Oh My Mozzie! They are everywhere. The big ones, the small ones and every size in between. You don’t dare leave the house without insect repellent for fear of being carried away by them. And they will only continue to get worse over the next few weeks.

After lasts weeks deluge, courtesy of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie, we were inundated with flood water, which although mostly subsided it has left some still water and puddles behind and this is providing the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to multiply.

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Moving house can be a very stressful time for your cat. Here are a few tips to follow when moving to help your cat adjust to their new home.

* When you first arrive at your new home do not release your cat until all visitors and movers have left. Ensure that all doors, windows and possible hidey holes (like open fire places) are closed.

* Introduce them to the house slowly by keeping them confined to one room for a few days. Put all their familiar things in that room including their bed, blanket, toys, scratching post, litter tray, food and water. This will allow them to become accustomed to their new surroundings, smells and sounds while feeling safe with their own familiar things.

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Jack

Jack

Last week I was fur-sitting my brothers dog “Jack”. Jack is a 3 year old Kelpie x Labrador x bit of everything that was rescued from a shelter.

One afternoon I went to pick the kids up from school and as always I left Jack outside and Beau (my dog) inside the house. Upon return from school pick up, Jack was nowhere to be seen. The kids and I searched everywhere, calling out for him, whistling and nothing. He isn’t the type of dog to try and escape or ever wander (he is just too lazy), but we couldn’t find him! So off we trekked through the horse paddocks looking for him, checking the dam, just encase he went for swim, but still nothing. By this stage I was starting to panic and the kids were crying “you lost Jack”. So next we jumped in the car and drove around to all the neighbours asking if they had seen him. Drove up and down all of the surrounding roads calling out for him. I rang the local pound, three local vets and checked Facebook lost and found sites and still nothing!

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cat-4blogIf you have ever visited a cat shelter, rescue or adoption centre, you have probably noticed that some cats have a note saying that they have “Cat Flu”. But what does this mean?

Feline respiratory diseases or Cat Flu is a highly contagious virus caused by Feline Calicivirus (FCV) or Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) that can be easily spread through sneezing or coughing. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, runny eyes, conjunctivitis and/or ulcers on the tongue. The main health concern with Cat Flu is that the cat can develop a secondary bacterial infection. These infections generally require a course of antibiotics that will be prescribed by a vet. Diagnosis of Cat Flu is usually made after seeing symptoms in a cat, there is a swab test available to confirm the diagnosis if required.

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de-sexing-4blogAs a nation that believes in animal rights and responsible pet ownership we need to reduce the number of animals being bred. If less animals were being irresponsibly bred then in turn this would reduce the number of unwanted, mistreated, stray and abandoned animals.

I am a strong believer in getting your pets desexed. I feel that there really isn’t any need to keep an entire (undesexed) dog or cat unless you are a registered breeder. I believe that all pets should be desexed before they become sexually mature enough to breed, so by 3-6 months of age.

Many people think that having a litter of puppies or kittens is fun and they are so cute or possibly a way to make some extra money. In my opinion these are not good enough reasons to bring these innocent fur babies into the world. Some people even think that owning a dog or cat and then breeding them is their “right”. Owning an animal is not a “right” it is a responsibility! Dogs and cats are living breathing creatures that require and deserve to be cared for.

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cat scratching furnitureMost cat owners have probably experienced their beloved cat scratching somewhere they shouldn’t be like the carpet, rug, curtains or furniture. The scratching behaviour can be incredibly destructive and frustrating for cat owners to deal with.

For cats, scratching is a natural and necessary behaviour that they perform for a number of reasons including;
* to keep their nails in good order by sharpening them and removing the outer husk of the nail.
* just to stretch out and flex their feet.
* due to anxiety or stress
* as a territory marker by displaying the scratch marks it can mark an area as theirs.
* to mark their territory with their pheromones. When they scratch the glands in their feet release pheromones that mark their territory and make them feel happy and relaxed.

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ticks-on-dogSpring has sprung and so have ticks!

In Australia, adult ticks are in their highest numbers during the warmer months of August to February. These little nasties can make your pets very sick and even cause death. As a pet owner you need to be aware of ticks and do your best to prevent your pet from falling victim to them. It is important to know how to check your pets for ticks and how to remove them if you do find one on your pet. If you live in a tick area it is very important to be diligent in tick prevention as well as checking your pets for ticks and knowing the signs and symptoms that may be seen if your pet does have a tick.

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cat-4-bec-blogOne of the most common health concerns that cats may suffer from during their lifetime is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD  refers to a number of conditions that affect the bladder or urethra in cats. Causes of FLUTD include;
* Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) or interstitial cystitis – this is the most common cause of FLUTD as it is the general diagnosis given if a cat presents with symptoms of FLUTD and no other cause is able to be diagnosed.
*  Urolithiasis (Urinary Stones) –  this is when stones, or a hard collection of minerals, are formed in the bladder.  Urinary stones are usually diagnosed after an x-ray confirms their presence.
*  Urethral obstruction – which is the most serious and life threatening cause of FLUTD.  This is when the cats urethra becomes partially or completely blocked.  The blockage can be caused by stone or a urethral plug which is made up of a combination of protein/cellular material and minerals or prostate disease in male cats can cause an obstruction.  To determine if a blockage is present the vet will feel the cats abdomen and x-rays and blood tests will be taken.
*  Urinary tract infection – this is more common in older cats over the age of 10 and occurs when a bacterial infection takes place in the bladder or urethra.  This can be diagnosed through testing a urine sample.

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QLD_CM_LIFESTYLE_TOADS_10DEC13(3)

Image courtesy of www.couriermail.com.au

In the last month it seems that as soon as the sun goes down our yard is taken over by cane toads.  The little bit of recent rain has brought these toads out of hibernation and they are ready to breed during the wet season.

These rather unattractive amphibians are a common cause of poisoning to dogs and less commonly cats.  When toads feel threatened they ooze a milky poison through the glands in the skin.  If a dog or cat is to lick, bite or eat a cane toad the poison can make them quite sick and can have a hallucinogenic effect on them.  Just recently I was reading an article in the Courier Mail that said that some dogs were possibly becoming addicted to the “high” or the effect that the cane toad poison was having on them and were then repeatedly seeking out cane toads.

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Most cat owners at some point will hear that terrible sound of 
their beloved cat hacking and gagging as they try to vomit up a hairball.  Just recently one of mums cats, “Kit Kat”, a three year old Burmese started this terrible process of eliminating hairballs for the first time.  Vomiting up hairballs is a common and normal process that most cats will go through at some point.

Cats in general are meticulous self groomers using their tongue to clean themselves.  The tongue has tiny hook like structures that help in the grooming process by removing the loose hair.  While grooming, some of the hair may be ingested but usually it will pass through the stomach with the faeces.  Occasionally the hair can build up in the stomach and the cat will need to vomit it up, this is a hairball.  A hairball looks more like a long thin tube of wet hair rather than a ball.

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