Having Healthy and Happy Snakes

3 Signs Your Guinea Pig Might Be Suffering From a Vitamin C Deficiency

Humans are unable to create their own supply of vitamin C. As many people now know, failing to get enough vitamin C in your diet means getting scurvy. What many people do not know is that guinea pigs also lack the ability to produce their own vitamin C, so a healthy dose in their diet is crucial if yours is to remain fit and healthy. Scurvy in guinea pigs is serious business; in fact, it can lead to bone and tissue deformation, blood clotting problems, and general pain. Unfortunately, it tends to be quite a common problem. Here are just three signs that you need to watch out for. 1. Difficulty Walking One of the main reasons your guinea pig needs vitamin C is so they can manufacture collagen. This is a critical compound needed for the health of bones, cartilage, and blood vessels, and any abnormalities with those parts of your guinea pig’s body can lead to a pronounced swelling of the joints, resulting in pain while walking. It’s unlikely that you will be able to spot that swelling yourself unless you happen to be a vet, but you may notice that your guinea pig seems to be in pain or have difficulty while walking. For example, they may take more pauses or adopt a stiffer gait. 2. Difficulty Eating Collagen also plays a vital role in the oral health of your guinea pig. As all owners know, guinea pigs love gnawing away at a tasty treat, but those who are suffering from a vitamin C deficiency may seem unwilling to eat as they normally would. Any history... read more

Top Tips On Keeping Your African Grey Parrot Happy and Healthy

African Grey parrots can make interesting and entertaining pets.  However, African Greys are highly intelligent birds, and being caged can lead to boredom and stress, causing health problems and predisposing the birds to conditions such as feather plucking.  Here are some top tips on how to keep your African Grey parrot happy and healthy. Regular vet checks It’s very important that you take your African Grey parrot to your vet for regular check-ups.  Although these birds are pretty hardy, they can be susceptible to health issues such as feather mites, and regular consultations with your vet can help to spot and deal with potential problems before they become established. Cage size Always buy the largest cage that your budget can stretch to.  Provide your bird with lots of different perches made from various types of fruit branches, remembering to check that they are pesticide-free and clean.  Parrots need plenty of branches to chew and scratch on in order to keep their beak and claws in good condition and prevent overgrowth. When choosing a suitable spot for your parrot’s cage, place it somewhere near a window so that your pet has a good view of the activity going on outside.  However, be sure to provide plenty of shade on sunny days so that your bird doesn’t overheat. Flying Whenever possible, let your parrot out of his cage and allow him freedom to fly.  If you have the space in your garden, construct a small aviary so that he can enjoy some flight time on pleasant, sunny days.  This exercise is important to keep his muscles strong, boost his circulation, and... read more

Type 2 Diabetes In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Options

When your dog develops type 2 diabetes, the way their body processes insulin changes and their body gradually becomes resistant to insulin. This then prevents glucose levels being regulated efficiently, as muscles and organs in your dog’s body can’t process glucose for energy in the normal way they would be able to if their insulin levels were stable. Glucose builds up and can put too much strain on your dog’s liver and pancreas as they struggle to process it, and this can lead to organ damage over time. Here’s what you need to know about type 2 diabetes in dogs: Causes Your dog can develop insulin resistant diabetes due to any of the following reasons: Being overweight Having pancreatitis, which can alter insulin production Having a genetic susceptibility, as some breeds are more prone to the condition than others Symptoms Type 2 diabetes can cause the following symptoms: A marked increase in thirst and urination Rapid weight loss Tiredness Depression, which may present as withdrawal from play and interaction with other dogs or people Treatment Options In order to confirm your dog has type 2 diabetes, your vet will check the glucose levels in your dog’s blood and test their urine for signs of dehydration, which is commonly seen in diabetic dogs due to the frequency of urination. If there’s protein in your dog’s urine, they may also have kidney damage due to uncontrolled diabetes. Once your vet diagnoses your dog with type 2 diabetes, they will recommend a course of action for stabilising your dog’s glucose levels. If your dog is dehydrated, they will be given intravenous fluids... read more

How to Buy a Healthy Portuguese Water Dog Puppy From a Breeder

Portuguese Water Dogs are cute, but they often suffer from serious health problems. To avoid taking home a puppy that is going to develop serious health issues in later life, you should first carry out a few basic health checks. These involve examining the dog, as well as checking its health records and finding out as much as you can about the dog’s parents. Physical Signs of Health in Portuguese Water Dog Puppies Look for the following signs of good health in your new puppy: Eyes are clear and bright, with no discharge Nose is cold and wet, with no discharge Coat is healthy, with no bald spots Ears are clean and don’t smell bad Genetic Diseases in Portuguese Water Dog Puppies Where possible, buy your puppy from a breeder who is a member of the Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders. Members of this association test their puppies for the following genetic diseases, which are all common in the Portuguese Water Dog breed. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia. This condition affects the development of certain joints, most often the hips and elbows, and can cause lameness in Portuguese Water Dogs. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). This condition gradually attacks the sight of dogs, leading eventually to blindness. Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy (JDCM). This genetic condition causes sudden death in Portugese Water Dog puppies aged between five and seven months. If the parents each carry one gene for this condition, they won’t show symptoms, but there could be lethal consequences for a puppy that inherits both genes. Ask to see the parents’ genetic test results before buying a puppy from a breeder.... read more

Monday Morning Horse Disease – Action and Prevention

Monday morning disease, or equine rhabdomyolysis syndrome, is a rapid-onset disease that is very painful for your horse and very frightening for you.  But what is Monday morning disease and what can your equine vet do to help your horse?  Read on to find out more.  What is Monday morning disease? Monday morning disease is also colloquially known as tying-up, set-fast, and azoturia.  The condition primarily affects horses that are usually in moderate to hard work, but have recently undergone enforced confinement, perhaps due to very wet weather, icy roads etc.  Problems occur when the horse is returned to exercise and severe muscle cramp and spasm occur.  The main symptoms that present in cases of Monday morning disease include: an unwillingness to move forward short,  pottery steps and a stiff gait hardening and heat in the muscles of the hindquarters colic-like symptoms collapse and inability to rise increased heart rate problems urinating and dark, reddish brown urine The condition was traditionally associated with horses that had hunted hard on Saturday and were then given Sunday as a rest day.  On returning to exercise on Monday mornings, tying-up sometimes occurred, hence the name, Monday morning disease. What action to take If you are riding your horse when Monday morning disease strikes, dismount immediately and call your equine vet out as an emergency.   Put your horse in a stable with a nice, thick bed and offer him some water.  Water intake is very important as it flushes the kidneys through, removing the broken down muscle tissue and preventing further damage.   If your horse wants to lie down, allow him... read more

How Owning A Cat Will Make You Healthier

Personal health isn’t typically the first thing people consider when they decide they want a cat. However, as long as the person in question isn’t allergic, owning a cat can do wonders for both physical and mental well-being. Cat owners have known about the therapeutic benefits of cats for a long time, but the medical advantages of cat ownership are now a matter of scientific fact. Lower Risk Of Having A Heart Attack Most studies which examine the link between cat ownership and human health have either been relatively short or lacking in sample size. However, a recent piece of research carried out by the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis managed to study well over 4000 people over a period of ten years, and they found an incredible link between cat ownership and health. It had long been suspected that owning a cat reduced the likelihood of heart attack, but researchers were still shocked to find that cat owners showed a 30% lower risk than non-cat owners—a highly significant association. The Healing Purr Sitting with a purring cat in your lap is always a pleasant experience, but it can also be a healthy one. Cats purr in a frequency ranging between 20-140 Hz, a range which has been shown to be medically therapeutic. As well as lowering stress, purring has been demonstrated during numerous studies to help reduce blood pressure. However, lower blood pressure is just the tip of the iceberg. Purrs have even been shown to reduce the healing time of infections, muscle injuries, and even broken bones! Cats often purr when they have been injured,... read more

Advantages To Adopting An Adult Cat Instead Of Buying A Kitten

When people decide they want a cat, they often start looking at kittens without considering whether it might be better to adopt an older cat from a shelter. This comes with the obvious benefit of saving a kitty who is down on their luck, but there are plenty of other reasons why it can often be the right thing to do. You’ll Know Its Personality Kittens are fun little fur-balls who will fall asleep in the palm of your hand after you tire them out with a bunch of games and toys. However, cats change as they grow into adolescence. It isn’t unusual for a playful kitten to turn into a cat which prefers its own space. If you’re after a loving lap cat, you might end up with one who simply wants to go outside and hunt. When you go to a shelter, the staff will be able to let you know about each cat’s personality, and find a perfect match for you. Adult cats will have settled temperaments, so you’ll be able to choose the exact right one to fit into your life. You’ll Save Money Of course, this should never be the main reason for adopting an adult cat, but it’s worth bearing in mind. Adoption is rarely free – although prices often drop dramatically when shelters are overcrowded – but the fee will almost always be less than the price of a kitten. And it doesn’t stop there. Kittens might have been provided with their initial vaccinations, but they’ll still need more, and those jabs can be expensive. There’s also the spaying/neutering operation to take... read more

What is Pulmonary Embolism in Dogs?

When your dog’s blood clots in any of the major veins in their body, they are susceptible to pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a clot travels to their lungs along one of the main arteries that facilitate the flow of oxygen in the lungs. The clot then damages blood vessels and slows down the flow of blood and oxygen to the lungs. Inherited blood clotting disorders, immobility and certain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories leave your dog susceptible to developing blood clots. Pulmonary embolism isn’t always caused by blood clots and can occur when there’s any sort of blockage in a main artery to the lungs. If you have a dog or think your dog might have pulmonary embolism, here’s what you need to know. Symptoms Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include: Lethargy Difficulty breathing or increased breathing rate which may present as fast, shallow panting Loss of appetite Difficulty sleeping Coughing with or without blood Diagnosis Your vet will physically examine your dog, listen to their breathing and organise a number of blood tests and a urinalysis, which can help to both diagnose and identify the cause of the pulmonary embolism. Blood tests can detect a blood clotting disorder and measure oxygen levels in your dog’s blood. Your vet may also organise an X-ray of your dog’s chest, which will help them to establish if your dog has heartworm disease or if their lungs or heart look enlarged or damaged. Treatment Treatment will be based on the cause of the pulmonary embolism, but oxygen therapy will be used to stabilise your dog’s blood oxygen levels regardless of the cause.... read more

Become A Better Pet Owner By Taking Your Pet To The Vet Annually

Your pets need close care throughout their entire life. Apart from the care you provide at home, they also need professional attention from a veterinarian every now and then. This is why it’s important to take your pet to the veterinarian clinic at least once a year for a thorough check. Read on to learn the importance of such a visit for your pet. Health inspection Once you take your pet to the vet clinic, they will get inspected for health conditions. Your vet will first look for any injuries your pet may have, including scratches, cuts and wounds. Next, your vet will go deeper and look for signs of pests such as fleas and ticks. Sometimes it takes an expert’s eye to spot a pest infestation hidden within your animal’s coat. Once done, your vet will monitor your pet’s behavior to see if there are any symptoms of any underlying medical condition. Symptoms such as wheezing, anti-social behavior or swollen abdomens often tell of deeper conditions. You may not notice these signs all the time, but your veterinarian will. Your vet can also undertake additional tests on the heart and lungs through blood tests, ultra sounds and blood pressure tests to check for worms and other underlying conditions. Preventive care Once your veterinarian has given your pet a clean bill of health, they will undertake preventive care to ensure your pet does not fall ill in future. One form of such preventive treatment is dental care. Your dentist will clean your pet’s teeth to avoid tartar build up which may cause periodontal disease. Another common preventive treatment you... read more

Understanding Your Puppy’s Healthcare Needs

Bringing home a sweet little puppy is exciting, but adding a puppy to your family comes with responsibilities. In addition to training and socialising your puppy, you also need to be aware of their healthcare needs. Here’s what you need to know: Protection From Worms And Fleas Worms can cause vomiting and dehydration, while fleas can cause itching and skin infections. You can protect your puppy from the pain and discomfort of a worm or flea infestation by administering vet-approved treatments regularly. Treat your puppy for fleas every month throughout the year, and use this schedule for worming them: Every fourteen days for the first three months of their life Every twenty-eight days for the next three months Every three months for the rest of their life Ensure you use products suitable for your dog’s age or you risk giving them too much. If you do use a treatment aimed at older or larger dogs, contact your vet right away for advice. Recommended Vaccinations Your puppy should start a dog vaccination program when they reach 1 ½ -2 months old. After their first round of vaccinations, they will need booster shots at 12 weeks old and an annual booster shot for the rest of their life to ensure they remain protected. Your puppy won’t be fully protected from common diseases until they have their 12 week booster, so keep them indoors and away from other dogs until then. Vaccinating your puppy will protect them from the following: Hepatitis – This is spread through urine and causes fever and diarrhoea. Parvovirus – This viral disease is often fatal and can... read more

About Me

While some people don’t get my attraction for snakes, they are the best pets I have ever had. They are so smart and clever. Snakes are really interesting to watch. The internet is a great place to learn about how to care for your snake, but sometimes it can be overwhelming! It’s important to also find a good snake vet to complement the day-to-day care you give as a caring snake owner. My site has loads of tips on how to keep your snake healthy and happy and living as long as possible by accessing great vet care. All hail the mighty snake!