Hairball Prevention, Not Just For Cats!

Pomeranian-RickieB20-Flickr

Pomeranians may develop hairballs, too. Image Copr. RickieB20/Flickr

Hairballs are the bane of cat owners but hairballs can also affect dogs. How many of y’all have discovered Fluffy’s “gift” by walking barefoot late at night? That cigar-shaped slick nasty “squish” disgusts pet owners, and though it’s quite common for cats to urk up the occasional hairball–it is NOT normal.

This Friday is National Hairball Awareness Day, and Dr. Jane Brunt of the Catalyst Council offers some good advice. “The cat has developed a digestive tract that, when it is healthy and working correctly, can handle normal amounts of fur without problem. Even long haired cats should not develop more than one or two hairballs a year,” says Dr. Brunt. “There have been a lot of recent scientific studies about vomiting in cats and that it may be an indication of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which can progress to cancer.”

Yikes! Hear more from Dr. Brunt on the subject in this podcast.

Persian Show Cat

Persians potentially have more coat to choke on…but even the shorthair beauties can develop hairballs. Image Copr. Amy Shojai, CABC

Cats groom themselves, of course, by lick-lick-licking and subsequently swallowing some of the fur. This time of year when shedding takes place, there’s more fur to swallow. When it doesn’t make its way out the normal method and end up in the litter box, fur collects inside the cat and causes irritation and sometimes constipation and blockage. The lucky cats get rid of the mass (technically called a bezoar). It’s more than a nasty nuisance, so as Dr. Jane Brunt says, get your cat checked if your kitty’s “urking” more than normal.

This time of year, dogs also “blow coat” and end up shedding great wads of fuzz. Learn more about shedding here. With my black German Shepherd, Magic, we typically have drifts of dark fuzz left in hunks here and there. It must be itchy, too, because Magic does quite a lot more self-grooming through scratching and nibbling. While big dogs don’t typically hark up hairballs, smaller pooches with thick coats–like Pomeranians–can develop hairballs and either vomit them up or become constipated or even blocked.

So what can you do? With either dogs or cats, good grooming strips away the loose fur as it’s shed. That prevents it being swallowed, developing into painful mats, and helps keep your carpet (relatively) fur free. My fav grooming tool for both cats and dogs is the Furminator. Seren loves getting combed with this, and Magical-Dawg with his longer coat can lose half his body mass with one session! (Not really, but it does look like that…)

What are some of your grooming tips to prevent hairballs, mats and other “big hairy deals” in your pets? Do tell!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered–post in the comments. Do you have a new kitten and need answers? I’m a new Brand Ambassador for The Honest Kitchen and you can get FREE samples here, check it out! (Karma loves this!). Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Monday Mentions: Blogpaws, Cat Font Fun & Writer-icity

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I’m still recovering from the wonderful experience at BLOGPAWS! It may take a while to get caught up, but I plan to post some more pictures/video and recap on Wednesday’s blog so stay tuned. Suffice it to say–it was lots of furry

<—-FUN!  (SEE MORE Cat Font Fun!) Thanks to Romeo-the-Cat.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo writer links and videos, pet schtuff and bling and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Check out the SQUEEE! cute pet-astic videos at the bottom, too. For new followers to the blog, welcome! and you can expect more cat and dog specific schtuff later in the week on Wednesday and Friday.

 

WRITER-ICITY SCHTUFF

 Amazon Kindle Singles Submissions

What’s Your Novel Worth? figure it out here!

Twitter Self-Serve Ads oh really? one more place spend $$

YesWare Email Tracking

Author Newsletter Tips

Microsoft offers $1 Billion for Nook Media!and there’s more info about it here.

Screenwriting Consultants taking out all the creativity? Hmnnn

Author Exploitation it just gets better and better NOT! and from the same author (he’s great!) a new book for writers, Let’s Get Visible!

Get Shortlink for Amazon Ebooks for ALL Territories great for those with a book listed in many countries

Literary Pets! wasn’t sure where to post this one, but fun stuff!

PET-CENTRIC SCHTUFF

“Kiss Me, I’m Rescued” Photo Contest benefits your fav nonprofit pet organization…like Winn Feline Foundation

Which is Healthier–Purebred or Mix (you may be surprised!)

People & Dogs & Nutrition, Oh My!  Evolution and digestion, pretty darned interesting

5 Ways to Include Cats in Emergency Plans from the great folks at Catalyst Council

Hedgehogs & Salmonella how can something so cute be so dangerous? Great post and cautions (hmmn, plot for a thriller?)

Lyme Disease Education from PetCareRx important info for pet parents!

Feline Film Festival–Again!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!