Category Archives: Nutrition and health

What to feed your Guinea Pigs

To keep your guinea pig happy and healthy, you should keep an eye on its diet. Guinea pigs are very special pets, while their teeth continue to grow for most of their lives. They digest their food using hindgut fermentation and they stress easily. Seventy-five per cent of the diet should consist of good quality hay…
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Itching dogs

Many dogs suffer from an itchy skin. This itchiness can be triggered by a variety of causes. It is very important to follow a stepwise approach to eliminate the possible causes of the itching. The determination of the cause is a time-consuming process and sometimes the cause can never be found because multiple factors cause…
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How to feed your parrot a balanced diet

Parrots on a diet of primarily sunflower seed or peanuts will frequently suffer from severe malnutrition. They often have a vitamin A, vitamin E and calcium deficiency and suffer from high cholesterol. Parrots on a seed diet often suffer from chronic sinusitis, feather plucking, fatty liver disease, obesity, fungal infections (Aspergillosis), poor feather and poor…
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Metabolic bone disease in reptiles

Metabolic bone disease is a very common problem in reptiles, especially chameleons, bearded dragons, lizards and tortoises. The most common form of metabolic bone disease is nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism. This is caused when a reptile does not have enough calcium or vitamin D3 in the diet, does not receive enough exposure to ultraviolet (UVB) light…
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Chameleons, the peculiar pet

Chameleons are peculiar animals. They have the large bulging eyes that can move independently, move slowly with a rocking locomotion and they are known to change colour rapidly. They have a flat body which is leaf-shaped to camouflage with the trees. When walking along branches they sway from side to side to look like a…
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Canine Distemper Virus

Canine Distemper Virus is a highly contagious virus, which is mainly transmitted between dogs via close contact. This virus is a Morbillivirus, closely related to the measles virus in humans. Various species of animals are susceptible to the virus, such as dogs, jackals, hyenas, ferrets, civets, genets, seals, dolphins, whales and even lions. The domestic…
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Inclusion Body Disease (IBD) in Snakes

IBD is a disease that causes neurological signs in snakes belonging to the families Boidae (Boas) and Pythonidae (Pythons). The disease was first discovered in a Burmese python in America in the 1970's, and is now occurring worldwide in captive populations. The causative agent of this disease is currently still unknown, a retrovirus is suspected…
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Raw food, consider the risks

Many pet owners are searching for more natural pet food choices. Everyone wants to feed their pet a wholesome and appealing diet. Feeding every day the same pelleted food is often seen as boring for the pet. A popular trend is to feed raw, meat-based diets. It is important to carefully weigh the advantages and…
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Feline Leukemia Virus, the silent killer

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a highly contagious virus that can be prevented by correctly vaccinating your cat. 1. FeLV is a virus that is transmitted between cats via infected saliva and blood. The cats are most often infected with FeLV through fight wounds, mutual grooming and even from sharing food and water dishes. Kittens…
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Toxic plants that can poison your dog or cat

Many household and garden plants can result in life threatening situations if your pet consumes them. In this article the most common South African plants are discussed. 1. Cycads are commonly found in the SA gardens. All parts of the plant are potentially poisonous, however, the highest amount of toxin is found in the seeds.…
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