about

Away for a while due to a serious illness and subsequent health issues.


Favourite quotes of the moment:




The children of Israel wandered the desert for 40 years - Even in biblical times men wouldn't ask for directions!




Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. whatever we do to the thread, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. - Chief Seattle.





We spend the first 12 months of a child's life teaching them to walk and talk. We spend the next 12 years telling them to sit down and shut up!




As you slide down the bannisters of life, may the splinters never be pointing the wrong way.




May you be in Heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.




I've been very happily married since August 1980 to a wonderful man and have beautiful twin girls, now aged 27. One of whom, Vikki, married last year a wonderful young man and our other daughter, Nicola, is getting married this year. I studied geology with the Open University. I am retired from being a manager in a large UK based insurance company and actually quite enjoyed it. (How sad is that?). I love anything to do with the environment and wildlife and try to do my bit for preservation and conservation. I would like there to be a decent world for our grandchildren to inherit.



I also have a deep interest in the spiritual and the paranormal worlds, having experienced several incidents myself, and have been involved in meditation groups and groups that (safely) explore the paranormal. There is more to this life than we would normally credit, so an open mind is always the best option. You're not so likely to get caught by surprise!



I have a deep fascination for anything to do with Ancient Egypt, as you can probably tell by my name. I have statues and paintings all around the house. As my hubby has a similar interest in Native Americans, we tend to have a lot of unusual wall decorations, like a tomahawk.



I love cars, especially vintage ones, but my all time favourite has to be the Bugatti Veyron, what a car!



I have had a lot to do with animals over the years. I have fostered many, helped to set up a wildlife charitable hospital and raised a diverse range of young animals from bats to fox cubs and different species of birds, even a baby deer! I have had great pleasure in sharing my life and home with a number of animals over the years, most of them rescues. I am currently sponsoring an Amur Tiger, they are such beautiful cats and desperately need help, there are so few of them left. I was lucky enough a couple of years ago to meet some Aye-Aye's and Livingstone's Bats, a truly wonderful experience.



If you have a pet that is showing ANY signs of illness or distress, please, please, please take it to a vet! Even if finance is an issue, work that out later. It is cruel to leave an animal suffering for any reason. Most animals do not show signs of illness until they have been ill for some time, basic instinct tells them it is a display of vulnerability, and certain death in the wild. Their instincts have not caught up with domesticity.




I do feel that we should all treat others as we would wish to be treated. Bad karma comes back to haunt us.

advice

How long will my cat stay in season?

Non-spayed females usually go into oestrus twice a year, in the Spring and the Autumn. During this time they can go into heat several times, lasting between three and fourteen days with around a week being the most common. She will continue this until she is either spayed or mated successfully. The healthier and most sensible option is to have her spayed. :)

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my cat has never used a litter box she has a cat door and has always done her business outside for the past week we have smelled an odor in the house
found it under my husbands desk had to cut the carpet and pad out. she must be pooping outside havent found any inside. shes about 12 years old. whats wrong with her

There could be a few reasons for her change in behaviour. She could have been scared whilst toileting outside and now associates that fright with what she was doing and where. Another cat could even have come in through the cat door and scared her.

Something could have changed in the home that has made her feel insecure, so marking her territory is her way of trying to make herself feel better by changing the smell. It could be new furniture, carpets, people or even an emotional upset.

She could have a UTI. This should be obvious as she would be squatting a lot trying to go with little success. She could be more vocal, restless, licking the area almost constantly etc. If she is doing this, she'll need to see a vet and have antibiotics to clear it up, otherwise she could get very ill. She could even have kidney problems, so seeing a vet would be the sensible thing to do at this point. If she gets a clean bill of health you can look at the other options and the vet may be able to give some guidance.

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How long will my cat stay in season?

Estrus (heat) can last 7-10 days, if she does not become pregnant this will be repeated around every 14-21 days until she does become pregnant. If your cat has already entered this stage you will be fully aware of some of the more unpleasant symptoms. The best way to stop this is to have her spayed as soon as possible. Not only does this mean there will be less unwanted cats around, it stops her being vulnerable to various cancers and transmitted diseases. For every kitten your cat has and you home to friends or family, it's one less in a shelter that will find a loving home. There are a huge number of unwanted cats these days.

She can be spayed whilst in estrus although most vets prefer to catch them between cycles. You may also find that you have 'gentlemen callers' who could spray around your house to stake their claim. Until she is spayed there will be little respite from the symptoms and if you do allow her to have kittens, she can go into estrus whilst she is still nursing, starting the whole thing again.

You really will be doing her a favour by having her spayed and it's the responsible thing to do.

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Hey, I saw your entry about finding a list of Inuit Names. Will you post the location?

It was a long time ago and I can't find the link now. However, if you are looking for an Inuit name there are lots on the internet. So, here are some more. The first link is for the correct pronunciation of Inuit names.

http://www.mythome.org/inuitnames.html



http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/names/eskimonames.htm

http://omalmalamutes.com/omal/naming.htm (This one even has a translator that will tell you the Inuit name, where possible, for a name you may already know).

http://www.squidoo.com/eskimo-husky-names

I hope this helps.

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My brothers dog lost all of its hair?
My brother took my dog to the vet and the doctor told my brother that the dog has a skin disease that it was born with. The dogs hair is gone now and she has a lot of bumps and sores from scratching. Her skin is just pink. My brother has been buying medicine that the vet recommended for him to buy at the store and it finally started working and her skin has improved a lot and my mom thinks the hair is growing back.
My brother wants to take the dog to the pound now, but wont the people at the pound kill it?
I hear stories all the time of them killing dogs.

What kind of disease do you think the dog has?

The dog does NOT have cancer. If it did the vet would have said at the time. It is more likely to be some form of birth defect e.g. congenital hypotrichosis. The medicine the vet advised is possibly hormonal or some other substance to either treat or ease the symptoms. The hair does not always grow back, it depends on the severity of the condition. There are other reasons for hair loss, stress, allergies (food included), fleas, as well as various skin conditions of which congenital hypotrichosis is just one. The vet would be the best person to ask for the diagnosis as he was the one who saw the dog.

If your brother wants to take her to the pound just because of this unfortunate condition, would it be possible for you to take her over or to find someone responsible who can? Some pounds have a no kill policy but sadly, a lot of them do not.

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About 2 weeks ago, I had surgery on my bum. It's all stitched up and I'm on antibiotics.

My mom however, was sick with a virus or something like a cold a couple days ago.

I was fine this morning but like all of a sudden I feel nauseus. I made some toast which always helps when my stomach is upset. But I can't eat it. I feel like if I eat it, I'll get sick.

I started thinking, wait I'm on Cipro antibiotics so technically I shouldn't really be sick. I've been on Cipro before and never had a problem. I already have an appointment to get my stitches out on Tuesday.

Could it be I caught the cold or whatever my mom had or could it be the anitbiotics making me sick? I'm puzzled, if I still feel sick by the time my next dose. I'm going to stop taking them.

Don't stop taking the antibiotics, you're on them for a very good reason. Call your doctor for advice, explaining what has happened.
Good luck

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Hey everyone! I have a beautiful black short haired cat who's turning 3 in two weeks. She's very happy, very healthy, very loved, and I brush her fur almost daily, and pet and scritch and cuddle her, like, constantly. She's kind of really spoiled...but it's just me and her here, so we're both okay with that. ^_^
Anyway.
As the subject says, she keeps getting these flakes of dry skin all over her back, like a human with dandruff. Her hair is slightly coarser there. The rest of her is, like, ridiculously soft (hence all the cuddling). I have eczema, so my brain automatically goes, "Is there some kind of cat-zema?"
...
Is there?
Has anyone else's cat has this problem? How did you treat/fix the flakiness?

Daniel55 is quite right about this, the only thing I would add is that it could also be due to a food intolerance. Beef and chicken are the main culprits but you would need to experiment by cutting out one thing for several weeks and if it's not that, going on to the next thing. You can also buy hypoallergenic foods to try.

You can check for fleas by using a flea comb and having a damp piece of kitchen roll to hand. Comb the cat and then wipe the comb on the damp paper. If any spots of red develop, she has fleas as that's flea dirt. If you notice any 'salt and pepper' droppings the 'pepper' is the flea droppings and the 'salt' is the flea eggs. When the flea eggs hatch they eat the droppings, gross isn't it? If you find evidence of this you will need to treat the whole house as they get everywhere, along the edges of skirting boards and carpet, in the soft furnishings. They're born survivors and getting more so every year.

Good luck

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I have 3 two week old kittens, and they are molting alot, so much they are going bald. :( I've had kittens this young before, and they never losed their fur. Their mum sadly died when they were one week old, so we've been feeding them special milk that we got from the pet store? Would this cause them to lose fur? If not, any idead what is? Thanks

It could be stress from losing their mother, you need to take them to the vet's and get them checked out properly. You don't say what caused the mother to die but if it was from infection etc she could have passed it on to the kittens. In either case they need to see a vet.

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My cat just had kittens, they're about a week old now. I have them in this big cage with a bunch of towels and its covered so it's dark inside. Mama kitty had been ok with it until the last two nights, i keep waking up and she's under my bed with her kittens. Why is she moving them? I don't want her to move them to somewhere i cant find them, what do I do?

A cat's natural instincts is to move her kittens around to keep them safe from predators. As this is a primeval instinct there really isn't anything you can do about it except ensure that wherever she takes them is safe. If there is a chance she could take them somewhere you won't find them, keep the door shut when you're not around or asleep and try to provide some additional 'bolt holes' in your room. When their eyes open and they start moving around independently it won't be such a problem, well not for you. It will drive her mad keeping track of them but she'll cope with that.

Good luck

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my dog is still peeing on my carpet how do i discipline him

Never, ever rub a dog's nose in it's pee! It won't work as it will not associate your actions with what it's done. All you're likely to achieve is to make it scared of you.

You don't say how old the dog is, so if it's a puppy it needs training, if it's an older dog it needs retraining. An older dog will quite often do this if it's been upset and feels the need to mark it's territory. It may be worth taking him to the vets just to check out that there's nothing wrong, something like cystitis can cause this, even males can get this.

Take the dog outside regularly so his 'tank' is emptied often. Praise him every time he does his business outside. Clean the carpet with either a preparation bought from a pet store or you could try undiluted white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda or a clear alcohol. Blot up the excess first and as fast as you can after the 'accident'. If your dog keeps returning to the same place to pee, after cleaning it, put something in way whilst it dries, then either put a bowl of dog food there, (they don't like eating in a toilet any more than we do), or spray the area with citronella. They hate the smell.

Remember to always treat an animal as you would like to be treated. Good luck.

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I'm 16 and have had a yeast infection since I was at least 7 or 8. I've tried monistat,creams, and a prescribed medication. I wan to know how rare this is. How else an I treat it? Can it cause infertility? Does it reduce sexual simulation? Any additional information.

Yeast infections, Candida, are quite common and can usually be treated with over the counter medications or prescriptions; however, occasionally there will be a persistent one that is hard to shift or you can develop a recurring one. It may also affect different parts of the body and occurs when the natural 'bad' bacteria we all have overwhelms the 'good' bacteria. It affects men as well as women and can be passed during sexual contact, and so, can be passed back and forth. I'm assuming, due to your references, that it is vaginal in nature. These infections love the dark, moist environment provided here.

Firstly, you need to ensure that you are extremely careful with hygiene 'down below'. Always wipe your bottom front to back to avoid fecal transference. Secondly, whenever possible, wash the area after every time you've had a bowel movement, again, front to back. Wear cotton undies, not man made fibres, as cotton allows the area to breathe. Wear trousers and tights (pantyhose) as little as possible for the same reason. You need to get as much air to the area as you can.

Diet is also a big contributor to persistent Candida. The general rule is you need to stay on a special diet one month for every year you've had the problem. ANY slip-ups and you set yourself back. It is a very hard diet to follow and needs a strong sense of willpower to follow as there are always temptations out there. The benefits from following it though will hopefully outweigh the hardships.

There are various acidophilus preparations you can try. These reintroduce healthy bacteria to your body and help with rebalancing. Candida is acidic in nature so all foods that are also acidic make things worse. Avoiding sugar as much as possible should help as it feeds the bad bacteria, you could even find yourself craving sugary products. Now, if you're ready for the list, here goes.

AVOID All sweets including hidden sweeteners in processed foods, such as soups, all fruit and fruit juice. Avoid grains such as prepared flake cereals sprouted grain cereals such as: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Rice, Rye, Spelt, Wheat.
Avoid Granola, Pearl barley, Instant oats, Cornmeal, degerminated Hominy grits, degerminated Microwave popcorn Blue corn meal
Pasta Pasta is flour and water, the flour may be white bread flour and it may be durum flour made from semolina. All types of noodles are made from the same base and they should all be cut out of the diet, with Bufin, the Japanese noodles, Ramen instant noodles, farina, semolina and white flour noodles and pastas.
Baked goods and Breads Avoid all cakes, pastries, cookies doughnuts or other processed baked food containing sugar. This list includes white bread, or any bread containing wheat, which includes parathas, nanas bread, pita bread, white flour tortillas, wheat dough tortillas, sourdough, or any other ethnic bread made from wheat. Mochi the sweet unleavened bread made from brown rice should be avoided.
Legumes Avoid beans and peas with sweeteners, bean sprouts, tempeh which a type of fermented tofu, tofu and textured vegetable protein.
Nuts & Seeds Coconut, Peanuts, Pistachios, Walnuts
Dairy Products Buttermilk, Soymilk (sweetened), All kinds of cheeses, Cottage cheese, Kefir, Milk, Sour cream Creme fraiche Sweetened yogurt.
Fruit Never eat dried fruit, and when you start the Candida cleanse diet it is best to avoid all fruit because of the fructose the sugar it contains. Once you have eliminated the current Candida infection then eat fruit with a moderate amount of sugar. Low sugar fruits are apples, grapefruit, melon, and strawberries.
Beverages Alcohol, Cereal beverages, Coffee both regular and decaffeinated Fruit juices Soft drinks including the diet soft drinks. Processed tea drinks such as lemon tea. All fruit teas, Black tea
Condiments and Sauces: No Ketchup or catsup or any type of tomato sauce Cream sauces such as Alfredo Steak sauce, NO Capers, Dried or powdered garlic, Miso, Dried or powdered onion, Pickles or chutneys, which include anything made with sugar and distilled vinegar. Spices, Distilled vinegar Sauerkraut.
Proteins: Meat products such as beef chicken or pork have added antibiotics and hormones and they should be avoided if you want to eat meat then eat free-range organic products. Smoked meats such as bacon, sausages and salami products such as pepperoni have added sugar and should be cut out of your diet.
Vegetables:
Avoid - Beetroot Canned tomatoes Carrots Cucumber skins, Mushrooms (all types), Potato skins, Prepared soups, Canned tomatoes.

Now the good news on what you can eat.

Beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce Onion, radishes, Parsley, Peas, Rocket or arugulla Spinach, Tomatoes.

Foods you should definitely eat when you have Candida:

GRAINS in moderation Whole Amaranth and flour; Whole Barley, Flour and hatomugi; Buckwheat flour and groats; Undegerminated Corn meal (fine or coarse grind); Masa Harina; Popcorn (air popper), Whole Millet and flour; Oat bran, flour, Groats, Quick; whole Quinoa and flour; Wild Rice; Brown Rice (long, med. or short grains), Brown Basmati Rice, Texmati Brown Rice, Wehani Brown Rice Rye flour, Groats, Cream of rye cereal; Whole Spelt and flour; Whole Teff and flour; Wheat Berries, Unprocessed or miller's wheat bran, Bulgur, cracked, Durum, Graham wheat flour, Whole wheat flour. Corn, Quinoa, Saifun (Japanese noodles), Soba (buckwheat), Udon (Japanese noodles), Whole wheat.
Acceptable BAKED/PREPARED PRODUCTS:
Any whole grain unsweetened, unyeasted bread product such as chapatis, whole wheat flour, corn chips, quick breads, unsweetened rice cakes or crackers, tortillas made from brown, corn or whole wheat. Ryvita contains no yeast.
LEGUMES: Dried or frozen Black-eyed peas, Chickpeas or garbanzo beans, Lentils, Soybeans, Soy flakes, Split peas
Acceptable dairy: Unsweetened soymilk. Almond milk Plain yogurt with added acidophilus culture.
NUTS & SEEDS: Almonds, Brazil, Cashews, Hazel, Macadamia, Pecans, Pine nuts, Poppy, Pumpkin, Sesame (tahini), Sunflower.
Small occasional amounts of fresh lemon, lime, tomato, and aubergine (eggplant).
Eat Vegetables: Beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce, Onion, radishes, Parsley, Peas, Rocket or arugulla Spinach, Tomatoes,
BEVERAGES: Almond milk Mugicha, Toasted whole barley, Coffee substitute (without malt), Unsweetened soymilk, Unsweetened Taheebo Pau d'Arco tea, Water (plain).
CONDIMENTS AND SEASONINGS: Chicken broth without sweetener, Fresh garlic, Fresh ginger, Fresh herbs, Fresh onion, Pepper, Salt, Tamari (unfermented soy sauce), Raw organic apple cider vinegar
ANIMAL PROTEINS: Beef, buffalo, caribou, chicken, deer, duck, eggs, elk, all types of fish, frog legs, game hen, goat, goose, grouse (partridge), guinea fowl, moose, mutton, peafowl, pheasant, pigeon (squab), pork, quail, and turkey.

I have included American foods as well as I don't know where you live.

Antibiotics are bad news for Candida sufferers. So if you have any conditions that really necessitate you taking them on a regular basis, you need to try to balance out the effect on the yeast infection as quickly as possible when the course has finished. Talk to your doctor to see if there is a lower dose you could take or an alternative. If you have a compromised immune system this can also promote the growth of 'bad' bacteria. Eat unsweetened, plain yoghurt and you can also apply it to the affected area. Exercise will boost your immune system.

Pure garlic or garlic capsules are great for fighting Candida, swallowing it or inserting a garlic clove every few hours, probably when you're not going anywhere for a while would be best! It's a natural antibiotic and it hates Candida. You can also try apple cider vinegar, one cup in a bath of hot water. Don't apply directly to the skin, it will hurt more than you could imagine! Do not use any other type of vinegar. Drink LOTS of water, non chlorinated and preferably use a filtration system. You may need to take multi-vitamins whilst on this diet to ensure you are fully covered, but check that there are no added sugars.

Birth control tablets can keep the problem going, so if you are sexually active, talk to your doctor about alternatives. Don't douch or use feminine deodorants, these make it worse.

If this problem has caused you to develop vaginitis, a thick white or yellowish odourless discharge, it can cause itching in the area and burning or pain during intercourse, so yes, it can be a problem here.

The really bad news is that left untreated it has been indicated in causing infertility and female related problems. Your doctor will be able to talk you through all this. If you do have a sexual partner, it is very important that he is treated at the same time or you will never be rid of it.

I hope this has helped, a rather longer answer than I suspect you expected, but it is a complex issue.

Good luck with this problem and I do hope you successfully rid yourself of it permanently.

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Months ago my best friend confided in me that his marriage was not going as planned. I felt bad for this because he's really a good guy. I decided to keep my eyes opened when it came to their relationship to try and figure out what the fuss was all about because he was very confused. I know that since then he has talked about his wife coming home really upset after work, staying out much later than expected, not having sex with him for weeks, and other clues to her possibly cheating.

A week ago I was out and actually saw his wife. My girlfriend was actually the one that pointed her out to me as we were dining. His wife was all over another man, kissing on him and everything. I didn't recognize the man at all.

I actually went outside and grabbed a camera that we keep in the car for road trip moments and took a few photos of them kissing and leaving together hand in hand. The photos are surprisingly clear and I am still shocked that we bumped into this scene.

Should I tell my best friend?

It's quite possible that neither of them would thank you for interfering and you could end up being blamed for maybe ending a marriage, however unfair that may sound.

If, however, you feel you do need to say something, talk to the wife about it. Tell her what you saw and ask her to talk about it. There is always a chance it wasn't what it appeared to be. Or there could be severe problems at home of which you are totally unaware. Even if she is having an affair, it is up to her and her alone to tell her husband. You can only be supportive and wait.

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My friend gave me a bunch of green tomatoes. I am not really fond of them and would like them to be ripe and red. Is there a way I can ripen them now?

Put them on a window sill or anywhere they will catch the sun. They should ripen in a couple of days with enough sunlight.

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I use to love the Disney Channel and could sit for hours watching it. On the weekends I would be glued to that television! When I was little I watched things like The Care Bears, My Little Pony, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh but later I watched The Proud Family, That's So Raven, and Even Stevens (Shia LaBeouf is awesome). Now, I can't stand to watch that stuff! Especially with the Jonas brothers and Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus. I can't even STAND to watch The Suite Life of Zack & Cody!

I'm 14 though and, like I'm saying, I use to LOVE Disney. Why don't I any more? My friends like it...

Put simply, you're growing up! Children's programmes no longer hold you as you need more in your life. Your friends will catch you up but it sounds like you're the leader in this!

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hey, i live in the uk, and i basically want a car. i don't give a shit how comforatble it is, or what it looks like, as long as it wont cost me much. it can be used, dumped on the side of the road, for all i care. i just want want it to be cheap and not give me hassle for repairs. oh and has a low fuel consumption, if possible. i dont care if its a rusty crap box. really!

The problem with a cheap car is that it will be old and will probably cost more in repairs. Low fuel consumption is also an issue with older cars. The newer ones tend to be designed to be lower on this.

Look for a small car with an engine size of no more than 1.2cc as that will use less fuel and should be lower on insurance. If you find one that's around 10 years old, so an X or Y reg, that should also help with the price.

You could look at Corsa's, Seat's and Micra's as they are good starter cars. The only other problem with a 'rust bucket' is that not only is it likely to cost a lot in repairs just to keep it roadworthy, it might not pass it's MOT. This is compulsary for any car over 3 years old. If the police were to stop you and you did not have the relevent paperwork you could end up with a fine, the car could be seized and your insurance would go through the roof. You also run the risk of a ban.

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How do they take the animal fat from animals to make the soaps if it is something that is animal friendly and not tested on animals or not killing the animals to make it? Thank you for the clarification.

Any soap that contains animal fat is NOT animal friendly as the animal has been killed and this is a 'by product' of the meat industry. Therefore anything claiming to be animal friendly that does contain animal fat is not being honest. Most products have been tested on animals at some point. Those that have not are usually labelled as such. There is a five year rolling law that some companies go by, which means that they only use ingredients that have not been tested on animals in the last five years. There are alternatives that are used by ethical companies and should be relatively easy to find, depending on where you live. They will be clearly labelled and advertised as such.

Take a look at these.

http://beauty.suite101.com/article.cfm/animal_friendly_beauty_products

http://www.geocities.com/jillserena/crueltyfreelinks.html

http://www.caringconsumer.com/

There are many more sites that will give you information and you should be able to find an outlet near you that will sell animal friendly products.

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How will 2 male cats get along, one is 14 years old and one would be 6 months old?

It's always difficult introducing another cat to the home of an established pet, but it will partly depend on their individual natures.

Have they both been neutured? If not, it may be a good idea to have this done as it will not only calm them down bit will avoid certain health issues in later life. You will need to keep the new car shut away for a few days until he settles down and feels happier about the move. The first cat will hang around as he can smell the new one and is keeping an eye out to see why there is an invader on his territory. The resident cat has been placed in a potentially dangerous position, (according to him) and will possibly be stressed for a while.

This is likely to be a long process so you need to be prepared to have patience with them. You will also need to keep the new cat indoors for at least a couple of weeks so that he settles down, accepts his new home and won't disappear, never to be seen again as soon as he is let out!

They need to stay separated for the time being as forced interaction could lead to some serious problems. When the resident cat is also feeling more settled with the situation, you start off by stroking the other cat with a soft piece of material and then stroking it on first cat, then vice versa. This will get them used to scent of each other without meeting. As they groom themselves they will 'taste' the other one's scent as it mingles with their own. They are still likely to be upset but should calm down after a few days of doing this repeatedly.

Next, you could feed them on each side of a connecting door. Start off with the bowls some distance away and over several days, gradually move them closer to the door. They should start to accept each other's scent and associate it with the very enjoyable occupation of eating. Eventually, you could prop the door open enough for them to see each other, (but not wide enough for them to get through), as they are eating. The first time you do this, it may be worth feeding them a special treat so that they are more interested in the food than each other.

When they seem happy with this, try switching the cats to the other's space for a day or a night. This gives them the chance to have a really good sniff around and get more used to the smell of each other. If they are ok with this and settle with each other's bedding, you're ready for the next step.

When you are happy they are ok with this, you can let them see and smell each other without being close enough to feel threatened. Whether this is in the arms of family members, trusted friends or through a gate is your choice. However, they both need to feel safe at this time.

If they then accept this and you're sure they're happier with each other, you could let them meet up on neutral territory where you can intervene if things look like getting nasty. Maybe a bathroom or another room that the original cat does not regard as 'his'? Don't worry if they have a small disagreement, they need to set their own boundaries and learn each others signals. If they decide to have a full-on fight, don't try to pick them up, you're likely to get damaged. Have a water squirter to hand and spray them. It doesn't hurt, they probably won't realise it came from you and may even associate it with fighting! Give them some time to calm down before trying again. Let them have their own bolt holes to go to.

If all this does not work and they are going to continue to fight, sadly, you may need to look at rehoming the more recent of them.

If this does work and they do decide to tolerate each other, ensure they have a litter tray each and they are kept clean. You also need to make sure that whichever one is going to be the dominant cat is not able to ambush the other one when they are in the litter tray. This is when cats are at their most vulnerable as they can't run away when they are toileting. They will also need separate feeding and water bowls, with you keeping an eye on them, to start with to check that the dominant one does not take the food of the other.

You could also look at having several toys as a distraction for them and a variety of sleeping places at different heights. They need opportunities to be able to escape from each other when they want to.

Lastly, keep in mind that cats are very territorial and this process could take weeks or even months. Even when you think they are settling in together, it may not wise to give them free range for several months when there is no one at home. Put the addition back in a room on his own until someone is there to keep an eye on them.

You will need to put a lot of time and patience into this but if it works it will be worth it. You'll have a happy home with two cats that get on with each other.

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Recently my dog developed and itch on the upper part of her belly, when she stands up its almost as is she feels something biting her and darts from the spot to get away, i found a couple fleas on her but then gave her a thurough flea bath and she has been getting the over the counter flea and tick killer/treater for the past 4 months, she has little blackish/brown specks on her belly but again i havent found maybe 4 fleas on her and i check her over everytime i get my hands on her, any ideas what this could be, its killing me to see her like this and not be able to do anything. please help!

A good way to test if she has fleas is to put some water on the specks that you have found. A moist tissue will work. If it comes away stained red, it's fleas, as the specks are dried blood, flea poo!

If you have found four fleas on her, there are going to be quite a few more that you've not spotted. The person who said that the fleas will be in bedding, carpeting, etc is correct as fleas only go on an animal to feed, they live and breed in your soft furnishings. They can lay up to 50 eggs a day, so you can see, if you have even one flea, you have a problem!

Over the counter flea killers are not normally very effective as fleas build up a resistance to the ingredients quite quickly and so they become useless. Your vet should be able to recommend the best to get. There are also flea growth retardents, which stop the eggs from hatching. However, the problem with these is that as the incubation period can be rather long, (up to eight months), you would need to spray every couple of weeks to stop the problem, which could get expensive.

A natural way to get rid of them is to use salt. Sprinkling salt on your carpets etc will dry out the eggs so that they won't hatch. This would need to be done and vacuumed every three days for at least nine days as flea eggs hatch every three days. Nine days would take you through a fleas life cycle. As above though, the incubation period is very long so would need to be taken into account. I can't guarantee how effective salt would be but it does avoid chemicals and cost.

If your dog does have a flea allergy, one flea is all it takes. If it gets any worse with symptoms like licking herself into raw patches, scratching herself raw etc, she will need to see a vet as she then becomes at risk to secondary skin infections which will need antibiotic cream. Bath her regularly whilst dealing with the flea problem as this does get rid of some of the fleas and can sooth her skin. But the longer you leave the problem, the worse it is going to get.

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I was instructed to give my dog hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting and I gave him way too much. Now he is vomiting blood. I can't afford to go to a Vet, but I am extremely concerned. Is this life threatening or is there something I can do at home for him?

Who instructed you to give an animal hydrogen peroxide to swallow? This is extremely dangerous and potentially life threatening. If a dog needs to be made to vomit, and it would have to be a serious problem if this were the case, there are other ways to do this without causing further harm to him.

Whether you can afford it or not, your dog needs to see a vet asap, or you may not have a dog much longer. Vomiting blood is not a good sign, please stop treating him yourself and get him to a vet?

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My 1yr old german shepard puppy scratches her hair off and creates scabbed up bald spots, but when we check her, she does not have fleas.

She is an inside dog so she hasnt been exposed too much to the outside unless its to go potty and thats it.

We dont hve the cash to take her to the vet just yet, but i was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what it could be.

could it be psycological? mites?

does anyone know of any over the counter or department store medicines that could help ease her itch and heal her sores??

desperate

It could certainly be due to allergies, food, environment, shampoo etc and all of the previous suggestions are really good and these should always be checked first.

However, I just wanted to ask something. You say she is a 1 year old GSH who is an indoor dog. How much exercise does she get and does she have loads of playtime. Sometimes animals will lick themselves raw through boredom or stress. GSD's need a fair amount of exercise and, as they are an intelligent breed, a lot of intellectual stimulus as well.

If you try all the allergy advice first, Wafcol Salmon and Potato is an excellent anti allergenic food and comes in different sizes,but if the problem persists, you may have to consider the alternative. There are playballs where you put dog treats inside and the dog has to work out how to get them out. It can keep them occupied for hours. The best exercise though would be taking her for walks a couple of times a day. If this is not possible, throwing toys for her to chase could substitute this.

I've included a couple of websites that give other suggestions for indoor exercise.

http://www.helium.com/knowledge/42401-indoor-exercise-for-dogs

http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-activities/dog-exercise/article_21216.aspx

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