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Lydenburg
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1120

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Making 2020 the best year ever for your pet

10 New Year's Resolutions for your Pet

As we enter a new year and a new decade, many of us make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. This a great time to reconsider one’s priorities and establish the foundation for better living habits. Why not do the same for our pets?

1. Make sure they are safe 

Depending on which part of the country you live, your surroundings may differ. These days in the big cities, most of us have high walls or fences around our properties. This is usually a great way of keeping unwanted intruders from coming into our personal spaces, but how does it affect our pets? Growing up behind large walls and being confined for most of their lives means that our pets are probably not street smart, at least not to the level of a few decades ago where most properties had no walls or fences around them. Many people these days have electronic gates controlled with remotes which allows one not to have to get out your car to physically open the gate when arriving home. Dogs are social creatures by nature and are also curious, which mean every time the gate opens, they are likely to be tempted to explore the outside and go and “take a sniff” on the pavement. If your dogs have been properly trained, they will likely respond to your calling them back into the property if they do run out. However, if they have not been properly trained, the likelihood of them running into the street and being hit by a car becomes a much bigger risk. Training can be high on your list of New Year’s resolutions for your dog, if you have not done so yet. If your dog is not properly trained yet, you will have to ensure there are means inside the property to prevent him or her from getting out the gate. This may take the form of physical barriers like a fence or alternatively may take the form of a correctional collar which the dog wears which emits a tiny electrical current any time the dog comes close to the motor gate, making them associate the vicinity of a motor gate with an unpleasant experience. This will prevent them from running out the gate.  



My little dog is coughing often and sometimes seems to struggle to breathe.

Tracheal collapse

What is tracheal collapse?

Tracheal collapse is a common cause of coughing and airway obstruction in dogs. The trachea, which is also known as the “windpipe”, provides the air supply from the outside to the lungs. The trachea can be thought of as resembling a vacuum cleaner pipe. It is a flexible but firm tube that is reinforced by strong cartilage rings. These rings are not complete but rather “c-shaped”, with the open end of the “c” facing to the inside of the neck with a ligament attaching from the one end of the C to the other. Sometimes these cartilage rings weaken and cannot hold their shape causing the trachea to narrow or even close, making it more difficult for air to pass through.



How that cute puppy came to cost you R 150 000

The true cost of owning a pet

We are approaching that time of year when people are considering what to gift people for Christmas and as is often the case, a cute puppy or kitten comes to mind. Many people do the noble thing of going to a shelter or a welfare organisation to adopt a puppy or kitten for a mere R 650. What they fail to realise is that that cute puppy or kitten is not just a R 650 worth purchase but more likely a R 65 000.00 one, or in some cases up to a R 150 000. How is that possible or what do you mean, you might ask?



My cat is eating like crazy and not picking up weight

Hyperthyroidism in cats

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that arises from an excessive production and secretion of active thyroid hormones by an abnormally functioning thyroid gland. First recognised in the late 1970’s, the frequency of diagnosis has escalated dramatically - currently it is the most common endocrine (hormone system) disease in cats and also one of the more frequently diagnosed disorders in the veterinary field. The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 300 cats.



My Dog is Pregnant

Midwifery 101 - What to expect when your dog is expecting

Is my dog pregnant?

In the days before high walls and fences in South Africa, it was quite common for dogs to roam around freely in cities and towns; and it was not uncommon to discover out of the blue, that your female dog at home may be pregnant without you knowing how she fell pregnant.

Having said that, in those days most people who had an un-spayed (unsterilized) bitch at home, would have known very well that she was “in season” or “on heat”, which is the time the female dog is ready to ovulate and mate, because the whole neighbourhoods’ male dogs would have been howling at the door for “a piece of the action”.



My Collie is bumping into things and seems to have difficulty with its eye sight

Collie Eye Anomaly

What is Collie eye anomaly?

Collie Eye Anomaly is an inherited condition affecting both eyes of many different Collie type breeds of dogs. Interesting to note, that not only Collie breeds are affected but also some other breeds. Affected breeds include Rough and Smooth Collies, the Shetland Sheepdog, the Australian Shepherd, the Border Collie, the Lancashire Heeler, and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. 



From Kitten to Cat

Kitten Behaviour

Tiny fuzz-balls of cuteness - the perfect description for every kitten. We cannot resist them creeping into our hearts. 

You have brought your new kitten home and realise it is dependent on you for its every need. For the kitten, the world is huge, brand new and can be a bit scary. Every sight, sound, smell, person and animal are a new experience. These first experiences are likely to influence their future behaviour.



My cat has suddenly gone lame in her hindquarters and seems to be in a lot of pain

Feline Aortic Thromboembolism

What is Feline Aortic Thromboembolism?

Feline Aortic Thromboembolism (ATE) is a condition in cats where a big blood clot settles and blocks the main artery (the aorta) running from the heart to the cat’s hind legs.  The clot typically settles near the pelvis, where the aorta divides into the two main arteries that extend into the legs.



My cat's eyes are swollen and teary

Conjunctivitis in Cats

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin semi-transparent mucous membrane lining the inside of the eyelids, covering the third eyelid. This membrane attaches to the globe of the eye at the level of the sclera (the white part of the eye). The back end of the word conjunctivitis (– itis) refers to inflammation which is a defense mechanism of the body and means swelling, redness, increased heat to the local area because of an increase in blood flow to the affected area, and pain or discomfort. Conjunctivitis is a very common condition affecting our household cats.



There is something wrong with my dog's eyes

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca - Dry eye

What is “dry eye?”

Keratocunjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or dry eye as it is commonly known, is a condition found in humans and animals where the eyes do not produce enough tears or moisture for the eyeballs to stay moist and shiny.

Which animals are prone to dry eye?

The condition is common in dogs and rare in cats. Cats who do suffer from the condition tend to show fewer symptoms of eye problems than dogs.  Certain dog breeds are predisposed which include Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, West Highland White Terriers, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus.



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