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Monday, February 07, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Heather Reynolds!

We're thrilled to bring to you a guest post from our friend, Heather Reynolds, an Internet journalist for Trupanion Health Insurance for pets. Just to let you know, Bocci' Beefs has received no compensation whatsoever from Trupanion or from Heather Reynolds, and we're not in any way touting Trupanion pet health insurance. We haven't yet taken the time to research the variety of companies offering pet health insurance to make a thoughtful and informed choice. But Ms. Reynolds was generous enough to provide us with some of her expertise on pet health issues, gleaned from her work in the pet health insurance industry.

So take it away, Heather!

Pet Health Concerns
Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and Internet journalist at Trupanion pet insurance company. 
The health of a pet is of utmost importance to us pet owners. We watch and monitor our pets for the slightest signs of unease or unrest and if we spot something out of the ordinary, we are researching symptoms and causes of different illnesses. And while we hope that our furry friends stay happy and healthy forever, inevitably curiosity or simply bad luck have us rushing to the vet.

So what are some common health issues that affect our beloved pets? I work at Trupanion, a pet insurance company, and we see many similar claims come through our database. If we are aware of common concerns, we are better equipped to recognize what is wrong and therefore we are better equipped to help our pet in his time of need. Here are some of the common issues we see: 

Dogs and cats can develop allergies just like humans. An allergy is an immune disorder and there are different types, including food allergies, flea allergies, and inhalant allergies. The most common symptom of allergies is itchy skin, however you may also see respiratory issues such as sneezing and wheezing. Treatment may be as mild as changing the pet’s diet to the extreme of allergy shots.

Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a condition of the ball and socket hip joints in which the ball does not properly fit in the socket. Symptoms include joint pain, limping, and lameness. This condition is diagnosed by examining hips or taking x-rays of the hip joints. Hip dysplasia is treated either surgically or non-surgically. Non-surgical treatments include weight control, exercise control, and medication. 

Heart Disease
Heart disease describes many different diseases that affect the heart, including congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and heartworm. Symptoms include fluid retention, faster or slower heart rate, weakness, lethargy and weight loss. Treatment is varied for each condition, but it’s imperative to keep your pets on heartworm preventative to eliminate this one concern.

Obesity is an umbrella concern that leads to many other issues, including arthritis, pancreatitis, diabetes, and high blood pressure. To determine if your pet is overweight, run your hands over your pet and feel for the spine, shoulder blades, and ribs. If you have to dig through many layers of fat, there is a most likely a problem. There should also be a well-defined waist and a tight abdomen. Exercise and diet are the best ways to ‘cure’ obesity.

Cancer may be one of the scariest conditions our pets could develop. While nothing will help the emotional pain of caring for a dog or cat with cancer, thankfully, with recent advancements in veterinary medicine, there are now treatment options including chemotherapy and radiation. Symptoms are varied for different forms of cancer, but it’s important to run your hands over your pet to feel for lumps every couple months. Other symptoms could include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, and diarrhea.

You can never be too informed when it comes to your pet. Pets bring us so much joy and happiness, and keeping a keen eye on them for any signs of illness is the least we can do to keep them with us for as long as possible. 

Thanks Heather! If you're interested in exploring the insurance coverage offered by Trupanion, check out their website here: www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/


Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

YAY!!!! We know and LOVE Heather!!! She is a monthly contributor to our blog "Cat Chat" and she brings so much added value to our blog! We greatly appreciate her!

Love, Caren and Cody ((((hugs)))) to Heather!

Peggy Frezon said...

Hey, Heather's doing a post on my blog next Friday (Pets as Ice Breakers)! It's great to see her here too, and to find out that she's on Cat Chat too. Thanks Bocci and thanks Heather!

Cat and DOG Chat With Caren said...

@Peggy, Heather sure gets around!!! xoxoxoxo

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