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Allergies Can Be A Real Pet Peeve

As many owners will confirm, pets are more than animals living in their house. They are part of the family. For allergy sufferers, this bond often means that it will take more than a stuffy nose and sneezing to separate them from their favorite Fido or feline.

An estimated 10 percent of the population is allergic to pets. But because more than 70 percent of U. S. households have a dog or cat, these pet allergy sufferers may frequently come in contact with animals, and sometimes even have pets living in their own homes.

"I work with lots of families who have allergies and chose to live with a pet anyway," said Dr. Jeff Werber, a practicing Los Angeles veterinarian and Emmy Award-winning pet health reporter. "Most people view their pets as beloved members of the family, and parting with them because of allergies is not an option. "

Understanding Pet Allergies

Although most people think it is hair or feathers that cause allergic reactions, it is actually the saliva and proteins in animals' dander that trigger symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy nose, and nasal congestion. Surveys have found that sufferers consider nasal congestion to be the most bothersome allergy symptom. Bathing and brushing your pets regularly will help remove allergens from their bodies.

"Soap is not necessary and can dry out your pet's skin," said Dr. Werber. "Bathing with water alone is fine. "

A common myth about dog allergies is some breeds cause less severe allergic reactions than other breeds. All dogs have dander, which means they all can cause an allergic reaction.

Household Tips

- Try keeping your pet in rooms that don't have carpeting or upholstered furniture, such as the kitchen.

- Train your four-legged friend to stay off of the bed and to rest in a separate room from where you sleep. Pets' dander and saliva can trigger symptoms all night.

- Minimize the time a pet spends outdoors on days with high pollen counts. Pets also can bring outdoor allergens like pollen from grass and weeds into the home.

- Visit www. nasal-allergies. com to check the allergy forecast for your area before going out to throw a Frisbee or take a long walk.

- Vacuum floors and upholstered furniture frequently to remove pet dander. Surfaces like hardwood or tile floors are preferred over carpeting for allergy sufferers as dander can easily be removed from them.

- Have a nonallergic person clean your pet's cage, preferably outdoors.

Symptom Control

Rather than enduring symptoms, visit your doctor to discuss your allergies. Your physician can help properly diagnose your condition and prescribe medicine to help treat, or even prevent, your symptoms.

"If a patient is complaining of itchy eyes and throat, I'd suggest a nonsedating antihistamine. For the treatment of nasal allergy symptoms, including congestion, a prescription nasal-inhaled steroid is often recommended," said Dr. Matthew Clarke, Associate Director of the Occupational Health Center at North Shore University Hospital at Forest Hills in Forest Hills, New York. Nasal-inhaled steroids, which are available for adults and children, include NASONEX (mometasone furoate monohydrate) Nasal Spray, 50 mcg (calculated on the anhydrous basis).

"I see patients who think they only need to use their medication when they are experiencing symptoms," said Dr. Clarke. "By following some simple steps at home and using medication daily, year-round, allergy sufferers and their pets can live comfortably together. "

NASONEX is the only once-daily prescription nasal-inhaled steroid approved to help prevent most seasonal nasal allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, in adults and children 12 years of age and older when NASONEX is started 2 to 4 weeks prior to allergy season, and the only nasal-inhaled steroid approved to treat nasal allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, in patients as young as 2 years of age. Take regularly, as effectiveness depends upon regular use. Maximum treatment effect is generally reached after 1 to 2 weeks. NASONEX also is the only nasal-inhaled steroid approved for the treatment of nasal polyps in adults 18 years of age and older. Side effects were generally mild and included headache, viral infection, sore throat, nosebleeds, and coughing. Please see accompanying full prescribing information.


Siamese Cat and Kitten Information

The Siamese is a sleek, short haired cat of medium size. They have long legs, a tubular body with males often sporting a chiseled head shape. Almond shaped, the color of the eyes of Siamese kittens can be determined at around 8 weeks of age. Four basic colors are recognized for show, lilac, blue, chocolate and seal. Siamese kittens are white when born, but in a few days slight markings appear on tail, ears, and paws.

Siamese Cats are affectionate, friendly and intelligent. They can seem aloof but are really quite playful and can be very vocal.

Brief History of the Siamese Cat

The Siamese cat comes from Thailand (once called Siam). This is a very old breed of cat. They were brought to England in 1884 by Edward Blencowe Gould, the Bangkok British Counsel-General. They were imported to the United States in the early twentieth century and their popularity has just grown. There are several slang names for this breed including Appleheads, Old Style and Classic.

The ancestor of all domestic cats is the African Wildcat, the genus Felis Lybica. This genus is comprised of smaller cats. Cats are thought to have been domesticated with the advent of farming and the storage of grain. The grain attracted rats and other vermin which naturally attracted wild cats. As time evolved, certain of these cats were domesticated for the mutual benefit of both cat and man. The African Wildcat has certain features which is obvious in the housecat of today.

Feline Health Considerations

Cats who reside in the house should generally visit the veterinarian yearly, unless health problems are evident. Cats who enjoy the outdoors may need to see the vet as many as four times a year. When you take your cat to the vet, be sure to bring along a fresh stool sample so the vet can do a fecal exam to check for internal parasites such as tapeworm, round worm, whip worms and hook worms. The vet will also check for external parasites such as fleas, ticks and ear mites.

Any vet check should include a dental examination and a cleaning if necessary. Cats who are eight years of age or older are considered geriatric and additional blood and urine tests may be necessary to screen for any health problems. At about six months of age, the kitten should also be examined for sexual maturity and decisions about birth control should be made.

Behavioral Traits

Loves attention
They love to hang out on your lap
They have a unique voice, loud and low pitched
Will often bond to one person

Siamese Cat Registries and Clubs

The Siamese Cat Club
The Balinese and Siamese Cat Club
Traditional Siamese Cat Association
Siamese Internet Cat Club
Cat Fanciers Association CFA
International Cat Association TICA
The Traditional Cat Association TCA
Canadian Cat Association CCA
The Australian Cat Federation
The American Association of Cat Enthusiasts AACE
American Cat Fanciers Association ACFA
United Feline Organization UFO
Cats United International

Kitten Care

Kittens are generally available and the price depends upon bloodlines color and markings. Unlike puppies, kittens should not be separated from their mother until twelve to sixteen weeks of age. Some very important developmental stages occur during this period including emotional, mental and health. Curtailing this development may lead to any number of medical and behavioral problems.

Kittens that are separated from their mother at too young an age often fail to gain weight fast enough, have immune system problems because they have not had enough mothers milk. The may also develop eating and eliminating problems, and can have problems socializing with other cats and with people.

Every cat and kitten is an individual so not everything in this information may be correct for your cat or kitten. This information is meant as a good faith guideline only.


Everything You Need To Know About Hairballs

What is the condition of hairballs? Hairballs result from accumulations of hair in the digestive tract. Cats are fastidious cleaners, spending a great deal of time grooming their hair. When a cat grooms, its rough tongue pulls loose, dead hair from the coat. This hair is then swallowed and can accumulate in the cats stomach and becomes a source of irritation. Some hair may be passed from the cats body in the feces or could be coughed up in the form of a hairball.

What are the signs of hairballs? Some typical signs of hairballs in cats are:

- gagging
- occasional vomiting
- eating small quantities of food at a time
- weight loss, or even a complete loss of appetite
- constipation
- regurgitation of undigested food right after it is eaten
- dry coughing from deep inside (strange noises made through the nose and throat, almost like a muted cough)

Hairball prevention starts with a regular grooming schedule using combs, slicker brushes and grooming mitts especially on long-haired breeds of cats and during shedding seasons and warmer months. Adding high fiber levels (soluble & insoluble) to the diet helps to facilitate the transition of hair through the gastrointestinal tract. This is a natural and effective way to help minimize the formation of feline hairballs.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do hairballs affect certain cats and not others? Hairballs can afflict any cat, whether it is a short or long-haired breed, but tend to be more prevalent in long-haired cats. This is simply because they have more hair.

Are hairballs more common at certain times of the year or in certain regions of the country? Even though cats are prone to develop hairballs any time of the year, more occur during shedding seasons and warmer months. This is typically because cats shed more during these times.

Can a hairball lead to surgery? Occasionally a hairball can become serious if it develops into a large enough mass, causing severe or complete obstruction/impaction and possible loss of digestive function and can require surgery. This is a rare occurance.

Are hairballs more common now than they were before the domestication of cats? Do outdoor cats have as much of a problem with hairballs as indoor cats?

Both indoor and outdoor cats are prone to hairballs. The severity and occurrences of the hairballs depends a lot on the coat length, if they are groomed on a regular basis, and if they groom or shed excessively. Please help keep your cat from choking on hairballs by regular grooming. This means grooming your cat on a regular basis will reduce hairballs.


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