Pets: Chocolate, Mineral Oil and Pet Crabs

Summer Reads for Animal Lovers
by Michelle Toglia -

With holidays and heatwaves approaching, there are tons of opportunities to crack open a new book, whether you're ocean side or relaxing on the couch. And for pet lovers, nothing warms the soul quite like inspirational animal stories. So grab your four-legged friend and dig into one of these page-turning pet reads.

For the Beach:

Hit the beach with 90 inspirational pet tales in Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul: Stories About Pets as Teachers, Healers, Heroes and Friends. The collection celebrates the companionship we share with pets through heartwarming stories written by several New York Times Bestselling Authors.

Be sure to get your copy of Paws & Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs by Sharon Sakson before heading to the shore. The book regales dog-lovers with touching anecdotes about their favorite companions -- from helping their owners deal with the loss of a loved one to preventing seizures and detecting breast cancer.

Relax in your beach chair with The Rhino with Glue-On Shoes: And Other Surprising True Stories of Zoo Vets and their Patients, a collection of comical, motivational and bizarre tales told by vets who have cared for zoo animals around the world. The 28 essays, including the titular story of a rhino with a glue-on shoe, are guaranteed to floor animal lovers.

For Long Weekends; For Your Coffee Table

For the Long Weekend:

With their sequel to Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson explore the lives of cats, dogs, and wildlife in Animals Make us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals. Their reflections on animal behavior after years of research and experimentation will undoubtedly enlighten your weekend getaway.

Grab The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein before escaping for the weekend. The novel, narrated by a dog named Enzo, illustrates dogs' insights through their interaction with humans. Enzo's experiences with his owner -- a race car driver -- teach him valuable life lessons.

If you liked Marley & Me, you'll love Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O' Brien. The heart-warming memoir is about O'Brien's rescue of an abandoned baby barn owl and the 19 years they spent together. The biologist-author tells the tale of Welsey's road to adolescence through her view as both a scientist and compassionate pet owner.

For Your Coffee Table:

Entertain guests with 101 Cataclysms: For the Love of Cats by Rachel Hale. This photography collection celebrates the beauty of over one hundred cats. From Zoe, the leaping Chocolate Mandalay, to Maximus, the four-week-old British Shorthair, these kitty portraits are sure to charm any cat lover that steps through your door.

Spice up your table with Kim Levin's Why We Love Dogs: A Bark & Smile Book. Through black and white portraits, Levin takes canine lovers on a journey through humorous and touching qualities of their favorite companion and explores what it means to be a dog.

Enhance your time on the couch with Wild Horses: Endangered Beauty By Traer Scott. The collection of black and white portraits showcases wild horses throughout America. Scott explores their locations, daily lives and the people who protect them.

Nesting Birds Stake Claim to Central Marco Beach

Seven-acre beach area roped off for protected, nesting birds

MARCO ISLAND — The early bird gets the ... beach.

Two shore bird species, least terns and black skimmers, have begun nesting on the main beach of Marco Island, between South Seas West and Sunset House North condominiums, reported city environmental specialist Nancy Richie, Tuesday.

In a cooperative effort, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the city have posted the approximate 7-acre nesting area for protection of these threatened species of shorebirds.

This is a temporary posting to protect the nesting birds, their nests, eggs and fledglings, possibly through the end of nesting season, Aug. 31.

This is the third season this colony has nested at this site. The least tern is considered a threatened species and is protected by FWC due to its declining population. It is also protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Black skimmers are considered a species of special concern and snowy plovers are considered threatened.

The two species, along with wilson and snowy plovers, primarily nest this time of year on the north end of Sand Dollar Island within the federally protected Critical Wildlife Area, Richie reported.

In recent years, early storms and higher tides have caused “wash over” of those areas of Sand Dollar and the birds have been moving south to this Marco Island beach area to nest, she wrote in a prepared release Tuesday afternoon.

The species look for open, sandy and slightly shelly areas to nest and it is becoming apparent this wide area of regularly raked beach is a preferred nesting habitat, Richie added.

“The shore bird nests are just small scratches in the sand, so they are very well camouflaged.”

Walking through nesting sites, beach-goers can unknowingly disturb a nest or even step on and crush eggs. This disturbance may also cause parent birds to abandon nests.

“Without parents, chicks and eggs are exposed to the blazing sun and predators,” Richie warned.

FWC officials and other agencies roped off several Island beach areas in early April, including four areas on Sand Dollar Island off Tigertail Beach and another off Caxambas pass to the south of the island.

Signs were also posted in many other nesting areas throughout Florida’s beaches as shorebird nesting season began May 1 and continues through Aug. 31.

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Ear Hematomas in Pets
By Frank Will

Ear hematomas in pets are very common in both dogs and cats, is very painful, and if not treated could result in a permanent disfiguring of their ears. There is usually an underlying cause for the reason that your pet is mutilating their own ear and correcting the cause is the only way to prevent it from reoccurring.

This condition is also known as aural hematomas, auricular hematomas, or simply as blood blisters. In dogs, they are most common in breeds that have floppy ears such as Hounds, Setters, Spaniels, and Dalmatians. Although not quite as common in cats, it is usually more serious as cats can more easily scratch their ears and inflict damage.

Ear hematomas can affect any breed or sex of cats or dogs, at any age, and at any time. Pets with chronic ear problems, ear mites, or ear infections, as well as a pet that constantly scratches at their ears, are especially at risk.

What is Ear Hematoma?

They are blood blisters that are caused by blood vessels in the ear that have ruptured, and as a result the loose space that is located under your pet's skin fills up with blood. This pressure from the rupture often causes most of the surface of the ear to swell up. Your pet clawing or pawing at their ears, or shaking their heads violently in reaction to this pressure can cause even more vessels to burst.

This process can happen very quickly, often within a few hours after the vessels have ruptured. Once the blister has formed your pet is in a lot of pain. If left untreated it may subside on its own temporarily, but the swelling will eventually return. As it returns, the space that has filled with blood starts to generate scar tissue. Once this happens and if not treated quickly, disfigurement of the ear will occur.

Causes of Ear Hematoma:

In most every case with ear hematomas, the underlying cause is chronic ear infections. In puppies and kittens the most common cause will be ear mites. The same mite will affect both, and the most common mite will be the Otodectes cynotis mite.

These mites are extremely contagious and can be spread from dog to dog, dogs to cats, mothers to their offspring, as well as from other animals such as rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, and mice. Contrary to a popular myth, ear mites can live and thrive in any part of your pet's body, not just the ears.

The shape of a pet's ear may also be the cause this condition, especially in dogs. Large and floppy ears rupture much easier and also impede air from circulating freely, allowing for more infection. Skin allergies may also be the culprit, as your pet's ear is lined with what is called modified skin. Skin is the largest organ in your pet's body, and the term modified skin means that if your cat or dog skin itches, so does their ears.

Dogs with allergies will react at times almost violently and actually traumatize themselves; which in turn allows bacteria to infect, grow, and colonize, most often in their ears.

Treating Ear Hematoma:

There are several forms of treatment for this condition and they will vary, depending on how quickly it has been identified as well as the size of the blisters. The most common form of treatment will be a surgical process where the blood will be drained from the underside of the ear. This will allow your veterinarian to help identify the actual cause. With this treatment, the incision will be closed with stitches.

Other treatments will include the same drainage process, but not stitching the ear but rather taping it, allowing for it to heal more naturally. This is most often used with show pets to preserve their appearance. If it is a very old or very small blister, the infection may be removed with a syringe.

There is a lot of discussion among veterinarians about the proper way to handle the treatment, as there is a lot of speculation that by just bandaging after surgery allows for the infection to reoccur at a much higher degree.


There are several methods of helping to prevent ear hematomas, but much like sinus infections in humans, it may never actually go away in your pet. As a result, they may need preventive measures for the rest of their lives.

There are several medications that you can use to help specific causes: medications that acidify the ears to help in preventing both bacteria and fungus, medications that contain antibodies to help with flare ups, and medications that contain corticosteroids to help reduce the pain and swelling.

Vitamin C for your pet is also very helpful, as your pets adrenal glands naturally produce a steroid that helps with inflammation. Vitamin C will help these glands work more effectively.

Mineral oil or unscented baby oil is also very effective as well as very safe for your pet. Simply filling you pets ear canals and than massaging the base of the ears will help remove debris. These oils will also kill ear mites.

Almond oil as well as Olive is also extremely effective. Just a few drops of either one will smother ear mites instantly. They also work as soothing and healing medications for your pet. The best way to maximize any type of an oil treatment is to clean you pet's ears with a soft cotton ball prior to dropping the oil.


Ear hematomas can cause your pet a lot of self trauma from the scratching or shaking of the head. Prompt diagnosis and treatment, as well as identify the underlying causes will save you pet a lot of pain. Although you may never be able to cure in, you can help in preventing it by using some of these methods.

I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a "mutt" that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field.
He found us, nearly starved to death, and weighed about 2 pounds.
After severe bouts of mange and severe dehydration, and over 1,000.00 in veterinarian bills, we saved the little guys life, and he is one of the best, if not the best, dogs we have ever had and today is a muscular, fit, and firm 70 pound best friend.

After finishing my MBA, which at middle age was not easy, I decided to keep the research work ethics that I acquired, and devote about two hours each night in understanding the health benefits of supplementation for both humans and pets and how they might strengthen our, as well as our pets, immune system in a pre-emptive approach to health rather than a reactionary approach.

Both of my daughters are avid cat lovers, and asked me to help them with health concerns and challenges with their cats.

I am not a veterinarian nor claim to be, just a lover of pets that loves to research and pass on some knowledge that might be helpful, or at least stimulating to the thought process.

Several of the articles that I have written can be found on my website;
Liquid Vitamins & Minerals for Humans & Pets

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The Top 9 Foods You Should Never Give Your Dog
By Matthew Bandas

There are plenty of foods you should never give your dog. Some foods aren't even that good for people, but dogs always seem to want what we're eating. And how can you resist that little begging face? You know, the one that practically says "pleeeeaaaasssse." But, before you give in to that K-9 companion of yours, take a look at this list and make sure you never give your dog any of these foods.

1. Chocolate. It's toxic to dogs and tops the list of foods you should never give your dog. Baking chocolate is the worst and white chocolate is the least harmful, but please avoid giving any to your dog no matter how much he begs!

2. Grapes and raisins. These can cause kidney failure. You would think that these little morsels would be okay and even fun for your dog to eat, especially grapes because they roll around and your dog can chase them, but they can also be very deadly.

3. Onions are very bad for a dog's digestive system, especially in large quantities, so please avoid them in any amount.

4. Bones. They are probably a dog's favorite thing to eat, which is why this is the most surprising of all the foods you should never give your dog. They can chew, chew, chew and then bury them and dig them up for later. But the truth is, bones can splinter and become lodged in your dog's intestines or even puncture them. Dogs can also choke on bone fragments. And it's not just chicken bones. This is true of any bones.

5. Milk and milk-based products. An enzyme called lactose is needed to digest them, but dog's don't have enough of it. Even though dogs love ice cream, it's a no-no for them.

6. Sugary and processed foods. Yeah, people eat a lot of that stuff. That's why so many humans are obese and the weight loss industry is so lucrative. Dogs don't digest these foods very well, so stick to healthy, nutritious, whole foods (it's good advice for people too!).

7. Artificial sweeteners and artificial fats are harmful to dogs. In fact, they don't really need any flavor enhancers to enjoy their food. They are happy with cooked foods just the way they are.

8. Any spicy foods or rich foods can harm your dog's stomach. And like number 7 above, your dog does not need any spices or seasonings on his food to encourage him to gobble it up!

9. And here's the last of the foods you should never give your dog. This one is hard because so many people do it. Instead of throwing food out that is going bad, many dog owners give it to their dog. Somehow it's believed that dogs can tolerate this better than people. The fact is, you're putting your dog's health at risk by giving him food that should be thrown out.

Remember these important guidelines whenever you are considering sharing your table scraps or snacks with your dog. Fortunately, there are many people foods that are good and healthy for dogs. In fact, there are many dog food and treat recipes you can make with them. Just be sure the foods you should never give your dog, which are listed above, are not in any of them.

Did any of this information surprise you? Many people just didn't know about some of these harmful foods. For more dog nutrition information and even some recipes that your dog will absolutely love, please visit

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My Cat Has Dandruff! Help!
By Darren Chan

I bet most of us didn't even know that dandruff is not just a human problem but can be found on cats too. That is until we see our beloved kitty scratching herself and finding those disgusting dry flaky skin on her. If your cat has dandruff, I suggest you look into it soon before she scratches herself raw and gets an infection.

But what can you do? You've tried it all, bathing, shampooing her and have the scratch marks to prove it. You've vacuumed your floor and cleaned your carpets. Nothing works.

Well, you'll be glad to know that cat dandruff is a problem that many cat owners have faced, and sometimes the solution is ridiculously simple.

One of the first things you should do is to take a look at what you're feeding your feline friend. If you're getting her some of those cheap dry cat food, stop now and start giving her a quality diet. Most cats lack the Omega 3 fatty acids, thus causing them to get dry skin. Start by giving her some fish oil supplements, give it a month and see how it goes.

Next would be to start grooming your cat. You could send her to a good groomer or do it yourself at home. If you decide on the latter, I suggest this device called the FURminator which works really well to get rid of the loose hair on her undercoat. It works well for both long and short haired cats. Once little kitty is nicely groomed, she would be benefitting from a much healthier skin due to her natural oils.

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4 Natural Remedies For Pets That Promote Health & Healing
By Laura Ramirez

Natural remedies for pets can increase your pet's vitality, energy, immunity and ability to heal. This is important if your dog or cat is healthy, but even more essential if your pet is ill or has a serious medical condition such cancer. In this article, you'll learn about four safe, effective holistic medicines that can help your pet stay healthy or get back on the road to health.

Pet Natural Remedies

As a researcher who makes pet owners aware of the natural treatments available, I've found four important herbs that promote immunity, cleanse the liver and the lymph and restore (or maintain) high energy levels overall. These herbs and a brief description of their health benefits appear below.

--Withania Somnifera - elevates energy, promote vitality and increases hemoglobin levels which helps the body heal itself.
--Viscum Album - builds strength and immunity. Lowers blood pressure if it is too high and increases it, if too low.
--Sylibum Marianus - promotes healthy liver function by detoxifying this important organ. Contains helpful flavenoids.
--Echinacea - known for building the immune system. Cleans out the lymph system (particularly important if your pet has an autoimmune disorder or cancer.)

Rather than giving these herbs separately, it is better to find a company that has made them into a tonic-a formulation with standardized ingredients that insures that each dose contains the proper amounts of ingredients in the right percentages and relation to each other, so they will work synergistically to create health and support strong immunity. The best natural remedies for pets contain a combination of the four important ingredients above.

Since all pet natural remedies are not created equal, look look for a company that offers an iron-clad money-back guarantee. This a strong indication that the company has done their due diligence and stands behind their product because they know it works. If you don't have the time to research different remedies, take the advice of someone who researches the area of pet health and wellness for a living.

In addition to giving daily natural remedies for pets, make sure your furry friend gets plenty of attention, healthy food (without additives or preservatives) and lots of water. These simple steps are ways to show your animal how much you care while doing your best to help your pet enjoy a long and happy life.

Laura Ramirez is a dedicated researcher of products that help restore health and vitality to pets and people and keep their immune system strong for prevention. To learn more about her findings, go to

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Hermit Crabs - Where to Purchase
By Debra Atkins

For anybody, adolescent through the senior age, the land hermit crabs make great pets for several reasons, one being the fact that they are real easy to take care of. Unlike some other pets like the fish, cats and dogs, the hermit crabs are regarded to be one of the most popular, low maintenance exotic pets sold today. Perhaps one reason why so many people may select hermit crabs as their pets is because they last for a very long time. Some hermit crab pets could live from a few years at the very least and about 30 years the most.

A unusual variety of the household pet, hermit crabs are viewed to be one of the few on the list of exotic pets which any pet owner may own. Also, having an inexpensive set up and low cost maintenance for this great pet, hermit crabs are hypoallergenic, real clean, quite, easy to maintain and might be taken in and out of their habitat for some bonding time with the owner, which is very different and unlike the fish. Just as these pets have advanced in popularity among people who are searching for a different kind of pet, there can be a lot of enjoyment from observing the hermit crab behavior. For individuals living near the ocean or beach area, it is simple to find a crab that be be taken to your home. Hermit crabs may be found wandering by the sea-coast. Given for instance that you live in the city or someplace far from the ocean, hermit crabs for sale could be purchased from pet shops.

Not all pet stores offers the hermit crab or the supplies and equipment. However, there are pet stores that stock a large array of hermit crab accessories from the cage to the hermit crab gravel. Among the most fundamental of all supplies is the hermit crab food. Even though hermit crabs are born scavengers and will eat almost anything, avoid giving them foods that contain the added preservatives and chemicals, as these could harm their digestive system. Hot, spicy and preserved foods are not recommended for these pets. Along with the crab food that may be purchased in the pet supplies of your favorite pet store, you can also add krill, fresh shrimp, worms and different seafood. Fish is also a favorite as well as fruits like banana, apples, grapes, pears. Having a hermit crab as a pet is not a complicated project. If you have ample food and a suitable shelter, your land hermit crabs will have everything he needs to survive and flourish.

The hermit crabs for sale at you local pet store will make a great pet for almost anyone, any age. But if you live near the ocean, you may be able to pick up the hermit crab for free while walking along the beach. And also, most of the souvenir shops along the beach will offer the hermit crabs supplies as well as the hermit crab for sale.

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