Lyme disease – also called Lyme borreliosis – can be frightening, but when you learn the facts about this condition, you can better avoid any contagion and react appropriately if you do get infected.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread through the bites of infected ticks, and is most widely spread from early spring through the summer months. Incubation periods can vary from just a few days to several months, though the most common incubation is 1-2 weeks. While different people will exhibit different symptoms depending on their health, age, the severity of their infection and other factors, typical Lyme disease symptoms include…
- Fever and chills
- Headache and stiff neck
- Fatigue or listlessness
- Joint pain or arthritis
- Stiff or sore muscles
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Shortness of breath
- Tingling in the hands and feet
The most common symptom is a unique type of rash – a circular patch that gradually expands and creates a bulls-eye pattern. The red parts of the skin may be warm, but are rarely itchy.
Not everyone will show every symptom if they are infected with Lyme disease, and some people show no significant symptoms at all. Because most of these symptoms are rather vague and can apply to many different conditions, a blood test will often be necessary to properly diagnose Lyme disease. If you have been in a tick-infested area prior to developing these symptoms, or if you know you’ve had a tick bite recently, it is best to consult a physician as soon as any symptoms appear.
Between dog breath and drool, the canine mouth can get a bad rap.
Through a series of tests, a dog fence company has found that the human mouth has 1.4 times more bacteria than a dog’s kisser. That’s a difference of about 2,000,000 germs.
This information shows it is safer to kiss the dog you love over the human you love. Sorry, significant others.
Here are some other surprising dirty numbers:
While dogs may have cleaner mouths, humans have less germy toys. Doggie playthings and bowls have 2x more germs than the everyday objects humans use, like forks and cellphones.
So, what did we learn? Dog smooches are probably safer than you think, and your pet’s bowl could use an extra run through the dishwasher!
Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed is an important part of maintaining his health. It protects you from getting scratched, it protects your furniture from getting shredded, and yes, it even protects your cat.
If you’ve ever seen a kitty with untrimmed nails get caught up in carpeting and rip a nail out, you understand that keeping those claws short is ideal all around. It’s best to get your cat used to regular nail trims when he or she is a kitten, but even most adult cats will learn to accept having their nails cut. Just go slowly, speak softly, and reward your cat when you’re done.
- Start when your cat is relaxed and go to a quiet place, away from distractions and other animals. You’ll need to experiment with the best position to hold your cat. You can lay your cats on their backs, you might try cradling your cat in the crook of your arm, or having kitty lay on his side on your lap. See what works best for you and your cat.
- Gently grab one paw and give a toe a slight pinch to extend the nail.
- Using your nail trimmers, quickly and carefully clip the sharp tip of the nail. Be careful not to cut too close to the pink part of the nail, called the “quick”. The quick is very sensitive and will likely bleed and be painful if you cut it. If you do accidentally cut the quick, you can stop the bleeding with some styptic powder from your cat’s first aid kit.
- Move on to the next nail, until you’ve done them all! Then praise and reward your cat for being such a good kitty. Repeat in another week or two when the nails are long again.
For cats that are especially resistant to nail trimming, you can get a restraint bag that allows you to gently restrain your cat and access each paw to trim the nails and avoid injury – to both yourself and your kitty!
There comes a time in most pet parent’s lives that you have to medicate your fur-child. If you’re one of the lucky few, you can hide pills in your cat’s food or even give medication as a treat with Pill Pockets or Pill Masker. But, many cats can’t be fooled, and so you’ll need to know how to give your cat a pill. There are a few different methods, so you’ll want to experiment and find what works best for your cat.
Pilling By Hand:
Hold the top of your cat’s head. Use your thumb and middle finger to push the sides of your cat’s jaw and hold it open, and use that same hand to hold your cat’s head back. Use your other hand to gently pry open your cat’s mouth and quickly deposit the pill as far back onto your cat’s tongue as you can. Close your cat’s mouth and hold it closed, but don’t let kitty run off or he may spit the pill out! You’ll want to hold your cat’s mouth shut and encourage him to swallow by gently rubbing his throat or blowing softly into his face. After you feel him swallow, release him. Pilling by hand takes a bit of practice, but may be the best option for cats that require daily long-term medications.
Pill poppers are a great invention for people who’s cats tend to get aggressive or bite when you stick your fingers in their mouth to give a pill. They look like a syringe you can put the pill into and, just like the name suggests, pop the pill into the back of your cat’s mouth. You’ll use the same technique above to open your cat’s mouth, insert the pill using your pill popper, and then hold your cat’s mouth closed and encourage him to swallow.
Important! It’s highly recommended that you follow up pilling your cat by encouraging them to drink water or eat a small meal to help the pill travel all the way from the cat’s esophagus to his stomach and avoid irritation.
- Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum);
- Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag) in case s/he escapes through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters;
- Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets;
- If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he/she is wearing a costume;
- Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from your pets. Although the liquid in these products isn’t likely toxic, it tastes really bad and makes pets salivate excessively and act strangely;
- If your pet is wary of strangers or has a tendency to bite, put him/her in another room during trick-or-treating hours or provide him/her with a safe hiding place;
- Keep your pet inside.