Category Archives: Pet Health

Lyme Disease Concern Among Pet Parents Nationwide

New Study Reveals High Level of Lyme Disease Concern Among Pet Parents

Lyme Disease Concern Among Pet Parents Nationwide

NEW YORK, NY– PetCareRx is announcing the results of its first Spring Tickitude Survey, revealing how pet parents across the country feel about the threat of ticks as well as their lifestyle choices around tick prevention and protection. With over 400 pet parents polled nationwide, the survey reveals that 4 out of 5 pet households are concerned about tick related threats this season, and the pending threat of Lyme disease is top of mind in 64% of pet households around the country.

Tickitude results indicate Lyme disease concern levels vary significantly by region, ranging from a high of 82% of Northeast pet households concerned down to just 33% concerned in Western pet households surveyed. 70% of Midwestern and 60% of Southern pet parents polled are worried about the Lyme disease threat for their pets and human family members. Lyme disease is named after Lyme, Connecticut, where the disease was first discovered, but every state has reported cases of Lyme disease, which is transmitted by deer ticks.

Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks can feed on more than one pet or move from pet to human and infect multiple members of a single household in a short amount of time. Despite elevated Lyme concern levels this season, 2 out of 3 pet households admitted their dogs and cats often spend time on family member beds, a habit which can help ticks travel to other family members. Moreover, families with a history of pet Lyme disease in the household were more likely to have pets in their beds often (85% vs. 64% average). 46% of pet parents reported having had to deal with ticks on their pets, a situation which can be stressful for many. In fact, the survey revealed that 8% of pet parents would rather eat a bowl of their pet’s food than remove a tick from their pet.

Protection Against Lyme Disease Is Available
There are many ways to prevent ticks from attaching to cats and dogs. Topical treatments, also known as spot ons, are the most popular option among those polled, with 85% of pet parents who use tick protection favoring this monthly format and just 3% opting for a collar. 72% said effectiveness was the most important consideration in choosing a flea and tick protection while only 20% said cost was the most important factor.

In addition to fielding the first Tickitude study, PetCareRx is supporting awareness of Lyme disease risks and prevention through its special coverage in Lyme disease articles and Wet Nose Press blog and distribution of pet flea and tick prevention products available in the PetCareRx Flea and Tick Shop.

What You Need to Know about Declawing Cats

What You Need to Know about Declawing Cats

People seek to declaw their cat without really know what the procedure entails. Below you will find information that you need to know before declawing your cat.

About Cat’s Claws
Cats’ claws are a vital part of their arsenal for both offense and defense. They use them to capture prey and to settle disputes among themselves as well as with other animals and people who are hurting, threatening or annoying them. In addition, a cat who is attempting to climb to safety uses her claws to grip a surface and hold on.

As part of their daily rituals, cats instinctually pull the claws on their front paws through surfaces that offer resistance. Explanations for this behavior include that they are marking territory, exercising muscles normally used in hunting, relieving stress and removing worn sheaths from their nails. Cats who live outdoors favor logs and tree trunks for this purpose, but indoor cats frequently choose upholstered furniture and carpets to scratch, causing a great deal of damage to household furnishings and to their relationships with their guardians.

Why People Consider Declawing Cats
People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless “quick fix” for unwanted scratching. They don’t realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite.

What is Declawing?
Declawing is a common misconception where people think that it is a simple surgery that removes a cat’s nail. However, this is not the case.

Declawing, or onchyectomy, is the amputation of the last digital bone, including the nail bed and claw, on each front toe. If the surgery is performed correctly and the entire nail bed is removed, the claw cannot regrow, and the procedure is considered a permanent solution.

After Effects
The surgery involves the risk of anesthetization, excessive bleeding and postoperative complications, including infection, and is accompanied by severe pain that may last from several days to much longer unless appropriate analgesia is provided. Post-operative care and the length of time the cat must remain in the veterinary hospital depend on how the surgical procedure is performed and the skill of the surgical team.

Cats will develop behavioral issues including biting and urinating or defecating in unwanted areas outside of the litter box. Declawed cats with these behaviors are more likely to go to the pound, where an estimated 70% will be euthanized (killed). The pain of declawing sometimes causes cats to be reluctant to walk or play, and as a result, owners sometimes neglect them or mistreat them.

Humane Alternatives to Declawing
If you are worried about cats scratching your furniture, you can simply train kittens to use a scratching post and allow nail trims. The ideal time to do this is when the cats are about 8 weeks old.

Regular nail trimming should help prevent damage to furniture. The cat’s claws are clear, so it is easy to avoid accidentally trimming too deep and getting the quick. Click here to see the guide to trimming a cat’s nails.

Nail caps called Soft Paws® or Soft Claws® can be glued painlessly to a cat’s claws to prevent damage due to scratching. These items can be purchased at pet supply stores or through your veterinarian.

Double-sided Sticky tape like Sticky Paws® can be applied to furniture help deter a cat from scratching that surface. When the cat goes to scratch there, the tape feels funny to their paws and they learn not to use that surface anymore.

Resources:
ASPCA – Position Statement on Declawing Cats
Humane Society – Declawing Cats: Far Worse Than a Manicure
The Paw Project