September 2013 archive

How to Naturally Treat Feline Hairballs and Constipation

Panther, a toilet-using cat, photographed in S...

Panther, a toilet-using cat, photographed in San Francisco on 22 August 2005. He is ten years old and has been using the toilet since the age of six months. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feline constipation may occur because of several reasons, but the most common is generally due to intestinal blockage from hairballs. A cat can groom itself multiple times a day and with each grooming session, it ends up ingesting some its own hair. If the hair ingested is not expelled when it goes to the bathroom, it could end up remaining trapped in the feline’s colon and creating a hairball blockage.
Feline Constipation Symptoms
If a cat is not interested in eating, is not using its litter box as much, or is having pain or difficulty when it does use its litter box, these are signs a feline could be constipated. If a cat cries when attempting to defecate, seems to be straining itself when going to the bathroom, or leaves smaller, dry pieces of fecal matter in the litter box, these are also signs of feline constipation. Litter boxes should be kept clean and free of fecal matter so that the cat will want to use it regularly.
Causes and Home Remedies
While hairballs are usually the main cause of feline constipation, it can also be due to a cat not drinking enough water or having a poor diet without an adequate amount of fiber. If a cat is showing symptoms of constipation, first make sure they have plenty of fresh water to drink so it is able to hydrate itself properly. Next, try adding a tablespoon of one of the following to the cat’s moist food: fish oil, canned pumpkin or petroleum jelly. By ingesting one of these three home remedies, it can help loosen and soften a cat’s stool, allowing it to pass fecal matter more easily and remove the hairball blockage.
To prevent a cat from getting hairballs that may lead to constipation, increase its grooming regimen by brushing it more often to remove loose hairs. This helps keep the cat from ingesting more hair than it should when it grooms itself. Another way to prevent hairballs is to buy specially formulated foods and treats that help reduce hairballs. For a cat with longer hair, keep it well-groomed and consider trimming some of its hair to avoid excessive self-grooming.

Recognizing Dog Constipation Symptoms

Esquimaux Dog

Esquimaux Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The potential for constipation, difficulty defecating, increases as canines age. The digestive and elimination systems slow down and become less efficient with age, so older dogs tend to have more frequent problems with voiding and defecating.

The first signs of dog constipation may include reduced activity, eating less or avoiding food and whining for no apparent reason. Failure to expel waste is uncomfortable and moving around compounds the discomfort; your canine may not engage in playtime or perk up for the morning walk in an effort to move less.

Other symptoms to watch for include:

  1. Straining to produce a bowel movement without eliminating a stool. You may notice a small amount of watery liquid during these efforts. This mucus discharge from the anus may resemble diarrhea.
  2. Producing dry, chalky clumps of fecal matter.
  3. Scooting.
  4. Redness, swelling or tenderness in and around the anal area.
  5. Abdominal tenderness and/or bloating.
  6. An abnormal gait. Your pet may appear to be “walking on tiptoes” with an arched back and stiff back legs. Some pet owners report their pets “shuffle” instead of walking with a normal stride.

More Serious Concerns Normal elimination is a sign that your canine is healthy. If you notice changes in your pet’s stool that include changes in color, excessive mucus or blood, contact your vet immediately to rule out serious health conditions and digestive tract disorders.

Treatment Encourage your pet to drink plenty of water, especially during warmer weather to avoid dehydration. Mineral oil added to food works as a stool softener; making elimination more productive and less painful. Follow directions to administer the proper dosage based on your pet’s age, weight and normal activity level.

Adding more fiber to your dog’s diet and increasing daily exercise will help regulate your pet’s elimination. It is normal for your dog to have occasional irregularity; however, if symptoms persist consult with your veterinarian.

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Natural Allergy Treatment for Cats

English: Young male tabby cat, Portugal. Franç...

English: Young male tabby cat, Portugal. Français : Jeune chat tigré mâle, au Portugal. Русский: Молодой кот. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cats and humans can suffer from some of the same allergies. These days, more and more owners are turning to natural treatments for allergies in their cats.

An allergy is the result of an overreaction by the feline immune system to a substance eaten, inhaled or simply encountered in the environment. For an allergy to occur, the cat must be exposed to the culprit at least two times.

There are two kinds of reactions. Hives and itching are the usual symptoms of immediate exposure. Delayed reactions can cause itching days after exposure.

Common Cat Allergies

Four types of allergies are the most common:

Inhalants.Cats are often allergic to foreign particles in the air. The most common offenders are trees, weeds, grass, mold, mildew and dust mites. In most climates, pollen allergies occur only in the spring and summer. Typical signs include head and neck itching, a rash on the neck and back, skin eruptions and hair loss from overzealous licking or grooming

Fleas.The presence of fleas causes an immediate immune response. However, the cat might still be itching days after flea removal.

Foods.Food allergies are usually acquired. The biggest causes are products with beef, pork, chicken or turkey. Possible symptoms include itching, digestive disturbances and respiratory issues. Sometimes the eyes and/or ears are involved.

Contact reactions.They usually cause minor skin irritation and scratching. Causes are substances found in an object the cat uses, such as a bed or a flea collar.

Traditional Treatments

The type of traditional treatment appropriate depends on the kind of allergy the cat has and the duration of exposure. The most common include:

  • Steroids
  • Desensitization immunizations
  • Medicated shampoos
  • Immunosuppressant drugs

Steroids and immunosuppressants can cause significant side effects because they reprogram the immune system. Desensitization is expensive, takes up to two years and is successful in just half the cats treated.

Natural Treatments

natural cat allergy treatmentis often less costly, more convenient and likely to produce fewer side effects. Many owners have had good results with:

  • Avoidance of the offending substance
  • Hypoallergenic foods with meats like duck or venison
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Biotin

Before using any treatment, remember to always get your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Dog Allergies and Scratching

Soggy puppy

Soggy puppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regardless of the type of allergy your dog has, it may lead to scratching. Scratching causes its own host of problems, including skin infections and hot spots. Skin infections can manifest in several different ways, and often get worse if left untreated.

Skin Infections

Skin infections may be cause by fungal growth, bacterial growth and inflammation from itching. Allergies cause itching, which in turn may cause inflammation, which causes more itching – the result is open sores where more bacteria and fungi will grow.

Depending on the type of skin infection your dog has, it may require anti-parasitic agents, anti-fungicides or antibiotics to keep it from spreading and to clear it up. You can also try to treat your dog with herbal remedies.

Symptoms of Skin Infections

Check the warm, moist environments on your dog – its mouth, lips and groin – for signs of skin infection. You should also check toes, elbows, belly and your dog’s tail for signs of infection, as they are pressure points that bruise or rupture easily and allow the introduction of infection below the skin’s surface.

The infection may look similar to the inflammation caused by a flea infestation and allergies. Superficial skin infections – infections on the “outer” skin often show up as redness, inflammation, small bumps and some hair loss – should be treated before they migrate to “deep skin” infections. These deeper skin infections present with foul odor, puss and lumps that look bloody on top of the skin.


Diagnosis and treatment is nothing to fool with, but you must determine the underlying cause of the skin infection. If your dog has allergies, once the skin infection has been treated, it will come back with a vengeance if the underlying cause has not been treated. Allergies can cause a vicious circle: They can cause skin infections, which you clear up, but because the allergies have not been contained, the skin infection reappears, usually worse.

You can treat your dog with an herbal remedy such as Skin-eze, but be sure to see your veterinarian about the proper medication required to eradicate the skin infection. You will have to treat your dog’s allergies for its life if you want to try to avoid skin infections.

If your dog seems to constantly get infections, be sure to use a shampoo created for allergy dogs, and dry it off completely after a bath or swimming. The moisture can contribute to the growth of bacteria on your dog’s skin.

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English: A Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ...

English: A Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Top 5 at-home Remedies for Treating Dog Allergies

Allergy starter

Allergy starter (Photo credit: gibsonsgolfer)

Dogs can develop allergies, just like humans can. Symptoms can be similar as well. However, you do not want to treat your pet’s allergies the same way that you treat yours. Over the counter allergy medicines can be very dangerous and even deadly to your dog. Here are the top 5 at-home remedies that can work for your dog. 

  1. Oatmeal – Add one cup of oatmeal to a tub of warm water. Pour water over your dog’s coat, rubbing in circular motion to work the oatmeal water down to their skin. Allow to sit for 10 minutes and rinse your dog with warm water.
  2. Apple cider vinegar- Simply put the apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, gently pull back the fur and spray directly onto the irritated skin.
  3. Avoid pollen – The best relief is avoiding it as much as possible. However, they will be exposed to some pollen outdoors. When your dog comes in from outside, wipe their face and paws with a damp cloth to wipe off any pollen on their fur.
  4. Avoid dust – It can irritate allergies in dogs. Vacuuming often and emptying the bag frequently can help, as well as using a dust cloth on surfaces where dust can gather. A good HEPA air filter system can help remove dust also.
  5. Change out food – If a food allergy is suspected, try a different brand. Making your dog’s food at home is an option many pet owners are turning to recently to ensure what their dogs are eating.

Finding the solution that works for your dog may take some time, but identifying the cause and treatment that works for your pet can bring them relief from the irritating symptoms of allergies. 

Treating Dog Diarrhea Naturally


Puppies (Photo credit: Kiwi NZ)

On average, it takes approximately eight hours for food to pass through a dog’s small intestines. During this time, most of the food and 80 percent of the liquid in the stool is absorbed. The colon then concentrates what is left to form a typical stool. When your dog is sick, the normal process does not occur and his stool moves through his bowel quickly. This makes it arrive at his rectum in a liquid state, which is referred to as diarrhea.

One of the most common causes of diarrhea is a dog’s diet. Dogs are scavengers and eat numerous substances that are unable to be digested. These substances can include grass, plants, decaying food, wood, plastic and paper. Many of these substances irritate the stomach and bowel.

There may be some foods that your dog cannot tolerate. Some dogs are unable to eat certain table foods or specific commercial dog foods. Food allergies and food intolerances are not the same thing. A food allergy generally causes vomiting and/or dermatitis, as opposed to diarrhea. Other causes of dog diarrhea include parasites and bacterial infections.

Your dog’s diarrhea may take various forms. Stool can range from extremely soft to watery. Other signs may be present including gas, difficulty defecating, as well as blood and/or mucus in his stool. You may also notice that his stool has an abnormal odor. Most cases of diarrhea can be treated at home with a natural remedy; however, there are some cases that will require medical attention. If your dog has bloody diarrhea combined with severe straining you should seek him medical attention immediately. Another time you should seek medical assistance is if your dog has diarrhea and is vomiting.

Treating Your Dog’s Diarrhea

If you want to improve your dog’s digestion and eliminate chronic diarrhea naturally, consider treating him with Allergic Pet’s veterinarian formulated all-natural diarrhea treatment. This treatment is so gentle that he can take it every day. One of the best things about Allergic Pet’s diarrhea treatment is that, unlike many of the conventional drug therapies, it has no harmful side effects. You can feel safe and secure with Allergic Pet’s diarrhea treatment because this product has been used in clinical practices for more than 20 years.

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