Tuesday, May 24, 2016

PET HEALTH TIP #21- Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is (unfortunately) a common problem during the hot summer months, especially when temperatures soar into the 100's.  Two of the most important things you can do to protect your dog from the heat are to make sure your dog has lots of shade and plenty of water.  It is easy to forget how fast water can evaporate in extreme heat, so make sure you re-fill the water dishes often.

Outdoor dogs with thick coats of fur, even if it is relatively short, should be shaved.  The thick fur is just like you wearing your winter coat out in the heat!  Another great idea is to add water misters to their pen to act as an air conditioner.  And lastly, do not leave your dog in a vehicle, even if the windows are cracked!

Symptoms of heat stroke include: Excessive panting; recumbency (lying on side); pale mucous membranes (gums and inside of cheeks); and unresponsiveness.

Emergency treatments: It imperative to get the dog's temperature down as quickly as possible.  Heat stroke dog temperatures can rise above 105 degrees.  The best thing you can do is get your dog to a veterinarian, so he can be started on IV fluids and the vet can work on lowering the dog's temperature.  However, if you are unable to get to a vet clinic, there are some treatments you can try.  First of all, you don't want to lower the temperature too quickly.  One of the best ways to lower a dog’s temperatures is to pour rubbing alcohol along his spine.  Rubbing alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, thus acting as a coolant.  Also, a room temperature water enema works well.  You don't want to use cold water as the dog's temperature is already well above room temperature and cold water would be too much of a shock to the dog's system.


Even with proper treatment, a heat stroke victim's chances of survival are minimal. So, the best treatment is prevention.  Please be aware of our four-legged friends during the warm summer months and do what you can to keep them safe and comfortable.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

PET HEALTH #20-Cystitis

Cystitis refers to inflammation of the bladder wall.  Several underlying medical issues can cause cystitis.  The most common cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection.  This is especially true for female dogs and cats.  Bacterial infections in dogs and cats happen the same way they do in people, and pets will show similar symptoms.  These symptoms include: increased frequency of urination, straining to void the bladder, and blood in the urine.  Antibiotics are used to treat bladder infections.

Bladder stones (uroliths) can also cause cystitis.  Bladder stones are mineral deposits that form into rock-like substances.  These stones can be as large as golf balls!  The symptoms are exactly the same as with bladder infections.  Occasionally, a small stone may become trapped in a male dog’s or cat’s urethra causing a blockage.  This is a serious condition that requires emergency treatment.

During the early stages of stone development, the pet will have crystals in the urine.  Dogs may or may not develop symptoms of cystitis during the crystal phase.  Cats will typically start to show symptoms during this phase.  As I stated earlier, these crystals and stones are caused by mineral deposits.  These deposits are created by the urine either being too acidic or too alkaline.  The treatment is a change in diet, which will either raise or lower the pH of the urine.  Some bladder stones will dissolve in response to the diet change.  However, surgery is usually needed to remove the stones.


A less common cause of cystitis is a bladder tumor.  These usually develop in older female dogs. The tumors are typically benign.

There are other less common causes of cystitis.  All causes create the same symptoms.  Therefore, if your pet is showing symptoms if cystitis, you should take him or her to a veterinarian in order to get an accurate diagnosis.

Friday, April 15, 2016

PRICKED BY A ROSE is on Sale for $0.99!

For a limited time, my new contemporary romance "Pricked by a Rose" is on sale for $0.99!



BOOK DESCRIPTION:



After being abducted by a serial rapist, Rose McAllister is haunted by nightmares. Wanting a fresh start, she leaves her job in the city and moves three hundred miles away to a quaint college town. She begins to think that a normal life is possible as a budding relationship develops between her and her sexy new neighbor. 

Mason Sterling is fighting to move past painful memories of his own. As his attraction for Rose intensifies, the instinct to protect his heart becomes stronger. Can he overcome his trust issues enough to give their relationship a chance to grow into something beautiful? Is she worth risking another broken heart? 



click image to buy now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NOW AVAILABLE!!! "Pricked by a Rose" a new contemporary romance

PRICKED BY A ROSE



BOOK DESCRIPTION:


After being abducted by a serial rapist, Rose McAllister is haunted by nightmares. Wanting a fresh start, she leaves her job in the city and moves three hundred miles away to a quaint college
town. She begins to think that a normal life is possible as a budding relationship develops between her and her sexy new neighbor. 


Mason Sterling is fighting to move past painful memories of his

own. As his attraction for Rose intensifies, the instinct to protect his heart becomes stronger. Can he overcome his trust issues enough to give their relationship a chance to grow into something beautiful? Is she worth risking another broken heart? 




click image to buy now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

PET HEALTH TIP #19- Hairballs

Hairballs are caused by a cat swallowing hair when it grooms itself.  Most of the hair is passed through the intestinal tract.  However, some of the hair stays in the stomach and aggregates into a hairball.  Young kittens don’t typically have hairball issues for two reasons.  First, they don’t lose much hair when they groom, and therefore, they don’t swallow much hair.  Second, their digestive tract is more active and moves the hair through more easily.  As cats age, they tend to shed more hair; thus causing them to swallow more hair.  Also, they are unable to pass the hair through their digestive tract as efficiently.  As a consequence, the hair sits in the stomach and aggregates into a hairball.  The hairball irritates the stomach causing the cat to retch.  Typically, the cat is able to successfully rid itself of the hairball by vomiting it up.

Hairballs are a normal part of a cat’s life.  They don’t usually cause many problems, other than to the owner who has to clean up the mess.  However, on rare occasions, a hairball will sit in a cat’s stomach so long that it hardens.  This can cause blockage and can become life-threatening.  Again, this is a rare occurrence, but one to be aware of.


So, what can you do about hairballs?  There are some hairball remedy products available.  These products work by binding up the hair and increasing the digestive tract activity to aid in passing the hairball.  They work well and I recommend using them for geriatric cats who have reoccurring issues with hairballs.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

PET HEALTH TIP #18- Feline Aids

"Feline Aids" is caused by a virus; specifically, the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).  FIV causes symptoms in cats that are very similar to the symptoms that HIV causes in people.  It basically destroys the cat's immune system, causing them to be much more susceptible to infections.  Most of the time, the first indication a cat has FIV is that it has an infection that seems to be causing the cat to be more ill than it should.  An example would be a wound that won’t heal.  Another example would be an upper respiratory infection that just won’t go away.

FIV is transmitted from cat to cat through an exchange between the saliva of an infected cat and the bloodstream of a non-infected cat.  Most typically, this is through a bite wound.  The virus then hides in the cat for up to six years before emerging and attacking the immune system.  So, there are a lot of cats who have FIV, but are not showing any symptoms.  Because it is usually transmitted through bite wounds, FIV occurs most commonly in stray cats and the occasional indoor/outdoor cat.

The most full-proof way to protect the cat from contracting FIV is to keep the cat indoors.  That way they are never exposed to cats who have FIV.  Also, since it is transmitted through a bite, if your cat is only going into its own yard, then you don't really need to worry.  However, there are vaccines available for cats who do go outside and tend to wander.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) causes symptoms similar to FIV and is transmitted much more easily.  It can be transmitted from an infected cat's saliva to a non-infected cat through the mucus membranes (lining in the mouth, nose, and eyes).  Therefore, it can be transmitted by one cat simply hissing and spitting on another or through sharing a water dish, etc.  Therefore, if your cat is going to go outside, then I highly recommend that you have them vaccinated against FeLV.

A simple blood test is used to diagnose FIV and FeLV.  If you are going to bring a new cat into your home, I highly recommend you have her tested first.  That way you will know what you are dealing with.  Like I said, the cat can have the virus for years and not show any symptoms, so if they test positive, then you have to measure their expected life span and the risk to your other cats.


Unfortunately, there is no treatment for either virus.  However, many FeLV or FIV positive cats live long, happy lives.  If you have a cat that is positive for either virus, then it is imperative they remain indoor cats to prevent them from exposing other cats to infection.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

COMING SOON! PRICKED BY A ROSE a new contemporary romance

I'm excited to announce the upcoming release of my latest contemporary romance novel, PRICKED BY A ROSE!!


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

After being abducted by a serial rapist, Rose McAllister is haunted by nightmares. Wanting a fresh start, she leaves her job in the city and moves three hundred miles away to a quaint college town. She begins to think that a normal life is possible as a budding relationship develops between her and her sexy new neighbor.

Mason Sterling is fighting to move past painful memories of his own. As his attraction for Rose intensifies, the instinct to protect his heart becomes stronger. Can he overcome his trust issues enough to give their relationship a chance to grow into something beautiful? Is she worth risking another broken heart?