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Wednesday
Dec202017

Holiday Pet Tips Revisited. 

As the holiday season apporaches, i feel it necessary to share again my Pet Holiday Tips post a past blog post as all advice is still applicable.

 

 Since I work in a Veterinary Hospital and am a Licensed Veterinary TechnicianI thought it would be a good idea to share some safety tips for those animal lovers and pet owners out there for this upcoming holiday season. Please read through each of them carefully and feel free to post questions on anything! I love my job and love giving helpful advice to pet owners.

Below I will post a few Training tools (with some reviews) you can use to keep your pet away from some items you just can't keep out of their reach.

Everest with his favorite toy - RIP big buddy

 

Poisonous items to keep out of your pets reach:

  • Chocolate, especially bakers chocolate- While it's delicious for us humans, for animals it can cause serious problems- rapid heart rate, nausea, vomiting, hyperthermia, hyperactivity, seizures, coma and if enough is consumed, even death. However, don't panic if your 50# dog ate one Hershey's kiss, that small amount should not cause a problem, but if the same dog ate a giant bag of Hershey's kisses an trip to the veterinarian is required. Bakers chocolate has a higher concentration of theobromine (the toxic portion) and if your pet ingests any it should be seen at your vet right away.
  • Poinsettias - These pretty Christmas time plants are beautiful but they are toxic to animals (even humans! so no snacking on your pretty plant!). Keep these plants out of reach but if they are sneaky enough to grab a bite or two it can cause them some serious vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Holly, Misletoe, and Various Lilies - These plants are also poisonous to your pets. They can cause a variety of symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and heart problems. Lilies can actually cause kidney failure in cats so it's best to keep all of these out of reach or opt for the artificial kind.
  • Xylitol - You're probably scratching you head and saying "what the heck is that??" this is an artificial sweetener that can be found in almost anything that's sugar free. If ingested your pet should be seen by a vet right away, xylitol is rapid releasing and symptoms can occur within 30 minutes on ingestion. Those symptoms are: Vomiting, weakness, depression, seizure, coma, ataxia (uncoordinated movements- think drunken sailor), and liver failure.
  • Human foods/table scraps - While it's not just a holiday thing, people are generally more apt to offer pets their share of the leftovers during the holidays. Well just say no. Human food can cause your pet a lot of stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea (not something you want to spend your time cleaning up around this joyful season), and in some cases pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas with is really painful for your pet) So before you let Buster clean your plate why not take a trip to the pet store and buy him a can of wet food that is the same brand (and flavor-beef, chicken, etc) as his regular diet and mix in a tablespoon of that in his with his dry as a treat (warning- if your dog or cat is not used to a canned diet it can sometimes cause diarrhea or some unpleasant gas, this is also why I recommend the canned variety of his dry diet over a different brand. It's less likely to cause a problem) or you can just get him/her an extra special cat or dog friendly treat from the pet store.

 Pooka says "me? get into trouble?? never....."

Holiday Decoration Hazards:

  • Tinsel- I have noticed that tinsel is starting to get phased out in most stores, probably because it can be pretty messy (at least in my opinion) but it's still out there. This sparkly string can be pretty enticing to your cat when it shimmers in the holiday lighting and can make a fun toy to carry around and play with, but if your cat accidentaly ingests the tinsel it can cause serious problems to the G.I system (gastro-intestinal). It can quickly turn into an intestinal blockage, causing your wonderful cat to vomit,  have no appetite, and may lead to an exploratory surgery.
  • Your Christmas tree- Whether your tree is real or artificial you need to be sure it is anchored down and doesn't wobble everywhere. Some cats (and even dogs!) get brave and decided to climb your pretty tree causing not only your decorations to take a tumble but your tree as well. That tree could land on your precious pet and cause an injury. If you still string lights around your tree this can also become a hazard as well to climbing pets. I have heard stories of cat's becoming tangled and hanging themselves on the lights in trees :( (Also note-if you have a real tree, be mindful of the water and keep it fresh, your pet might find that to be a free watering hole and stagnant water breeds bacteria which can cause upset stomach and diarrhea)
  • Ornaments- In my home all breakable ornaments remain at the top of our Christmas tree. Our cats have never attempted to climb the tree before (one of them physically can't) but they do think ornaments are fun toys, so all of the plastic ones stay at the bottom that way if they decide to go nuts, bat at the tree, and the ornament falls off it won't shatter on the floor causing a hazard to their tiny paw pads and also saving my sanity (I have a lot of ornaments I love that are all glass). I highly suggest adopting the same rule.
  • Christmas Lights - Stringing these around the the house can be pretty but those cords can be a fun chew toy for kitty and puppy. Try and keep them out of site. See below for deterrents!

 

Even though Stubb Nubbs is an amputee, she is still quite the trouble maker. We have to be extra careful with her around the holidays.

 

Helpful training tools and reviews

click on the links below to go to the product page and purchase if needed!

Ssscat Can  -In my humble opinion this is the most humane and effective way of correcting your cat. I've tried the spray bottle thing, but when you are not home who's gonna be there to pull that trigger? and what if you cat just doesn't care about being sprayed with water? So I got one of these and it works like a charm. My cats were bothering my birds so I decided to give the Ssscat a shot. It's a motion sensor device that is attached to a can of compressed air, so when your cat walks by the sensor it goes off, shooting out a spray of compressed air. It solved my problem in no time. It does have batteries that will need to be changed regularly and the can of air does need to be replaced depending on how brave (or forgetful!) your cat may be, But I highly suggest this device especially if you have a cat who has an eye on your Christmas tree (or your counter tops, Santa's cookies are for Santa not your kitty!)

Bitter Apple Spray - This spray can be used to deter your chewers from certain items (ie: your Christmas lights, furniture, shoes etc) Spray it liberally over the items you wish for your pet not to chew on and let it do it's job. It is supposed to have a bitter taste which will tell most pets "Don't chew on me I am gross". I will warn you however that some pets are not deterred by this at all, some of them think it's a delicious topping for their shoe/bed post/etc. Most veterinarians have other no chew sprays, ointments, etc which have a stronger scent and taste that you can try if your pet enjoys Bitter Apple.(BONUS TIP- for those of you with roaming rabbits, bitter tasting sprays won't deter Bunny Foofoo from chewing your things, instead try a strong perfume or cologne and spray in on or around the area of the item you want them to leave alone. Rabbits are sensitive to smells and will be deterred by scent alone and perfumes do the trick!)

 

PetSafe Invisible Barrier  - Now I don't currently own one of these but I've had my eye on it for awhile now. I want to get one of these guys for my dogs. I have a problem with them getting into places they shouldn't, so I have been reading the reviews on this item and have heard great things about it. This is device comes with a disc (the barrier emitter) and a collar. The point is to put the disc in the area you wish the pet to stay away from and set the barrier (it can go from 2-12 ft in diameter), your pet then wears the collar, and when they come near the barrier zone the collar will first give off a warning beep and if they continue toward the zone they will get a static shock/vibration. From the many reviews I have read it is more like a static electricity shock than anything, so nothing that I think would be very painful for the pet, more like a little reminder. They also make an outdoor barrier which actually was the original product I was researching before I came across this one!(my dogs think it's fun to run through my garden). Also, a co-worker of mine uses this product on cat and it works great for her!

Invisible Fence - they have a similar product like the PetSafe barrier, but it is much more costly. It is however a good device and the company is amazing and very friendly,  but it is well out of my prince range right now. If you do decide to go with this product please note the barrier comes by itself, you must purchase the collar seperately.

 

I apologize for the lengthy post but I wanted to give you the most information possible. I firmly believe in client education.

 

Keep those precious pets safe this season! And remember you can always ask me any questions regarding you pet, I love to help out with advice! Just post a comment below or shoot me an email ricracheartattack@gmail.com.

Killian enjoys holiday snow and can't wait to romp in it again!

 

*I have been in no way contacted or paid by any of the products/companies listed above for reviews. I purchased the Ssscat and Bitter Apple Spray can on my own and the opinions listed above are my own personal opinions of the product. All of product reviews are based on my own personal research (or in some cases, hands on use) of each individual product.

 

Wednesday
Dec062017

The Struggle Bus

Yes, that one.

I am on it.

Once Fall is over, the days become short, and Mercury seems to be in it's never-ending retrograde, I am left in a funk.....and then Depression comes knocking, LOUDLY. Motivation seems to disappear and only shows up in very short spurts. It happens every year. I wish I knew how to combat it, but I have not found that secret recipe just yet.

My surgery is rapidly approaching and with all of that comes great anxiety. Not just about the procedure itself, but I still have Christmas to prepare for (even though my participation will be very minimal as I will be a mere 3 days post op) and I have yet to begin anything.

That struggle bus has hit me hard and is still dragging me along by the by the bumper.

I think I am going to take some time this weekend and return to habits I have not kept up with (ie: more self care, hitting that planner life hard, and making lists). I need to get off this ride and get on one that has an actual destination. Is there a fun bus? I need to know.

*Sigh*

Do any of you have any rituals to combat the winter blues? Share them below as I would love to hear them!

 

 

Saturday
Nov042017

Mental Notes - Personality Struggles

**DISCLAIMER**

These posts are little snippets from my own personal diary of sorts. Just random thoughts that have popped into my mind. As I write/type them down, they help me to move on and deal with my depression and anxiety. They might be short and sweet or lengthy. Take from them what you will. These posts are just meant to share a glimpse into my struggles in hopes it may help someone else cope with theirs.

 

I am finding out that a lot of people have zero idea who I am, or rather that assume they know who I am. I struggle to maintain myself. I suffer from anxiety, depression, odd health issues, etc. Rather than talk with me, people would rather talk about me. I suppose it's human nature but I am getting oh so very tired of it. I try my best to not assume things about other people and also try and keep my nose out of places where it doesn't belong. I have defended people who were not there to defend themselves, I have aided others in situations they needed help with, offered a shoulder to cry on, and ear to bend, and yet I still feel very alone. Make all of the assumptions you'd like, however if you won't approach me and speak with me then you will never know.

Sometimes I feel like throwing the towel in. Time and time again I feel shut out, isolated, guilty by association...and in a time like right now (when my therapy has been on hold for months, my stress and anxiety is at an all time high), I feel like it's just bottling up inside until I will burst into a million pieces and that will be the end of me.

Anxiety and Depression rears it's ugly head in so many ways.  It can make a person appear as if they are unapproachable, negative, unsociable, bitchy, rude, uncaring etc. Unless you know how a person suffers from these you will never know what it's really like. They simply cannot turn it off when they want, you can't control it, it just happens. None of these things may be true about that person at all. In fact, they might be a very warm, caring, kind-hearted person who is struggling but until you reach out to that person you'll never know and it's likely they will suffer in silence. 

Mental Health is something a lot of people struggle (or don't even care) to understand. It's still considered a dark mark in society, yet so many people live with it and you may never know it. So please next time you start to assume something just stop. Unless you have spent the time to talk to that person and understand them and their struggles, don't assume their personality. 

If you struggle to express yourself, feel misunderstood, need an ear to bend, need support, or just want to know more about how someone may struggle from anxiety and depression please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am here. <3

 

Tuesday
Oct312017

Witchy Babe

How many of your 90's kids watched the movie The Craft?

I suspect there should be a fair amount of you.

Ok, how many of you secretly wished you were Sarah, especially near the end of the film when the shop Lirio says to her "Sarah, you have a tremendous light inside you... more so than any witch I've ever known. You must not be afraid" "She's telling you to be strong. She was a witch too, of course. Didn't you know?", come on now, let's be real, you know you did.

Now yes, Nancy had a bitching style, but not everyone wants to be a dark witch. Ya'll know you wanted Nancy's style and Sarah's power. Let's be real. I'll admit I wanted to same thing.

 

 

Nevertheless this movie is a 90's classic and one I watch nearly every year around Halloween. It always brings me back to my teens when I was an awkward young girl interested in witchcraft, spirits, and such. Every now and again I dabble back into the subject, reading a little bit here and there (got any book recommendations?). It has always fascinated me. I wish I could locate the books I purchased as a teen. They got lost in the scuffle of my moves and I have not been able to locate them. I'd love to thumb through the pages and get back inside that insecure teens head once more and see how the books look to me now, as an adult.

For now I will resurrect my witchy vibe in the tune of style. Something I've wanted to focus on for awhile now. I seem to have lost my own personal style for awhile now (along with my artistic side) and it's time to revive it. So be prepared to see a lot more black in my wardrobe (can I get more black in there?? probably).

For now I suggest popping that flick in and giving it a watch. It is Halloween after all.

 

Have a bewitching evening everyone!!

Monday
Oct232017

Mental Notes

**DISCLAIMER**

These posts are little snippets from my own personal diary of sorts. Just random thoughts that have popped into my mind. As I write/type them down, they help me to move on and deal with my depression and anxiety. They might be short and sweet or lengthy. Take from them what you will. These posts are just meant to share a glimpse into my struggles in hopes it may help someone else cope with theirs.


Sorry. You know that text you send me? Well yea I saw it but I didn’t reply. My bad. I just can’t. It’s not about you, it’s me. My anxiety is keeping me from it. Seriously. I cannot make this up. It doesn’t matter how often we talk, you just might reach out to me when my anxiety is at it’s peak. When that happens don’t be offended if I don’t answer. It will pass and I will get to you, I am sorry. Same goes for that event I said I would go to and then did show up for. Same deal.

Anxiety is a bitch and that bitch takes a hold of me and whispers weird shit into my ear. “It will be weird, you will be weird, just stay home”, “You don’t have anything to say”, “ Nope. Just don’t”. Those are all things I feel. Those are things my brain tells me, and sometimes I am just too mentally exhausted to respond or socialize. I am sure some of you can relate. So please don’t be offended, hurt, or angry. I promise I will get back to you. Wait for it to pass, it will. And remember, it has nothing to do with you, but everything with me. I am working on it. Trust me.