Jerky treats are killing dogs (and some cats) and after an earlier recall, the FDA is seeking more information on dog food treats that have been sold over the last few years that may have sickened pets.
Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China.
Pet owners are concerned now that new numbers have been released and it has been revealed that almost 600 pets have died from illnesses linked to the dog treats.
Some of the cases have have involved “kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems.”
What should pet owners do?
The best thing to do is to only buy treats made in the USA.
If you ignore the warnings and still feed your dogs the treats and your pet becomes sick, the government agency warns to”stop the treats immediately, consider seeing your veterinarian, and save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing.
Most of us take toilet training cats for granted: Most kittens seem to learn with very little help from their owners, particularly if you have the mother or another cat in the home to teach them. Even if you don’t, most felines seem to be magnetically drawn to the litter box with very little urging from you.
There are however some instances when a kitten won’t take to their litter box and instead may find a houseplant, or worse yet your carpet. Not catching problem behavior quickly might mean your cat will develop a habit of going wherever they please.
Creating a private environment – This is an important first step when toilet training cats. Many of us need privacy to do our business, yet don’t give our animals the same respect. Most dogs are quite happy urinating, or having a bowel movement with the whole town staring at them.
Cats are a little different in most cases and plenty of cat owners out there will tell you how their cat will make a quick exit from their litter box when someone enters the room. Put the litter box in a room where your kitten will have some privacy to sniff around their box and get comfortable (litter boxes with a top enclosure are also ideal).
Lock the door. This doesn’t mean permanently locking your kitten in a room and throwing away the key. Rather, if you can put your kitten alone in a small room with their litter box they will have much less opportunity to explore other areas to do their business. After they’re used to it and use the box frequently, you can move the box wherever you wish. Usually one or two days in a room with their box is all they need to become comfortable with their litter box.
The most important thing you can do as a cat owner is to get them regular checkups. While diabetes isn’t terribly common in felines, generally about 1 in 400 will be diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime. Most can be treated with a diabetic cat food, with a lowered carbohydrate content (less than 9% of daily calorie intake).
It can be sometimes hard to tell when diabetes grips your cat, but most symptoms are similar to humans. A cat who seems to spend a lot of their time around their water dish and other water sources around the house should be cause to investigate. Extreme weight gain, or loss is another common symptom to watch out for.
Bitter-smelling breath that smells like nail polish remover and wobbly legs (especially the rear legs) are all signs that you need to get your cat in for an exam and possibly put them on insulin and/or a quality diabetic cat food immediately.
Your veterinarian may recommend insulin treatment via pill or insulin treatment. Diabetic cat food, with a “proper” feeding schedule will also be necessary. Many people let their animals feed as desired; with a full dish of food and water available at all times. While it can seem inhumane to put them on a schedule and limit the availability of food: It’s really how animals feed in nature.
A wild animal gets food from hunting and may go days without food, so while you may want to spoil your cat — it isn’t good for their digestive system and often is the reason diabetes starts in the first place. Humans get diabetes primarily from over-eating, with a small amount of us who get it from genetic predispositions and cats are no different. Regular trips to your veterinarian will help early diagnosis, to prevent increased risk to your cat’s health.
One of the toughest things we face as animal owners is the fact that cats and dogs can’t tell us when something is wrong. The only thing we can do to stop serious health problems from affecting our animals is to watch out for the symptoms and get them diagnosed/treated right away. Cat wheezing can be a tell-tale symptom of feline asthma and is often easily treated by cleaning up their environment, while also possibly getting them on a cat inhaler to alleviate their symptoms.
Just like humans; cats can just as easily be irritated by dust, pollen and other allergens in the air. If they have asthma or other breathing troubles then an attack can happen very easily. Cat wheezing every once in a while can also be caused by hairballs, or other obstructions which can be dealt with by brushing your cat more often and getting a high-quality hairball reducing cat food.
Humidifiers are another way to reduce and prevent cat wheezing, which will make their quality of life better. Since only 1-2% of all cats develop asthma and other breathing problems, you may find that there isn’t a great deal of information out there to browse.
The fact is that breathing problems for animals and humans is on the rise due to increasingly polluted air, particularly in metropolitan areas and you have to watch your kitty closely to notice the signs.
If you find your cat wheezing on a frequent basis (every day or two), get them to a vet for an examination. For serious attacks your cat might be given a cortisone shot to open up restricted airways, then given an inhaler and perhaps a special diet to reduce their symptoms. As with any health problems, early detection will prevent damage to your cat’s heart, lungs and other organs.
Cat incontinence is a somewhat rare problem that mainly affects female cats who have been “fixed” when they get older. To make matters worse, if your feline friend has this condition, they have no control over the problem whatsoever, as opposed to a healthy cat that urinates anywhere they wish for other reasons. It is possible for males to get this condition if they have issues with their bladder as well, but regardless your cat must be checked if this condition presents itself.
Some main causes of cat incontinence are:
Weak bladder — this is the problem that grips older females who have been spayed (fixed). The bladder sphincter becomes weak and they urinate involuntarily.
Diabetes — your cat will tend to drink more water, since the disease will make them more thirsty and can make it hard for them to get to their litter box quickly.
Urinary tract infection — like diabetes, your cat will feel the need to urinate more often as their bodies are trying to flush the infection out.
Laziness — this is normally a product of environment and training. If you have a large house, with the litter box a long way away from where your cat plops themselves for the day — or they have behavioral problems and don’t feel the urgency to get to their box (cat incontinence is involuntary, but laziness can be mistaken for incontinence). When you suspect this problem it’s important to catch your cat to determine if it’s health related or laziness.
If your cat does indeed have feline incontinence, there are a wealth of treatments available to correct the problem — most of which target hormonal problems, or issues associated with the neurotransmitters in your cat’s brain that send a signal to the bladder to tell it when to start/stop.
Once diagnosed; you can find many of these treatments and medications from online retailers at a significant discount over veterinarian prices.