Monthly Archives: July 2017

Lost Dog

Brown German Shepherd Running On Green Grass

Dogs May run and get lost for a variety of reasons

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Lost

Before, During and After

Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc 

 

As a dog owner, losing your dog is one of the most heartbreaking and frightening things that can happen. Many dogs tend to run off to explore, then are unable to find their way home. They can slip out of leashes, dig their way out of fenced yards, or jump out of vehicles. Finding your dog when he/she is missing or lost is hard, but the following steps can help increase your odds of finding your furry friend.

 

Prevention is First

Step 1 –  Collar/Tag Your Dog

Collar

Get a collar that’s comfortable, and one that your dog can’t remove easily. Collars should always be tight enough to never slip over your dog’s head.  If you dig puts the breaks on, you never want your dog to back out of their collar and take off.  A collar should be snug enough that you can only place TWO fingers in between the neck of your dog and the collar.  Try to pull your dog’s collar up over your dog’s head to see if it will slip off.  Greyhounds and dogs that have slim heads, may do better with a Martingale collar.  You must remember to always grab the part of the collar that tightens the collar and not any other part or it will easily come off your dog.

Identification Tag

Your dog should always wear some kind of identification.  This will make it easy for anyone to notify you if they found your dog. Collar/tag should have your dog’s name, your name, your street address, and your phone number. Some tags are just fine with two phone numbers.  The second phone number can be a friend or relative.

We suggest an engraved tag that slips onto the collar, rather than a tag that attached via a metal ring.  Metal ring tags can get caught and fall off.

In case tags fall off, you can write some information on the dog collar using a permanent marker. Collars can also b embroidered with information as well.

Temporary Tags

If you are going on vacation or traveling for any reason, use a temporary tag.  You can get a tag at any pet store and write your information on it.  It is better then no tag.

Rabies Tag

If your dog also has a rabies tag, this can be traced back to your dog’s veterinarian, and he/she can quickly link the collar/tag information to you, and make contact. This ID alone is not advised, since the animal hospital is not open 24/7/365.  Inevitably, your dog will run off at the most inopportune time.

 

Step 2 –  Microchip Your Dog

In today’s highly technological world, tracking your lost dog has never been easier. Thanks to microchip technology, many people have been reunited with their lost pets. A microchip is a tiny implant between a dog’s shoulder blades, and it contains identifying information which an animal shelter or veterinarian can scan and find whom the dog belongs to. Some pets that have been missing for a very long time have found their way back to loving owner’s.  Another good thing about a microchip is once it is registered in your name, if there was ever a dispute that you owned your dog, a microchip could be used as proof of ownership.

Check your information with the microchip company at least once a year (especially if you move or change phone numbers). If you have made a birth date, do it your pet’s birthday.  You can make one even if you do not know the exact date.  Take the estimated age at time of your pet coming home so you have a year.  Choose a month and day.

Step 3 –  Leash Your Dog

Whenever you are taking your dog for a walk, make sure he is on a leash. Even if your dog is trained, keeping them leashed helps with the unexpected.  NEVER let your dogs run free unsupervised unless, it is in a safe fenced in area.  It is not safe for them or others.

A sturdy 6 foot nylon leash is best for walking.  Put your hand through the loop and grasp the leash (the loop should be around your wrist).  With your other hand, hold the leash taking up the slack as your dog is walking by your side.  This way you have two hands on the leash and the end around your wrist and if your dog bolts you have a lot of control.

We do NOT endorse using any type of retractable Flexi types leashes.  Not only have many been ripped out of people’s hands but have also broken when dogs bolt and people have been injured if the leash wraps around your finger or wrist as the dog is bolting.  This is very dangerous.

 

Step 5 – Train, Train, Train

Research trainers in your area.  Ask if you can sit in on a session to see if you like the trainer and how they teach.  If you feel comfortable with your teacher, you will learn better and get more out of it.  Every trainer teaches in a different way, find one you like.

Obedience training is NOT to teach your dog.  Obedience training is to teach YOU to train your dog.  So, for those that say their dog has flunked obedience…..You must practice and practice.  Obedience training gives you and your dog a platform of communication.  This communication is essential for a wonderful SAFE relationship with your dog.  A trained dog is enjoyable to walk and have around.  But it is more than that, it is SAFE for you and for your pet.

We advise going through a puppy class, then basic obedience and then advanced.  The more training you do, the better and safer your dog will be.

The best thing that can ever be trained is the recall.

 

Step 6 – Spay/Neuter your pets

All pets should be spayed/neutered.  Un-neutered pets are going to escape to do what their hormones are telling them to do.  These pets usually will become lost. They will roam long distances to find a mate.  Spaying/neutering not only makes a happier pet but healthier as well as keeping down over population.

 

Step 7 –  Take Pictures of Your Dog

Today it is very easy to keep our pet photos up to date.  Take full body shots, head close ups, a any special markings.  Make sure the pictures are clear and crisp for identification. In case your dog goes missing, you will need these pictures to create posters and flyers. Include distinct identifying traits in the pictures so as to distinguish your dog from similar dogs. Once you have taken the pictures, consider sharing them with family and friends, in case your computer crashes or phone is stolen. Facebook and icloud also make a good place to store photos.

Step 8 – Treat Training

Buy a can of treats or use a plastic Tupperware container filled with very small treats.  Find a container that makes some good noise when the treats are shaken in it.  Then every time you give your dog a treat, shake the container and say treat time (or whatever you choose, just use the same words).  This will train your dog to come for a treat when he hears the shaking treat container and also your words – treat time!!  This can be used outside as well.
What To Do To Find Your Lost Dog

 

Make a Plan to Act Fast

You have a better chance of finding your dog if you’ve a solid plan AND to have a solid plan when you are not upset and in crisis because your pet is lost.

Create a plan BEFORE something happens.  Know who to call and where to go.  Make a list of the town you live in and all border towns.  The Humane Society of the US recommends notifying everyone within a 60 miles radius.

Know every animal control officer and police station, list phone numbers.  Find out all Animal Hospitals, Animal Shelters and rescues in the above towns, with their contact information.

Make a complete description of your pet in writing, even create a lost poster. Take your time, research what is beneficial to place on posters.  Create this poster to have on hand to print and go.  You probably have a photo app that you can create and keep on hand, just changing the photo every now and then.  Create your poster to stand out.  Include your dog’s picture, breed, color, sex, age, weight, special markings and such other specifications. You can also include contact information like your name, phone number and email.  Have an area on the poster to fill in a few things last minute, such as – Date your dog went missing, Street and city where dog was last seen, description of collar, is your dog dragging a leash or tie out.  If your dog is very shy or has any behavior issues.

 

We suggest not putting your dog’s name on the posters and you may want to include – Do not chase, please contact owner. Why?  Some people may want your dog, so let’s not have your dog go to them by name and if your dog is frightened, having people chase after him will make them more frightened.  It is better to have people contact you with a sighting so you can go and calmly find your dog.

If this dog was adopted – contact the shelter you adopted from.  Many shelters do adopt with microchips and they may be contacted if the dog is found.

 

When your pet runs off 

Step 1 – Calm yourself and Start your search immediately.

The sooner you start searching, the sooner you will find him. You will have a better chance of finding your pet in the first 12 hours. As a matter of fact, some experts say that almost 90% of dogs are found if the dog owner searches right away. Thoroughly check every hiding place in and around your home, bushes, garages, sheds, under porches, etc.  Many pets never leave their owner’s property.

Make sure to have every person searching carrying a leash, just in case.

Bring smelly favorite treats or hot dogs to lure them close.  Also, treats in a can make a lot of noise when shaken and may be heard far and wide.

Invisible Fences

If your pet bolted after something or was chased through your invisible fence, turn it OFF.  This way he can come back in without being zapped.  Never leave any pet unsupervised in an area that only has invisible fence.  It is too easy for someone to steal a pet or another animal (wildlife, too) to come and harm your pet.

 

Step 2 –  Search Your Home First and Alert Your Neighbors

As soon as you think your dog is missing, search all around the house to make sure he is not hiding or sleeping in there. One dog was playing with his ball which rolled into the bathroom and as the dog was playing it went behind the door and the dog pushed the door closed as he was getting his ball!!

Next, alert your neighbors.  Neighbors are a good resource for helping you find your missing dog. Many times, dogs go visiting or your neighbor may have picked him up, or seen him run in a particular direction. Go door to door knocking on every door, and bring a decent picture along for those who may have not met your dog. Also, neighbors with dogs will attract your dog. Ask them to check garages, sheds, under porches.  If your dog became injured by a car or something, they may find a place to hide.

 

Step 3 –  Make Phone Calls, here is where all your research comes in handy

If you have searched in your neighborhood and asked neighbors, now the information you planned ahead for will come in handy. Contact your microchip company to make sure all of your information is up to date.  Call the local animal shelters, animal control agencies, rescue groups, the local police and veterinary offices. Give each of them a description of the dog, along with the dog’s name. Remember to file a lost dog report with every animal shelter within a 30 mile radius of your home (if given enough time dogs can get far, especially the Husky breeds or if they jumped into a car and a person was unaware, they may just let them out where ever when they notice).

I advise to go and visit the shelters as well, and bring photos of the dog. If your dog is missing for a while (I do hope not), visits at least once a week.  Why go and visit if you called and gave a description?  Because sometimes your description and another person’s description may be different.  What you may call brown another may call red.  Even photos can get color a bit off.  Seeing is the best.

 

Step 4 –  Advertise

Here is where your created Poster will come in handy.  Because you have it ready to go, you can print quickly and run to Staples and have a bunch printed up.  Create poster and/or flyers which will stand out. On the flyers, include your dog’s picture, name, breed, color, sex, weight, special markings and such other specifications. You can also include contact information like your name, phone number and email. You can post the flyers at grocery stores, dog parks, traffic intersections, grooming stores, community centers, pet supply stores, veterinary offices, and other locations.

 

Step 5 –  Use Social Media

You can post your lost dog flyer/poster on your social media account to try and get the word out quickly.  Instagram, Twitter and Facebook allow you to post your dog’s picture and spread the word to people you know and other dog lovers.

On Facebook, there are many Lost Pet groups as well.  Keep a list of where you post, so that you can give the good news when your pet is safe at home.  Everyone will want to know!!

 

Step 6 – Make the outside of your house or the last place your dog was seen familiar

Place a favorite blanket, crate, toy, something that has their scent.  You can place some smelly food in a bowl near the blanket or in a crate.

A wildlife cam can be helpful.  Aim it near the blanket and food and check frequently to see if there are any sightings.

Wildlife Cameras on Amazon

If you are thinking you want to use a trap.  The Concord SPCA rents out traps to use (call for more information).  They will have instructions for you as well.  Remember to never leave that trap unsupervised for very long.  It should be checked regularly, every few hours.  Once trapped, the trapped animal is vulnerable to harm of other animals and people.

 

Step 7 – Use maps

Keep careful documentation of all sightings.  Set out to put flyers in areas of each sighting.  All animals will cross roads, highways, ponds, rivers, etc to get to wherever they think they are going or away from whatever may be chasing them.

 

Step 8 – You see your dog

Once you see your dog, do everything to get him to come to you.  Do not chase him, he may panic and run into traffic or farther away.  Open your car door and say let’s go for a ride or whatever you say.  Shake the treat can.  Sit on the ground and toss treats out.  Try running in the opposite direction to see if he will chase you.

Step 9 – when you capture your dog

Check your dog over for any cuts, punctures. If you notices any trauma, bring to your vet now.  At home, Do not offer your dog alot of food and water.  If they have been stressed or gone for a few days or longer, giving them alot of water and food at once will just make them sick.  Offer a small amount of water and let them just rest.  If they are doing okay after a 15 minutes or so give them a second small portion of water.  If they look okay after a half hour or so, offer them 1/3 of their normal meal.  If they keep that down after an hour, go ahead and give them another third.

If it is morning, I would not give anything except water until dinner, if it is dinner, not until morning. If they seem fine by meal time, then give their regular meal.

I would suggest, taking to your vet, to get your pet completely checked over within the next few days.  Just to make sure that you have not missed anything and your veterinarian may see or find something with their expert eyes.

 

What To Do After Your Pet is Home

Step 1 –  Eliminate Opportunities in the Backyard

One of the most common ways a dog gets lost is when he escapes the yard. Try and close up any escape points in the yard. Make sure you do not have any holes in your yard fence or anywhere else that makes it easy for the dog to escape. Make sure there’s nothing against the fence that your dog can jump onto, and then over the yard fence.

Here is a tip for dogs who dig everywhere.  When you clean up the yard of dog waste, fill the holes that they have dug.  Put some dirt over that.  Dogs generally will not dig in that area again.  They may dig elsewhere and keep filling those holes with dog waste.  After a while, they do stop.  They may pick it up again later and just repeat.

 

Step 2 – Fence your yard if you only have Invisible Fence

Invisible Fence is great but it is only great if your dog does not see anything and bolt out or your dog is not chased out by another dog or bear or a person.  It does not PROTECT your dog.  So, fence your yard with a 6 foot fence or higher.  If you place that fence around the invisible fence, you can prevent your dog from digging under the fence!!  Using both fences will help keep your dog a bit safer.

 

Step 3 –  Make Your Home Welcoming and Comfortable

You should make your home a place your dog likes to be. You can make your home a fun and happy place by; regularly cleaning it, giving your dog a specific area that’s designated for them, playing with your dog regularly, and giving him treats regularly.

Exercise – giving your dog as much exercise as possible helps to wear off that energy.  Play ball or go for a walk.  Give them at least 30-60 minutes of fun exercise a day.  Giving your dog regular exercise helps curb boredom and those who think about escaping.

What if I do not have the time?  We all lead busy lives.  Have you thought of hiring a pet sitter?  Professional Pet Sitting Etc can come to your home every day while you are at work. We can play ball with them, go for a walk and break up the long boring days.  We have lots of different lengths of time to fit most budgets.

 

Step 4 –  Train Your Dog

Dogs with formal obedience training are less likely to go missing. An obedience trained dog is much more likely to stop on command and come back when called, rather than running off. In addition to this, obedience training gives both the dog and the owner more things to do together, thus the dog is much less likely to wander off out of boredom.

Simply said, training your dog gives you both a platform of communication.  It gives boundaries and your dog respects those boundaries when they understand them. It also increases the quality of the relationship when you both understand one another.

We hope that this article was informative and helpful to you.  We want all pets to stay safe and happy.

 

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About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

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Ricky – My Soul Kitty

Ricky, Black & White kitty

Ricky, nice and clean after a bath and blow dry
September 13, 2015

Ricky

February 6, 2002 – May 8, 2017

Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc

Have you ever had that one pet in your life you connected to so completely, you just knew what they wanted,  how they felt and they knew all about you?  You love all your animals but if you are lucky to have that special one, it is a profound experience.

I call them soul pets.  Ricky was mine and this is his story.

 

April 10, 2002

One very cold April morning in 2002, I received a call from Joan, one of my pet sitters, who also was the Animal Control Officer for Hollis/Brookline.  A woman was hospitalized and a neighbor/friend who was to feed her cats reported a hoarding situation. She had mentioned at least a dozen cats were in a mobile home with no heat, water or electricity.  The ACO knew I had rescue experience and wanted me to go with her to assess the situation.

When we arrived at the mobile home in Brookline, we will call Hennessey House.  The outside of the home and yard looked un-kept for a long time.  The neighbor had told us, the door was unlocked.  We had brought a 25 pound bag of dry cat food and a few gallons of water.  As soon as we went to the front door, we could see all the cats running to the door.  Afraid they would get out if we opened the door, Joan stayed there while I went to the side door to sneak in with the food.  I, quietly and quickly entered the home.  As I came in, the overwhelming smell of urine and feces overtook me.  I tore open the bag of food and the cats just poured into the room.  There were definitely more than 12 cats.  As it turned out, there were 30 adult cats and kittens!

One tiny, black and white kitten, covered in a black substance all over his face and eyes, preventing him from seeing, came running to the sound of my voice calling the cats to eat.  He was tiny but very hungry and got into the bag to eat as best he could through the wall of cats and kittens. Whatever was on this kitten, seemed to be on other cats as well. We thought that it was something from in the home.

This was my first meeting of Ricky, Spanky and Lulu (Spanky and Lulu were around 6 months old and will have their own stories but the beginning will be similar). While the cats were eating, Joan came through the front door and we further inspected the house.  We found a litter of a few day old kittens on a mound of soiled clothes on the floor of a closet.  Everything including walls, floors, counters, sinks, cabinets were covered in dirt, urine and feces.  The back room had a couch, and behind the couch was a mound that was a few feet high of feces, just about level with the back of the couch.  The cats tried to use that area for a bathroom as long as they could until it was over full.

We made arrangements to transport all the cats to The Animal Rescue League of NH in Bedford.  A few litters were too young and went to foster homes, the nursing kittens went with their moms.  I took in Ricky, Spanky, Lulu and fostered 3 orange tiger kittens (the 3 orange kittens were adopted through the shelter very quickly).  These 3 kittens seemed to be from the same litter as Ricky, looking at size, age and the way they stayed close to one another.

I had planned on keeping Spanky because he was so afraid of people and I knew that he would not do well in the shelter.  I had planned on keeping Lulu, since we thought she may be a littermate of Spanky and she was overly friendly.  In my experience, pairing a frightened animal with a friendly, helped the frightened animal overcome immensely.  I decided to foster the 4 kittens, including Ricky and then place them up for adoption.  I knew that being kittens they would find homes quickly.

Once all of the cats and kittens had been removed, the mobile home was declared condemned and it was soon removed and destroyed.

Looking back after all these years, I wish that every cat we rescued from Hennessey House, was monitored throughout their lives.  That all the adoptive owners were able to stay in contact with one another and learn from each other.  Since these cats were all most likely related and in-bred, they probably had many of the same issues and ailments.  What one owner may have found in one of these adopted cats/kittens may have helped other owners, instead of each starting from square one.  My advice to animal welfare rescuers, is that families of a group of related adopted animals, should be kept in a group to chat and learn from one another.  I, so wish that I was able to learn and know about the other 30 cats and kittens that were related to my Ricky, Lulu and Spanky.

Well, this is where Ricky’s life with me begins.  Before Ricky and everyone, could come home with me, I brought them to the vet to be checked out. We estimated the four kittens were about 8 weeks old, so gave them a birth date of February 6, 2002.  All (Lulu, Spanky & three orange kittens) were deemed healthy with no problems,  Ricky was an unknown. No one was really sure what was all over him.  The substance was black and thick, completely covering his eyes, ears, and all over his feet and chest.  The vet had never seen anything like it. We ascertained that it was yeast but not really sure why he had so much of it or what was causing it.   I was told he may have distemper, he may be blind, he may not live long, they did not know.  The black yeast had blocked his tear ducts, so I went home with some eye ointment because he was suffering from dry eye and gave Ricky his first bath! After learning all of that about Ricky, I knew no one would want a kitten with so many uncertainties with health.  So, I decided he would remain with me as well. I have NEVER regretted this decision once. We became close very fast.

rescue kitties

Ricky a few weeks after his rescue (and a bath) with his 3 orange siblings and Lulu in the front. Lulu became their surrogate Mom

As time went on Ricky ate, grew and seemed healthy except for the yeast.  We went to a new doctor, who also had no idea what was going on with him.   At this appointment, Ricky was found to have an umbilical hernia and a mild heart murmur.  Ricky seemed to be doing well otherwise, so he was given his first set of vaccines.  He was also tested for feline leukemia and FIV and was found negative.

This black yeast was horrible for Ricky and I. It collected around his nose, mouth, eyes and in his ears.  As he washed himself, it would stain his two front legs, chest and under his chin.  I had to bathe him every few weeks just to keep up with it.  Ricky was ALWAYS so good.  He hated it as much as I did, but he stood in the sink and let me wash and scrub.  That black yeast was nasty.  It even stained the wash cloths I used. It gave him a perpetual look of dirtiness, even after a bath.  Almost every picture I have he looks dirty (but I love him to the moon and back anyway). Oh, and the feel of his fur was like a wire haired fox terrier, very coarse.  Another thing that no one knew why it was.  Over the years, his fur did become softer but no one ever was able to tell me what caused the coarseness.

rescue kitties

Ricky a few weeks after his rescue (and a bath) with his 3 orange siblings and Lulu in back. Lulu became their surrogate Mom

One thing I was asked a lot was if he scratched a lot, because yeast skin infections are generally itchy.  I really never saw him scratch, either with his feet or really gnawing on his skin, like I had had seen some cats do.  If he was bothered, he would pull at his fur with his mouth, plucking out tufts.  He did not do this often but when he did, I assumed it was a bit uncomfortable and would give him a bath, which seemed to stop his pulling.

As Ricky settled into his new life, he and I spent almost every minute together.  Ricky and I grew inseparable.  He followed me everywhere, was in my lap while I was in the office working, with me watching TV, sleeping with me at night.  He was never very far from me.  Ricky taught me about the I love you eyes.  He would look at me straight in the eye and then half close them, then slowly close them all the way and slowly open.  I would do the same back to him.  This was our greeting every time we looked at each other.  It became automatic.  When he purred, it was very, very low.  You really had to listen to hear it.  No matter what I had to do with him, giving a bath, pilling, nail clips, anything, he was always patient with me, let me do whatever and would purr and knead while I was doing it.  And he was that way with all of his medical treatments at the animal hospital as well.  He was a dream.

If I was sitting, he would settle on me so it was just right.  If I was laying down in bed, he curled up next to me just right.  I have many pets and they sit or curl up and you end up being a bit uncomfortable.  Ricky had a knack to always find the right way so it was always comfortable for both of us.  He was also a dream to carry, I would put him over my left shoulder and he would hold on just right.  He was my harness kitty.  We would put his harness on and go for a ride in the car.  He would sit in my lap looking out the window at everything going by.  Wherever we went, he was very comfortable, nothing ever scared, startled or made him stressed.  Ricky was just okay with everything.  He was such a good boy.

My daughter Rachelle named Ricky after Ricky Ricardo.  She was a Lucille Ball fan.  Later, he ended up with the nickname Ricola (pronounce rih-k-O-la, just like the cough drops!!).  No matter where Ricky was or what he was doing, if I called his name, he came running to me.

What was very interesting to me was that he was protective of me.  When we went to the animal hospital and he would be on my lap with his harness on.  He was always very calm.  If a dog came into the office and even looked towards me, he would just sit up, making sure he was always between me and that dog.  He would not do anything else, but stair down that dog.  He would not get upset, no crying, no fluffing up.  He was as calm as could be.  Just stared.  No dog challenged him Ever, they would just look away and never approached.

Over the next few months, we went to three other veterinarians who really had no answers for me.  I then started to see Dr. Anne Johnson, who owned the Classic Cat in Milford.  My Friend was working for her and thought she was amazing (I agree).  Dr. Anne was intrigued with Ricky.  She messaged a lot of veterinarians, trying to learn whatever she could about Ricky’s symptoms, but there was not much out there.

Black & White kitty

Ricky and Desilu playing

September 13, 2002

Dr. Anne suspected the yeast may have been due to allergies. So, we  drew some blood and sent it off for testing. We also tried Keratolux shampoo to help curb the yeast when bathing.  It really did not do much.  I did try just about every animal shampoo I could. None were very good.  Over time, the best thing to wash Ricky was just Dawn Dish soap and nail brushes to scrub his fur.

Well, the results for allergy testing  were enlightening.  It was found that Ricky was allergic to –

Black Ants, Dust mites, Cockroach, mold, maple and sycamore tree, grass (all kinds), yellow dock and cocklebur.

We started Ricky on allergy injections.  It seemed to help a little but was not the panacea I was hoping would eradicate the black yeast.

 

September 18, 2002

Ricky was neutered September 2002 and his umbilical hernia was also repaired.

One day, not long after he was neutered, Ricky was with my daughter, Rachelle and I in her room.  Ricky was laying on Rachelle’s bed and she was rubbing his belly as he lay on his back.  All of a sudden he just peed while he was on his back straight in the air! If we did not see what we saw, it would have been hilarious.  Poor thing, it was just blood.  So, off to the vet we went.  The vet was just astounded as she looked under the microscope.  She came in to tell me that she had never seen so many crystals in a cat’s urine.  Home with medications, and only canned food and lots of water. Ricky never had crystals again.

Black & White kitty

Ricky sleeping on my Christmas blanket

November 30, 2004

My friend at Dr. Anne’s, had been seeing Dr. Holub in Chelmsford, MA, for her greyhound (Dr. Anne only saw cats)and suggested I take Ricky there to see if he had any answers, since he was also a consulting veterinarian for Tufts University, studying and researching animal medicine. We decided that maybe, Dr. Holub may have some answers, so off we went.  Dr. Holub was a wealth of information.

Black & White kitty

Ricky on a bad allergy day

He told me that Ricky had Malassezia Pachydermatitis  –

Malassezia Dermatitis in CatsMalassezia pachydermatis is a yeast commonly found on the skin and ears of cats. However, an abnormal overgrowth of the yeast can cause dermatitis, or inflammation of the skin.

There is more information on this disease now.

There was very little back when Ricky was diagnosed.

Here is what I found today on it –

Pet Education – Malassezia

Veterinary Malassezia Treatment

Dr. Holub wanted to start Ricky on Ketoconizole and Atopica. This would bring the yeast under control. However, in just a few days on these medications, Ricky was not doing well and stopped eating all together. So, I stopped the medication. (Today, it is known that the above medications do not do well in most cats for this condition and the results I got with Ricky are common).

I, spoke with my regular veterinarian, Dr. Anne.  We decided to stay with the allergy direction and treat him symptomatically.  For the next few years, we Just gave him allergy injections and bathes.  Ricky was never 100% free of the black yeast but seemed healthy otherwise.  He was eating, happy, playing and he and I were totally in love.

Black & White kitty

Ricky laying out on mulch, not the best picture, not the best camera

October 17, 2008

When it was time to re-test his allergies, we added food allergies to the test.  The results were very interesting.  Most of the allergies he had before were  improved, however, he now had a whole bunch of new allergies. What this additionally revealed was that Ricky was allergic to beef and pork.  We continued allergy injections for the environmental stuff and I removed all beef and pork from his diet. This is the time I had to do alot of research on diet and nutrition for felines.

Here is my research for you  –

Feeding Cats by Gus Bennett

We tried a frozen raw diet, which seemed to be the best for allergies.  Ricky ate it at first and then really did not like it.  It was hard finding a food he would eat and was from a company that made sure each food was not contaminated with pork or beef.  I finally settled on Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken Frickazee.  Ricky loved it and it seemed to be good for him.

After a while, Ricky did not seem to be doing any different,  with his new allergy injections, so, I chose to stop.  We wanted to see if Ricky got worse without the injections. He did not.  He was the same on or off the injections, so we decided to discontinue altogether.

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Ricky having a bad allergy day

February, 20, 2009

Ricky and I were at, yet another vet appointment.  This time for a routine check.  Ricky was walking around the exam room, exploring.  I was watching him walk and noticed that his back legs would kick out as he walked.  I mentioned this to the doctor and we took him out to the hall to watch him really walk down the corridor.  The vet saw what I was talking about and then examined his back legs more.  The diagnosis was Luxating Patellas.

The patella, or “kneecap,” is normally located in a groove called the trochlear groove, found at the end of the femur. The term luxating means “out of place” or “dislocated”. Therefore, a luxating patella is a kneecap that ‘pops out’ or moves out of its normal location.

This was just another thing that vets had never seen in a cat.  It seems to be more known now.

Here are a few links on the subject –

Cornell on Luxating Patellas in Cats

VCA Hospitals on Luxating Patellas in Cats

Ricky had both back legs with this. Fortunately, it never got worse and never caused him any problems.  I did keep his weight pretty trim.  If he became overweight, he probably would have had a problem.

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Ricky watching me take a photo

July 23, 2009

Ricky had his first full dentistry.  His teeth seemed to always be just fine but were now starting to build a little tartar.  They were cleaned and polished.

bathing kitty

Ricky getting his bath in the sink, he was soooo patient

2009 – 2012

For the next few years, we did routine blood work, check-ups, dentals, and his baths.  Ricky played with all the other kitties and he and I just grew closer.

Nothing really changed until Ricky turned 10.

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Ricky drying off in the sun after a bath

June 25, 2012

We started to see Dr. Lisa Anderson of Milford Animal Hospital.  I had worked with Dr. Lisa many years ago at Hudson Animal Hospital.  It was great to see her.

Ricky started to look thin to me, even though he was eating well.  His blood work revealed he now had hyperthyroidism.  We treated him with felimazole for the next few years.

We also checked Lulu and Spanky since they were all related and found that Lulu was hyperthyroid and Spanky was normal.

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Ricky sporting his harness, sitting and waiting at the vets office, taken by a vet tech there

2012 – 2015

Ricky did well on the felimazole for his thyroid.  We were on a normal routine, just enjoying one another.  He is such a good boy.

Did I mention how much I love him?

kitties looking out the window

Ricky and Gus Bennett looking out the window on a sunny morning

One day, Ricky and I were on our way home from the animal hospital for yet another appointment, nothing new, just routine.  Ricky seemed a little anxious and would not settle down.  As I am driving he just looked up at me, while on my lap, positioned his butt so it was pointing to the floor of the truck and peed!!! Poor guy, he did the best he could to not get it on me! I have to say, I have never had a cat do that.  Oh, the Ricky memories!

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Poor Merlin, he always let Ricky have his bed

In spite of his very dirty start in life, Ricky was always really good about going in the litter box.  His only thing was he never, ever covered anything up.  He tried, but always scraped the side of the litterbox with his foot to cover, instead of the litter.  He never figured out that scraping the side of the litterbox did not cover anything up.  Maybe he did not like the feel of the litter and preferred the smooth side of the litterbox, we will never know.

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Ricky and Spanky closing in on two turkeys having a fight with the fence in between them

October 29, 2015

I knew that everything Ricky had been through may shorten his life and having hyperthyroidism would shorten it more.  I wanted him to have the opportunity to live as long as possible, so I did some research. My friend  had been through Radiocat with one of her cats and was happy with the results.  I decided to go to Radiocat (in Massachusetts), with Ricky, to give him radiation to cure his hyperthyroidism. Ricky went through with flying colors.  The hardest part was leaving him at the hospital for 3 days, since he and I had never been separated for more then a few hours.

In his follow up blood work, after radiation, he was in all the normal ranges for everything, except one thing. Since, hyperthyroidism can mask kidney disease, we were concerned about that.  His tests did show he was just over the line, out of the normal range, which meant that Ricky now had the beginning stage of kidney disease.

multiple kitties

Ricky and Desilu looking at the camera, sitting on the fire pit. My kitties go out in my yard that has cat fencing to keep them safe.

September 16, 2016

Ricky seemed to be unusually  itchy, so we had a visit with Dr. Lisa, who suggested, we try him on Apoquel.  Dr. Lisa said she had seen some great results in cats.  However, it did not seem to do anything for Ricky.

At this visit, we also did blood work. The results came back that his kidney disease had gotten worse.  She wanted us to give him 100 ml Sub-Q fluids once a week.  The extra fluids will help the kidneys flush out toxins from the body, most cats do not drink enough to be able to do this.  If the toxins build up, cats will become nauseous and stop eating. I had been down this road before with other cats.  Kidney disease is not fun, seeing them go downhill.  I am feeling like I am losing my Ricky. It seems that once we cure one thing, something else goes wrong.

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Ricky on the back of the couch

Sub-Q fluids are generally easy, given just under the skin.  Warmed up, most cats do not seem bothered by them. However, Ricky refused this treatment.  My Ricky who let anyone do anything to him, became very agitated, uncooperative and impatient.  It was when he tried to bite us as we were trying to give him fluids, that I said enough.  I am not going to do this if it upset him that much. So, I increased the water in his food.  However, this became a fine line.  If I gave him too much water with his food, he ate less.  If he ate less, he did not gain weight. If I gave less water, it would create nausea and he would eat less. Ugggh….

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Ricky cuddling with me

January 9, 2017

Everything seemed good for a while.  His appetite was great at 6 ounces with 1/2 cup of water in am and then again in pm.  Twice what my other cats were eating.  Hoping he would add a few pounds.  For the next few months Ricky seemed to be doing well, he gained a little more weight.  He was running and playing.  Then he started looking thin to me again and I was noticing some loose stool.  I added some pumpkin and that seemed to work for a week or so.  Then back to loose stool.  A trip to the vet and we started on Prednisalone and B12.  Dr. Lisa was suspecting IBD.  We know that Prednisalone in cats can work miracles (maybe it will help with that nasty yeast, too).

Since weight loss is a big indicator of something going on with Ricky and I needed to monitor his weight,  I decided to buy a good scale to keep track of his weight.

I found a perfect one on Amazon –

My Scale on Amazon

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Ricky giving me his I love you eyes!!

February 6, 2017

Ricky celebrated his 15th birthday

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Feeding Ricky cut up Chicken and green beans to keep his weight up, still had his shaved belly from the ultrasound

February 24, 2017

Ricky did not seem to be gaining weight and his stools were very loose.  We took Ricky in for an ultrasound.  Findings were the intestinal walls were thick, indicating possible IBD but could not rule out cancer (cancer!!! Absolutely not, I could not even think of that).  Prednisolone was increased.  Stools went back to normal.  He did go down to 6 pounds 13 ounces, so we started feeding him 3 times per day. He was eating a total of 15 ounces of food with added water a day!  He still had a great appetite and the prednisalone was helping with that. We got him back up to 8 pounds 4 ounces!! This was promising.

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Ricky on the back of the couch

On our way home from the ultrasound, my daughter was driving and Ricky was in my lap. He all of a sudden became antsy again.  He quickly went from my lap to Rachelle to mine and then Rachelle again.  I said he must have to go to the bathroom, so I grabbed a towel and told Ricky come here as I patted the towel, He looked at me, came to my lap, squatted on the towel and peed!  Poor guy, he was always sooo good and yes, he and I just knew what the other was thinking!!

As time went on, Everything seemed good. Ricky was eating, stools were normal, he was playing and being my lovable Ricky.

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Ricky taking a nap on the down comforter
April 30, 2017

April 21, 2017

While we were cuddling, I noticed Ricky was breathing more rapidly than the other kitties while resting.  We went into the vet that morning, I was worried he may have fluid around his heart or building up in his lungs.  We took an x-ray and my heart sank.  The possibility of cancer was now confirmed.  It was most likely Lymphoma Cancer and had spread from his intestines, to liver to lungs. His liver was twice the normal size and his lungs looked like a white speckled mess throughout. I was devastated.  We started him on a compounded cytoxin drug, that slows down cancer cell growth.

As long as he looked comfortable, was eating and drinking, I will let him tell me how long we will go.  Ricky was a huge part of my life.  He was the first thing I saw every morning, he was with me almost every minute of the day and the last thing I saw before falling asleep. This was very hard to see my precious boy going downhill.  I was having a hard time just imagining my life without him.

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Ricky and me
May 3, 2017

May 3, 2017

We scheduled a photography session, however, I do not think Ricky enjoyed it.  He kept his eyes closed like he really did not want his picture taken.  Maybe he was not feeling well.

 

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Ricky
May 3, 2017

 

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Ricky not cooperating for the photographer, keeping his eyes closed for most of the time
May 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ricky not cooperating for the photographer, keeping his eyes closed for most of the time, doesn’t he look like he is smirking !!
May 3, 2017

 

Ricky opened his eyes a bit as if to say, can we get this over with.
May 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

two kitties

Gus Bennett photobombing Ricky
May 3, 2017

 

 

two kitties

Katniss photobombing Ricky
May 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Linus photobombing Ricky
May 3, 2017

 

 

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Ricky
May 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ricky and me
May 3, 2017

 

 

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Ricky and me
He was not in a picture mood!
May 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ricky and me
May 3, 2017

 

 

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Ricky and me
May 3, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 5, 2017

Then Ricky stopped eating on his own. I did syringe feed him.  He seemed to be okay with that and ate everything I slowly squirted in his mouth. He seemed to be more comfortable eating with his head up, rather than down to eat out of his dish.

 

May 8, 2017

Ricky did not come to lay with me this morning while I drank my coffee.  I searched for him to be with me that morning after I awoke.  When I found him, He told me with his eyes, that he was tired, uncomfortable and ready to go.  My heart shattered in a million pieces.

I said good bye to my beautiful boy on May 8, 2017 in the late afternoon.  As I stroked his lifeless body, I realized that his fur was the softest it had ever been. I am so very grateful to have had this most amazing cat in my life.  To have experienced such a profound love with this special boy. I have never been so unbelievably connected to another living soul.  My life will never be the same and will be very empty without him.

Heaven for me will be reuniting with my precious Ricky again.

Black & White kitty

Ricky sleeping next to me

May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day

I woke up with the memory of a very special visit in my dream.

Some may not believe that loved ones send messages after they are gone, but having had many messages from lost loved ones over the years, I am a true believer.

Ricky appeared in my dream, there was nothing in the surroundings, It was just me and him.  He was looking up at me and I looked down at him.  It was very brief.  His fur was glistening, the white was pure snow white and the black was silky black. He looked incredible, no stains.  He was youthful looking, his eyes were bright, his face was smiling and so full of love. He was the most beautiful thing, I had ever seen.  He had a light surrounding him, very angelic.  He let me know that he was safe, happy and healthy.  He had no pain, no disease.  Then he gave me his “I love you” eyes, I gave them back and I woke up.

Thank you my precious boy for the best gift of my life. I love you.

 

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Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

Click Here for Professional Pet Sitting Etc Reviews, Testimonial and Awards

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Go to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Website for more information on the best pet sitting company or click on “New Client” to contact us or register for dog walking or pet care.

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Professional Pet Sitting Etc July 2017 Newsletter

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Happy Independence Day from All of Us at Professional Pet Sitting Etc

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Pet News

 July 2017

Pet Newsletter

Click Here to view

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In This Issue – 

Happy Independence Day!!

5 Tips for Taking your Dog on Vacation

What You Need to Know About Your Pet and Summer Heat

8 Awesome Apps for Pet owners

The Ultimate Masters of Camouflage

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If you liked this article, check out our other articles – Complete List Of Our Article and Videos

 

 

About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

Click Here for Professional Pet Sitting Etc Reviews, Testimonial and Awards

Click For a Complete List of all of our educational Blogs

Go to Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Website for more information on the best pet sitting company or click on “New Client” to contact us or register for dog walking or pet care.

Contact us by phone at 603-888-8088

Email Profpetsit@aol.com

Pet Sitting NH , Pet Sitting Nashua NH , Pet Care NH, Petsitternh, Petsittersnh, Professional pet sitter, pet sitters, professional pet sitting, pet sitting, pet sitter, professional pet services, professional pet sitters, pro pet sitting, pet sit, pet, puppy sitting

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