Smoke Alarms and Pet Sitting by Ann Wesley

Here’s a new blog article from Ann Wesley from Bloomington Pet Pals.cassie

I recently visited a dog I was pet sitting for and walked in to the house early in the morning to find she had soiled the house in multiple places. This shocked me because the dog had never eliminated in the house before and had completely relieved herself at bedtime the night before.

It only took a minute to figure out the problem. The smoke alarms were chirping. And Cassie was terrified.

Given the amount of waste in the house, I suspect the alarms had been chirping for hours. Cassie was panting and pacing and clearly traumatized. She had torn some curtains trying to get out of the house. The first thing I did was put her out in the fenced yard. But after removing the battery of the alarm I thought was chirping, the noise continued.

After a few phone calls, I learned that in order to stop the chirping, I could not just remove the batteries, but had to replace all the smoke alarm batteries in the house. I took the dog with me, went to the hardware store and was able to replace all the batteries. But Cassie was still terrified and did not want to be in the house.

I wrapped her in a Thundershirt, which is a tight wrap that helps calm dogs. With that and a few hours of extra time with her, she finally calmed down enough and went to sleep.thunder-shirt

As many as 20 percent of dogs suffer from noise phobias so severe that their people seek professional help for them, according to veterinary behaviorist Bonnie Beaver in her book Canine Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians.

My experience with Cassie is not uncommon. Months earlier at another clients home, I entered to find the same situation – the dogs had relieved themselves in the house and were frantic. In that case, it was a beeping carbon monoxide detector that had to be replaced.

After my incident with Cassie, I posted the warning on my Facebook page. Two days later I got a message from a friend who said if she hadn’t read my post, she would have made and emergency trip to the vet. “The day I read your post about fire alarms, mine started to chirp during the night. Ellie LOST it. She was shaking so hard that I thought she was having a seizure. I held her 10 minutes before she finally calmed down.”

There are a lot of ways to treat noise phobia and desensitize dogs to noises. In this case, the best remedy is to avoid the noise by regularly changing the batteries in your alarms. The National Association of State Fire Marshals recommends changing smoke alarm batteries once a year. It might be worth asking customers if their smoke alarm batteries have been changed in the past year before they go on a trip. I now carry a supply of 9-volt batteries in my supply bag just in case.

PetsitUSA Blog

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This is India a four month old American Black and Tan Hound (or Coon Hound).  She’s owned by the man in the last photo and will be used to hunt wild boar when all grown up and trained.


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Shorty Rossi to Attend Rock-A-Bully 3

For the third year, Animal Planet personality Shorty Rossi and his canine companion Hercules will make a ‘Pit’ stop in The Big D for a paws cause as Pit Bull Warrior presents Rock-A-Bully…

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Demonstration of an Allergy Skin Test

Watch how an allergy skin test is performed. Health reporter Kiley Yarbrough explains how positive results from this test identify a patient’s allergic trigg…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Allergy Skin Testing.

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What a beautiful story – thank you so much for sha…

What a beautiful story – thank you so much for sharing! My thoughts are with you for Lily to heal up. I will be thinking of you both. Thank you again!

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Day 12 and 13

Sorry – got a little behind there but I wanted to finish of our vacation before I forgot.

Our Day 12, we met up with Dad and Shelley (who were driving home from Ontario) and did most of the waterfall/lake hike I wanted to do the day we had car problems.  We didn’t have time to make it all the way to the lake, but we got to see quite a few waterfalls along the way.

This was the busiest trail we’d been on. There must have been at least 5 cars in the parking lot, but while hiking we only crossed paths with one or two groups.

None of the waterfalls were particularly big, but they sure were pretty.

The weather was calling for a snowstorm the next day, so we decided to cut our holiday short by one day and head home.  That night after the hike, we headed back to the cabin and packed up so we’d be ready to go bright and early the next day.  We had some poor driving conditions along the way, but nothing horrible and from what we read afterwards, it looked like we made the right decision.

It is definitely an area we’d like to return to in the future.  Aside from the cold weather, we couldn’t have asked for a better vacation.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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This lovely big boy is a Leonberger.  He’s called Hermes and he’s 14 months old.  He really didn’t want to look at the camera!

I met Hermes at the Fete de la Branda in Gorbio village.

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This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada.  We headed to my Dad’s place to hang out with them and my sister’s family.  Dad is conveniently located about half way between the two of us.  :)

We went on lots of walks, had lots of relaxing time and just basically hung out.  I even got to nap one afternoon.  :)

I didn’t take a lot of photos but Deb wanted a family picture as when they were visiting family in Ontario earlier this summer they realized everyone had really old photos of them. So on our very last walk, I snapped a few for them.  If I’d been thinking, I would have asked for them to take some of me and Marlin.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Reactions to Food, Medications, or Flea Control Can Cause Many Medical Problems

      Many times veterinarians assume a case of diarrhea, an itchy ear or two, a hot spot, or a rash and hives is due to some infectious agent. I used to feel that way too. These days I spend a lot of time going over recent changes in food or medication to make sure that recent food or medication changes aren’t  causing  itching, pain, nausea, or the runs.


        Treats and chews are the first thing we talk about. Recent changes in  commercial treats(wheaty biscuits) , chews (steer penises, beef skin , pig ears, wheaty pill pockets, and dyed wheat gluten dental biscuits) can cause diarrhea, gas(farting), anal gland pain and infection,  itchy red ears, hives, and swollen faces and lips. Don’t always expect your vet to link symptoms with treats. Vets aren’t taught this in school. Our education is more geared to worms, giardia, and bacterial infection(food poisoning from eating garbage) and flea allergy dermatitis. The more I ask about treats and chews, the more I find I can help problems from happening again and again.


      Recent applications of topical flea control can make a pet feel “under the weather” or can result in an itchy spot, hotspot, flaky spot, or hives in the area or elsewhere.  If your pet “breaks out” monthly or is nauseous or has diarrhea after flea control, change the type(oral, topical) or ingredient. Many brands can have the same ingredient. For example, the ingredient in Frontline, fipronil,  is now being sold under many different names and packaging. Oral flea medication can give some pets indigestion, nausea, or cause hives. Remember…each pet is an individual and medications may affect them differently. Just like in their 2 legged friends, any medication may not sit well with them! ( I’ve found that feeding more oils in the diet helps pets fight off fleas. Check out Dog Dish Diet and Feed your Pet to Avoid the Vet.)


        Medications such as NSAIDs for pain can cause vomiting, diarrhea, internal bleeding, or organ problems (liver, kidney,stomach). For example, my dog Tucker had a surgery and 2 days later became sick to his stomach and vomited several times after eating. He was taking antibiotics along with an NSAID, but as a precaution, I stopped giving him the NSAID (Previcox). He felt better  right away. I elected to give him Tramadol for the pain instead of the NSAID…just in case he was sensitive to it. I couldn’t bear it if a medication I gave him for pain, harmed him!

     If a pet feels sick after taking medication, always question the NSAID first, then the antibiotic, or other medication. Never give aspirin or prednisone along with a prescribed NSAID. Combinations of NSAIDS and steroids can be dangerous. Combos of NSAIDS and steroids like prednisone or dexamethasone increases the likelihood  of side effects. The literature suggests very stressful surgeries may also lead to  increased side effects when NSAIDS are used  I am always careful with my dosages of NSAIDS with stressed or older animals.    


      A dog or cat can vomit, develop diarrhea, or not feel well  after receiving other drugs like clavamox, doxycycline, enrofloxacin, or cephalexin antibiotics, ketoconazole for yeast infections, heart drugs, or cyclosporine  for allergies.(To name the most common ones) If mild,  the nausea or soft stool may pass, but trying another medication or lowering the dose may help. Giving medication with a food or treat may help reduce symptoms. Putting the pills in a small amount of food, a piece of a chicken or turkey hot dog, piece of cheese, slice of deli meat, or spoon of peanut butter may help. To help with mild nausea, you can use pepcid AC,  10mg once daily. ( Check out Dr Greg’s 11 Practical Home Remedies for others!)


      Prednisone will cause a pet to drink more water and pee a lot more. Some pets will become ravenously hungry. Others may act “spacy” or subdued. You can always ask your vet if you can reduce the dose and/or  use every other day dosing. I’ve found that some pets need much lower doses than those I was taught to give.  A German Shepherd really improved when the prednisone dose was dropped from 40 mg to 10mg every other day.  That dosage is much lower than the usual prescribed dosage…but it worked! She must have not read the formulary!


       As always I’ll finish by advising a really good hypoallergenic commercial food for allergic dogs (fish/potato,  rabbit/potato, or venison/potato) or home cooking to find out which ingredients help your pet feel the best. Then you can continue home cooking or mix home cooked food with the commercial food with the right ingredients! If your cat is obese, or to prevent or help with urinary problems, feed canned food or home cooked food. (Feed your Pet to Avoid the Vet has home cooking recipes for cats) 

Dog Dish Diet teaches you about ingredients and how to add healthy oils and foods to the right commercial dog food. It also teaches you to cook an easy, simple, inexpensive,   slow cooked meal. Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet teaches you how to slow cook for your dog and cat with more recipes.

                                                                                        Check Out the books!



Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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What is the best Mite remover for a snake and also for the cage?

Question by Andrew L: What is the best Mite remover for a snake and also for the cage?
It is a Baby Ball Python and when I lookd it her water bowl today; i found 1 tiny small round looking mite and so I want to be in the Safe side before its to late.

Best answer:

Answer by kitty_boo23
i had the same problem with my ball python and my vet recommended natural chemistry reptile relief…put the snake in some warm water to soak…take out whatever u have on the bottom and boil it for 10 mins or buy new and wash the bowl that u have water in warm to hot water…then follow the directions

What do you think? Answer below!

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