, but we’ll admit that we have a few. What can we say, kittens and injured animals just seem to find us. Outdoor pets do not get used to the cold. Stay outside for a day or two in December without a coat. Did you get used to it? Didn’t think so. Make sure the shelter is at least twice as large as your pet. Keep the enclosure elevated in a sunny area away from wind. When building the inside, prepare an area towards the back with straw for warmth, not towels or hay which absorb moisture and can mold.

DON’T
Neglect ears and paws. A large portion of heat is lost through these areas of the body. If attention isn’t paid here, you may be fighting a losing battle. This means booties and hoods.

DO
Keep temperatures consistent when we leave the house for an extended period of time. Energy is expensive, but it’s nothing compared to the importance of our pets health.

DON’T
Ignore the water temperature of our aquariums. Goldfish tend to be hearty, but when they get used to a what we consider room temperature, low temperature is a huge shock and needs to be addressed.

DO
Pay extra attention to travel demands. Travel is stressful on everyone, but it is especially stressful on our pets. Be cautious and take a trip to the vet to ensure pets are healthy, and all medications and vaccinations are current. Depending on the method of travel, familiarize them with their temporary housing. Keep comfortable blankets, dishes, and toys. The day of, feed them hours before travel to avoid upset stomachs. All will help reduce the amount of stress and stride for happy travel.

DON’T
Assume pets diets remain unchanged. Ensure pets are hydrated and nourished. Pets burn more energy in extreme temperatures and will need extra attention in the winter months. The winter months tend to hide perspiration better and encourages dehydration and lethargy quickly.

DO
Avoid certain classic holiday decorations. Most of us have heard that Poinsettias are poisonous to eat, and though this is largely exaggerated, mistletoe is the real danger. Poinsettieas need to be injested in large quantities to be harmful, but mistletoes symptoms can be mild to moderate depending on the variety. The European variety usually has more toxins than the American variety, but it is always wise to do your homework.

DON’T
Forget to kitty-proof your Christmas Tree. This means tying it down. Aside from falling and breaking all of your precious ornaments, it can break your precious kitten as well. We tend to assume that cats have 9 lives and always land on their feet. Unfortunately, this is not always the truth. Extensive research has been done on a phenomenom known as ‘High Rise Syndrome’. Below three feet, cats do not have the ability to ‘right’ themselves and will not always land on their feet. Three feet doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you think that every cat is different, these 3 feet can be increased to 2 stories. Be careful and don’t assume your cat can ‘right’ itself. So please, tie up your tree.

Comments are always encouraged. Do you have any additional tips or advice? Concerns about an item on our list? A lot of pet care can seem like common sense, but we find that we are always learning and even the simplest of ideas can open our mind.

Snufflufflitis and Other Unthinkable Maladies

A lot of controversy has been raised in recent weeks over Bentley, the dog of Nina Pham who became the the first case of Ebola contracted on U.S. soil. Thankfully, due to a very skilled medical staff and plasma treatments, Nina Pham is cured. The first thing she wants to do when she gets home, give Bentley a hug.

Unfortunately, Bentley is still under quarantine until early November. He has tested negative, but the incubation period of Ebola is 2 to 21 days, which makes the standard quarantine procedures recommend a minimum of 21 days.

As an upbeat group, ADinLOS tends to focus on positive stories, but we always look for an opportunity to learn. And the recent media attention brought forth an opportunity to learn something we knew little about; Animal-Human Illness Contraction. So we did our research to find a clearer picture.

We’ve heard a number of people spreading ‘facts’ about how Ebola is transmitted. These facts range from “Mr. Snuffles loves me too much to get me sick” to “your cat started the plague, and they’re back to finish us off”. Ok, so these are really opinion, but the passion people exude when discussing is so palpable, they are able to convince other people that it is fact. The reality is, the truth lies somewhere in between, and our experts aren’t positive what that line is.

Both the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) outline useful, yet repetitious information.

Ebola’s origin is not clear, but it is thought that fruit bats…are natural Ebola virus hosts.

Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. [1]

Ebola then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids. [1]

Men who have recovered from the disease can still transmit the virus through their semen for up to 7 weeks after recovery from illness. [1]

The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. [1]

Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food.[1]

There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only a few species of mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus. [2]

Specifically regarding our four legged friends, the case made is convincing but it sounds like speculation more than fact.

In addition, the CDC professes:

There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease. [3]

Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola. [3]

CDC regulations require that dogs and cats imported into the United States be healthy. [3]

Additional information and guidance will be posted on this website as well as partner websites as soon as it becomes available. [3]

I’m guessing this means we have either no official clinical tests, or very few. We’ve never had a real Ebola threat before, and if African countries have no real evidence of transmission via dogs and cats, why should we. Their time is probably best spent elsewhere.

So where does all this leave us with our pets. Let’s backtrack a bit to less controversial disease transmission. How do we know what diseases a dogs and cats can transmit?

The answer really depends on what is causing your pet’s illness.

Most illnesses like the common cold and the flu are separate strains and do not affect pets and humans the same way. Therefore they cannot be reciprocally exchanged. [4]

Then we move on to zoonotic diseases. These can be difficult to understand on their own. Some you can contract from you pet. Some will make your pet sick, and some won’t.

There are a minimum of 39 important diseases that people catch directly from animals, 42 important diseases that people get by eating or touching food or water contaminated with animal feces, and at least 48 important diseases that humans can get from the bite of bugs that feasted on an infected animal. [5]

Lice, Lyme Disease, Scabies, Toxoplasmosis, Salmonella, and Rabies are some of the more common.

It is important to note, that while some disease that are not serious to us, may not be to our pets, and vice versa. Most of us would consider lice to be vexing, to pets it can cause serious complications.

Here’s where Ebola makes its triumphant return. If it is possible for a dog or cat to contract Ebola but not show symptoms, how would they transfer it to us? Humans need direct contact with the disease to transfer. Can a cat scratch or bite cause it? Or contact with dog feces?

I’m always happy to hear a happy story about a people being reunited with their pet, but the mutual relationship between our pets is supposed to help us achieve longer, happier lives. Not the other way around. Hopefully our experts find this out sooner than later.

[1] World Health Organization. Ebola virus disease. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/ Updated September 2014, Retrieved October, 24 2014.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease), Transmission. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/index.html?s_cid=cs_3923 Update October 22, 2014, Retrieved October, 24 2014.

[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease), Questions and Answers about Ebola and Pets. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/qas-pets.html Update October 13, 2014, Retrieved October, 24 2014.

[4] Kristina Duda, R.N. About Health. Can I Catch a Cold From My Pet?.
http://coldflu.about.com/od/faqaboutthecold/a/petssick.htm Updated July 24, 2014, Retrieved October 24 2014.

[5] Melissa Breyer. Mother Nature Network. 14 diseases you can get from your pets. http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/14-diseases-you-can-get-from-your-pets Mon, Sep 10, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2014.

Bittersweet Goodbye

As foster pet parents, we know time is short and to cherish the moments we have. So why is saying goodbye still so difficult. Everyone has their own set of rules about how old the pets sould be before they go, or what requirements the new family has to have. We also have an ethical set of rules. Some parents are ok giving names and some get names like number 10 or the white cat. Whichever way we try, it’s just not easy. Last week, we said goodbye to two of our little ones, the grey cat, and the orange cat, or Octavius and Ginger. Saying good-bye isn’t easy, but at least we can look back and enjoy our short time together.

Sake gets surprised by the grey cat

Sake gets surprised by the grey cat

Orance Cat Ready to Pounce

Orance Cat Ready to Pounce

Off to a wonderful local family, we wish them all the best!

New Additions

ADinLOS understands the heart break of losing a fuzzy child. We just lost one recently. He was an outdoor stray that we fixed years ago and never left. He lived a great life and gave us 8 great years. 

Recently, we came across abandoned kittens.  As if this wasn’t unfortunate enough, one did not make it after two days. Thankfully, the other two kittens are doing great!

Sleeping Mews

Little kittens are tired

 

Today, they are able to recognize my mothers voice. She is kitty mom with day and early morning feedings. 

I’m not sure how anyone can look at them and say I’m going to split them up from their actual mom. Hopefully they soon will find a wonderful forever home. 

Little Kittens

Kitties showing off