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I just read a very interesting article that was also very surprising.  Cats carry an antigen that cat owners, who maine coon cat notecard by dj geribo at help shelter pets thumbnail imagereacted to their pet allergen, had a 90% increased risk of glaucoma compared with non-pet owners. On the other hand, dog owners were 20 % less likely to develop the debilitating condition.

"Allergens from cats may have biochemical or physical properties that trigger antibodies targeting the optic nerve, while dog allergens may behave differently, possibly because dogs spend more time outdoors," said Dr. Anne Coleman of UCLA.

"Cats could cause our immune system to react in a way that predispose eyes to the development of glaucoma...whereas exposure to dogs appears to be linked to the opposite effect and could be protective against the disease." British laser eye surgeon Dr. David Allamby also said that "...man's best friend may also save your sight."

For more information and to read the complete article, go to telegraph.co.uk under science news.

 

Help Shelter Pets Maine Coon cat card sold in The Card Shop

Mark your calendars - May 17 - 23 is National Dog Bite Prevention Weekamerican pitbull notecard by dj geribo at help shelter pets detail image

Millions of people, mostly children, are bitten by dogs every year. In fact, dog bites are the 11th leading cause of non-fatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for children ages 5-9, and 10th for children ages 10-14 (statistics from 2003-2012).

Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities while interacting with familiar dogs.

There are many things a dog owner can do to prevent dog bites from properly socializing and training your pet to educating your children on how, or if, to approach a dog.

 

For more information about dog bites and prevention, go to the American Veterinary Medical Assoc (AVMA.ORG) website.

 

Help Shelter Pets American Pitbull dog card sold in The Card Shop

 

norwegian forest cat notecard by dj geribo at help shelter pets detail imageThings that might seem obviously toxic to us do not always appear that way to our pets. Therefore, it is our job to remember to keep these particular products out of their reach. Also, products that are not at all toxic to us can be fatal to our pets. Every pet owner should make themselves aware of the products or items that we need to keep out of the reach of our pets at all times. The most common pet toxins are:

1. Human prescription medications - this was the number one toxin that pets got into.

2. Over-the-counter medications - this includes herbal and other natural supplements.

3. Insecticides - these products can be very dangerous - follow all label directions carefully.

4. Household items- this includes paints and cleaning products.

5. Human foods - onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, and xylitol (sugar substitute found in gum) are all life-threatening for animals.

6. Veterinary medicines - some pet medications are intentionally attractive to pets but should be kept out of reach to avoid an overdose.

7. Chocolate - the darker the chocolate the more potential to do harm.

8. Plants - many plants are particularly toxic to cats.

9. Rodenticides - used to kill mice and rats but can kill pets if ingested.

10. Lawn and garden products - these were toxic mostly because they were accessible to pets and were not stored properly.

 

 Help Shelter Pets Norwegian Forest Cat card sold in The Card Shop

 

golden retriever notecard by dj geribo at help shelter pets thumbnail imageI recently passed a car that had a golden retriever standing on the passenger side of the front seat of the vehicle with its head and the upper part of its body sticking out the window. The dog was thrilled and I'm sure the envy of every dog it passed that was sitting in a booster seat (like my Pomeranians) or strapped in the back seat, for their protection. Yes, it is fun for dogs to stick their heads out the window; I imagine they think they are running that fast. What a thrill for them! But, what a hazard to their health, and in particular to their eyes not to mention their entire bodies.

Think about when you are riding a bike, or a motorcycle without a windshield or helmet. For the safety of the motorcyclist eye coverage is required by law because if something blows into your eye, whether debris or bugs, you can end up in a serious if not fatal accident. That same debris is flying through the air and can end up in your dog's eye.

When I used to work in Cambridge, MA, the winds were so strong around the square that my office building was located in, and some kind of construction was always going on, that one time a piece of grit got lodged into my eye and sent me to Mass Eye And Ear to have it removed. And I was just walking down the street! Think about driving at 40, 50, or 60+ miles per hour and that same piece of grit ending up in your dog's eye. So, the solution would be to get a pair of doggles for your dog's eye protection.

Another story: a friend used to let her dog hang out the window and one time it saw something that made it leap out of the window, injuring its front leg. After several months of dragging the injured leg around she finally made the decision to have the leg removed. Yes, dogs are adaptable to any situation they find themselves in, but why put them through that, not to mention the vet bills for the surgery.

So, yes, even though it is great fun for your dog to stand on the seat and hang its head out the window, you might want to reconsider and think about the welfare of your dog instead of just the fun he is having.

 

Help Shelter Pets Golden Retriever dog card sold in The Card Shop

pug notecard by dj geribo at help shelter pets detail imageI just saw a headline that talked about a woman who moved out of her apartment to a new place...and left the pets behind! Now, as the saying goes, you don't know what someone is going through until you've walked a mile in their shoes (was that Confucius?) so it is difficult to judge this person too harshly until you know the full story. I don't know the full story so I will restrain myself, somewhat.

When I think about my dogs and some of the experiences I've gone through with them, like with Meko's illness and what we went through to get her back to good health, and the years they have been with us as part of our family, leaving any of my pets behind when I moved to a new place would be like leaving my child behind. It is impossible to imagine. I know there are a lot of apartments that do not allow pets (unfortunately this is usually because the homeowner had some previous bad experiences with irresponsible tenants who let the pets do their business on the carpets or tear up carpets, etc. - destructive behavior - this is called respecting other people's property). This makes it tough and almost punishes the tenants who are responsible and restrict their pets to certain areas, or cage them when they are not home, to convince a homeowner that they are different. So, the homeowner just decides, that's it, no pets.

There are other apartments around - perhaps that isn't the only place to live and you can find one where the homeowner does like animals and had a good experience with responsible tenants. Or perhaps you know someone who would love to take them and add them to their family of pets. I mean, don't we all know people who have pets? Usually adding one more to the pack isn't too much of a problem. Or there are people who would love a pet and have none. There are a lot of elderly who could use the company - a dog, in particular, can make an elderly person living alone feel more safe and secure in their own home.

All I'm saying is, there are always other options to just walking away from your pets. How someone can do that though is beyond my comprehension. My pets are my family.

 

Help Shelter Pets Pug dog card sold in The Card Shop

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