Monthly Archives: February 2014

5 Interesting facts for Dog Owners

Humans and canines aren’t so different after all, at least regarding what makes us sick. About 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year, and dogs get canine versions of rare human disorders like the brain-wasting neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis that leads to the inability to walk or control their muscles.

If you have cancer, diabetes, or epilepsy, your dog might be the first to know. Studies have shown that dogs can be trained to sniff out cancers of the lung, breast, skin, bladder and prostate. Researchers suspect the canines are picking up on extraordinarily faint scents given off by the abnormal cells.
Dogs are also being increasingly used as service animals for people with diabetes, whose health can be harmed when their blood sugar peaks or drops. Specially trained dogs can detect the scent of these fluctuations (sweet for high blood sugar, acidic for low) and alert their owners before they even feel symptoms.
Most mysterious of all are scattered reports that dogs can predict an epileptic seizure 45 minutes before it begins. No one knows what the dogs might be picking up on, but theories range from an unknown smell to subtle behavioral changes.

Dogs can be as smart as 2-year-old children, according to research presented in 2009 at a meeting of the American Psychological Association. Border collies are the top dogs in the intelligence category, with some in the breed capable of understanding up to 200 words. Poodles, German shepherds, Golden retrievers and Dobermans round out the top five smartest breeds. (The most popular breed in America, the Labrador retriever, comes in at number seven.)
Older breeds like hound dogs, bulldogs and beagles are among the slow learners of the doggie world, the researchers reported. Unlike newer dog breeds, which are designed for companionship and sociability, old breeds were bred to sniff and hunt, perhaps giving them more brawn than brain.

We’ve all heard the saying that dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans (they’re not), but in reality, dogs can carry pathogens that harm humans. Rabies, a fatal neurological disease, is the most famous, though vaccines, mandated by law in most states, can stop the spread. In a few cases, dog food has been known to cause food poisoning in humans, thanks to contamination by Salmonella bacteria. Perhaps creepiest of all is a 2003 study published in The Veterinary Record, which found that humans could contract the parasitic roundworm Toxocara canis just by stroking an infected dogs’ fur. The roundworm, which grows in dogs’ intestines, can grow in the back of the eye in humans, causing blindness. They also sometimes take up residence in human livers and lungs.

Roundworm infections in humans are rare, and proper veterinary care can ensure that dogs stay worm-free. Still, British veterinarian and study co-author told New Scientist magazine in 2003, hygiene is important for dog owners. “Wash your hands before meals,” he told the magazine, “and especially after a good cuddle.”

Those puppy-dog eyes your dog gives you when you tell him off for knocking over the garbage can for the umpteenth time aren’t a sign of guilt, researchers say. He’s just responding to your different body language and voice. When dog owners thought their dogs had eaten a forbidden treat and reprimanded them, the pooches looked just as “guilty” regardless of whether or not they had actually eaten the treat. In fact, dogs who were wrongly accused of snack-snatching often looked guiltier than dogs who had really eaten the treat. Turns out those soulful eyes don’t reflect any soul-searching, after all.

Little Cat’s Story

Although some readers may find this upsetting I feel it will be beneficial for people to know about Little Cat’s story. Over the last four years Little Cat a beautiful male Bengal cat has stayed with us on many occasions with his friend Marble who is also a Bengal and Baby Bunny a Rabbit. We have had some great times with these two cats and rabbit and have grown fond of their individual personalities. Last year we even threw a birthday party for Little Cat… which he really enjoyed (See pictures on our Instagram page).

During the last year Little Cats owner had noticed that he was slowly losing weight but it didn’t cause too much concern as he was still eating well and didn’t seem unwell at all. On a few occasions Little Cat was taken to the vet for check-ups as they were due to relocate to New York in February 2014. His owner bought up her concerns about her beloved cat’s weight loss, she also commented that his breath was a little smelly and thought he may need his teeth cleaned… We now know it was an Ammonia smell not bad breath. Little cats vet didn’t carry out any diagnostic tests and told his owner that he was well.

As more time went on Little cat visited us again and the cattery staff noticed he was still underweight but we all thought that he was fine as he had recent veterinary checks and we were not made aware of any concerns when he arrived. During his most recent visit it was noted that he had lost even more weight. He still seemed fit and strong and always ate all of his food. However, on Friday evening Little Cat seemed off of his food, this was not normal and very strange for him! On Saturday morning he refused his food again and he seemed a little under the weather. We decided to take him straight to our vet as we were very worried about him. I explained to our vet that Little Cat had lost weight, especially over the last six months and he had smelly breath, I also explained that we knew him well and he was definitely not himself and was not interested in his food. Our vet looked very concerned and took him straight in for diagnostic tests and hospitalisation to give him IV fluids as he was becoming dehydrated. Within hours his blood results came back which showed that he was suffering from chronic kidney failure. Our vet explained that it was severe and he had probably been suffering with this condition for about 2 years… It was a massive shock for his owner to hear this, especially as she was abroad getting everything ready to receive them in the new family home in New York.

After a tense 24 hours of Little Cat being hospitalised his condition deteriorated rapidly and the very difficult decision was taken to put Little Cat to rest. It was a heart breaking moment for me to hear this horrible news and even harder for the cattery staff who had loved and cared for him over the last four years.

I would like to firstly say on behalf of my whole team, that Little Cat was such a beautiful natured cat and we hope he is now resting in peace. But I would also like to raise awareness for other pet owners. I dare say that if tests had been carried out sooner and preventative treatment given, we would probably still have Little Cat here with us now. If you ever feel that your pet is different in anyway, physically or not you must always push your vet to diagnose the problem as quickly as possible… don’t forget, you know your pet/s better than anyone.

Below is a Facebook message that was posted on our Facebook from Little Cat and also a picture taken of Little Cat at home in May 2013.

“Dear Elmtree, Tom, Katy, Angie and Staff
I want to thank you all from the bottom of my small heart for everything that you have done for me in the last 48hrs and in the past 3-4 years. I will miss you all VERY much. Whatever happens, that was my last stay with you and I will never forget the wonderful love, care and attention that you gave me, Marble and Baby Bunny. I still can’t believe you had a birthday party for me in November. I will never forget it.
Thank you enormously.
With MUCH LOVE to all, Little Cat”

Rest In Peace Little Cat

Rest In Peace Little Cat