Friday, October 17, 2014

Dogs and Ebola Virus

As I write this, Teresa Romero Ramos, a nurse assistant in Spain, is battling for her life against Ebola virus disease. Despite local protests and objections voiced via a global social media campaign, a court order mandated that Teresa’s elderly, but overtly healthy dog named Excalibur be euthanized. His remains were “put into a sealed biosecurity device and transferred for incineration to an authorized disposal facility…” Click the following link to read the rest of the "SPOT SPEAKS" article written by Dr. Nancy Kay DVM, who addresses present concerns about pets and Ebola virus.

You'll also learn how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently working with the American Veterinary Medical Association to provide information for veterinarians pertaining to pets and Ebola.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Abdominal Injuries in Dogs and Cats...Emergency At Home Care


What to do if the organs are showing and the “secret” household item you should have on hand that could save your pet. 

Abdominal Wounds are common pet emergencies. Frequently small dogs and cats with severe abdominal wounds receive them following an attack by a large dog. In many cases, if a pet owner had been aware of what to do, they could have saved their dog or cat’s life.

What to do if your pet ever has a serious abdominal injury...


The abdomen (belly) holds most of the important internal organs. It is protected by 3 layers of muscle, plus the fat and skin, but is vulnerable to injury. A small dog or cat can easily have his entire abdomen punctured by a large dog bite. The only thing visible to you may be small punctures on the surface of the skin.

These are the most important signs which signal immediate veterinary care:
  • Shock
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Evidence of injury (i.e. bruising, swelling, local pain)
  • Blood in the urine if the bladder or kidneys are injured
  • Blood in the stool or around the anus if the large bowel has been injured Abnormal swelling may indicate a hernia particularly in the groin or flanks
  • Protrusion of intestines if the abdominal wall has been torn


A bite, car accident or foreign object has penetrated the abdomen (belly). Other
common ways include falling and large animal kicks.


CALL THE VET RIGHT AWAY. Serious abdominal injuries need to be treated by a veterinarian.


A pet in shock will act weak or sleepy. The most common sign I see are pale gums and tongue- in some dogs and cats the eyelids droop. Severe shock can result in death in as little as 15 minutes. If you suspect this, then transport to the emergency vet right away. Wrap your pet in a blanket to keep him warm, and put a few drops of honey on his gum’s, give the animal Bach Rescue Remedy and drive immediately.


In bleeding wounds, you want to apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or gauze pad. If the blood seeps through, re-apply a second cloth- removing it can break up a forming clot.


This is advised to do so long as the wound only appears superficial and doesn’t penetrate into the abdomen. Use clippers or blunt scissors. I always advise to first fill the wound with K-Y jelly to keep the hair from adhering to the wound.


I find that it is easiest to use warm running water. The best thing is using a handheld showerhead. After gently spraying, use a damp cloth soaked with antiseptic solution (chlorhexidine) and gently wipe around the wound. If you are treating the wound at home, then perform this hydrotherapy twice daily for 3-5 days.


This seldom happens, but if it does you need to know what to do.


First rinse the organs with saline solution- if you don’t have this lukewarm tap water is fine. This cleans the organs and keeps the tissue moist and healthy.


These can be gently pushed back into the abdominal cavity after being rinsed. First soak gauze pads or a cloth in either sterile saline solution or lukewarm tap water. DON’T use your bare hands. Apply firm pressure and place the organs through the hole or tear in the abdomen. If you can’t get them to go in easily, then leave them on the moist towel. WRAP the abdominal cavity and the organs with a belly band. This is easiest with plastic wrap (Saran Wrap - the secret household item we mentioned above). It just needs to be tight enough to hold everything in place till you can get to the vet or emergency clinic.

I have been educating pet owners on how to care for their pet’s at home for years by using the natural remedies and treatments found on Pet Remedy Charts, and homeopathic treatments from the book, Fast Forward to the Cure, Veterinary Homeopathy for dogs, cats, horses, birds, pet rats and backyard chickens. It’s not complicated; it’s easy when you follow the simple step by step instructions.

How to Perform CPR on Dogs and Cats



You find your pet lying on their side not moving or breathing. Your pet suddenly drops to the ground after running.


This is every pet owner’s worse nightmare, but fortunately it seldom happens. Most dogs and cats which suffer heart attacks have an underlying heart problem. This can happen with a sudden blow to the chest, hyperthermia, hypothermia, drowning, car accidents and some poisons.


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

CALL YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY. CPR usually isn’t very successful without veterinary care.
CHECK RESPONSIVENESS. Often a pulse is hard to obtain, so check to see if your pet responds to external stimuli.


1. Assess responsiveness
2. Establish a patent airway
3. Perform rescue breathing
4. Cardiac massage - establishing circulation



The first step is making sure that your pet is truly unresponsive.

1. CHECK his breathing by placing your hand in front of his mouth and nose.

2. CHECK for his heartbeat by placing your ear against the left side of his chest. This is the area where his left elbow touches his chest, immediately behind his left armpit.


Put your ear on the left side of your pet’s chest directly behind their armpit and listen for the heart. You can also feel for a pulse, although this is often difficult to do in a healthy dog or cat. Press your fingers into the inside of the back leg ( the thigh and groin) to palpate the femoral artery.

Check the palpebral (relating to the eyelids) reflex by touching the inside corner of his eyelid. He should then blink.

Check the menace (threatening) reflex by quickly moving your hand towards his eye- it should cause a blink.

Pinch the toes, or the webbing between the toes. He should pull his foot back or at least twitch or move his eyes in response to the pinch.

NO RESPONSE, BUT BREATHING. No response likely means that he is unconscious. If you can see breathing, then he is likely in shock. Wrap him in a warm blanket, Put a few drops of honey on his gums, and give BACH RESCUE REMEDY every few minutes, while you get to the Vet or emergency clinic ASAP.



The second step in CPR is obtaining an open airway.

1. PULL the tongue out of your pet’s mouth, but be careful to not get bitten. If you can't get a good hold on the tongue use a piece of gauze or paper towel.

2. STRAIGHTEN the neck by moving the head to be in line with the neck.
DO NOT HYPEREXTEND (forcefully stretch out, beyond its normal limits) IN CASES OF NECK TRAUMA.

3. PERFORM two rescue breaths, by closing the mouth and performing mouth to nose ventilations. IF they continue, then proceed to STEP 3, BREATHING (below). If there are no breaths, then look into the mouth.

4. VISIBLY inspect the mouth and look down the throat for a foreign body. If you see something, reach into the airway and remove it.

5. IF the airway is still not open, attempt THE HEIMLICH MANEUVER (shown in following steps).

6. TURN your pet upside down, with back against your chest.

7. WITH both arms, give sharp thrusts to the abdomen.

8. AFTER 5 thrusts, stop and check to see if the object is visible in the airway. If so remove it and give 2 mouth-to-nose rescue breaths. If the breaths do not go in, repeat the HEIMLICH MANEUVER.



After achieving a patent airway, perform RESCUE BREATHING.

1. CLOSE your pet’s mouth and breathe directly into his nose until his chest expands. If the chest doesn’t expand then go back to STEP 2 – AIRWAY.

2. VENTILATE at 15 breaths per minute. One BREATH every 4 seconds.




1. ENSURE there are no major points of bleeding. Control as necessary.

2. GENTLY lay your pet on his right side.

3. LOCATE the heart, which is found on the lower half of the chest on the left side, behind the elbow of the front left leg. Place one hand below the heart to support the chest; place the other hand over the heart.

4. COMPRESS the chest 5 times followed by 1 rescue breaths. The goal is to give 80 to 100 compressions and 15 to 20 breaths per minute. Compress the chest 1⁄2 inch for small pets and 1 1⁄2 inches for large pets.

5. EVERY 5 times follow up with 1 rescue breath.
You will have to exert a lot of force with large dogs, but don’t worry about breaking ribs, ribs heal.

After every minute, stop and check for a pulse or breathing.

Continue heart massage compressions and the rescue breathing until you hear a heart beat and feel regular breathing. ONCE your pet is breathing and his heart is beating, CALL your veterinarian immediately!

ACUPUNCTURE (Resuscitation Point)

There is an acupuncture point that will stimulate breathing and help revive an animal from unconsciousness or apparent death. Stick a pin in the middle of the slit of your pet’s upper lip below the nose (midway between the nose and upper lip). If you don’t have a pin, use a knitting needle, the tip of a non-retracted ball point pen, a chopstick or the tip of your fingernail, etc.


After any pet has had a heart attack, the most important thing in preventing it is determining why. Your Veterinarian can ultrasound and X-ray the heart to see if underlying heart disease was the problem.

Will you ever need to know CPR?

Probably Not.

But what if you did?

Do You know what to do?

Practice CPR on your pet BEFORE you need it.

For more information on home treatments using herbs, homeopathy, flower remedies and acupressure for dogs, cats, horses, birds, pet rats and backyard chickens visit, Pet Remedy Charts.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Homemade Kitty Litter

Make your own non-toxic, clumping, cat litter at a fraction of the cost.

Commercial perfumed cat litters are composed of chemicals that are toxic to animals and the environment and should be avoided. Most commercially sold clumping litters can block the bladder, kidneys and cause other health problems for the internal organs of grown cats and kittens. They don't even have to directly eat it to receive the toxins, because while grooming and licking themselves as part of their hygiene ritual, including between every toe to remove those little clumps of kitty litter, overtime this can cause a toxic amount of litter to get into their systems via the oral route. The clumping, dehydrating action of the litter is extremely bad for their health, and can cause illness or even death. Additionally, standard cat litters aren't biodegradable, so they end up producing more toxic waste for our landfills.

As handy as it is to scoop your kitty's urine cleanly away in a perfumed single clump, it's not worth  risking their health merely for convenience. No matter how extravagant or frugal you are, you still want something that works and something that won't harm your cat.

The Alternatives
There are many commercial varieties of 'healthy' kitty litter on the market, with of course a higher price range for the safer products. For example, natural wheat litters are safe and they have good clumping ability. However, the cost is around $16.00 for a ten pound bag.

Homemade Cat Litter

Store bought wheat kitty litter is expensive and literally just a bag of coarsely ground wheat. No mysterious, supernatural ingredients and not even organic. This expensive litter can easily be made at home for a fraction of the cost. Bulk whole wheat, available from health food stores, makes a safe and simple, sustainable cat litter.


You can use a grain grinder on a coarse setting, or simply blend some wheat berries until it's the consistency you want. The finer you grind the wheat, the better it clumps, but don't grind it as fine as flour because then it would be too dusty to have around. It doesn't need to be exact, just try for a coarse, grainier type consistency.

Also, even though you won't be eating it, we still recommend you buy organic wheat! Why go organic? Organic foods are grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Organic grains are not genetically modified. Organic wheat is grown in soil that is nurtured, not treated... which means top soil, groundwater, rivers, lakes, streams, watersheds, fish & wildlife, and people are not compromised. Also because it's important to support sustainable farming practices whenever you can, and this is a very affordable way to go about doing it. I recommend buying organic animal-grade wheat, (animal-grade means it hasn't been cleaned to the standards we expect for human consumption) most feed stores carry it in bulk. It will cost you about $14.25 for 50 pounds: this is less than 1/5 the cost of store-bought wheat cat litter! Any wheat berries will do, they are also available in bulk at your local natural food store. It's so easy to make, that when the litter pan is low, simply grind some wheat berries and toss it in.

Used homemade kitty litter can be composted or tossed in with your green waste pickup. It can also safely be buried several inches below the ground. Your plants will love it.

If your cat spends most of his time outdoors, you'll only need to remove waste from the litter pan once or twice a week. If you have an indoor cat you would probably need to do it daily.

For more pet health care solutions visit Pet Remedy Charts for Cats.

Safety Precautions

Precautions for Pregnant Women Worried About Toxoplasmosis. If you are pregnant, don't handle or accidentally breath the dust from any kind of cat litter or garden with compost made from cat litter. Cat feces can contain a parasite called toxoplasma gondii. Wear gloves when you garden (even if you don’t have a cat), in case the soil is contaminated with cat feces from neighborhood cats. Toxoplasmosis can pass to and damage your unborn baby (mother-to-child transmission). The infection can also cause a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Fortunately, cats infected with toxoplasmosis shed the organism in their feces for only a short period of time. This means that most cat feces shed by pet cats that are housed indoors are not infected with the Toxoplasma parasite and the cat litter is not a real threat to a pregnant woman.

Still, taking precautions to avoid exposure to potential toxoplasmosis in the cat litter is a good idea for any pregnant woman.
  • If possible, a pregnant woman should not change the cat litter box and should avoid contact with cat feces. Ideally, another household member should change the cat litter box.
  • If a pregnant woman does find it necessary to change a cat litter box, she should wear gloves when doing so and wash her hands thoroughly afterward.
  • The cat litter box should be cleaned on a daily basis. Toxoplasmosis cysts in the litter box require 48 hours to become infective.
  • Pregnant women should wear gloves when gardening or working in soil or sand, as it may have been used by neighborhood cats and contain cat feces.
  • Pregnant women should also avoid handling or ingesting raw meat. Wearing gloves while preparing meat and washing hands thoroughly after preparation can also help avoid infection.
  • Any foodstuffs from the garden (fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc.) should be washed thoroughly before ingestion.
  • Do not feed the cat raw meat during your pregnancy. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

How to Make a Mosquito Trap, a Natural Mosquito Repellent and a Remedy for Itchy Mosquito Bites

Do mosquito traps really work...Yes. Is there a safe non-poisonous mosquito repellent for people and pets...Yes.

This is fun and super easy to do. Get the kids involved and make a family project out of it.

Items needed:
1 cup of very hot water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast (like Red Star or Fleischmenn's used for bread baking)
1 empty 2-liter plastic bottle

1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.

2. Mix and dissolve the brown sugar in the 1 cup of hot water. Let cool to room temperature. When cooled, pour the solution in the bottom half of the plastic bottle.

3. Add the yeast. No need to mix or stir, just sprinkle it on top of the liquid. The yeast will create carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes *.

4. Place the funnel part (the bottle top), upside down, into the other half of the bottle, then push them together.

5. Wrap the bottle with something black (I use black poster paper), leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are attracted and drawn to the color black.) I put my mosquito traps in plant baskets and hang them at the far end of the patio and in the trees in the yard.

Tip: You will need to make a new batch of the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.  

Bonus...This trap will work for hornets and wasps too!

* Any type of carbon dioxide is attractive to a mosquito, even over a long distance, Larger people and cigarette smokers tend to give off more carbon dioxide. Pregnant women are also at increased risk, as they produce a greater-than-normal amount of exhaled carbon dioxide. Panting dogs also give off more carbon dioxite. Movement and heat always attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes sense your movement and head toward you or your pet. When you or your dog pants from exertion, the smell of carbon dioxide from heavy breathing draws them closer. So does the lactic acid from your sweat glands. And then -- gotcha. A mosquito can smell his next meal up to 164 feet away! 


Do you have bad reactions to mosquito bites? Try taking the homeopathic remedy, Staphysagria 30C orally once a week. It is reputed to prevent the bites of mosquito's in those who are extremely susceptible to them. It actually repels mosquito's, even in Africa and the Dominican Republic.
Staphysagria can be so effective in repelling mosquitoes and preventing bites that it is often taken on vacations to third world countries because of the concern about Malaria. There are no side effects and it can be taken by adults, or given to children or pets (such as unprotected dogs visiting in areas where heartworm is endemic).


Preparing the Remedy: Put two pillules (small balls) of Staphysagria 30C in a clean bottle containing 8 oz. of distilled or Reverse Osmosis purified water (AquaFina is a good brand) then add 1 teaspoon of unflavored brandy or vodka to preserve it. Put the cap back on the bottle and store it in the refrigerator. If you would rather not use alcohol as a preservative you can add 2 Tablespoons of 'food grade' glycerin instead.

Example of How to Dose: Succuss the prepared remedy bottle once before each dose and take or give one teaspoon weekly. Succuss means to strike the bottom of the bottle on a hard padded surface (like a phone book or a padded counter top). You will need to do this prior to each time you take or give the remedy. The dosage amount (1 teaspoon) is the same for adults, children or any size dog.

Giving the remedy to dogs: If your dog is not on conventional heartworm medication and is unprotected, this is not a preventative but may help temporarily to ward off biting mosquito's and the transmission of heartworm, if you are temporarily visiting an area that is having the problem. The dosing procedure is the same as for people. Give the remedy at least 20 minutes apart from a meal. However, if need be the dose can be mixed with a small amount of cream or unflavored yogurt, to help you more easily administer the homeopathic medicine to your dog.
Homeopathic Remedy for Mosquito Bites
In case you do get bit, and are uncomfortable take 2 pillules of Ledum 30c, when needed. It can give instant relief to most human sufferers from allergic reactions to mosquito bites. Put the dry pillules (small balls) in your mouth and let them dissolve in your saliva before you swallow.

Storage and Handling: Keep homeopathic remedies out of sunlight in a cool dark place. Do not store near perfumes, aromatic spices, computers, T.V. or microwave ovens. If you are an avid (more than 1 or 2 cups a day) coffee drinker this remedy may not work for you. Caffeine has the potential to antidote or negate the positive effects of homeopathic medicines. Do not touch the remedy pills with your fingers, instead tip them into the cap and transfer them from the cap. If you do accidentally touch the remedy or drop it, throw it away and start over.

When taking or giving a remedy it is best to take the dose into a clean mouth. This means 20 to 30 minutes apart from food, drinks (other than water) or brushing your teeth.

Where to find the remedies: Staphysagria 30c or Ledum 30c can be purchased online. The following link to Pure Formulas sells Boiron brand homeopathics at a very low price with free shipping. You may also be able to find the remedies at your local health food store.

For more natural healing tips for dogs visit, Pet Remedy Charts.