Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Dressed for Success? The Keys to Safe Pet Costumes

pet costumesPet costumes are a huge deal for many owners, but they don’t always come with an instruction guide or safety suggestions. Indeed, while they seem so obvious and self-explanatory, pet costumes elicit a great deal of confusion, stress, and anxiety – for pets and people alike. This is not to say they aren’t fun and festive, but when you have a head start on how to dress your pet in a safe garment (and how to mitigate any discomfort), you’ll be more likely to enjoy Halloween together.

Sky’s the Limit

When choosing a pet costume, we know it’s hard to narrow down which options your pet will look the cutest in. However, instead of measuring aesthetics first, size up each costume from a “safety first” perspective. This includes:

  • Fabric and fit – Pet costumes should not irritate your pet. If the fabric is scratchy or too tight, your chances of getting past the first photo opportunity are nil. Likewise, the garment should not be floppy or loose, as this will make it easier for your pet to wriggle out of, inadvertently covering the eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. Above all, your pet should be able to see clearly, breathe easily, and move without restriction.
  • Hazards – Believe it or not, pet costumes can cause choking. Loose or dangling parts can entice pets to chew and bite them off, and even pose entanglement issues.
  • Visibility – Masks might work for some animals, but if they cover your pet’s eyes and limit vision, it may be best to find a different get-up. Feeling trapped is never fun for pets.
  • Comfort – If your pet has enough time to get used to the look and feel of the costume, they’ll probably endure it longer on Halloween. However, never force a pet into a costume. Opt for a festive bow tie or bandana instead.

Successful Pet Costumes

If your pet is highly socialized and ready for a fun night out, remember that the unpredictable can happen on Halloween. Keep your pet on leash and outfitted in reflective gear. It may be dark, scary, and nerve-wracking out there, even for the calmest of pets.

Be sure to expose your pet’s collar and tags for easy reading; if your contact information has changed recently, be sure to update your pet’s microchip. Escape or separation are highly likely on and around Halloween.

Fun and Safe!

Know the signs of anxiety and stress, and don’t be afraid to call off an evening full of zombies and superheroes. A nice cozy evening snuggling together could be just what the doctor ordered!

If you have any questions or need some inspiration, our veterinarians and staff are here for you. Whether you decide on a Schnauzer witch, Dachshund Dracula, or Shar Pei scarecrow, when you choose the safest costume for your pet, the better off they’ll be on Halloween.

Above all, have a safe and happy Halloween!

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Common Rabbit Health Issues and How to Deal With Them

In a recent and very interesting development, doctors are using the ability of pets to sniff out potentially fatal diseases in humans before they progress to advanced levels. Call it ESP or an enhanced olfactory sense that allows them to detect abnormal scents, the programs are remarkably accurate and so far, dogs are stealing the show.

But doctors and researchers opine that even rabbits aren’t too far behind when it comes to detecting health conditions in humans. For example, it has been noted that rabbits display behavioral changes if and when their parents have fluctuations in their blood sugar levels.

If only, we could detect health problems in pets so easily. But unfortunately, most pet parents rely on symptomatic assessment of health conditions in pets rather than using preventive measures. And if you are a rabbit parent, spotting the symptoms may take a lot more than casual observation.

Rabbit health being examined by the vet

Rabbits have an inherent ability to hide symptoms. By the time one realizes that something is amiss, the condition may well have progressed to advanced levels requiring immediate medical assistance from a rabbit veterinarian.

Having reared and bought up more than a dozen bunnies, we have had our fair share of misses. From shock to panic to desperation, we have been through all the emotions that most rabbit parents go through at some point in their lives.

So, we figured that this was a great time to create a list of the most common health issues that might crop up in your bunnies from time to time and some tips on how to spot them early.

#1 – Gastrointestinal Stasis

GI Stasis is a rabbit parent’s worst nightmare come true. This serious and potentially fatal condition occurs more commonly in rabbits than one would like to imagine. And what makes it so serious is that the symptoms are extremely difficult to spot.

GI stasis occurs when the rabbit’s digestive system comes to a halt. Any rabbit food that the rabbit consumes is no longer processed and the metabolism is shut down.

Symptoms

Lethargy, lack of appetite, bloating and reduced fecal matter. One of the easiest ways to detect GI Stasis in rabbits is to rest your ears on your bunny’s abdomen gently and listen for sounds of the digestive system functioning normally. There’s typically a gurgling sound or something similar. If you do not hear any sounds at all, then there are chances that the digestive system may have shut down.

Treatment

In most of the cases, emergency surgery by a rabbit veterinarian may be the need of the hour. But if you have spotted the condition early, then your vet may be able to treat the condition using motility drugs and IV fluids. But if the condition has progressed and the digestive system has shut down completely, then the only way to reactivate the rabbit’s digestive system is via surgery. Contact a veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Prevention

An active bunny is a fit bunny. One of the ways to prevent GI stasis is to ensure that your bunny has an adequate supply of a variety of fresh hay, time and place for exercise and lots of fresh water. A high fiber diet will keep the digestive system active and also help reduce the risk of dental problems.

#2 – Ear Mites

Ear Mites are undoubtedly among the most common health conditions that can occur in rabbits. That’s irrespective of whether you keep your bunny indoors or outdoors. The good news is that the condition appears to be a lot more serious than it actually is. It is easily treatable. Having said that, if left untreated, it can quickly progress into secondary infections of the middle and inner ear. In extreme cases, mite infestations can also progress to meningitis. So, like any other health condition, you might want to start diagnosis and early treatment for ear mites.

Ear mites are contagious. So the chances of your bunny picking up mites after coming into contact with another infected bunny are high.

Symptoms

One of the first symptoms of an ear mite infestation is intense bouts of itching around the ears, neck and head. The itching may be generalized or focused mainly around the ears. There will be scales on the inner ear which will eventually form thick crusted lesions. There may be hair loss and occasional peeling of the skin. If the infestation has penetrated into the inner ear, it may cause loss of balance or head tilt in bunnies. Mite infestations can also spread to other parts of the rabbit’s body especially the belly and the area that surrounds the anus.

Treatment

Diagnosis involves taking samples of an exudate that is secreted from the crusted lesions. Your vet may then prescribe anti-parasitic drugs like ivermectin. Treatment also involves cleaning and treating the rabbit’s enclosure or hutch because the condition is contagious and can recur. Everything from the rabbit’s bed to utensils and combs must be completely disinfected before reusing. Never remove the crusts from the ears because it may expose the underlying skin which is prone to infections. Home remedies include using honey or vegetable oil to remove infestations in the early stages.

Prevention

The best way to prevent mite infestations in rabbits is to avoid contact with other infected bunnies. Maintain healthy grooming habits that allow you to spot the infection early. Keep the rabbit’s environment clean and sanitized. Ensure that your rabbit has ample room. Ear mite infestations have also been linked to increased stress in rabbits. Keep your pet clean and happy to keep the pesky bugs away.

Rabbit ears checked for ear mites

 

#3 – Sore Hocks

‘Ulcerative Pododermatitis’ also known as ‘sore hocks’ is a condition in which the sole on the rabbit’s rear legs get infected and inflamed. The condition is typically localized in the area of the rabbit’s feet which come into contact with the floor as the rabbit rests.

Sore Hocks can occur due to multiple reasons. But the most common one is a hard floor or wired floor often seen in low quality rabbit hutches. Excessive moisture can also lead to inflammation of the feet. If left untreated, the condition progresses to severe inflammation and can cause lesions filled with pus. In extreme cases, it can affect the connective tissue making it impossible for the bunny to rest or walk normally. It may also limit the supply of blood to the connective tissue leading to brittle bones and even bone death.

Symptoms

Sore Hocks can range from mild to severe and are usually graded depending on the severity of the condition. In grades I to III, the condition is considered moderate and the bunny will show signs of hair loss near the bottom of the rear feet. Swelling is rare but not unusual. In some cases, the skin will become excessively red and may form scabs and ulcers which can be prone to infection.

Grades IV and V are advanced stages which are usually characterized by pustules, abscesses and inflamed tendons. Bone marrow infection can occur leading to disability, imbalance and an abnormal posture.

Treatment

The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the easier it is for the rabbit to recover fully from it. Diagnosis involves ruling out abscesses caused due to injury or fractures. Most vets may recommend an ultrasound to detect how advanced the condition has become. Rabbits that are diagnosed with bone infections will require undergoing an extended treatment that may take months. In early stages, the treatment revolves around pain management, reducing discomfort and inflammation. In the later stages however, surgical procedures may be recommended to remove dead tissue and prevent extreme infections.

Prevention

Well, the good news is that sore hocks can easily be prevented. Ensure that your rabbit has a soft and dry surface to rest on. It must be free of excessive moisture, including urine and feces. Keep the rabbit hutch in a dry environment. Keep an eye out for early signs of infection. If the rabbit hutch has a wire floor, then cover it with a thick and soft layer of flooring.

#4 – Snuffles

Snuffles are one of those conditions that look innocuous enough to avoid the need for veterinary assistance. But in reality, this annoying upper respiratory tract disorder can leave your bunny gasping for breath and if left untreated, can quickly progress into other conditions like conjunctivitis, wryneck and imbalance.

What is worse is that almost every domesticated rabbit will be hit with a bout of snuffles at some point or the other. One of the reasons that it is so widespread is because the condition is incredibly contagious. So, if your bunny is out for their periodic vet visit and comes into contact with an infected bunny or even the nasal discharge, they are on track to get infected themselves and possibly infect their partners who share the hutch.

Symptoms

There are many different strains of the bacteria that cause snuffles. The symptoms that your bunny will display depend on the exact strain that has infected them. Some can be as mild as a runny nose with a watery discharge. In advanced cases, the discharge is thick, yellowish and has a mucous like consistency. This is followed by bouts of sneezing and snuffling during which the rabbit finds it difficult to breathe normally.

If left undetected or untreated, the infection progresses into the inner ear triggering a horde of unpleasant symptoms. Wryneck which is an uncharacteristic twisting of the neck is one of the conditions triggered by untreated snuffles. Rabbit parents often find it impossible to believe that the runny nose could have triggered something so severe in their pets. There have been cases in which untreated snuffles has triggered pneumonia in rabbits.

Treatment

The normal mode of treatment is antibiotic therapy that may last for almost a month depending on the severity of the condition. But antibiotics and the digestive system in bunnies are not a great combination because it often ends up killing the healthy bacteria in the gut that aid digestion. So, vets usually supplement the healthy bacterial strains during treatment with antibiotics. Ensure that your rabbit has a healthy and nutritious diet during treatment. If the condition was not diagnosed early, then it may develop chronic sinus infections that take prolonged treatment to control.

There have even been cases in which the rabbit needed lifelong medication to keep the condition under control.

Prevention

For a condition so prevalent among domesticated rabbit breeds, prevention plays a very critical role in ensuring that your pet is not infected with snuffles. If you have multiple pets and one pet is showing signs of an infection, then strict quarantine should be maintained until the infected bunny heals completely.

Any shared bedding, food, water and hutch should be cleaned and disinfected. Keep your bunny healthy and active at all times to prevent their immune systems from being suppressed or compromised. Stress can often trigger conditions like snuffles. If you are a rabbit breeder, then ensure that you select a healthy young rabbit that does not have any signs of a possible infection.

Rabbit after examination

#5 – Cocci or Coccidiosis

If you have ever been to rabbit support groups or checked online forums for support on rabbit health, you are most likely to have heard about Cocci or Coccidiosis. It has a nasty reputation for being one of those conditions that can lie hidden in your pet for days or even weeks without any symptoms whatsoever. By the time you start to notice that something is amiss, the infection may already have progressed to severe requiring urgent medical attention.

For the uninitiated, cocci are caused due to a parasitic infection by a parasite known as Eimeria sp. There are more than 25 known species of the parasite and most rabbits are believed to be asymptomatic carriers of the protozoa. This means that a healthy bunny’s immune system develops immunity to the condition. However, if the immunity is compromised or the rabbit is young or ailing, then the infection can be triggered.

Symptoms

The symptoms in coccidiosis are extremely difficult to spot. In early stages, it may be as common as a lackluster coat which overlaps with a plethora of other conditions in rabbits. Some other symptoms include anemia, dehydration, weight loss, lack of appetitie and depression. In intestinal coccidiosis, advanced stages can lead to convulsions and even paralysis in rabbits. On the other hand, in hepatic coccidiosis, it can lead to liver damage and bile duct damage. In extreme cases, it can lead to coma and even death.

Treatment

Early and accurate diagnosis is the key to successful treatment of Coccidiosis. Most vets start by discussing the pet’s history and by using symptoms to narrow down on the exact cause. Fecal examination can at times reveal oocysts. But once again, it is extremely difficult to separate those from normal yeast which are common in rabbit feces. In advanced cases, vets may recommend a radiograph to detect signs of liver damage or fluid buildup.

Unfortunately, treatment is aimed at management of the condition rather than completely curing it. Treatment methodology is dependent on the symptoms. If the rabbit is displaying signs of dehydration, then intravenous fluids are administered to help restore normal fluid levels in the body. Intestinal coccidiosis is treated with antiprotozoal drugs like Sulfaquinoxaline. Treatment is started for small time durations like 7 days and then repeated to ensure that the condition is contained. The same medication is prescribed for hepatic coccidiosis as well but it rarely prevents liver lesions from forming.

Some vets also prescribe antibiotics and dietary supplements which help to boost the immune system as the primary infection is being treated. With early diagnosis and treatment, most rabbits are able to build a lifelong immunity against the protozoa.

Prevention

Prevention of cocci in rabbits is possible with a regular and stringent sanitation program. The rabbits environment should be cleaned and checked periodically for signs of infection. The hutch should be scrubbed clean of any fecal matter. Use ammonia 10% solution to disinfect the rabbit cage. Keep your bunny active and healthy by providing them with ample room to move around. A healthy diet that is rich in timothy hay with fresh vegetables and fruits will help develop a strong immune system and gut.

This is not the most exhaustive list of illnesses and health conditions that can occur in rabbits. But these are by far the most common ones that you are likely to encounter. We hope that this helps you in the early diagnosis, treatment and most importantly, prevention of these conditions in your pets. We would love to hear your thoughts. So feel free to chime in.

Images source: Bigstock.com

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Saturday, 30 September 2017

Caring for Senior Dogs: What Helps Them Live a Longer, Happier Life?

AllNaturalPetCare.com Caring for Senior Dogs: What Helps Them Live a Longer, Happier Life?

By Veselina Dzhingarova We never like to admit it when our beloved dog is getting older. We remember them fondly as puppies and enjoy their various stages as they get older, but their later years are filled with concern. However, it is of vital importance that you acknowledge both when your dog is getting up […]

This is copyrighted content from the All Natural Pet Care Blog


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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Health, Happiness, and More: The Benefits of Pet Grooming

Whether your pet enjoys being groomed or disappears at the first hint of a bath, there’s no denying the immense value in keeping our pets clean. Besides helping them look and feel their best and keeping our homes cleaner, regular grooming sessions provide a front row seat into changes in your pet’s skin, coat, and body that could signal underlying health problems.

So grab that brush or call your local groomer because the importance of regular pet grooming cannot be understated!

Why Pet Grooming is Important

Proper nutrition and regular wellness exams are essential to your pet’s wellness. A grooming regimen works alongside these other important aspects to support your dog or cat’s ongoing good health in the following ways:

  • Skin – Besides keeping shedding to a minimum, daily brushing can alert you to the presence of external parasites, as well as to any lumps, bumps, or other changes in your pet’s skin. Brushing also stimulates blood flow to the skin and encourages shiny, silky fur.
  • Mats and tangles – Regular grooming is absolutely essential for pets with medium to long hair that’s prone to matting. Matted fur can cause serious problems, such as hotspots and secondary infections. Daily brushing is needed to remove tangles, burrs, and other items caught in the fur (serious matting must be handled by a professional groomer).
  • Ears – Make it a habit to look inside your pet’s ears on a regular basis. Redness, swelling, or a foul odor can indicate an infection, which should be addressed immediately by your veterinarian.
  • Nails – Overgrown nails are not only uncomfortable for your pet (and your floors), but can actually interfere with his or her ability to walk properly, leading to joint problems and significant pain. Prevent problems by making sure your pet’s nails are trimmed regularly.
  • Teeth – Brushing your pet’s teeth daily or several times a week is one of the most powerful preventive measures you can take to support your pet’s oral health. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s dental care, please don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian.

Bathing reduces dirt and grime in your pet’s fur and decreases the buildup of crusts in the corners of his or her eyes (these can lead to sores and infection if not removed). Your veterinarian will help you determine how often your pet needs to be bathed.

Godspeed Animal Care is proud to offer professional, full-service pet grooming through our St. Francis Pet Resort. Please give us a call for more information or to schedule an appointment for your furry friend.

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Sunday, 17 September 2017

Rabbit Grooming Guide For Responsible Rabbit Owners

First time rabbit parents find themselves wrecking their nerves trying to figure out rabbit grooming.

‘Why is the rabbit shedding so much?’

‘A bunch of hair just came out and there’s a bald spot. Did I just pluck out more hair than what’s required?’

‘The nails seem too long. Should I clip it? Will it bleed?’

There’s never a dearth of doubt when it comes to grooming techniques and methods for bunnies. This has partly to do with the fact that rabbits as pets are fairly recent. For a long time, they were bred for meat and fur.

So, even experienced rabbit parents sometimes find themselves at their wits end trying to figure out grooming.

Girl Performing Rabbit Grooming

Unlike dogs, rabbits have an entirely different set of grooming requirements that begins with regular brushing and ends with periodic inspection of the rabbit’s body parts. A well groomed rabbit will be healthy, happy and disease free. So it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with the essentials of rabbit grooming.

Also, along with helping maintain the health of the rabbit, grooming also helps you create an everlasting bond with your pet. It is not uncommon for rabbits to look forward to grooming time as they relax and enjoy the experience.

We created this Rabbit Grooming 101 guide for new as well as seasoned rabbit owners to make grooming safe, easy and enjoyable. We will cover every aspect of grooming in detail including some basic over the counter recommended medications for common health problems in rabbits.

The Basics of Grooming

Despite appearing that they don’t need attention and that they can groom themselves pretty well, rabbits are extremely delicate creatures that can rarely display symptoms of health problems. Grooming them regularly helps you keep an eye out for potential problems and spot them before they can escalate to more serious ones.

The supplies that you need:

  • Nail clipper
  • Cotton (Lots of it)
  • Alcohol
  • Styptic powder
  • Gloves
  • Q-Tips
  • Baby Oil
  • Matt rake
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Towels

So are you all set to begin?

Brushing Your Rabbit

Brushing helps to remove the hair that the rabbit sheds naturally. And rabbits shed a lot. Most rabbit breeds shed heavily once in three months. The shedding alternates between unnoticeable and mild to heavy during which the rabbit’s coat is replaced by a new one.

The duration of the heavy shedding is highly breed specific and also dependent on the bunny itself. You may find that one of your bunnies sheds a lot more than the other.

Irrespective of the breed, brushing once a week for short haired breeds ensures that any of shed hair that may be clinging on to the coat is released. For long haired breeds like Angora, brushing is recommended at least once every three days. This also helps to prepare the bunny for the daily brushing sessions that will replace the weekly sessions during phases of molting or heavy shedding.

Brushing Technique

Soft-bristle brushes are perfect for brushing your rabbit’s coat. You should be careful to brush in the direction of the fur only. This is more than sufficient to bring any loose hair to the surface which can then be removed by hand. Some vets also use two different types of brushes for rabbits. While brushes with wider teeth are preferred for breeds with longer hair, bristled brushes are used for shorter fur. If there are too many tangles, you can use a mat rake.

When brushing on the underside, gently position the rabbit on your lap making them comfortable. You can use a towel or any other soft cloth to allow the rabbit to rest. Rabbits often doze away into slumber land when you brush their underside.

Another simple technique is to wet your hands and just run it over the coat to remove any loose hair. This cannot be considered as a replacement for proper brushing. But it does help to remove any small fur that may not be removed with normal brushing.

Hairballs

Rabbits like cats constantly lick themselves as part of their grooming behavior which can result in them ingesting hair. This can cause hairballs which are also known as trichobezoars. But unlike cats, they cannot vomit the hairballs out and it can cause an obstruction in their stomach or in their intestinal tract. Grooming helps to reduce the risk of hairballs in rabbits. One of the telltale signs of a hairball obstruction is lack of appetite and activity. Also, the quantity of feces will reduce significantly. If you suspect a hairball obstruction in rabbits, then contact a vet immediately.

Matted Fur

Time and again, you may discover matted fur on your bunny’s body. Sometimes, it can be in locations which are very difficult to comb through. For example, under the tail. You might be tempted to go chop-chop on the mat as it can easily alleviate the tension that it causes. But rabbits have extremely delicate skin which is easily prone to cuts from a scissor. You can use a mat rake with a fine blade to take the mat apart. In case you find it very difficult to remove with a rake, speak to your vet for help.

Mites And Fleas

Despite frequent grooming and care, fleas and mites can find their way on to your rabbit’s skin and fur. These pesky little critters can hide themselves amazingly well and by the time you notice your rabbit scratching their gut out, the fleas might have spread to a full blown infestation. The first and most important thing is to find out the number of fleas on your rabbits body. Gently run your hands parting the fur to spot the fleas. If the infestation is mild, then use a flea comb. It is pretty similar to using a grooming comb and rabbits usually like being combed. After combing, if you find any fleas in the comb, then dip it in a soap solution or alcohol to ensure that the fleas are killed.

If the infestation is severe, then you may need to speak to a vet who will recommend a topical medication like Advantage, Program or Revolution. All three of these are brand names for topical insecticides which are safe for application in rabbits.

Care must be taken to ensure that the rabbits do not lick or ingest the medication as it can cause an upset tummy. One of the best spots to apply the medication is behind the neck.

Revolution in particular, is considered as one of the best treatments for multiple conditions including mites that cause ear canker and mange.

Speak to your vet about measuring the medication so that you can administer the right doses. Also, mite eggs can often hide in the fur or dander that the rabbit sheds. For this reason, it is crucial that you completely scrub and clean both, the cage as well as the area that the rabbit enjoys a free run in. That may be the house or the backyard or the run. But it must be vacuumed and any fur or dander that the rabbit may have shed prior to the treatment must be removed.

Scratchy Skin

Rabbits can develop bald patches or flakes on their skin due to mites. Sometimes, it can also be caused due to an allergy triggered by fleas. In either cases, your vet may recommend one of the three medications that we have mentioned above. In cases of chronic inflammation or in case of bacterial infections like pyoderma, speak to your vet about the best treatment methodology.

Cleaning The Scent Glands

If your rabbit suddenly smells like a skunk, then it may be due to the buildup of a gooey or waxy substance in their scent glands around the anus. This is scent musk and is a normal secretion in rabbits. However, some bunnies secret a lot more than others. It has a very pungent odor and cleaning or unplugging the glands from time to time helps prevent the buildup and the odor to an extent.

Gently position the rabbit on your lap, lift up the tail and part the skin around the little anus to expose the scent glands. You will be able to see the waxy buildup now. Use a Q-tip to scoop out the secretion from one gland. Repeat for the other gland as well. You can also use a cotton wad dipped in some petroleum jelly to lubricate the gland. This makes it easier to remove the waxy secretion. FYI, rabbits also have scent glands under their chin which they use to mark their territory.

Vet examining rabbit ears

Nails

House rabbits often do not get enough exercise on a variety of ground surfaces. They spend most of their lifespan on carpeted floors or linoleum surfaces which prevents their nails from being naturally worn out and maintained. So, you may have to trim the nails from time to time to a suitable length. Nail trimming is a fairly simple process once you know the precise length to trim it to. The nail has a vein in it which is also called the quick. You need to clip the nails just below the quick. If you accidentally do clip the quick (common occurrence), just apply Styptic powder to stop the bleeding.

If you are new to it, your vet can help you with the process. Some rabbits are petrified of nail trimming. So, it is important to associate nail trimming with positive reinforcement. Offering them treats or patting them helps ease the anxiety. Also, if you start at an early age, the bunny will get desensitized to the trimming.

Declawing a Rabbit

Never ever, declaw a rabbit. A rabbit’s claw helps them generate traction on the floor and they are not retractable like those of a cat. In effect, the rabbit will be hopping around on the surgery site for days to come until it is completely healed. Not only is it extremely painful for the bunny, but it is very likely to get infected.

Sore Hocks

Rabbit cages must have rugs or fleece blankets that provide your bunny with a soft and comfortable resting place. This will help prevent the padding of the feet from being worn out or form calluses. Calluses or skin inflammation on the pads must be treated immediately for the risk of infection which can become chronic over a period of time. Also, ensure that the resting rugs are dry. Moist surfaces can trigger a bacterial skin infection.

Teeth

With the incessant gnawing and chewing on the hay that is kept in their hutch or cage, a rabbit usually keeps their teeth growth in check. However, if your bunny has crooked teeth then it may not get worn out naturally with the chewing. In such cases, you may have to clip the teeth to restrict or control their growth. If left unchecked, it grows to an extent that the rabbit finds it impossible to eat and can even starve to death. You can use a teeth clipper yourself or you can take your rabbit to the vet to get the teeth clipped. It’s a simple and painless procedure.

Bathing Time

It’s fun to see the bunny frolic in water, isn’t it? Well, it is far from fun for the rabbit. Rabbits hate water. In fact, they despise the experience so much that it can traumatize them and make them extremely anxious. In some rare cases, it can also cause a heart attack. Rabbits do not need to be bathed. Like cats, they are excellent at licking themselves clean. However, there may be situations when you feel that the rabbit needs to be bathed. For example, it has a poopy butt or has tracked in dirt or has matted fur all over. You can always use a damp towel to spot clean. Read our section on matted fur to know how to detangle mats. But let me reiterate. Never bathe the rabbit unless your vet recommends it as a measure to bring down fever.

Checking The Ears

The buildup of ear wax or debris in a rabbit’s ears must be cleaned at least once every four weeks. Just check the inside of the ear and use a cotton swab or a baby wipe to scoop out the wax. Do not use Q-tips as it may cause the wax to get pushed further inside the ears. Also, there’s always the risk of damaging the inner ear. If your rabbit hutch is outdoors, then ear mite infestations will occur at some point or the other. Thankfully, the condition is easy to treat if diagnosed early. You can use a topical solution like Mitox or anything similar that your vet recommends. Once the condition is treated completely, use baby oil to prevent a reinfection.

The Eyes

Last but not the least, we have the rabbit’s eyes. Your bunny’s eyes will naturally produce some gunk or wax which form crusts in the corner. These can be removed by using a damp cotton swab allowing the crust to loosen first. However, if you feel that the rabbit is crying or there’s a white mucus like discharge from the eyes, then it may be a condition called runny eyes or epiphora. This is one of the commonest conditions in rabbits. The only respite may be to head to the vet because if it is a bacterial infection, it needs to be checked before it spreads or becomes more severe.

The Vet Check up

Even if you are a diligent groomer, you still need to ensure that your bunny gets its periodic checkup by a veterinarian. If you are unsure whether the vet is rabbit savvy, you can always use the House Rabbit Society Veterinarian Index to find a rabbit-savvy vet close to you. Regular health checkups help to spot any potential health condition that you may have missed out on. Remember what we told you about the lack of symptoms in rabbits?

To Sum it up

After every successful grooming session, pat your rabbit to encourage them and instill a positive feeling about the grooming experience. You can also use their favorite treats.

Images source: Bigstock.com

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Monday, 11 September 2017

Dog-Friendly Places in the Denver Metro Area

Dog-Friendly Places in the Denver Metro Area

Dog-Friendly Places in the Denver Metro Area | Distinctive Pet CareThe Farmhouse at Breckenridge Brewery

Located in our home town of Littleton, CO, The Farmhouse at Breckenridge Brewery is a place where both the beer and the food are handcrafted. Their outdoor Beer Garden is dog-friendly and has breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.

Location: 2990 Brewery Lane, Littleton, CO 80120
Phone: (303) 803-1380
Website: http://ift.tt/2xsrvvd

The Watering Bowl

The Watering Bowl is a dog-friendly tavern complete with its very own 7000 square foot dog park. The dog park boasts a fenced area for the dogs with a kiddie pool, picnic tables, couches, and lounge chairs. Inside, where the dogs are not allowed has a 30- foot TV, ping pong tables, two levels of seating, and more. They have excellent drink specials and tasty food. They even host parties, weddings, and corporate events. It is a fun atmosphere and a great place to bring man’s best friend.

Location: 5411 Leetsdale Drive, Denver, Colorado, CO 80246
Phone: (303) 591-9069
Website: http://ift.tt/1nMbcyU

Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange is an upscale secondhand store with locations in Denver, Boulder, & Denver Annex. Why is a clothing store on the pet-friendly list you ask? That is because if you forgo a bag to take your purchased items home at checkout, you will receive a token that you can use to donate to animals shelters and various other organization that helps both people and pets in need!

Location: 51 Broadway Denver, CO 80209
Phone: (303) 866-0165
Website: http://ift.tt/2xsrvLJ

Stella’s Gourmet Coffee and Such

It is no secret that Stella’s loves dogs. It is the first thing they address is their FAQ’s. They have a dog-friendly patio and provide both water bowls and dog treats for our canine companion. Enjoy a yummy pastry and a decadent coffee after a walk in Wash Park. Stella’s is only a half mile from this the park!

Location: 1476 S. Pearl St. Denver, CO. 80210
Phone: (303) 777-1031
Website: http://ift.tt/HMbegl

Washington Park

Our local area is packed full of parks and places to take a hike with your dog. But Wash Park is by far the favorite. The park is 155 acres with two beautiful lakes and many flowers. There are also several off-leash areas throughout the park so both you and Fido can be social.

Location: S. Downing St. & E. Louisiana Ave., Denver, CO 80210
Phone: (720) 913-1311
Website: http://ift.tt/2r6mwZu

Local Events

Dog Dayz

Every year the Scott Carpenter Pool in Boulder is closed for humans and is open strictly for dogs! This event has been a staple in the area for decades and thousands of dogs have made new friends while cooling off in the water. There are a few rules to follow; humans are not allowed in the water and dogs who fight will be asked to leave. Picking up after your dog is a requirement and bags will be provided. Check the Boulder Parks and Rec website for a complete schedule, pricing, and additional rules.

Dog EXPO & Flying High Dog Competition

The Dog Expo is a once a year event that is all about the dogs! The expo is held at the Scott Carpenter Pool in Boulder and filled with dog-friendly businesses that will provide free samples, information, and prizes. Bring your dog and the whole family! Check the website for the current year dates and times, and they change from year to year.

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

DIY Gelatin Aquarium Fish Food

AllNaturalPetCare.com DIY Gelatin Aquarium Fish Food

Homemade gelatin food allows us to easily mix a variety of nutrients, supplements or medication together. The following recipe is specific to fish, shrimp & snails, but may be adapted for any animal. Start with two packets of unflavored gelatin (or try your hand at using nutritious food-grade Agar-agar… or both). A packet of gelatin […]

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