Whiskas Has Your Back This Hairball Awareness Day

Whiskas

Do you remember the moment when Puss in Boots coughed up a hairball in Shrek 2? It was the first scene Antonio Banderas recorded as Puss in Boots and it left him temporarily voiceless, according to an interview in the New York Times.

The scene highlights the reality of hairballs for cats, as does Hairball Awareness Day, which takes place on the last Friday of April every year (it’s on 26 April this year) and is aimed at educating cat owners about their feline friends and those annoying hairballs.

Whiskas Senior Brand Manager, Nivashnee Moodley says hairballs occur because cats’ tongues have tiny hooks that capture dead and loose fur when they groom themselves. “This fur is then ingested and usually passes through the digestive system without incident.

“Sometimes, however, fur builds up in the stomach, resulting in a hairball that causes the cat to gag and cough it up. While this is a perfectly natural occurrence, if it happens too often, it may be harmful to cats and They may become tired, lose their appetite or suffer from constipation or diarrhoea. If this happens, it is best to consult a veterinarian for advice.”

Whiskas is crazy about cats and their general wellbeing. That’s why it has identified five easy ways for cat owners to help prevent hairballs:

Grooming

Brush your cat regularly. Not only does it help remove loose fur and stimulate blood circulation, but it is also a great way for owners to bond with their feline friends.

Lubricating oil

Adding fish, corn or olive oil to a cat’s diet helps lubricate the digestive system, which keeps things moving along smoothly and reduces the potential build-up of hairballs.

Playtime

Cats love to play. Playing can distract them from excessive grooming as a result of boredom or anxiety. Owners can up the game by making their own toy – a simple string with a feather attached to the end will do – or buying one of the many fine toys on offer in retail outlets to keep their kitties entertained.

Diet

Moodley says owners can consider feeding their cats Whiskas Hairball Control dry food which gives them a healthy coat and aids their digestion. “The specialised food contains more oil and is high in fibre, thereby helping to prevent hairballs forming from the outset.”

Source: WHISKAS®

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NSPCA offers R30000 dog-fighting reward

NSPCA

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has offered a R30000 reward for any information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of dog fighters.

Their Special Investigations Unit has noted a spike in reported incidents nationally, and in some cases the dogs have had to be put down due to their injuries. The American pit bull terrier is the most popular dog breed among dog fighters.

Special Investigations Unit manager Wendy Willson said that in the past few years they’d had multiple successes, and had saved hundreds of dogs.

“The fights are brutal and the dogs suffer the most traumatic injuries. The dogs used for dog fighting are almost exclusively American pit bull terriers, however at the less sophisticated dog-fighting levels the perpetrators may occasionally also use similar breeds such as bull terriers or Staffordshire terriers,” she said.

“At this low level of dog fighting dogs are often sourced from ‘free to a good home adverts’ or stolen from less vigilant pet owners.”

Willson said dog fighting was a crime that had a significant negative impact on the community because of its violent nature. It was often linked with other crimes, particularly interpersonal violence and control crimes such as woman and child abuse.

“It is an indicator of concurrent violence in a community. Dog fighting is particularly detrimental to children who are often exposed to this crime. In children it erodes empathy and can lead to future violence,” she said.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA urged the public to report incidents of dog fighting, saying very few cases were actually reported to them.

“We would like the public to know that we treat all complaints with strict confidentiality and anonymity, and appeal to them to report any suspicious activities related to this heinous crime,” Willson said.

Suspected dog fighting activities can be anonymously reported at 0119073590 or email [email protected]

Source: IOL

Firefighter saves kitten using CPR

Firefighter saves kitten

Picture: Pixabay

Firefighter saves kittens life using CPR.

A firefighter from the Lakeside Fire Station is being lauded a hero after saving the life of a kitten that was found inside a burning shop in Heathfield. Grant Bougaardt, along with other rescue workers, managed to bring the tiny ginger kitten back to life minutes after it had died using CPR.

Bougaardt, a Muizenberg resident, said he would never have been able to save the kitten were it not for assistance from his team.

Firefighter saves kitten

Grant and some members of his team.

The baby cat was discovered lying completely still and not breathing at the back of the shop, which was engulfed by flames. Bougaardt proceeded to perform CPR on the small animal and succeeded in reviving it. Speaking to IOL, he said that all he did was give the kitten a “quick blow of air” before it began breathing again.

Once the kitten had been resuscitated, Bougaardt handed it over to a rescue worker outside the shop.

“I rushed inside and found the kitten lying on the floor. I did not think about what I did. I just scooped it up and ran out with it. I did a blow (of air) and checked for a heartbeat,” he said. “It was faint. I ran out and handed him to my colleagues Sean Evans and Genevieve Foster. They did resuscitation using oxygen and worked on it. I ran back into the building to work.”

When he made his way outside again, he was fearful that the kitty had died but his fears were proved wrong when he saw it snugly wrapped in a blanket in a box in preparation of being moved to the vet.

The kitten was taken to a vet in Rosmead Avenue, and Bougaardt said he hopes to adopt it.

Source: www.capetownetc.com

Is your Child Pet-Ready?

child pet ready

The bond between a child and their furry companion is undoubtedly a precious one and empowering your child to take on the responsibility of caring for a pet of their own can be a significantly positive step in shaping their future personality and behaviour.

Pets Add Value to Children’s Lives

  • Having a pet by their side teaches children to be responsible and empathetic while providing them with a playful companion that can keep them on their toes and give them that much needed physical activity!
  • Pets foster family bonds by encouraging members to come together and participate in collaborative activities with each other and their pets.
  • Studies have proven that pets reduce children’s susceptibility to asthma and allergies. When living with an animal before the age of one, children have shown to develop fortified immune systems compared to children who have had no exposure to pets in their homes.
  • Pets build a child’s self-confidence. When old enough to realise their pets are solely reliant on them alone to survive and thrive, a child’s self-esteem is boosted. They feel a sense of pride and ownership, knowing they play a significant role in keeping their pet happy and safe and this increases their inner confidence.
  • Pets teach children the beautiful traits of forgiveness, loyalty, companionship, trust, love and empathy. These are invaluable qualities they will learn to transfer onto other animals and people throughout their lives.
  • The companionship of both cats and dogs instils a sense of calm, comfort and security in all human members of their families. Research has proven that pets reduce stress and anxiety levels in their human counterparts. (Pets – Guardians against Anxiety and Depression)
  • The joys of having a four-legged friend comes with a long-term responsibility and commitment, therefore kids who take ownership of their furry friends will learn to commit to things in life at an earlier age than those without that important sense of duty.

So, with all this said, when does a child become fully prepared for pet ownership and what is the right time to introduce a loyal companion into their life? Depending on your child’s age and personality, you may need to consider certain factors before making this significant decision.

Babies and Furry Friends

At this age your (human) bundle of joy can’t obviously be expected to understand the responsibility that comes with having a pet. If you already share your home with a fur child prior to your newborn’s arrival, it’s important to put your fur baby at ease with the upcoming changes and guide them into the new routine without feelings of stress or neglect. Training your pet for the new arrival is the first step in this transitional process. Set a certain time in your daily schedule where you don’t engage with your pet, empowering them to play and explore on their own, thereby encouraging independence. This way when the baby arrives your four-footed child won’t suddenly feel abandoned as your focus shifts towards taking care of your baby. Having said that, your pet is still, and will always be, your fur child, so while it is understandable that a few months will pass before your timetable finally adjusts, make a concerted effort to shower your pet with all the love and attention they so rightfully deserve. (Preparing your First-born Fur Babies to meet your Newborn)

Toddlers and Furry Friends

Getting your toddler a pet of their own can be quite the delicate situation. While your child may now understand what pets are, they are not yet prepared to take accountability for them. If you’re planning on adding a pet friend to your household with a toddler in tow, consider having bigger breeds of dogs and cats as a toddler may obliviously mistreat or harm smaller animals. Also take into consideration the fact that you will be taking on the responsibility of your new fur baby, consuming even more time and commitment on your part. It’s essential to do your due diligence about potential breeds that will seamlessly fit in with your unique family culture and requirements.

School Age Children and Furry Friends

Children aged 6 years and upwards are probably the best prepared and most enthusiastic about the prospect of taking care of a fluffy friend. At this impressionable age your child may begin to openly express a desire to have a pet of their own. If your child is not used to having a pet, start with smaller animals such as a goldfish or hamster to teach them the important foundations of taking care of another living soul. You will still need to monitor tasks such as feeding the little one, cleaning their living quarters along with monitoring any signs of sickness that your child may easily overlook.

Pre-teens and teens are even better prepared and more pedantic when owing pets. Depending on their levels of interest, you can consider adding larger breeds of dogs and cats and even non-traditional pets such as hedgehogs, birds, rodents or reptiles to your family!

Although age plays a substantial part in determining when the right time to get a pet for your child is, it’s also crucial to factor in their unique personality. If your child shows no interest in having a pet, then either forget the idea entirely or take on a pet with the knowledge that as parents, any associated responsibility may very well fall on your shoulders, so be sure that you have the physical, emotional as well as financial capacity to do so.

 

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

Scientists Call for a Ban on Glitter, The Latest Microplastic Found Polluting the Ocean

Scientists

As we inch closer toward fulfilling the prediction of more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050, every bit we keep out counts – even glitter.

Little did most of us know those tiny, shiny metallic specks are made of aluminum and a plastic called PET. When PET breaks down it releases chemicals that disrupt hormones in animals and humans and that are linked with various cancers and neurological diseases.

Like microbeads found in bath gels and face scrubs, body glitter and other cosmetics containing glitter are being washed down the drain. From there much of it escapes through water filtration systems, enters natural waterways and eventually ends up in the ocean.

Though they may seem small and insignificant, microplastics — pieces of plastic 5 mm or less — are the most dangerous kind of plastic in many ways, as they are harder to clean up and more likely to be ingested by sea-life.

Some estimate the number of microplastics in the ocean at up to 51 trillion fragments, representing almost a third of all the plastic in the ocean by volume. One study estimates seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 pieces of microplastic per year.

Glitter

For this reason the United States and several other countries have banned the use of microbeads in personal care products. Scientists and environmentalists are now calling for glitter to be added to that ban.

Dr Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at Massey University, told The Independent she thinks all plastic-containing glitter should be banned.

“When people think about glitter they think of party and dress-up glitter,” said Dr Trisia Farrelly, an environmental anthropologist at Massey University. “But glitter includes cosmetic glitters as well, the more everyday kind that people don’t think about as much.”

Some are proposing eco-friendly, biodegradable glitter as a solution.

Glitter

The cosmetics chain Lush has replaced glitter in its products with synthetic, biodegradable alternatives in a move praised by Dr. Sue Kinsey, senior pollution policy officer at the Marine Conservation Society.

But Dr. Ferrelly doesn’t trust other companies to follow-suit and is calling for government intervention.

“I’m sick and tired of consumers being help responsible for trying to avoid this stuff. I mean it’s literally impossible to,” Ferrelly said. “Producers need to be responsible. They need to use safer, non-toxic, durable alternatives.”

A group of childcare centers responsible for 2,500 children in England decided they didn’t have to wait for a government ban. They took matters into their own hands, just in time for Christmas. This year their crafts will be made with lentils and other natural decorations.

Source: Return to Now

 

 

New Jersey Senate has just passed a bill that hopefully will help crack down the cruel puppy mill industry

New Jersey Puppy Mill

New Jersey senate has just passed a bill that hopefully will have a significant impact on how pets are purchased and will help crack down the cruel puppy mill industry. According to The Humane Society, there are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. today. They produce more than 2.4 million doggies a year — and less than 3,000 of those are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Approximately 3.9 million dogs enter shelters every year with 1.2 million of them being euthanized.

“These puppy mills have gained a notorious reputation for putting profits ahead of the humane treatment of dogs and cats,” says Senator Raymond Lesniak who introduced the bill. “Their mass breeding has created inbred health and behavioral problems and the inhumane conditions have left too many of these pets to suffer from neglect and mistreatment.”

Representatives of the pet industry argue that the bill will make it difficult for new pet stores to open. They also say it will limit consumer choices and make it challenging to find a perfect four-legged companion.

There are at least 10,000 puppy mills in the U.S. today producing more than 2.4 million doggies a year

New Jersey Puppy Mill

Approximately 3.9 million dogs enter shelters every year with 1.2 million of them being euthanized

New Jersey Puppy Mill

Puppy mills have gained a notorious reputation for putting profits ahead of animals

New Jersey Puppy Mill

“Their mass breeding has created inbred health and behavioral problems…”

New Jersey Puppy Mill

“And the inhumane conditions have left too many of these pets to suffer from neglect and mistreatment”

New Jersey Puppy Mill

Image credits: mydreamforanimals

Source: Bored Panda

Revolting against Rabies

Rabies

Just the mere mention of the word “rabies” is enough to trigger alarm and panic amongst pet lovers, given the fatality rate associated with this horrific virus. However, it is important for all responsible pet owners to recognise that rabies is preventable and with a deeper understanding, you will be empowered to protect your furry friend from the merciless hands of this viral disease.

Causes of Rabies in Cats and Dogs

Rabies can be transmitted to felines and canines when they are exposed to the saliva of an infected animal through a bite. Even though it is less likely, transmission is also possible through a scratch or if your pet’s mucous membranes or open wounds become exposed to the saliva of an animal with rabies. Wild animals in South Africa, such as bats, black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes and mongooses are common carriers of this unrelenting virus.

Symptoms

Initially, the infected pet may portray extreme behavioural modifications that are contrary to their normal character such as anxiety, agitation and aggression. Energetic and enthusiastic pets may become meek and depressed, whilst jovial and peaceful pets may become cantankerous.

The infected pet may lash out at or attack anything alive or inanimate. They may also be inclined to incessantly lick, chew or bite the area of their body that was bitten. Oversensitivity to sound, light and touch can also be experienced as the virus advances.

Other symptoms of rabies in cats and dogs are:

  • Fever
  • Paralysis – especially that of the tongue, throat, jaw and legs causing the notorious symptom of foaming from the mouth.
  • Pica – consumption of non-food substances such as dirt or rocks
  • Seizures
  • Drooling
  • Chewing stones
  • Wandering around aimlessly
  • Disorientation
  • Incoordination
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Hypersalivation

Diagnosis

If your pet is projecting these associated symptoms after a vicious attack by or contact with a rabid or wild animal, contact your veterinarian immediately. As the virus has an incubation period of as short as ten days, the vet may quarantine your pet to confirm the case of rabies. Fluid testing of saliva, skin and urine are some of the preferred diagnostic methods. However, the most accurate diagnosis is received through the “direct fluorescent antibody test” which unfortunately, can only be performed after an animal passes away because this diagnostic procedure requires tissue from the brain.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for rabies in cats and dogs. Confirmed cases of rabies in unvaccinated animals must be reported to the local public health authorities who may quarantine the animal or devastatingly, euthanise it based on the regulations in the relevant region.

Prevention

Ensuring that your pets are properly vaccinated is not only important for them, it is also important for your safety as a pet owner and those around you. Indoor animals have a lower chance of being subjected to vicious attacks or being exposed to rabid animals. Humans must exercise caution when encountering a pet potentially carrying the virus and any places which may have been infected, should be thoroughly sterilised by using an appropriate bleaching solution.

Plan of Action if your Pet’s been in Contact with a Rabid Animal

  1. Consult your veterinarian immediately!
  2. Alert your local health department of the incident and carefully follow their instructions.
  3. Alert your local animal control officer if the rabid animal is still roaming free so they can professionally and safely catch the animal.
  4. The rabies virus may remain active on your pet’s skin for two hours after the incident, so wear gloves and protective clothing when handling them within this time frame.
  5. If your pet has been bitten by a rabid animal and was luckily vaccinated beforehand, a rabies booster should be administered as soon as possible, and they should be closely monitored for 45 days thereafter.

 

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson

 

Germany just shut down its last Fur Farm

 

Fur Farm

Germany’s last-remaining fur farm has shut down.

Germany’s last remaining fur farmer has closed.

The Rahden-based farm “now stands empty,” according to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), signaling the end of fur production in yet another EU country.

Germany’s Fur Ban

In 2017, Germany’s government passed legislation that brought a ban to fur farms across the country. PETA credits its heavy campaigning efforts, petitions, protests, and anti-fur ads for helping push the legislation through into law.

“Germany’s last fur farms will close down after a five-year transition. The new bill demands stricter regulations governing fur farming and will effectively make the raising of minks non-viable for farmers,”PETA noted. “Fur farming bans and stricter regulations that inevitably cause facilities to close are becoming increasingly widespread.”

The legislation brought Germany in step with the UK, which introduced a ban in 2000, and Austria, which went fur-free in 2004.

According to PETA, the German farmer shut down ahead of the 2022 deadline as he was struggling under government pressure and frequent, unannounced inspections. He said he also felt the weight of activist pressures — PETA has been campaigning strongly in the country for more than two decades.

According to PETA, the largest animal rights organization in the world, eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals held captive on fur factory farms. “These farms often hold thousands of animals, and the kinds of abuse that the facilities engage in are remarkably similar around the globe.”

Fashion Labels Ditch Fur

Fashion labels across the globe including Armani and Tom Ford have begun shifting to in their collections. Luxury label designers are taking a stand against the practice, too: Donatella Versace announced a shift away from fur last year, saying she doesn’t want to kill animals for fashion. Diane von Furstenberg recently pulled fur and angora from her collections, and renowned designer Jean-Paul Gautier called the industry “absolutely deplorable” last November.

And runway shows have followed suit; Amsterdam Fashion Week (AFW) last month went fur-free as did London Fashion Week (LFW) last fall.

“AFW is proud that in collaboration with PETA we will from now on be a fur-free platform,” Danie Bles, CEO of Amsterdam Fashion Week, said in a statement.

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk applauded the move. “Today, as polls show, most Dutch people would never wear fur, and Amsterdam Fashion Week’s compassionate move represents the growing public desire for animal-friendly fashion,” Newkirk said.

According to PETA “many powerful voices” including Jhené Aiko, Penélope Cruz, Taraji P. Henson, Eva Mendes, and first lady Melania Trump have all lent their voice to anti-fur campaigns, “after learning about the horrific cruelty behind every fur jacket, trim, or cuff.”  

LFW’s council says it made the decision to pull fur from runway shows after a survey of designers revealed fur wasn’t a focal point for the labels.

Speaking to the Guardian, council chief executive Caroline Rush said, “[the fur-free fashion week] highlights a trend we have seen over the past few years, with more and more brands deciding to use alternative materials to fur.”

Fur Farm

Fur Bans In Europe

A growing number of governments are passing anti-fur legislation; in the EU, Norway and the Czech Republic both announced bans on fur farming last year.

Norway says its ban will go into effect in 2025, giving farmers until then to transition away from the practice.

“We welcome the Swedish Government’s proposal to investigate the welfare of minkers on Sweden’s fur farms, but today we see that Norway shows that a ban on fur farming is possible,” Camilla Björkbom, chairman of the Animal Society Right, said after the announcement. “This is great news, not least for all the animals that are now not born and killed for their fur in Norway, but also because it sets a good example for Sweden and the upcoming Swedish investigation.

Norway is a historically large fur producer with more than 300 fur farms in the country. Collectively, the farmers breed and kill more than 700,000 minks and 110,000 foxes every year.

The Czech Republic’s ban was hailed as a huge success by the nation’s leading animal rights organization, ORBRAZ.

“We are so glad that this unnecessary barbarous practice has come to an end and that a large part of the public stands against it,” Pavel Buršík, an OBRAZ spokesperson, said in a statement.

It is a huge success not only for foxes and minks but also for other caged animals. People are still indifferent to their hardship, but this change gives us hope and faith in a better future for all animals,” he said.

“We will continue to support organizations from other European countries so that they can enforce the ban as we do. However, the fur situation in Europe is constantly improving,” Buršík added. “This is illustrated by the recently adopted laws against fur farms in Norway, Luxembourg, and Belgium, which have expanded the list of countries with a ban. We believe that these steps will move closer to a pan-European ban.”

Other countries throughout the EU have also instituted anti-fur legislation: the Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia all have restrictions or full fur bans on the books.

But despite the growing number of member states shifting away from fur, the EU Parliament has made no formal move to restrict fur throughout the EU. But that may soon change.

“The tide is turning against the practice of fur production within the European Union as concerns about animal welfare and the ethics of breeding animals for luxury products continue to grow,” says the Fur Free Alliance, which is actively working with European countries on fur regulations. “A number of Member States have examined the issues involved very carefully, taken extensive evidence, and have decided to act, believing that fur factory farming cannot be conducted in a humane way.”

Fur Bans In The U.S.

While Europe has had fur bans in place since 2000, the U.S. has been considerably slower in phasing out the industry.

The only cities currently to have bans in effect are in California. Not only is it the most populous state, but it’s often considered the most progressive, too, particularly when it comes to animal welfare. Last November, California voters passed the country’s most progressive animal welfare legislation for farm animals. The bill, called Prop 12, enforces bans on gestation crates for pregnant sows and bans cages for chickens. But its biggest impact may just come in its import restrictions — producers from outside of the state must also meet Prop 12 criteria in order to sell their products in-state. And because of California’s size, this may significantly sway production practices across the country — forcing widespread shifts to animal treatment.

But long before it passed progressive farm animal welfare legislation, the state was already moving toward more compassionate treatment of animals. The Los Angeles neighborhood of West Hollywood became the first city in the U.S. to ban fur back in 2011. “We’ve consistently worked to enact cutting-edge animal welfare legislation,” city spokeswoman Tamara White told ABC after the vote. “This is in line with our values.”

Berkeley, the Bay Area hotbed for progressive thought leaders and legislation (it was the first city to impose a soda tax in 2015, and it appears to be working in reducing consumption) followed suit, enacting a fur ban in 2017. It banned the sale of fur from all fur-bearing animals. The move earned the city recognition in a PETA Compassionate City Award.

Neighboring town San Francisco followed suit, enacting a fur ban in 2018. It went into effect at the beginning of this year. The vote brought a swell of controversy, with dozens of retailers pushing back, saying the ban would hurt their sales. But the legislation prevailed.

“I hope that it inspires other cities and the country to take action. Certainly we need better federal regulations on fur farming,” Katy Tang, the supervisor pushing the legislation said to the Los Angeles Times. “There’s no humane way to raise an animal to peel its skin off.”

Then, in February, the Los Angeles fur ban passed through city council in a major victory for animal rights activists. The vote made Los Angeles the largest city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur, and its impact is having the ripple effect activists had hoped for.

Earlier this year New York City council announced that it too would take steps to ban the sale of fur.

The legislation was introduced by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan).

“Increasingly, consumers are looking to make ethical and sustainable purchases — fur is neither of those,” Rosenthal said. “The fur trade has at its core a violence toward animals that is antithetical with our modern views on animals as human companions and sentient beings.”

If passed, as the first cold weather northeast city to approve such a ban, it would be a major victory in the fight against fur sales in the U.S.

According to the Humane Society, 100 million animals, including mink, fox, raccoon, seal, dogs, and chinchillas across the globe are killed each year for their fur. While some are hunted, the majority are raised in factory farms before being killed.

Source: Live Kindly

Plant your ‘furever’ life and grow a tree in your pet’s honour

furever

Imagine if you could celebrate and remember your beloved family furbaby by growing new life in their honour.

This is now possible thanks to an innovative, new, green invention that allows you to fertilise and grow a tree with your pet’s ashes.

Ballito couple Brent and Christine Westoby from Cemetrees.com recently introduced the international Bios Urn to South Africa.

“When we grieve, many of us yearn to have something we can see and touch to remind us of the one who is no longer there. You have cremated ashes but you want to do something more with them,” said Christine.

Built with a special capsule that meets the needs of any type of tree, the 100 percent biodegradable Bios Urn creates the perfect medium to allow for the proper growth of a tree or plant from seed or seedling fertilised with the ashes.

“What better way to remember your best friend than to immortalize their body as a tree.

“Imagine a beautiful flowering plant or tree growing in the garden where they once ran and played. While nothing could ever replace that life, choosing a plant for your home or garden is a powerful way to remember that special bond.”

Brent said the tree or plant becomes a living memorial.

“It is a way to express love that has not ended with death. When nourished by the cremated ashes, something extraordinary happens to the plant. It becomes a living symbol of a special life.”

For more information about Bios Urn, check out www.cemetrees.com or send a mail to [email protected]

Source: North Coast Courier

 

Taking Feline Diabetes Down

Feline diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is being found in a startling number of cats and if left untreated, the consequences can be fatal. It’s essential to be attentive of the signs potentially suggesting the presence of this condition so you can give your cat the best possible treatment at a chance of a quality life.

What is diabetes mellitus?

In a healthy cat, sugar in the form of glucose, is required by the body for energy. The pancreas produces the hormone, insulin, which attaches to cells and indicates when to absorb glucose. This absorption provides essential fuel to the liver, muscles and cells in fat deposits, simultaneously reducing the glucose levels in the blood. Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which some feline bodies are unable to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, thereby causing a dangerous surge in sugar glucose levels.

Type I diabetes is when the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient levels of insulin, resulting in higher concentrations of glucose. Type II diabetes is caused by the body’s cells’ inefficiency to respond properly to insulin. Cats with diabetes typically suffer from Type II.

Clinical Signs

  • Weight loss irrespective of increased appetite
  • Excessive thirst and urination, thereby causing a possibility of dehydration
  • In neglected cases, nerve damage to the hind limbs may occur
  • Depression
  • Coma
  • Death

Diagnosis

Your vet will not only enquire about potential symptoms your cat maybe experiencing, as mentioned above, but they will need to test blood and urine to establish the glucose concentrations therein. Although these symptoms could signal your kitty has diabetes, they may also be the result of several other diseases.

Blood tests to diagnosis diabetes are not always clear-cut because even healthy cats may display elevated glucose levels in their blood, resulting from stress onset by a veterinarian visit, otherwise known as hyperglycemia. Therefore, healthy cats that don’t have diabetes, may have temporary heightened blood glucose concentrations when tested by a vet. To avoid this misconception, veterinarians will alternatively measure the levels of fructosamine in the blood. Cats with acute diabetes will show increased levels of fructosamine which is assumed not to be considerably influenced by stress levels. Fructosamine levels are therefore, accurate in ascertaining the valid blood glucose measures, thereby establishing an accurate diagnosis of diabetes in cats.

Treatment

Treatment of cats with diabetes aims to:

  • Reduce and/or prevent any further weight loss
  • Reduce and/or prevent any further indications of excess thirst and urination
  • Regulate appetite
  • Re-establish blood glucose to normal levels

Insulin Therapy

Diabetic cats are typically treated with injectable insulin and owners can learn to execute the procedure at home. With practice, owners and cats will feel more at ease with the process. Insulin preparations vary in terms of duration and the outcomes associated with fluctuations of blood glucose. Your vet will periodically administer insulin over a duration of between 12 – 24 hours, as a control to determine the type of insulin and dosage rate that ideally manages your cat’s particular blood glucose concentrations.

Diet

Low carbohydrate diets have proven to control blood glucose concentrations in the body. If your cat is underweight, because of the diabetes, ensure to feed them numerous meals a day or allow them unlimited access to their food, both day and night. On the other end of the spectrum, ask your vet to prescribe a diet suitable for an overweight cat which will likely assist their bodies in maintaining more balanced glucose levels.

Management and Monitoring

Although there is no cure for feline diabetes, it can be managed if the owner is well-informed and dedicated to treating the condition. If the disease is treated with commitment, a cat can live a high-quality life for an extended number of years. In some cases, cats may go into remission, no longer depending on insulin treatments. However, owners should still be consistently vigilant of any clinical symptoms of diabetes and maintain a low carbohydrate diet.

Parents of diabetic cats should closely watch their purry pal’s appetite, body weight, water consumption, urination frequency, the quantity of insulin given as well as blood or urine glucose levels. All this information should be recorded and conveyed to your veterinarian on a regular basis. Weakness, lethargy, tremors, seizures and vomiting are signs of hypoglycaemia. In such cases, a glucose solution, dextrose gel or honey should be smeared onto your kitty’s gums followed by an immediate consult with your veterinarian.

As daunting as feline diabetes appears, it really is manageable, and your cat can still live a long, high quality life. With some research and education from reputable sources; commitment to administering the necessary treatments and keeping a watchful eye on your kitty, you’ll be able to take feline diabetes down!

Written for inFURmation
by Taliah Williamson