Friday, March 15, 2013

Allergy Season…Not Just for People Anymore

Allergy season is upon us again and I’m already feeling the effect of the trees blooming. I know pretty soon my kitties will also. Plus any kitty with a chronic illness can have allergy symptoms due to a suppressed immune system. Your pet is just as susceptible to pollen allergies as we humans are. Here are some simple tips to help curb those allergy attacks from your furbabies. Keep your window sills clean. Wipe them down with soap and water or a mixture of vinegar and water. Give your kitty a good wipe down with kitty wipes (I use Tropiclean allergy wipes, they have no chemicals or bad ingredients: (, or even just a soft cloth with water a couple of times a week during high allergy days to get that pollen off their fur! Try using an electrostatic dust cloth like Swiffer since it will pick up pollen and dust and it has no chemicals or scents in it. It works great and you can see the yellow pollen on the cloth afterwards. I use those often to wipe down my furniture in between cleanings and can really see the pollen on them so I know they work.

Keep their ears clean and free of pollen and mites and if their eyes get red and irritated you can use pure saline to give them a little moisturizing rinse. Use a furminator to get the extra layer of fur off and brush them OFTEN. There’s a PetAlive product called the Furball Dr. that’s also on the grooming page but I don’t know how well that works I haven’t had to try it. Give them L-lysine daily in their food or at least 3-4 times per week for respiratory and eye issues. You can subscribe to a daily email of your local area’s pollen count and they’ll tell you the numbers and specifically what pollen is active at that time: Don’t forget this is only March and seasonal allergies last well into November! I’m suffering already so that automatically puts me into kitty pollen mode.

If respiratory/allergies and/or terrible itching of the skin are uncontrollable, ask your vet about Zyrtec. I’ve seen a lot of good things about it being used in cats, and some have managed to lower their prednisone doses because of it. The following articles are really worth reading, especially if your pet has symptoms of eosinophilic diseases. The more I read about this condition, the more I think in IBD kitties, it can be a side effect of inflammation in their intestines.

Why I Love Zyrtec for Cats

Eosinophilic diseases; Skin Diseases from Allergies in Cats

For insect bites or stings you could use fractionally distilled clear aloe vera liquid, (I have some on the digestion page of my site). It MUST be fractionally distilled and clear. It works great as a wound cleaner and healing agent. You can also try the Flying Bassett Organics Aloe Vera Extract on the grooming page. It’s a powder that can be made into a paste for wounds as well as used internally for digestion.

PLEASE remember that if you have to use pesticides for any reason, remove clothing and shoes immediately when entering the house, wash yourself up very well (showering would be best, also washing your hair) and wash your clothing in the laundry. Pesticides are sometimes a necessary evil, especially when you have a horrible pest infestation that’s doing some major damage. Remember to close your windows before you spray or apply anything on your property as the wind can bring it in the house. I know I sound like a crazy, paranoid pet parent but I have learned so much about pet safety and health. They are just like our kids and their systems need protecting as much as possible. Chemicals can cause cancer and we need to be extremely careful. Don’t forget that so many of your kitties already have compromised immune systems and it doesn’t take much with a cat to tip the scales and develop additional conditions and being on steroids can help that along. It’s a good idea when you’re mowing the lawn to shut the windows until you’re completely done and again, remove your shoes, shower and wash your hair. I have to do that anyway otherwise I’m very sick afterwards, I’m severely allergic.

Think about removing the cover from your cat’s litter box as ANY cat litter contains dust, some more than others. And all that does is contribute to their allergies and respiratory problems. Since I’ve started using Dr. Elsey’s Respiratory Relief cat litter I’ve noticed that Finnegan no longer wheezes and he hardly snores anymore either. And Lacey doesn't sneeze as much also. But they do still sneeze during pollen outbreaks so it's best I keep the house as clear of it as I can. I hope these tips will help you and your little ones have a more healthy allergy season. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's In Your Water?

Did you know that prescription medication flushed down toilets is ending up in our water supply? It’s extremely concerning and why we now have a national “take back day” issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The Office of Diversion Control states that, “In the four previous Take-Back events, DEA in conjunction with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications that were removed from circulation.”

The old advice of flushing your prescription medication is not only out of date but dangerous. Waste treatment centers cannot filter out medications completely which leaves a whole lot of dangerous meds left in our water supply. Even in trace amounts these are extremely dangerous and can over time do damage to our organs. Anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, cancer drugs, hormones, etc. are all ending up not only in our drinking water, but rivers, streams and lakes as well. Flushed medications can kill helpful bacteria in septic systems and do damage to our eco system. Some waste treatment plants test for more pharmaceuticals than others but currently there is no regulatory requirements for testing and limits of these contaminants. A cat's liver does not have the mechanism to properly filter out these contaminants and can absorb them better than a human’s. 

This could be a big reason that life threatening illnesses have been on the rise in our pets in the last 10-20 years. Now of course this is not the only possible reason, I know that. Other things factor in like bacteria (which can be acquired through tap water), genetics, age, and a proper diet still have a lot to do with it. But even those who have always fed them an organic and/or raw diet have had pets with these diseases in recent years. Something has to be contributing to it and our environment plays a huge part. Another factor in our water is hexavalent chromium. 

Chromium-6, Widespread in US Tap Water - Cancer-causing chemical found in 89 percent of cities sampled: The National Toxicology Program has concluded that hexavalent chromium (also called chromium-6) in drinking water shows “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in laboratory animals, increasing the risk of gastrointestinal tumors. In September 2010, a draft toxicological review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) similarly found that hexavalent chromium in tap water is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” For those of you who saw the movie Erin Brokovich, you’ll understand why this is so important. Ms. Brokovich fought a very long time to get hexavalent chromium removed from water supplies in California and many people there died from cancer because of that chemical. It seems the public has been duped into believing the battle was won. 

On that note, please consider using an over the counter or under the counter water filter in your house. Brittas and other low cost filters do NOT remove these chemicals. Nor do they remove parasites and other chemicals such a chlorine, fluoride, lead, mercury, arsenic, etc. Bottled water is not filtered for medications, it's best to use a water filtration system of either reverse osmosis or a carbon filter system.

This is the filter that we use:
The initial investment is a little costly but the cartridge replacements are very inexpensive (around $20) and last at least 6 months or longer depending on your water type. This one removes cryptosporidium, giardia, lead, chlorine, among many other things and works really well. There are plenty out there so do some research and see what you can find but make sure they can remove many particles & chemicals and these particular bacteria. Again, I make no money or receive anything for mentioning this company, this is just an example.

If you’d like to read more about what’s in your water please visit this page of my site: