Water Buffalo Foot Mouth Disease

The horns of males are almost grown together. ...

The horns of males are almost grown together. There are only a few hairs between the horns, other than female animals. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Water Buffalo Foot Mouth Disease is caused by a virus. This disease affects African buffalo, cattle and sheep. It also affects deer, goats, pigs and bison.

 

Water buffalo

Since it affects most cloven hoofed animals, the disease has is economically important. Animals can be carriers for years and water buffalo are known to be able to carry the virus for as many as five years. It is the most contagious viral illness that affects animals.

Dog Skin Problems – Simple Ways to Treat Common Dog Skin Problems

My life as a dog

My life as a dog (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

 

Dog skin problems can wreck havoc on your dog’s skin and on your nerves. Watching your beloved dog scratch, lick and chew on themselves in obvious pain and discomfort can be heartbreaking. In this short article, we will take a closer look at common dog skin problems and then I will direct you to some resources that will help you solve common, dog skin problems.

The most common dog skin problems occur as a result of allergies, fungi, mange, mites, flees and dry skin. Most of these conditions can be easily treated, while others may be a result of a dangerous underlying condition.

One dog skin problem that most owners are familiar with, is seasonal, environmental and dietary allergies. Food allergies can occur when you introduce a new type of food or diet plan to your dog or when he/she has simply built up an intolerance to foods that they have normally tolerated very well.

Allergies in dogs are often times only seasonal. Simply being observant will clue you in to the time of year your dog suffers from allergies the most. During these seasons, simply be proactive. Visit your veterinarian and come up with a plan to combat whatever your dog is allergic to, before your dog begins having problems.

Simple Tips to Combat Dog Skin Problems:

1. If your dog’s skin problems are due to food allergies, than talk to your vet about introducing a digestive enzyme into their diet. You may even want to begin to make your dog homemade meals and snacks, or at least purchase natural, pre-made dog food.

2. If you are unsure about the cause of your dog skin problems or how to treat it, than find a cheap notebook, or a sheet of paper and write down your dog’s symptoms, when they seem to suffer the most and what any outbreaks look like. Take this to your veterinarian. Your vet should be able to help you come up with a solution.

You can also research various dog skin problems, symptoms and their possible treatment options online or you can speak with other dog owners. They are apt to have some similar experiences.

You can also find great tips and information concerning dog skin problems at: http://dog-skin-problems.blogspot.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Roxanne_Manning

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Before You Buy An Exotic Animal

This is Savannah the Fennec Fox! She's only 10...

This is Savannah the Fennec Fox! She’s only 10 months old. She’s training to be an animal actor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So you just found a website or auction of exotic animals for sale and decided you want to buy that cute fennec fox or that mighty tiger for your house. Stop. That’s not how you should buy an exotic animal.

The first priority of any exotic animal owner (or animal owner in general) should be the welfare of the animal. And that means you must do a few things before even considering acquiring an exotic pet.

Unfortunately, today finding exotic animals for sale is so easy and regulations are so scarce that most of the times animals are bought on an impulse. The unsuspecting and well-intentioned person arrives home with their new pet only to find out that they don’t have the money, time or space to take care of it.

Don’t let this happen to you! Follow the next steps one by one before acquiring your animal and you will be on your way to providing excellent care.

 

  1. Research into the animal’s habits. Is it nocturnal or diurnal? What does it feed on? Does it live in groups or solitarily? Does it require a lot of playtime or not really?
  2. Find care sheets. These are not easy to come by, particularly for exotic animals. You may need to look into Zoo standards and other similar documents until you have a good idea of diet, housing and enrichment.
  3. Prepare your house. Make sure you have appropriate housing.
  4. Locate a supplier of food. It may simply be fruit or seeds, but you may need insects, bambu or other specific elements.
  5. Locate a vet. Vet care of exotic animals (known as zoo medicine) is very different from farm or pet medicine. Locate a vet in your area that can treat your chosen pet.
  6. Make sure you know the law. Some states don’t allow certain animals. Others place strict conditions. Check if your state allows you to keep that particular species. If it doesn’t you may want to check the laws of animal sanctuaries or zoos. Make sure to talk to a lawyer who is knowledgeable about animal law.
  7. Health issues are important. You must know common diseases of the animal and ways to prevent, treat and even identify them but also public health concerns such as zoonotic diseases or probability of bites.
  8. Learn if it is preferable to have a single animal or various. Inform yourself about breeding (the law for breeding is often different from the law for just keeping the animal) and mixed habitat. This is particularly important if you are building a collection, as opposed to getting a pet.

 

As you can see, there is a lot of information you must know and steps you must take before even starting to locate a breeder. I recommend you make a list of several breeders and visit and enquire them before making your choice.

If you want to find exotic animals for sale, equipment, free care sheets for specific animals, and much more for the exotic animal keeper, visit Exotic Animal Zoo

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Luke_Andrews

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Hoof Flares in the Barefoot Horse – How to Prevent Them

English: An Italian rider trotting on a barefo...

English: An Italian rider trotting on a barefoot mare into Monfalcone Karst, Monfalcone, Italy. Hard ground. Note booted fronts (transition period after de-shoeing). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my practice I see many horses suffering from the ill effects of hoof flares, especially the barefoot horse. In fact, with the barefoot movement becoming so popular, I see more horses than ever who have improperly trimmed hooves, sometimes with serious side effects. I’ve seen many performance horses with health and soundness issues directly relating to hoof flares. That’s why this article focuses on both the causes of hoof flares and the ways to prevent them.

Hoof flares are caused by a weakening of the attachments (laminae) of the hoof wall to the coffin bone inside the foot. In wild horses the separation that occurs at the lower part of the wall allows that portion of wall to break off so that their hooves don’t grow too long in soft footing. Horses in the wild live on rocky soil and rarely have hoof flares because constant travel over rough ground (up to 25 miles a day) keeps the hoof worn off at the correct length. Most domesticated horses don’t live on such rocky soil but, even so, there is no reason that, with proper trimming and management, the barefoot horse should suffer from hoof flares.

To determine if your horse has hoof flares run a straight edge from the coronary band to the ground surface of the foot and move this edge all the way around the hoof. There should never be any space between the straight edge and the hoof wall. Does your barefoot horse have hoof flares? If so, you might want to consider the conditions that allow them to form, including both mechanical causes, nutritional causes, and hoof wall infections.

** Mechanical Causes **

Obesity: An overweight horse or a horse with a large body but small feet will tend to have trouble with hoof flares because of the excess weight that has to be carried over such a small area. In a barefoot horse, the overtaxed laminae weaken and stretch, causing flares. Dieting and increased exercise are the obvious answers for the overweight horse but the small-footed horse will have to be managed with greater care. If you have a small-footed horse you will need to pay close attention to his diet and be sure that hoof flares are trimmed off at each trimming.

Too Long Between Trims: In the wild hoof flares are nature’s way of breaking off excessive hoof wall. In other words, the hoof wall is weaker where the hoof flares and tends to break off as the horse travels over hard, rocky soil. Without this mechanism the wild horse would end up extremely long flared hooves and would not be able to run from predators. Fortunately, wild horses constantly wear their hooves down with lengthy daily travel. The domestic barefoot horse is not as fortunate. Since most domestic horses live on soft ground and don’t travel as much as wild horses, they don’t have a chance to wear their hooves down daily, a little at a time. Instead, the domesticated horse’s hooves grow flares, which then break off in large chunks. This uneven wear makes it hard to shoe the horse or balance the hoof for even weight-bearing. The best way to avoid flares caused by hoof overgrowth is to trim your horse at regular intervals and be sure to keep a roll on the edge of the hoof wall to allow for easy breakover.

** Nutritional Causes **

Deficiencies or Imbalances: Horses need adequate minerals in the correct balance to have healthy hooves. Sulfur is especially important because it is a disulfide bond that holds the hoof laminae to the coffin bone. If your barefoot horse suffers from poor hoof quality it is important to analyze the nutritional content of your hay before adding expensive supplements. If analyzing your hay is not an option then consider giving your horse a food-based supplement such as Simplexity Health’s blue-green algae, which provides a very broad range of trace minerals in a balanced form that your horse can easily assimilate. Biotin is another nutrient that is important for hoof health but if your horse has plenty of beneficial bacteria in his gut, these bacteria produce will produce sufficient biotin. It is better to support your horse’s good gut bacteria by feeding probiotics than feeding biotin because the healthy bacteria does so much more for your horse, including keeping his immune system strong. Simplexity Health also offers high potency probiotics.

Overfeeding: Besides making your horse fat, giving your horse too much feed that is high in starch will cause a shift in the bacterial population in your horse’s hindgut (or cecum). Normally the cecum is designed to digest only fiber but if undigested starch makes it past the small intestine into the hindgut, the fiber-digesting bacteria that live in the cecum die off and the starch-digesting bacteria take over. This shift can be devastating to your horse because it causes toxins to be released into his bloodstream that, in turn, cause an enzyme to be released that breaks down the laminae in the hoof wall. Well-known hoof expert Pete Ramey believes that this is nature’s way of allowing excessively long hoof walls to break off easily if the wild horse happens to move into a grazing situation with high sugar content forage. In the wild horse this bounty would be a temporary situation but with the barefoot domestic horse long-term high starch or sugar diets can cause chronic hoof problems that may eventually progress to laminitis.

** Hoof Wall Infections **

Many types of fungus and bacteria have been blamed for hoof wall separation or “white line” disease but in reality these pathogens are probably simply taking advantage of the environment created in the foot when the hoof wall attachments become weak from another cause. Once the pathogen is in place, however, to promote healthy hoof growth in your barefoot horse you may need to treat your horse’s hooves even after the underlying cause has been corrected. Very minor hoof wall infections respond to a topical mix of 1 ounce tea tree oil diluted in 16 ounces of apple cider vinegar. Deeper infections must be treated more aggressively. The best product I have found for persistent white line infections is White Lightning. This product is applied under a wrap or within an airtight soaking boot and it releases a chlorine gas that penetrates deep into the hoof tissue. It does not affect healthy tissue and the treatment should be done once a week until healthy hoof attachments have grown all the way down and there is no separation or stretching showing in the white line. Horses that don’t respond to treatment for hoof infections and careful management may have a weak immune system and treatment will need to be focused there to see results.

How to Trim Hoof Flares

If you barefoot horse does have hoof flares, I recommend trimming them aggressively. When I trim a horse with hoof flares, I rasp from the front of the hoof wall until I no longer have any space showing when I run my straight edge around the hoof. This may remove enough wall that shoeing will not be possible and the horse may need boots or pea gravel footing to be comfortable. Some trimmers are not going to want to do this but I feel it is the fastest way to grow out a healthy hoof as any flare that is left in place will tend to drag the new hoof growing down away from the bone. The best plan is to avoid hoof flares and with proper management of the hoof, diet, and immune system they should never be a problem.

For more information on managing the barefoot horse or for one-stop shopping for holistic horsekeeping products such as those mentioned in this article, be sure to click the resource box below.

Madalyn Ward, DVM, is a recognized author and veterinarian in the field of holistic horsekeeping. For free tips on horse health, horse personality types, and horse nutrition, plus one-stop shopping on holistic horse products, visit http://www.BuyHolisticHorse.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Madalyn_Ward,_DVM

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Hamster Behavior

English: A short-haired hamster (named "E...

English: A short-haired hamster (named “Egbert”) sitting in its owner’s hand and eating a piece of carrot. Français : Un hamster mangeant un morceau de carotte dans les mains de son propriétaire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Watching your hamster frolic around his cage can provide you with hours of enjoyment, but what exactly is he up to? Is he just playing, or do his actions have some other meaning associated with them. Hamsters are complicated little creatures and understanding a little more about why they do the things they do can help you keep your hamster healthy and stress-free. It’s a well-known fact that reducing stress for a hamster is the best thing you can do to help your hamster live a long and healthy life.

If you see your hamster creeping along the floor of his cage, your hamster is nervous about something, usually something outside of his cage. Do you have a cat nearby, or is there a lot of commotion that could be startling your hamster? Keep an eye out for things that could be causing your hamster stress.
If things get worse and your hamster gets frightened he may put his ears forward and puff his cheeks up. This is a classic sign of fright, and may be quickly followed by an emptying of his cheek pouches if he was carrying any food in them. At this point he’s not happy about the situation at all and is getting ready to run.

If you ever attempt to handle your hamster and you notice that his ears are back then you’d better remove your hand quickly as he’s feeling very aggressive and is likely to bite. Another warning sign if you ever go to handle your hamster is if you see him lying on his back with his teeth bare – you may think this a sign of submission but it’s actually another sign that your hamster is frightened and he will bite you in this state if you attempt to pick him up.

Some of the more pleasant signs to look for in your hamster are burrowing and grooming. If you spot your hamster burrowing (which is very likely) it just means that he’s looking for stray bits of food lying amongst his bedding material that he may have missed before. They’ll spend a great deal of time doing this so it’s an easy one to spot. If you catch your hamster grooming or stretching then you are looking at a particularly content and happy hamster!

If you have particularly good hearing you may occasionally catch your hamster making squeaking noises. Consider yourself lucky, as the average hamster squeak lasts only a fraction of a second, and the vast majority of hamster vocalization takes place in a frequency range that is completely undetectable by humans.

A more noticeable noise is teeth chattering – this is a sign that your hamster is unsettled, and is seen most often when a hamster is introduced to a cage that already has a hamster in it. Watch for the warning signs of potential combat between the two hamsters.

Hamsters use various scent glands on their bodies to mark their territory by rubbing the glands up against the sides of the cage. If there’s a spot in the cage they wish to mark but can’t get to with their glands they’ll scratch their scent glands with their rear feet and then walk around the area they wish to claim as theirs. When males and females in the same cage are ready to mate they’ll both reduce their markings, giving each other the signal that it’s okay for the other to approach.

You may occasionally catch your hamster chewing at the bars of his cage. Although he may look like he’s trying to chew his way to freedom he’s actually keeping his every-growing teeth at a reasonable length. If he didn’t continue to keep his teeth ground down they’d cause serious dental problems and illness. Just make sure the bars on the cage aren’t rusty!

Visit the Hamster-Zone website for even more detailed information on hamster care, hamster diet, hamster cages, and much, much more. Learn important tips on how to keep your hamster healthy and happy, including proper diet, care, and cage enrichment. Remember, a happy hamster is a healthy hamster!

Also get your FREE handy hamster illness chart when you sign up for the Hamster-Zone newsletter.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Adam_King

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Sharks As Pets – A Guide to Keeping Sharks in a Home Aquarium

Epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum) at th...

Epaulette shark (Hemiscyllium ocellatum) at the Adventure Aquarium, Camden, NJ, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those who have or are thinking about getting a salt water aquarium for their home, the possibility of having a shark might cross your mind. You might that a shark must be too large for a home aquarium, but there are a few species of sharks that only grow to three feet. Two species of sharks that work best in a home aquarium are the Bamboo Cat Shark and Epaulette shark. However, before you go out and buy a shark there are a few things you need to have if you want your shark to live a long and happy life!

The first thing you must consider when getting a shark for your home aquarium is the size of the tank they will be housed! A proper sized aquarium should be based on how big the shark will be when it is fully grown. A good rule of thumb is for the length of the tank to be three times the length of the shark with the width being two times as big. A good sized aquarium should be able to hold 200 gallons of water! If you wish to have more than one shark in your aquarium, then you will want to have a bigger tank. After you have a good tank, you will need to consider how to feed your shark.

The Bamboo Cat Shark and Epaulette Shark are rather easy to feed and will accept just about any meaty food you give them, such as squid and shrimp. The sharks should only need to be fed 2-3 times a week, if you feed them more often the quality of the water will go down.

Another thing you will probably be wondering about is how much a live shark is going to cost you. The Bamboo Cat Shark can be found for as little as 69.99. The Epaulette Shark gets imported from Australia and the prices tend to start out at around 379.99! Once you are ready to buy your shark there are a couple of things you need to look for on the shark itself to make sure you are getting a healthy animal.

When you go to the pet shop or to a breeder to buy your shark, there are some things to look for in selecting a shark that is in good health. The first thing to look at is the cleanliness of the tank the shark is in. If the tank looks clean you are much more likely to be buying a healthy shark than if there is lots of debris floating in the water.

Another thing to check is to see if the shark has any blemishes anywhere on its body, these can be a sign of bacterial infestations. If the shark looks like it’s missing any scales it can be sign of a shark that is not healthy. It is also a good idea to buy a shark that is young to make sure that it will be able to adapt to the new home.

Having a pet shark can be a very rewarding experience if you are willing to put the time and effort in to keep it healthy and happy. If you are buying your first shark it is recommended to buy the shark from an expert so that they can help you keep the shark healthy and happy. It is also recommended to check with your local library or on-line to get more information for raising your new pet shark.

I am the creator of the blog http://homeaquariums.byethost14.com The website is dedicated specifically to 75 gallon aquariums, it is consistently updated with articles like this one, product reviews, and photos of aquariums and fish! Come check us out!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jonathan_C

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