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June 17, 2011

Pain Management for Pets -- Tramodol for Dogs and Cats

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Here at Super Cool Pets headquarters, one of the staff Golden Retrievers has been showing tell-tale signs of pain and suffering--not getting up off the floor to greet other staff members as they come through the door and walking slowly and stiffly. Not even bothering to charge out the back door upon notification of "squirrel" was the last straw.

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The go-to med for pain relief for dogs is generally Rimadyl which many pet owners are familiar with. Trouble is, Rimadyl is not compatible with prednisone therapy, which this particular Golden Retriever is already on for treatment of masticatory muscle myositis (MMM), an inflammatory disease in dogs affecting the muscles of mastication. What to do?

Pets on prednisone therapy who also need pain relief--post-surgery or for chronic conditions such as arthritis, cancer or hip dysplasia--can take Tramadol, available through prescription from a vet, who can sell the pills or write a script to order through a reputable online site. Tramadol is most commonly used in dogs for moderate to moderately severe pain, and may be used in cats.

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June 15, 2011

Deadly Bloat -- "Mother of All Emergencies" for Dogs

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Bloat is a very real health concern for more than two dozen breeds of dogs (to see if your dog is vulnerable check this USA Today chart). The brother and father of a Super Cool Pets staff member have both lost dogs to bloat--a Gordon Setter at age 10 and a Poodle who had repeated bouts ages 5 to 6.

Based on our experiences, this article in USA Today is spot on regarding this dreaded affliction. "At 6 p.m., the dog is perfectly happy and healthy. At 8, he's dead, killed by his own body."

Causes. Generally the victims are deep-chested large dogs over 90 lbs who guzzle their food.(Is there a dog alive who doesn't *guzzle* food?) Gas or food then stretches the stomach to well beyond its normal size. The stomach is "pinched off" on both sides placing the poor animal in enormous pain. In 75% of cases, the stomach rotates, twisting off its own blood supply and blocking the route through which the rapidly accumulating gas could leave.

Signs. "The earliest signs of bloat are repeated unsuccessful efforts to vomit, restlessness and pacing, and increasing anxiety as the dog is unable to get relief from the excruciating pain. The abdomen is often swollen and drum-like; the dog usually drools in panic because it can't belch or vomit the mounting pressure away."

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Prevention. The article suggests that using elevated dog bowls may contribute to the risk of bloat and to avoid feeding dry food that contains citric acid as a preservative, although the jury is still out on those. Some recommend an Omega Paw Portion Pacer Ball or the Brake-Fast Bowl.

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June 10, 2011

PETCO Dog Flotation Vest -- Keep Your Swimmer Safe and Sound

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Any time your pooch is out on deep water away from shore, whether ocean, river or lake, a flotation vest is a must. Dogs are good swimmers, but exhaust quickly, especially in rough waters.

Visibility is a serious issue as well--dogs are notoriously hard to spot in choppy, murky water. This affordable PETCO Dog Flotation Vest comes in neon pink or yellow with reflective strips to make sure you or anyone else, including speeding boaters, can see your dog in the water.

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This vest secures easily with wide velcro closures and the snap of locking plastic buckles. The safety grab handle on the back enables you to get a good hold on your dog on land or in the water and help pull your dog out of the water as needed.

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June 9, 2011

Streamlined Cat Allergy Vaccine on the Horizon -- Short and Sweet

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It's not news that many cat lovers are allergic to the object of their affection and are also allergic to pollen and dust. LA Times explains why:

Most people who sneeze around cats are allergic to one particular protein, Fel d 1. Ragweed pollen also has one main allergy-causing protein, called Amb a 1, which breaks down sugars. Dust mites, by contrast, have a dozen or more proteins that can cause trouble.

Scientists think cats might use Fel d 1 as a pheromone to attract mates. It's sticky stuff that attaches to the cat's dander, which then floats in the air and gets, well, everywhere.

The problem doesn't affect just those who live with a feline. People who regularly visit other people's homes, such as police officers, can't avoid it. The dander sticks to cat owners and infiltrates offices and other public places.

In addition, cat allergy seems to be a sort of "gateway" allergy. Kids bothered by cats often go on to develop asthma or even more allergies.

Current allergy therapy requires injections as frequently as three times a week for up to seven months, with continued monthly shots for five years or more. These allergy shots are expensive, not always safe and tediously slow.

Mark Larché, an immunologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, is developing a vaccine to target cat allergy, which afflicts around 10% of the U.S. population and one for ragweed as well. Instead of months and years of regular shots, he plans a four-month schedule of one shot a month with a booster perhaps if needed. In the meantime, allergy medicine will have to suffice.

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May 20, 2011

Need Drugs? How to Save on Prescription Pet Meds

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Drugs are expensive in the US, whether for humans or pets. It's no secret there is a ginormous mark-up on pharmaceuticals, by the manufacturers themselves and the veterinarians who sell them.

If you are feeling pinched financially or just want to get the best price you can, a better deal on prescription pet drugs likely is awaiting you online. Legitimate retailers with VetVIPPS certification such as PetCareRx and 1-800-PetMeds offer mark-downs and deals on free shipping. Wherever you may go, just look for this seal of approval:
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Depending upon your state, your veterinarian may be required under state law or regulation to write prescriptions upon client request (click linkto check). With prescription in hand, you can then fax it in to a reputable online retailer. Or, your vet may be willing to price match the online site in order to keep your good will and business, as our local Super Cool Pets vet does.

For an expert and thorough discussion of this topic read Patty Kuhly VMD, MBA | Pricey Pet Prescriptions: How to Get Your Vet to Help You Get the Best Deals on Drugs | PetMD and save some money the next time you need to fill a prescription for your pet.

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April 26, 2011

Petmate Cat Infinity Elite

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Keep your cat healthy and safe with fresh clean drinking water. This Petmate® Cat Infinity Eliteicon uses advanced filtration to remove impurities and odors from your water. Its UV Germicidal Light destroys harmful bacteria and viruses. The unit comes with a plunger cap to reduce spillage.

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April 22, 2011

PetScoop: Study Shows ProMeris Flea and Tick Unsafe for Your Pet and Taken Off the Market

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A recent study has demonstrated that Pfizer's flea and tick preventative ProMeris may be unsafe for your pet. In rare cases, ProMeris has been linked to an autoimmune disease Pemphigus foliaceus, or PF, which presents as lesions on the face, nasal planum and ears along with lethargy, fever, pain, anorexia, lameness.

These side effects are serious, so if your pet takes ProMeris, please call your veterinarian. Click the link to read the article for more information and check out a safe new flea and tick product for your pet.

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April 5, 2011

New! Nutro Natural Choice Grain-Free Adult Dry Dog Food

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Some of our dogs have a sensitivity to grain. Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food provides a balanced diet with no wheat, rice, corn or other grains. New Zealand venison is the single animal protein source to further minimize digestive issues, along with sunflower oil to help improve skin & coat. The recipe contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or sweeteners

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March 19, 2011

Weather Disasters -- Are You and Your Pets Prepared?

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If a major disaster befalls your area, it likely will be several days at minimum before vital services are restored. In the recent Japanese earthquake many tsunami victims were trapped in traffic jams trying to evacuate. Roads not only become parking lots as people evacuate prior to the event, they often are impassable afterward -- damaged, blocked by live wires and fallen trees, or dangerously chaotic with no working traffic signals.

Central water can be polluted, electricity knocked out, phone lines downed and cell phone service overwhelmed. When the supply trucks can't make it in, food and gas shortages arise and the ports can even be closed. Curfews are imposed. Flooding creates life-threatening sanitation issues. Also remember the disaster happened to your local emergency crews as well.

We have gone through this nightmare several times after hurricanes--mild compared to Haiti or Japan--and the first time were not as well-prepared as we might have been. www.72hours.org is a San-Francisco based web-site that will help you to prepare yourself, as well as any pets, elderly, and children in your house, for an emergency. You can also learn what to do in response to a specific disaster, like a tsunami, earthquake, terror attack, evacuation, contagious disease and more.

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February 23, 2011

Amazon Hot New Pet Book Release -- What's Wrong with My Dog: A Pet Owner's Guide to 150 Symptoms and What to Do About Them

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Sometimes our pets just don't seem right, but we're not sure if a visit to the vet is warranted. What's Wrong with My Dog: A Pet Owner's Guide to 150 Symptoms and What to Do About Them by Boston-area veterinarian Jake Tedaldi, D.V.M. can help clarify the situation. Dr. Tedaldi's mobile veterinary practice takes him on house calls throughout the greater Boston area -- what a great guy!

This is a fabulous first aid guidebook that's easy to follow and use, covering more than 150 symptoms, from behavioral problems to physical ailments. For each symptom, you'll know What to Look For, What to Do and When to Get to the Vet with informative graphics and explanatory text, as exemplified below (click graphic to enlarge).

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