Lovable Scottish Terriers

A Few Facts About the Lovable Scottish Terriers

 

Scottish terriers are easily recognizable as short, sturdy dogs with long hair, upright pointed ears and tail, a distinctive beard, and long, bushy eyebrows. Owners of these dogs usually refer to them as ‘Scotties.’ In some quarters they are called Aberdeen Terriers.

 

Puppies of Presidents and Kings

 

One of the more famous of these terriers was President Franklin D Roosevelt’s dog, Fala. Fala may be one of the only Scotties to be memorialized by a statue. A somewhat larger than life statue of Fala sits near the feet of his master at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington D.C. When he died in 1952, Fala was buried in the White House Rose Garden, next to the sundial. Fala was only one of the Scottish Terriers to call the White House home. Presidents Eisenhower and George W. Bush also had pet Scotties when they resided there.

 

Not only have Scotties been puppies of presidents, they have been puppies of kings as well. It’s said the breed, which was originally used on farms to hunt vermin and foxes, was much loved by King James VII. Consequently, it eventually became a much-loved breed throughout much of Scotland and England.

 

Scotties are affectionate little dogs, as well as being extremely active. Consequently, to make a good pet they should have obedience training. These dogs also need to be taught where they are not allowed to dig, if they’re allowed to dig at all. They were bred to be vermin hunters, an as such are natural diggers. They are also a breed that requires a good deal of exercise. Even though they’re a small dog, they are not suitable for living a sedentary lifestyle in an apartment. Apartment life is all right however if the dog can be taken on walks regularly.

 

Scotties are generally friendly towards other dogs and towards other pets. They are considered to be easy to train. FDR’s Scottie was quite willing to perform a number of tricks. They make very good watchdogs, but because of their somewhat diminutive size they to not rate highly as protective dogs, nor do they have much in the way of a protective instinct. Because of their somewhat heavy coat these dogs do moderately well in cold weather, but they are not particularly tolerant of hot weather.

 

Not in the Top Ten, But a Very Popular Terrier

 

As far as popularity goes, Scottish Terriers rank around 50th when it comes to the most popular breeds according to the American Kennel Club. Still, the Scottie is among the favorite of the terrier breeds although it significantly trails the ever popular Yorkshire Terrier, usually ranked among the five most popular breeds. Scotties were extremely popular in the United States during the period between the two World Wars.

 

A Smart Little Dog – But Patience is Required While Training a Puppy

 

If you bring a Scottie puppy home with you, it’s best to begin training it almost immediately. It needs to be worked with on a consistent basis. Training sessions that are only given to correct problems usually don’t work. These dogs need to know where their boundaries are at. They do best when given lots of affection and positive reinforcement during training sessions. The main requirement placed on the owner is that of having a great deal of patience. Owners are cautioned not to allow Scottie puppies to do things that would not be tolerated in an adult dog. Any habit this breed forms can sometimes be difficult to break.

 

A Positive Reinforcement Approach is Essential

 

Another bit of advice is that if punishment is required, it should never be done just after calling the dog to you. This breed seems to have a memory that is usually associated with the elephant. If you call the dog to you, and then punish it for something it’s done, it may be a long, long time before it will come again when called. As a breed, Scotties don’t take well to punishment, or any type of correction-based training for that matter, which is why positive reinforcement is recommended during training sessions. These are smart little dogs, and they will generally catch on fairly quickly as to what it is you expect of them. If you do decide to take your Scottie to obedience training classes, look for classes that use the positive reinforcement approach.

 

Scottish Terrier Club of America

 

If you own a Scottie, or are thinking about getting one, a good resource is the Scottish Terrier Cub of America website. The STCA is the official American Kennel Club organization for this breed. The STCA has all of the information you would ever need to know about the breed and provides useful advice on rescue efforts, shelters, and breeders. The STCA has a listing of pedigrees for over 110,000 Scottish Terriers. You’re welcome to joint the organization, and more than welcome to make a donation if you wish to. You’re also welcome to participate in the activities sponsored by the various regional clubs. Donations that are given are primarily used to support the STCA Health Trust Fund and the STCA Rescue efforts. The STCA has a magazine, the Bagpiper, that is published four times a year. It is free to those who are members of the Club.

Mixed Breed Dogs, Designer Dogs, Mutts, and So On

Mixed Breed Dogs, Designer Dogs, Mutts, and So On

 

Mixed breed dogs go by many different names. When it is impossible to guess at a dog’s ancestry, the dog is likely to be referred to as a mutt. If it’s a particularly ugly mutt, or is perhaps homeless, it’s a mongrel.

 

A cross-breed is either a dog that has been cross-bred on purpose or by accident, and generally is a mix of two different breeds. A mutt or mongrel is typically made up of a number of different breeds, not just two, and in many cases those different breeds can only be guessed at. A mongrel’s parents are likely to have been mongrels as well, with each parent possibly made up of a completely different combination of breeds than the other.

 

When a mixed-breed dog comes from purebred parents that are of different breeds, it is often called a designer dog, or a hybrid. A boutique dog is another term that is often used. It is a term that is frequently reserved for somewhat exotic looking, smaller hybrids. There are mixed breed dogs however that have the bloodlines of three or four different breeds in them, which happened on purpose and not by accident. Breeders are well known for attempting to keep the bloodline of a particular breed as pure as possible, or for attempting to find just the right parents to produce a litter of designer or hybrid dogs.  An example of this would be the loveable Husky Pomeranian mix.  There are also breeders who work towards establishing mixed breeds, dogs whose bloodlines are made up of certain percentages of several different breeds; 25 percent of this breed, 25 percent of that breed, and so on. Once you get beyond the first generation of these mixes however, it can quickly become difficult to keep track of the bloodlines and keep them ‘pure.’

 

‘Widely Varies’ is Often the Common Denominator

 

If you were to look at the characteristics mixed breeds have, such as appearance, health, temperament, and care requirements, those characteristics could usually be summed up as ‘widely varies.’ No matter what the breeds involved are, mixed breeds share at least one characteristic with other mixed breeds, and with purebreds as well. They are pack animals. Being pack animals, they need to find their place in the pack, and they need to know who the leader of the pack is. Fortunately, most dogs adapt to having a human as their leader although some require more training than others before that begins to sink in. While there is a tendency to attempt to humanize a dog that has been taken in as a pet, a dog does not think exactly as a human does, and this always needs to be taken into account. If you take the time to learn about dog behavior it usually won’t matter who the ancestors of a given mixed breed dog were. Its behavior should still be close to what might be considered standard canine behavior.

 

Mixed Breeds, Mutts, and Mongrels Tend to be Healthier

 

One of the advantages to owning mixed breed dogs is that they are generally healthier than their pure breed counterparts. Their blood lines may be so widely spread that genetic issues affecting a certain breed’s health may be lessened or even eliminated. When you see a mutt or mongrel that is not in the best of health is usually because it has not been well treated, or properly cared for. When adequately cared for, mutts and mixed breeds will usually live a long, happy, and healthy life.

 

There are many different canine breeds. Around 400 different breeds are currently recognized. They all belong to the same species however. There is just one species of dog. What sets the pure breeds apart is that the two parents have very similar characteristics and the puppies in their litter, once grown, will look very much the same. When you purchase a pure breed puppy, you usually know what you’re getting. When you purchase a mixed breed, you really can’t be sure what it will look like as an adult. An exception might be a case in which the breeder has carefully controlled the bloodlines of the puppy.

 

No Such Thing as a Hybrid

 

Technically, there is no such thing as a hybrid dog, although there are plenty of mixed breeds. The difference lies in the wording, and not with the breeds themselves. Since all dogs are of the same species, and it’s impossible to have a hybrid of anything that is of the same species, a hybrid dog cannot exist and should technically be referred to as a mixed breed or cross-bred dog. It’s all in the wording.

 

Only purebred dogs qualify for the AKC list of standard breeds. There are organizations that list hybrids and designer dogs. The standards are not the same as those of the AKC of course. There often are no standards at all. To be listed or registered as a hybrid or mixed breed, each parent must be of a single but different breed. It’s often possible to tell what a hybrid puppy will look like when it matures, although it depends on which of its parent’s genes are dominant. In certain circumstances one may be able to predict how a mixed breed puppy that has the bloodlines of three or more separate breeds will turn out, but it is usually more difficult to do so. It is generally impossible to predict the outcome at the mutt or mongrel level.

Preventing and Treating Bruises

Preventing and Treating Bruises

As a ER nurse, my job is to access the injuries of the patients that come into my hospital. One of the things I see a lot is unexplained bruising. A bruise is usually caused by someone bumping into something, or falling or in the case of coming to the hospital, I see a lot of bruises and tears on skins caused by car accidents or fighting.

It’s easy to identify a bruise. The skin looks discolored and is black and blue due to damaged blood vessels under the skin where the injury happened. Bruises usually hurt and feel tender for a few days. I can give you some advice, if you have a very painful bruise it’s possible you broke your arm or leg, so you should likely come to the ER where I can assess it and check you out!

Sometimes you will get a bump with a bruise, like if you get knocked on the head. This is a possible serious thing and you could have a concussion, so be sure to get to the ER to see the doctors fast and nurses like me will take care of you right away. Once you get a bruise, I was taught that they usually heal in a week or two, but if not, you could have a more serious issue and should be seen by your regular doctor.

The best way for you to treat a bruise is by putting ice on it right when the injury happens. This helps it not get as bad and will also make you feel better. You should wrap the ice in a washcloth or use a disposable ice pack and leave it on for about 10 minutes, then take it off, and then put it back on for another 10 minutes in an hour or two.

You can also put some pressure on the bruised area by putting an elastic bandage on it if it is in a spot like a leg or arm. This helps because the bandage holds the blood vessels in place and they don’t leak blood, so the bruise doesn’t get so bad.

Once it has been 24 hours, you can use heat instead of ice on the bruise. One time I hurt my ankle and got a bad bruise. I had to wrap it up in an elastic bandage and I couldn’t go to work that day. My little dog, Spike, tripped me and I had to prop my foot up, put on some ice and wait until it felt better, so I know all about bruises from a first-hand experience! They are not fun.

 

How to Adopt a Dog

Dogs have always been mans best friend. They are loyal, friendly, sociable, protective and, fit in to any family easily. At least that’s what I know about my Boxer Pitbull mix, Regal. He has been living with me at my apartment for two years now and I consider him companion and family at the same time.

cute dogFortunately, circumstances enabled me to adopt Regal. My work schedule didn’t allow me to be home regularly and a spate of break ins in my neighborhood got me concerned. With no family member willing to move in with me, my only alternative was to get a guard dog. And that’s how I got my Regal.

Adopting is a pretty straightforward process. However, many homeowners adopting pets fail to plan prior to adopting and end up with a pet they would rather have left at the shelter. Here’s how I went about it.

Why do you want a dog?

For me deciding on a dog over a parrot or a cat was simple. I wanted my home secure. The question here is to ask, why does my home need a dog? Is it the kids ranting about the terrier they saw on TV or, does your wife prefer a dog because she’s allergic to cat dander? Getting the answer to this will help you decide on the type of dog you should get.

Research the dog breeds available

Dogs will come as purebred or cross breeds. Purebred dogs tend to be rarer especially in shelters. You’ll get a better shot at a cross breed. I especially like cross breeds because they will take traits from both parents. In addition, they are less likely to fall ill often due to the hereditary traits passed down from their parents.

What characteristics do you want?

For me it was quite simple. I wanted a dog that’s friendly, obedient, strong, loyal and protective. The mix of a pitbull and a boxer made the perfect fit. When looking at the characteristics, you should also consider things like the breeds susceptibility to diseases, the average life expectancy, age, temperament, grooming needs and, recognition.

Finding a dog shelter

For me it was easy finding the right dog shelter as there are a couple of these within the state. However, there are a number of online tools that are helpful in finding the dog that you wish to adopt. After finding the shelter, make an appointment with a pet counselor.

Prepare the necessary documentation

I was asked to provide my identification, proof that my landlord has allowed pets on the premises and, a filled out application. This is generally what is asked for although some shelters might require other documents.

Wait for approval

I had to wait at least 24 hours before my adoption request was approved. Only then was I allowed to take Regal home. I was also asked to pay the adoption fees but it was well worth it.

Take your dog home

I had already prepared my apartment for Regal’s arrival. We instantly bonded and he was equally excited about his new home.

Neutropenic Precautions: What It Is and What It Is For?

Do you have ulcers, rashes, abscesses or wounds that take some time to heal? If you do, you may be suffering from a more serious health condition called neutropenia.

Neutropenia is a condition wherein a person’s white blood cells are considerably low. It can be caused by nutritional deficiency, bone marrow problem, leukemia, tuberculosis, certain viral infection, dengue fever, chemotherapy, or exposure to radiation. White blood cells defend the body against bacteria and infections. With a low level of white blood cells, a person is more prone to infections including ulcer and many others.

Unlike other health conditions which manifest different symptoms, neutropenia does not have any symptoms. That is why it is hard to detect. Many patients just learn of their condition through a blood test conducted for unrelated purposes.

To prevent patients with neutropenia from getting serious infections, they normally undergo neutropenic precautions, you can read more about it here at http://www.neutropenicprecautions.com. As far as I know, the neutropenic precautions have no standard protocol yet and they can vary across medical institutions. But there are three more common neutropenic precautions, namely diet, clothing and environment.

Neutropenic Diet

A person under neutropenic diet must avoid eating all uncooked or undercooked vegetables, fish, meat, and poultry products. Most uncooked fruits must also be avoided except those with thick peelings such as oranges and bananas. Aside from cooked vegetables, meat, poultry and fish, you may also eat canned fruits, vacuum packed meats, pasteurized milk and other dairy products. You should also take in more water. Other foods to be avoided are honey, deli foods and salads.

The neutropenic diet is normally observed when the patient’s white blood cells fall below a certain limit. And it is strictly observed until the condition improves.

Neutropenic Clothing

Also part of neutropenic precaution is to wear the right clothing. You should wear full and clean clothing including shoes every day. It is also recommended to wear a mask especially if you are near a hospital to prevent contact with airborne bacteria and microorganisms.

Neutropenic Environment

As a neutropenic precaution, it is best that you should be in a private room if staying in the hospital. Under no circumstances should a person with flu or another transmittable disease be allowed to visit you. Normally, healthcare providers of neutropenia patients are not allowed to care for other patients with transmittable diseases to prevent spreading the infection. Furthermore, you and those people who are around you should always observe proper hand washing protocols.

 

Patients suffering from neutropenia need to consult their doctor. In mild cases of neutropenia, observing neutropenic precautions may be enough to treat the condition. However, in severe cases, your doctor may recommend taking drugs that can suppress the immune system or drugs that can help fight bacterial infections. There is also a special treatment called granulocyte colony-stimulating factor or more commonly known as G-CSF which is designed to stimulate the production of white blood cells by the bone marrow.

The different neutropenic precautions play an important role in the treatment and in the prevention of infections of patients with neutropenia. If you are suffering from this health problem, it would be best to strictly observe them.

 

What is the Best Breastfeeding Diet?

While there are moms who are working on how to stop breastfeeding, I also have a friend who is much concerned about proper diet while breastfeeding. She’s a first time parent and decided she would breastfeed her infant until two years old. But she is worried that what she is eating might badly affect her baby.

A mom’s diet can make a big difference in the nutritious quality of her breast milk. If a breastfeeding mom does not eat the right foods, it can also affect the growth and development of the baby. It is important for moms to know which foods to consume and foods to avoid while breastfeeding.

alcoholic beverageFoods to avoid during breastfeeding include processed foods in the citrus family such as oranges and lemons because they can irritate your baby’s intestinal system. Consumption of caffeinated drinks, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, garlic, and foods that are high in fiber should also be reduced because they are known to cause upset stomach on babies. King mackerel, swordfish and shark must be totally avoided because they may have high mercury content that can pass on to your infant and affect its normal brain development. Furthermore, you should carefully observe how your baby would react after consuming shellfish, corn products and nuts because some babies develop sensitivity to them.

While there are foods you should avoid or limit in consumption, there are also foods you need to consume to boost your baby’s health. Avoid foods that are low in carbohydrate content and go for foods that are high in complex carbohydrates. For vegetables, these include cauliflower, beans, squash and broccoli. For fruits, berries, apples, oranges, plums, peaches and melons are the best source of complex carbohydrates. The same is true with whole grain products such as brown rice, rye bread and whole wheat bread. Aside from the nutritional benefits that your baby can get from complex carb consumption, it could also help moms lose extra pounds without compromising the quality of their milk.

In addition, moms should also include enough amounts of healthy fats and protein in their diet. The ideal fat consumption is one ounce per day of fats which could be from butter, vegetable oil or mayonnaise. Doing so allows a mom to produce more satisfying hind milk for the baby.

There are also important nutrients that moms need while breastfeeding. One of them is calcium with a minimum daily requirement of 1,000 mg. Foods that are high in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. There are also non-dairy sources such as sesame seeds, salmon, tofu, broccoli and kale.

Adequate amounts of water and other healthy juices are also important while breastfeeding. You need them to stay hydrated at all times and be able to produce quality milk for your baby.

Fortunately, there are many useful resources online that can guide you on what to eat and what not to eat during breastfeeding. My friend found some of the most useful materials online which I would like to share to other women seeking for some tips on breastfeeding diet.

Pain on Top of Foot, What You Can Do About It

Do you know that an average person walks up to 10,000 steps per day? If you didn’t realize that, it is understandable because you don’t normally count your steps. You will only know that you have probably walked a lot if you start to feel some pain in your feet.

Pain in the foot can be mild to severe. In many instances, the pain is manageable, allowing you to still go on with your daily routine. However, in some cases, the pain could also be severe, making it difficult to stand or walk. I experienced having a very painful foot and I did have a hard time walking. I can barely lift my foot another step.

Perhaps many of you have also experienced suffering from painful feet. The most common of which is with pain on top of foot. Some have intermittent cases while others are chronic and regularly occurring.

foot painWhat causes pain on top of foot?

Our feet are one part of the body that is more susceptible to pain. As soon as we wake up, we use it to stand up, walk, run, climb and do many other daily routines. They support the weight of our entire body, act as shock absorbers, keep our body balanced and propel our body to move. With such important tasks that they do, it is just normal that they will also feel weak, weary or painful.

Aside from the natural tendency of our feet to be painful after a tiring day, there are many other reasons why you could experience pain on top of foot. One of the most common causes is stress fracture. Fractures could be due to weak muscles, repetitive movements, arthritis, injury and improper bone alignment. People with tendonitis, arthritis, and diabetes are also more prone to pain on top of foot. Among women, pregnancy and hormonal imbalance are common causes. Other reasons why a person could experience pain on top of the foot include bone spurs, entrapment of nerve, strain, sprain, aging and improper footwear.

When to consult a doctor?

If your pain on top of foot is recurring or you have been feeling it for several days already, it is time that you should consult a doctor. This is especially true if you are also experiencing other symptoms such as tenderness or warmth on the affected area, swelling, redness, difficulty in standing or walking, and pain that worsens every day. Having any of these symptoms may indicate a more serious health condition. Diagnosing your problem and treating it as early as possible are important to prevent your condition from getting worse.

Your doctor will normally conduct a visual and physical exam of the affected foot. You may also be asked some questions regarding your medical history. In some instances, your doctor may recommend you to have an X-ray, MRI or bone scan for proper diagnosis.

Many people experience top of foot pain for various reasons. But for whatever reason it may be, you should consult your doctor immediately if the pain becomes severe or is recurring.

Foods to Eat If You Are on Low Carb Diet

I often hear about low carb diet from some of my friends who are trying to lose weight. More often, they don’t eat just any foods in parties. And they are conscious about how much carbohydrates or calorie contents are in the food they eat. Sometimes, I really wonder if they ever get to enjoy a real meal.

A low carbohydrate diet is a sort of regiment to restrict or limit the consumption of foods high in carbohydrates such as white bread and other refined products, sugar, and pasta. Consuming more of these foods in your diet may cause you to gain weight especially if you do not have a physically active lifestyle. With a low carb diet, the body’s production of insulin will be reduced. As a result, the body will be forced to use excess fats and protein stored in the muscle as an alternative source of energy for the body. As a result, a person will be able to lose weight.

When you are in a low carb diet, basically, your diet will be mostly composed of low carb vegetables and low carb fruits, read more about it here. While you reduce carbohydrates intake, you should also increase your fat and protein intake because they serve as your body’s energy source. You can eat more cheese, meat and the like. Some people are really okay with this kind of diet while others are just forced to do it so they could lose weight.

Many people who are on a low carb diet do lose extra weight after weeks or months of strictly following their diet plan. A diet plan is composed of foods they have to eat on a particular meal. It is mostly composed of fish, meat, vegetables, eggs, nuts, fruits, seeds, fats, high-fat dairy, healthy oils, non-gluten grains and some tubers. These are the foods known for their low carb content. In addition, strictly following a low carb diet also means avoiding soft drinks, candies, fruit juices, ice cream and products made from wheat, barley, rye and spelt. You should also avoid consuming processed meats and other processed food products, trans fats, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and HFCS. Also avoid trans fats, hydrogenated oils, oils rich in omega 6 such as sunflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil and soybean oil among others. Furthermore, avoid consuming products labeled as low fat or diet because they are also not good for you.

While a low carb diet may be beneficial for weight loss, it might also have some side effects. I know because some of my friends have experienced fatigue and nausea when they reduced their carbohydrate consumption. Others even reported having experienced a smelly breath.

If you like to lose weight and follow a low carb diet, it is best to see your doctor first and seek advice especially if you are suffering from other health problems. But aside from a low carb diet, regular exercise is also important for losing weight.

Tattoo Scabbing and Skin Tear: Is it Normal?

love momGetting a tattoo is pretty common nowadays. In fact, just this morning, I saw a group of tattooed men walking down the street. They are almost everywhere. You can see them in many public places such as schools, parks, supermarkets and even in the movies or television programs that we watch. And they are as popular among women and men.

It is said that tattoos are an expression of individuality. But there are some risks associated with tattoos. Among them are skin tearing and tattoo scabbing. These conditions are more common when the tattoo is still new. In fact, I talked with one of our local tattoo artists and asked him about the common side effects of getting a tattoo. And he told me about scabbing and tearing of the skin.

If you are planning to get a tattoo, you should know about these common side effects because it may influence your decision.

Tattoo scabbing

Scabs on tattoos are normal and they will usually fall off after a few days. However, if they are forcibly removed, the ink may also come out and worsen your skin problem.

There are quite a few ways to prevent the formation of tattoo scabs. The most important approach is to wash the area carefully five times daily. Though the washing has to be thorough, there should be no pressure applied. Even drying has to be done carefully without rubbing. Washing should start on the first day and should be continued for three days. This will prevent the formation of tattoo scabies.

Skin tear

When you get inked, there is some form of skin tearing or perforation involved. It is just normal and many artists would admit to this fact. But with improper technique and unsanitary needles and tools used, it will put you more at risk of infection and other transmissible diseases.

Furthermore, because of the tearing, you are also more prone to allergic reactions of the ink used. That is because most of the pigments used in tattooing contain mercury, cadmium, cobalt or dichromate, which are all toxic to our health. You will know that you have allergic reactions if you experience pain in the tattooed area that gets worse by the day. Skin lesions may also develop.

If you experience any of the above skin conditions, you should consult a skin expert to advice you on what to do or to receive proper treatment. They are serious skin problems which must not be neglected. If not given proper attention, they could lead to infection.

Although getting a tattoo is gaining in popularity in mainstream society, it is something you should think about first before getting one. It is important to note that tattoos have certain health risks such as leaving a scar on your skin or worst, can infect you with certain diseases. Scabies and skin tear are just some of the common problems you may encounter. That is why I personally advise my friends to think twice or thrice before getting a tattoo.

What You Need to Prepare Before Acquiring Hedgehog as Pet

Many people have that natural love for pets, including me. I am a dog lover and I own two adorable sweet dogs. I like to walk and play with them whenever I have time. I consider them as my most loyal buddies and my stress reliever. While I have dogs as pets, one of my friends also has pets. But he prefers to have exotic pets like a hedgehog rather than a dog or a cat.

hedgehog on grassHedgehogs are tiny animals ranging only between five and eight inches long. With proper care, they can last for up to eight years. Hedgehog owners would admit that hedgehogs may be a lot different from common pets, but they can be as fun to own as having a dog or a cat. They are also easy to care for and maintain. But they are among the least understood pets because they are not very common. In fact, some states consider it illegal to raise hedgehogs at home. But if your state allows it and you are really interested to own one, there are some basic things you need to know about these animals.

First and foremost to raising hedgehog is your basic knowledge about these animals. You should know their attitude, temperament, food preferences, ideal home and many others. You can get valuable information by researching online. There are also many videos that will teach you basic hedgehog care tips like how to hold them, feed them and other helpful tips.

It is also important to get your animal from a reputable breeder. It is best to get a younger hedgehog that is around seven weeks old because it can easily be trained for being handled even by children. A reputable breeder knows just how to care and properly handle these animals in preparation for their prospective owners.

When choosing your pet, choose the one that looks healthy. Check the quills and the skin for any signs of imperfection because they could be a sign of a serious health condition. And most importantly, you should ask the breeder about the gender of your hedgehog if you are not sure what it is. And if it is your first time to own this kind of pet, it is best to start with only one pet. Familiarize yourself first on how to raise this kind of animal before acquiring another one.

Your hedgehog deserves a proper place to stay. You could buy a couple of standard hedgehog cages in many pet stores. The cage should be 3 square feet or bigger to give them enough space for sleeping, eating and play. Beddings, litter box, food and water containers and an exercise wheel are common fixtures in their cage. Also, you must know that hedgehogs are generally insectivores and they prefer eat insects like worms and crickets.

Hedgehogs as pets are just like any other pet that requires a home, proper nutrition and care. And as a responsible owner of a hedgehog, you should know these things so that you can properly care for your pet.

 

Tooth Pain Relief in Your Pantry

I have a fellow medical staff at the hospital where I was working who would take a leave of absence because of tooth pain. And it is not even caused by spacers for braces but just ordinary tooth pain. I really wonder how painful it can be to cause her to be absent from work. I never had a serious problem with my teeth in the past, although I must admit that I also experienced toothaches while growing up.

Tooth pain can be mild to severe. Mild pain is bearable while severe pain can cause a person to be totally helpless and unproductive. Perhaps, this is the kind of pain my coworker experiences from time to time. But whatever type of pain it is, your best treatment available is with your dentist. However, in case the pain strikes at an unholy hour of the day or when your dentist is not available, you can find tooth pain relief using some of the products in your pantry. I have researched some home remedies which may be helpful if you are suffering from tooth pain:

1. Salt water – salt water is perhaps one of the best known home remedies for tooth pain. Just mix a spoonful of salt with a glass of warm water. Swoosh the mixture inside your mouth for several minutes then spit. Repeat this procedure until you have consumed the water in your glass.

2. Alcoholic beverages – alcohol can also have a numbing effect on the pain. If you don’t like to swoosh salt water, you can substitute it with vodka, scotch, brandy or whisky for pain relief.

3. Extracts – vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon extract and peppermint extract are some of the effective natural extracts that can also help alleviate the pain in your tooth. To apply, dip a cotton ball in any of these extracts then hold it in place on the affected tooth. It could take several minutes before you can feel the effect.

4. Tea tree oil – A drop of tea tree oil on the affected tooth may also relieve the pain.

5. Oregano oil – Cotton ball dipped in oregano oil saturated in lukewarm water is also a known remedy for a painful tooth.

6. Vinegar – soak a cotton ball with vinegar and then place it on the affected tooth. Any vinegar will do but apple cider vinegar is recommended.

7. Cloves – Clove is an old-time remedy for tooth pain. Just take a clove, smash it and then apply on the distressed tooth.

8. Ginger Root – Chewing fresh ginger root may also help soothe your tooth pain.

9. Potato – Pound a small piece of peeled potato and then apply it on the affected area. Hold it in place for as long as you can or until you find relief.

10. Ice Pack – Get an ice pack and cover it with towel then hold it on the problematic area. The coldness of the ice will numb the pain.

If you are experiencing tooth pain and there is no way to see your dentist right away, try any of the remedies here to get quick relief from the pain.

 

Tips in Choosing Coloring Pages for Children

coloring booksColoring pages are among the most popular gift items for children. Aside from toys, many parents, grandparents and relatives, including myself, prefer to give coloring pages as gifts for birthdays and other special occasions. Not only are these items affordable, they also offer several benefits to children.

Coloring pages could teach children to recognize colors, to color properly within the lines, and to be able to learn how to draw. In general, it teaches children to be artistic. In fact, coloring sessions are common in preschool because even professionals recognize their importance in honing the artistic side of children. Additionally, as your child learns to color, it will also help hone her imaginations. You may notice your child starting to make stories out of every drawing. Your child may start drawing a prince beside a princess drawing, or drawing mountains and trees in the background of a house drawing.

I personally like giving coloring pages as a gift because of their many benefits. But sometimes, because of the many choices available, I am having a hard time deciding on which one to choose. When you visit a book store or a school supplies section, you will know how many choices you have. Nowadays, it is common to find Disney’s Frozen coloring pages as inspired by the popularity of the movie. Skylanders coloring pages are also equally popular among boys and girls. Other popular options are Disney princesses, animals and objects.

If you are not sure about which type of coloring pages to give as a gift, first consider the age of your recipient. Coloring pages with objects and shapes are more suitable for toddlers and children of up to three years old. They are normally much easier to color and would also teach them basic and more complex shapes like a heart or a star. For older children, they normally have special preferences depending on their gender and interest. For instance, boys normally like coloring pages with their favorite martial arts characters while girls normally like to color princesses.

Moreover, if your child is older and already has a personal choice, you could also just let him choose his coloring pages. That way, you will not doubt if he will like what you will give him or not. But you can guide your child if you think that his choices are not appropriate for his age or if there are some violent drawings included that are teaching negative values.

From being toddlers as children mature in age, their choices for coloring pages may also change. From basic shapes, they may develop an interest in a particular type of coloring page like cartoon characters, princesses, super heroes and many others. And their coloring skills may also greatly improve. But while coloring pages are great for children, allow also your child to play with other toys. Don’t force your child into coloring if he or she likes to play. Because the more you will force it, the more your child will be discouraged to color the next time.

Facts You Should Know About Bichon Poodle

I personally love dogs. And even if I already have two dogs, I never cease to learn more about other breeds that I become interested in. Recently, I find it interesting to learn more about poodle mixes particularly the bichon poodle breed. They are just some of the cutest breeds of dogs that you can see.

Bichon Poodles are more popularly called Poochon. They are a crossbreed between a Bichon Frise and a Poodle. Their physical features and temperament can vary depending on how much of their parent traits are in the mix. But generally, they are good-looking smart dogs that can be a great addition to your family.

And as much as I am just starting to learn about them, I would like to share with you some of the things which make Poochon an interesting breed of dog.

Physical Characteristics

Poochons are smaller dogs, much like a miniature poodle and can weigh up to about 15 pounds. They normally have soft and curly coats that can be white, gray, apricot or creamy in color.

Personality

Poochon inherited some of the best qualities of their parents. Both Poodle and Pichon Frise are smart, trainable and family-oriented. Poochon are also playful especially to children. They can perform some tricks if trained while they are still young. They also like to please their owners. However, their social skills will depend on early training. If not trained, they can feel anxious or nervous around other people.

Grooming

The hair of Poochons needs to be brushed several times a week to remove tangles and mats. They also need to be bathed at least twice a month. I have read that many Poochon owners prefer to have their pet professionally groomed at least once every month. Trimming their hair especially in delicate areas such as around the eyes is best done professionally. Furthermore, to prevent ear infection, the ear of Poochons should also be regularly checked and cleaned.

Health Problems

Poochons do not normally have serious health problems or genetic disorders that are inherent in their breed. Their more common health problems include cataracts, watery eyes, epilepsy, and knee problems. You may also ask the breeder about the health problems of your pet’s parents so that you are aware of possible health issues it may encounter in the future. Some owners who want to be sure about the overall health of their dog normally have them checked by a veterinarian once a year. Part of the general checkup may include a skin biopsy to detect skin problems that are common among dogs.

Owning a dog is more than just feeding and housing the animal. I know this based on my experience with my dogs which I consider as part of our family. If you are interested to own a Poochon, you should take into consideration how to take care of it. Aside from proper diet and shelter, this breed also requires regular grooming and checkup to keep it in good shape.

Pregnancy Signs Which Needs Doctor’s Attention

News of a couple expecting their first child can bring joy to many people and can even reunite families torn by relationship problems. In the hospital where I work as a nurse, I saw how some couples get excited to become parents upon the delivery of their first child. There were also parents who were very eager to record the first moments of their baby.

The joy of parenthood normally starts the day first-time parents discover that they are expecting. It can be an experience full of mixed emotions of excitement and also worries. And their worries have to do with the uncertainties surrounding pregnancy.

Most women have normal or healthy pregnancies. Unfortunately, many others will experience a risky pregnancy which would need constant monitoring by her doctor. Here are some of the signs that you may be having an abnormal or risky pregnancy:

1. Period while pregnant

If you are having a period even after you tested positive, it may be caused by vaginal bleeding which is one of the signs of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. If the bleeding is associated with cramping just like period cramps, it could be a miscarriage. But if you also experience lower abdominal sharp pains, it could be ectopic pregnancy. In any situation, you need to see your doctor immediately.

2. Excessive nausea or vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are normal especially during the first trimester. But if you are experiencing them to the point of dehydrating yourself or excessively losing weight, you may have to check with your doctor for some relief.

3. Vaginal Discharge

Some expecting moms may experience a vaginal discharge during pregnancy. In some cases, vaginal discharge may also be a sign of a transmittable disease or infection which could affect your baby. Early treatment is the key to solving this problem. Don’t be shy about your condition and let your doctor know what is going on so that you could be treated while still treatable.

4. High Fever

A 38-degree-celsius fever during your pregnancy could be a sign of a serious infection which may cause harm to your baby. If the fever is associated with joint pains and rashes, it could be a sign of an infection which commonly results to congenital diseases among children if not treated properly. Before matters get any worse, see your doctor immediately.

5. Burning pain during urination

A burning sensation while urinating could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or bladder infection which can lead to a more serious pregnancy condition if left untreated.

5. Flare-ups of existing chronic disease

Women who have existing medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, lupus, high blood pressure or thyroid disease should closely monitor their condition while in their pregnant state. If any of these existing conditions becomes uncontrollable, it may have serious consequences on their unborn child.

While I have witnessed several successful childbirths in the ER, I also have seen some expecting moms sadly losing their baby due to certain complications in their pregnancy. So if you are experiencing any of the abovementioned conditions, don’t hesitate to see your doctor for advice and treatment right away.

What To Do If Your Toddler Has Constipation?

Constipation can happen to anyone. It can happen to adults as well as to children. Although it is not a serious condition that can send you to the emergency room, it is also something that should not be taken for granted especially when it affects toddlers. As a nurse, I completely understand the importance of regular bowel movement. And since constipation is more common among small children, parents ought to know what to do if their toddler suffers from constipation.

Just like diarrhea in toddlers, toddler constipation may also be hard to detect because there is no such thing as normal bowel movement for them. Your child may pass a stool every other day or only twice a week, while other children may do it more frequently. The frequency of their bowel movement normally depends on their diet and physical activities.

constipationThere are signs that your child could have constipation. One obvious sign is bowel movement that is less frequent than its usual schedule. Another sign is when you notice your child having difficulty in passing stool. Lack of activity could also be a sign of constipation. If you notice any of these signs, there are simple things that you could do to soothe your child’s condition.

First is to increase your child’s fiber intake. I also personally recommend doing the same among adults who often have constipation. Foods that are rich in dietary fiber such as leafy vegetables promote bowel movement. At the same time, avoid giving bananas, squash, carrots and other foods that have a binding effect because they could make the stool harder and difficult to pass. Also, encourage your child to drink more water to help keep the stool soft.

Engaging your child in physical activities such as crawling, walking and playing can promote bowel movement. It would also help if you will massage your child’s belly, just below the navel. Using your fingers, apply a firm and gentle pressure around that area for around three minutes. Also, encourage your child to potty as soon the he or she feels that it is almost coming out. If he rarely feels the urge to potty, you could also let him sit down in the toilet for at least five minutes after meals. And make it a pleasant experience by storytelling while he is doing it. That way, he will be able to develop a habit of regular bowel movement.

If your child is still having constipation after trying these remedies, you should give your child a more appropriate treatment. Some doctors recommend over-the-counter medications that can soften the stool, or mineral oil that acts as lubricant when passing out stool. If your child suffers from frequent constipation, laxatives and suppository may also be useful. But as much as possible, resort first to natural home remedies before giving your child any medicine. Oftentimes, you could see the result of natural remedies after several days of applying it and just about the time you are almost giving up.

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Torn Labrum Hip

When I engage in physical activities like running or playing with my dogs, I am especially careful to avoid accidents or falls. Accidents or falls are among the common reasons why some people are sent to the emergency room and I know this being an ER nurse.

One of the major effects of accidents or falls is an injury to the hip area. At its worse, it may require a person to undergo hip surgery which could take a while to heal. More often, it requires the patient to strictly observe anterior hip precautions to avoid complications.

Another condition that commonly results from accidents or falls is a torn labrum hip. The labrum refers to the cartilage surrounding the socket in the hip joint. This part helps the joint become more stable yet flexible in motion. Injuries or tears in the labrum hip can be uncomfortable and painful. There are other factors that may cause a tear in the labrum hip such as repetitive activities that entail frequent use of the labrum hip or an early stage of hip arthritis. However, accidents account for most cases of this hip injury. It normally happens when a person suddenly twists which in turn causes pain in the hip. It could also occur when a person accidentally falls and impacts the hip area.

It can be difficult to diagnose a tear in the hip labrum because many of its symptoms are also manifested by other health problems such as hernia, groin strain and snapping hip syndrome. Also, even if the tear is seen in an MRI, doctors cannot immediately conclude that the pain is caused by the tear since other conditions might also be involved. Some of the symptoms to look for include pain in the groin area, snapping and clicking sensations in the hips, and limited movement of the hip joint. Other tests like X-ray of the hips and MRI can also help in the diagnosis.

If you do have a labrum hip tear, doctors will normally recommend you to rest. The inflammation in the torn area will normally settle down once you fully rest and avoid strenuous activities for several days. Once the inflammation subsides, the pain and other symptoms will also alleviate, allowing you to return to normal activity. While resting, you could also take anti-inflammatory medications to diminish the inflammation. In some cases, physical therapy may also be needed by those with labrum hip tear. This kind of treatment can help strengthen and balance the muscles in the hip joint. Cortisone injection can also be useful to help determine the cause of the pain.

If all the basic treatments fail, the last resort is normally a hip arthroscopy. For this type of treatment, a surgeon will insert a small camera in the hip joint to assess the labral tear and check the condition of important ligaments, joints and other structures. And the subsequent treatment normally depends on the condition of all the structures in the hip area.

Even ordinary accidents from your day-to-day work can cause you to have a tear in the hip labrum. That is why I tell my friends to always be extra careful because accidents and falling can result in some complexities to their health.

 

Tracking your pregnancy from day to day

When I was trying to get pregnant a couple of years ago, everything seemed to drive me crazy. Wondering whether I was ovulating or if I was pregnant, and then the disappointment that came with every period cycle. In times of such depression, my two dogs were the only source of comfort to me. I would cuddle them for hours and they seemed to understand my moods as well.

 

One of the things that helped me maintain my sanity during this difficult time was the implantation calculator I found at this website. It is now available on a plethora of websites and is a must for anyone who is trying to get pregnant. The implantation calculator asks you to submit the day, month and year of your last period or your ovulation. Again, if you want a more accurate reading, you should submit an ovulation date. You can use one of the ovulation calculator tools available online to calculate this date. Ovulation strips are also available in the market and you can regularly check when and if your are pregnant. The reason I started using the implantation calculator was it gave me a better understanding of what time was optimum for conception.  By figuring this out, anyone can improve their chances of getting pregnant.

 

Once I started using the implantation calculator, I started worrying less and wasn’t really stressed out all the time. However, all this was temporary and all the worrying was for nothing as I soon found out I was pregnant. I did experience a little bleeding in the beginning, but luckily I was in the ER of a hospital in Santa Barbara where I work as a nurse. I went to the gynaecologist immediately and he assured me that it was nothing to worry about as it was just implantation bleeding which is quite normal. A lot of women experience implantation bleeding and freak out.

track your pregnancy

Throughout my pregnancy, I kept using due date calculators that are available on many website. You can simply type ‘how many weeks am I pregnant’ and find out the exact number of weeks and days. These websites also give you a detailed analysis of how far along is your baby developed at any given week and what can you expect in the coming weeks. One thing I found extremely useful was that I was able to know how my body will change from one week to another and what symptoms should I expect. If you are pregnant and a worrier, these tools can help you maintain your sanity during pregnancy as you can read all there is to know about this trying but joyful time period of life. As you reach near the 40 week mark, you have more time on your hands and preparing for the coming baby can also help you feel relaxed and stress free. The important thing to remember is that stress and tension have negative impacts on both the baby and your pregnancy.

10 Common Natural Remedies for Asthma

Do you know that asthma is a condition that could affect dogs and humans alike? I just realized this when I brought my dogs to their veterinarian for a regular checkup and met a dog owner whose pet suffered from asthma. I could hardly imagine how it will be like for dogs to have an asthma attack.

As a nurse, I have encountered numerous cases of patients being rushed to the ER because of an asthma attack. Although some patients are able to manage their attacks without having to go to the hospital, some patients who are experiencing acute asthma attacks need immediate medical attention. These are patients who have severe difficulty in breathing and who are experiencing chest tightness.

Unlike other lung problems such as fluid in lungs which can be difficult to prevent, asthma attacks can be prevented. One way is to avoid exposure to allergens such as dust, smoke and pollution. It would also help if the patient avoids foods containing sulfites (in certain snack foods and baked goods) as this substance could also trigger an attack.

Aside from avoiding the common triggers, there are also home remedies for asthma that could help prevent attacks. I have listed here some of the more popular home remedies I know:

GINGERGinger

According to some researchers, ginger can be helpful in reducing the inflammation in the airways. It can also inhibit airway contraction which could affect a person’s breathing during an attack. As a home remedy, you could mix equal parts honey and ginger juice and then consume at least one tablespoon of the mixture at least twice a day. Alternatively, you could also mix one half cup of water with one teaspoon of ground ginger and then drink it before bedtime.

Figs

Figs contain properties that can also alleviate any breathing difficulties and promote overall respiratory health. If you have asthma, figs may be able to help you prevent an attack. You could soak at least three dried figs in one cup of water overnight. In the morning after waking up, eat the soaked figs then drink the water. You could make this a routing for several months until you notice an improvement in your asthma symptoms.

Garlic

To prevent future asthma attacks, you may also use garlic as a home remedy. It is known to be a good remedy for lung congestion and asthma symptoms. You could boil at least 10 cloves of garlic in half a cup of milk and then drink it every day until your condition has improved.

Coffee

The caffeine in pure coffee acts as bronchodilator which can help in controlling asthma attacks. It can also help relax the airways and aid in breathing. You could drink one to two cups of black coffee a day for several weeks. But do not use it as a regular treatment.

The best way to manage asthma is to know and avoid its triggers and be able to work with your health care provider. That is why it is important to consult your doctor before taking in home remedies.