Posts tagged with "animal health"

3 Steps to Peaceful Living in Multi-Pet Homes

Hi everyone!

If there is one thing for sure about animal lover’s, it’s that cats (or insert animal species of your choice here______) are like potato chips, you can’t have just one!

Invariably this can cause some tension now and then between animals within a household, and even between one animal and several people in a household.

We have boiled it down to two things the people need, and three things the animals need, to help minimize the stress, and help everyone stay younger, longer!

For the people it’s really just two things:

  1. The willingness to believe that animals are  trying to tell you something, and you are trying to understand what it is,

and

  1. The willingness to put ego aside and really listen and respond to what they are ‘saying’, even if it we don’t really like what it is! Allow them to have their own opinion, so to say.

That’s it! That is all you have to do! Not that hard, right?

 

Now for the animals, they need three things:

  1. Enough space, including a bed, of their very own. Make sure each animal has enough space relative to its species (a rat needs a big enclosure but a dog needs an even bigger one!).  Animals need a safe space they can feel safe in and call their own.  How many beds? Always aim for at least one more than animals, so they can have a choice of where to spend their time.
  2. A secure, feeding place and dish of their own. No one wants to feel like they have to share if they don’t want to. Each animal in the family is entitled to their own food dish, and to be safe and secure while eating meals so they can’t be bullied by anyone else during meal times.
  3. Play time! This is your daily bonding time! Take a moment to look them over from top to bottom each day (grooming too is even better), have some loving eye contact, and get a little exercise. Even if it’s only for a minute, this is the reason why we have animals in the first place. So take time to enjoy them each day. Exercise helps keep them, and us, young!

For more in depth on this, check out my LIVE broadcast above.

Thanks so much for tuning in! On that note, I’m DrQ, here to help you both, stay younger, longer. If you find this helpful, please like, follow, and share on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. AND have a great day! 🙂

 

Easy, Nutritious, and Delicious Pet Food Recipe’s!

These days more and more people are considering cooking for their pets.  Many have concerns over the quality of ingredients, contaminants and GMO’s, or worse  yet, toxins leading to pet food recalls. As my free gift to you Dog Food Recipe Bulgar Green Lentil Carrot Potatoe Celeryhere follows my easy recipe template that will guide you to cooking hundreds of recipes for dog and cat food! When you love your pet like family, if you care about what goes on your families plate, chances are, you care about what goes in your pet’s dish.  Most of my best clients cook for their pets, at least some, if not all of the time. It is easy to do, and easy to feel good about. It is often a lot cheaper too when you consider the high price needed for all that packaging, marketing, shipping, and distribution of your commercial pet food.

As always, discuss the recipe’s you want to cook and feed to your animal,  with your vet, before doing so. This should be a quick, easy, relatively painless conversation at your next yearly or semi-annual visit.  If your vet is discouraging, perhaps it is only because they are unaware of the health benefits. A good veterinarian will be open to the discussion,  willing to learn more, and address all your legitimate concerns. For example, here is a link to a study discussing adding fresh food to your dog’s diet, and it’s effects on cancer http://tiny.cc/ivkc7x.  This should come as no surprise to those of us that realize how much good nutrition is essential for good health.  Once you have your vet’s blessing  to try adding home cooked foods (generally not more than 25-50% at first, or additional supplements are needed such as egg shell calcium) to your pet’s nutritionally complete diet, then it is time to get creative, and have fun!

Keep in mind that all of these recipe’s can be equally fed to anything that will eat it; cats, dogs, people, and bearded dragons included.  It is pretty hilarious when the kids ask for a second helping of dog food!

The real simple base for any meal is:

1/3 veggies+

1/3 grain (rice, bulgur, millet, quinoa, etc.) +

1/3 legumes (red or green lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans, butter beans, etc. ) = nutritious and delicious!

Possible combinations include green lentils, bulgar, and sweet potatoes,   or black beans, rice, and carrots, and finally  millet, red lentils, and butternut squash.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and your pet’s pallet! The health benefits include absorbing all the bioflavonoid antioxidants (the bright colors in vegetables) as nature intended, before it was processed, put in a bag, and shipped in a truck. The diet includes lots of fiber which is excellent for digestive health recalling that 80% of the immune system is in the intestinal lining (if introduced slowly as directed should cause minimal gaseous discharge), and without having to be a chemist or a nutritionist, you will be most likely providing a complete protein, and well as nearly all the essential amino acids any animal needs.  You can add additional protein if you so desire (or not, and not worry about overdoing it), multiple types of fresh, preferably organic veggies known to be safe for pets, fresh milled golden flax seeds, or just about anything else that sounds healthy and nutritious, for you.

Here is today’s recipe:

In a saucepan, saute 1/2 cup chopped celery in a small amount water until translucent with one pinch of salt. Optional, add 1 TB Organic Olive Oil.Add 1 cup diced yellow unpeeled potatoes, 1 cup chopped organic unpeeled carrots, 1 cup rinsed bulgur wheat, 1 cup rinsed green lentils,  4-5 cups water, and simmer until root vegetables pierce easily with a fork. Done.  Serve warm spooned over commercial kibble, or serve in a dish sprinkled with nutritional yeast for extra vitamins, texture, and flavor. It’s as simple as that!

Quick, easy, delicious, cheap, and healthy. Your animals will love you even more for it! Use this guide to create your own homemade recipe ideas, and share  with us here or on Facebook or Instagram.  For specific questions about types of veggies to choose, what grains to choose for different conditions, or other questions you might have about cooking up your own pet food, please like and follow me on Facebook so that you will know when I am doing LIVE events on PetPeriscopeTV, or we can do a phone or email consultation through the website http://www.DrQandU.com. Stay tuned for more updates on our online courses via http://www.stealmoreyears.com,  where one of our 7 Secrets to Outwitting Your Pet’s Lifespan lessons will focus on diet and nutrition.

Looking forward to seeing what you have ‘cooked’ up! I’m DrQ, here to help you, take control of your health and that of your beloved animals!

How to Properly Move Pet Fish

So your fish keeping friend is moving and has offered to give you all their fish, lucky you!  But how to properly get those beautiful new finds safely from their pond or tank to yours.  Even if this is not exactly the case, there may come a time when you need to move fish, such as because they are newly purchased,  going to a show, or are going for a visit to the vets office. Therefore it is good to do a review of proper fish handling and transport.Seahorse Hippocampus kuda

First of all, fish that have been in a pond or tank for many years are often not kept in the most optimal conditions.  They have often long outgrown the appropriate size for their environment.  Overcrowding equates to poor water quality and a depressed immune system.  Although they may appear perfectly healthy now due to the fish’s incredible ability to acclimate to most any gradual changes, the stress of moving is often all that it takes to push the fish over the edge and allow them to suffer from all manner of illnesses and parasites.  Even fish that are  transferred from presumptively “disease free” sources can potentially be carriers of disease.  Some conditions can be difficult to detect in carrier fish, and some pathogens may go undetected if they have not produced clinical signs in any of the fish.  Do not believe it when the store says the fish have already been quarantined! Brutus the koi fish

To minimize spreading of these potential diseases to your pond; first, acquire the services of a knowledgeable fish veterinarian.  If possible have the fish’s health and environment evaluated before the move.  This can be scheduled while the isolation or quarantine tank(s) are establishing since of course, you do NOT want to move the new fish directly into your pond on the first day.  During those times when it is not possible to have the fish evaluated BEFORE the move, then plan to have them examined within the first week or two in your quarantine facility to minimize the potential spread of pathogens into your pond.

Ideally, fish should be fasted for about three days before being moved.   Some report fasting for up to a week, but this tends to add to the stress of the fish and is not recommended.  Fasting the fish will help minimize waste during transport which will maintain water quality, which becomes more significant with the farther distance traveled.  Caution must be used to minimize stressing the fish during capture and restraint.  Latex or similar gloves should be worn when handling the fish to protect their delicate skin and to protect you from potential pathogens.  No jewelry should be worn.  Fish should be gently guided head first into catch bowls in the water; fish should NOT be lifted out of the water with nets if at all possible.  Any nets used should be of the type which will minimize damage to the sensitive skin of the fish.  Nets are primarily used just to guide the movement of the fish.  The fish should be lifted out of the water in either a catch bowl or a fish sock (fine mesh bag), which is then picked up on both ends and from there the fish is moved into what it will travel in. Goldie

The safest way to transport fish is in a plastic bag with just enough water to cover the fish, and the rest of the bag filled up with pure oxygen.  Fish of any considerable size should be placed in two bags as their dorsal fins, as well as hooks near the anal fins, have been known to cut plastic bags.  The plastic bag(s) should then be placed in cardboard boxes and padded with newspaper to minimize their rolling around.  For trips of less than 30 minutes fish can be transported in buckets, plastic-lined regular or Styrofoam coolers with about 1 liter of water for every centimeter of fish if supplemental oxygen is not provided.  Any container fish are transported in must be covered to protect the fish from injury by jumping out.  Noniodized salt can be added to the water, but must be carefully measured to equal one teaspoonful per gallon. Do NOT add salt if going for a visit to the vet, as this might make it more problematic to locate parasites on the fish when they get examined.

Once at the new locale, plastic bags should be floated in the quarantine tank for around 30 minutes to acclimate to the new water temperature before the fish are released.  If fish are being moved into a freshwater quarantine tank, it should have a separate fully cycled filter sponge or another type of nitrification system, and consider adding non-iodized or sea salt added,  to a level of 0.3%. Salt reduces the osmoregulatory effort of the fish, which is how much nutrition it needs to breathe and digest food.  This level of salinity should be maintained throughout the quarantine period of at least two but preferably 4-6 weeks.  While in quarantine the water should be checked daily to ensure ammonia (should be 0), nitrate, nitrate, and Ph levels.  Use partial water changes to maintain good water quality, and be prepared for a Ph crash.Killer the fish

Other treatments that can be done during the quarantine period are to feed the fish medicated food. It is important to ensure the new fish are eating well, tempt them to eat with food and treats specific for their species.  Random treatment with antiparasitic agents is NOT recommended unless the tests performed by your veterinarian confirm and warrant such treatment.   Monitor all the fish every day to ensure they are eating and swimming well without scale/skin lesions or frayed fins.  Use separate nets and equipment for the quarantined fish to prevent cross contamination, and at the end of the quarantine period thoroughly disinfect all such equipment with diluted chlorhexidine or other net safe solution.

At the end of the quarantine period, release the new fish in the pond or tank to join the current residents, and enjoy the freedom of knowing you have done everything possible to ensure the best possible outcome for your new additions!

If the fish are not going into quarantine, but just being transported to visit the vets office, be sure to bring with you another container with the water the fish is acclimated to, so that there is fresh water for the fish to travel back home in.  For smaller fish, I usually recommend transporting the fish in a plastic bag, and then having at least the same amount of water in another plastic bag just in case of bag breaks, a bucket spills, or whatever the case may be.  You can never be too careful about when transporting fish. I also prefer them to come to my office in a cooler, as this minimizes temperature fluctuates no matter what the weather outside,  which helps keep stress to a minimum.

In summary, with a little preparation, it is easy to safely transport your pet fish for whatever purposes you might need. I am here for you to do housecalls in and around Denver, Colorado for your fresh, salt, and pond water fish. You can even book me on line here http://www.drkoi.com. Best wishes for you and your fishes!

Why Dog’s Bloat & How To Minimize the Risk

It’s just after dinnertime, and the doorbell rings. You suddenly have unexpected company, and your dog is excited as you are. It is at times like this it is of vital  importance to remember  one of the risks and dangers associated specifically with larger breed dogs, Gastric Dilitation Volvulus, or bloat, as it is commonly called.

Bloat is a condition where a dog’s stomach fills with gas and begins to twist out of place.  What you will see is vomiting or retching, with nothing coming up, and the dog’s stomach getting larger in size. The most frequent times this condition occurs is after the dog has eaten (and has a belly full of food and water), and then goes out through the dog door, or runs around and gets excited (such as with company), and all this activity causes the stomach to swing and slosh inside the dog, and eventually twist. Dog’s at highest risk are large and with a deep chest, like Rottweilers, Great Danes, German Shepherds, and similar.

An example of a deep chested dog at risk for bloat.

An example of a deep chested dog at risk for bloat.

If you suspect this has happened to your dog, they need to go to an emergency hospital, right away! Do not wait! If you notice the above signs, get your dog to the nearest vet as quickly as possible. There they can pass a tube into the stomach to relieve the gas build up, and/or possibly do surgery to correct the displacement and restore the blood flow cut off to vital parts of the stomach and intestines before it’s too late.  Bloat in dogs is always a potentially life threatening emergency.

Some people who adopt larger dogs, choose to have a surgical procedure called a “pexi” for short, performed,  which tacks the stomach to the inside wall of the chest so it cannot flip out of place (or at least greatly minimizes the chance of this happening). A great time to do this is in female dogs during their spay surgery. Ask your vet about it if you have a large, deep chested dog.

So how do we minimize the risk of bloat?

  1. Feed your dog smaller meals
  2. Keep your dog’s activity level to a minimum after eating

You can also:

  1. Consider a ‘pexi’ surgery for prevention
  2. Don’t allow your dog free access to the dog door after meals
  3. Feed a high quality, all natural diet. It might not specifically lower the risk for bloat, but it will help keep your dog healthier, for longer.

This is a disease process that can occur at any age, although it is most commonly noted in middle aged to older dogs. There is no direct genetic predisposition that has been confirmed. There are no specific geographic locations, or ambient temperatures which contribute to bloat occurring more often.   In high temperatures a panting dog is not necessarily at any higher risk, as they do not swallow air when panting. However, if the dog is frantic, and anxious because it is so hot, she may pace around trying to find relief from the heat, and after a meal, this could cause it to seem as if there is a link between high heat, panting, and bloat. The key is to always keep the dog quiet after eating, and not letting them drink a huge amount of water and then exercise.

That means when that unexpected company shows up right after dinner, be sure to FIRST put the dog in her crate, so she can remain calm and not accidentally jump around with excitement. In my experience, there has been a higher incidence of cases of bloat after the dog went out the dog door, and no one really noticed what activity the dog was doing for a short time.  I did the ‘pexi’ surgery on both my last two female dogs, during their spay surgeries.  Luckily I have not had to experience this horrific event with any of my dogs, and I wish the same for you.

On that note, I am DrQ, housecall veterinarian,  here to help you, in Denver, Colorado and around the world, to have the healthiest, longest relationship with your animals, than you ever thought possible. Thanks for reading! Please share if you found this helpful!

Other articles such as this can also be found on http://www.fetchpetcare.com.

 

Free Positive Pet Advice on Facebook!

Do you ever notice how pets seem to start acting strangely, or come up with new unwanted behaviors, right after most business office hours? How many times has that happened to you? Many times that is when we make a quick visit to  Google to see what the world has to say about what might be happening with your pet. The GREAT news is, we do have the internet! Although people often make negative remarks about it, with a little common sense and due diligence, it’s not usually too difficult to figure out what makes good sense, versus that which is a bunch of malarkey, or just people trying to sound bigger and more important than they are. (Aren’t you glad you don’t walk in that guy’s shoes).

Just as most veterinarians,  I can’t always answer every message on Facebook or text at certain times such as,  the middle of a surgery, or during a behavior consultation.  This leaves people looking for answers needing  to contact an emergency hospital, or surf the internet and hope to find good information. For real medical emergencies it is still best to get to the nearest after hours emergency vet right away. However for good, quick answers to behavior, training, and basic health care questions, a really great group on Facebook, one that I have come to know and love, is called  Positive Pet Advice. PPA

Positive Pet Advice was created October 12, 2014, by Louis Walton, a dog professional who was tired of the same old dog training groups where people spent as much time talking about their credentials, than they did actually trying to use their experience and knowledge to help others looking for answers. Young people today don’t go to the library anymore to research the answers, they go on the internet and hope to find the same information. This is mostly a blessing, since now we have more good information available faster than ever before. However, as with all things, sometimes you get what you pay for, and free advice must always be taken with a dose of caution.

However, armed with that knowledge, pet groups on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites do often have some knowledgeable people participating when they can, so when the work is split up among a group, you often can get nearly 24 hour 7 day a week free advice which more often than not is likely to be of some use to you, and fairly accurate. Getting that advice from a group such as Positive Pet Advice is even better, since most of the time the comments are very helpful, and monitored fairly closely by the administrators of the site to ensure it sounds reasonable, and just as importantly, polite. Thus the name POSITIVE Pet Advice.   Some groups on the internet criticize others for asking questions some might feel is treating an animal ‘wrong’ or ‘bad”. In this group that sort of criticism is not allowed, however, discussions are encouraged which center around certain standards of care, and training methods, as a means to educate and enlighten those interested and willing.

Speaking of the admin, or administrators of the site, they are lovely group of dog trainers and animal behaviorists, some even having experience with zoo animals, and highly recognized speakers in their fields.  Not to mention they are all a selfless bunch of people who donate hours of their time every single day, week after week,  to make sure the group runs smoothly, provides members with helpful pet information, and without a single thought of compensation, only because they know it is the right to do. Now often do you find that in the world anymore?

So, if you find yourself searching on line for some sort of health, behavior, or training advice, and it is NOT a medical emergency, then I encourage you to ask to join the closed group Positive Pet Advice on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/767055476662599/.  I have been working remotely with this group for over a year, and it is one of the most rewarding part of my work week. It is so encouraging to work hand in hand with such a talented group of animals experts in their respective fields, who give so freely of themselves, really just for the sake of helping the animals and their people. They do great live videos, give gifts to members, and other fun things, too!

Just to be clear, for any medical emergency or serious health concerns, please contact your nearest veterinarian as soon as possible. If you are just wondering about a product, a practice, or fun ways to make new toys or games for your animals, then Positive Pet Advice is a safe, welcome place, I recommend and support, to all my clients and friends.

On that note, I am DrQ, here to help you, and your animals live happier and healthier, longer. If you are on Facebook, like Dr. Q and join Positive Pet Advice! Thanks for reading!

Betta Fish 101!

You see him from across the room, all bright colors and radiant personality, virtually calling out to you “Hey you, come over here! Check me out! Am I not the most handsome thing you have seen all day? You know you want me baby…!

So who is this alluring creature that has captivated your heart and mind? It’s the magnificent betta fish! First things first, his name is “bet”-“tah” fish, not “bay”-“ta”. You don’t want to hurt his macho pride, do you? Well actually that’s just part of the story. His (or her) real name is Siamese Fighting Fish, or to be more specific (and accurate)  Betta Splendens.

The picture of health!

The picture of health!

They come from Asia, specifically the tropical waters of Thailand (formally Siam). The natural habitat of this fish is the shallow streams and rice paddies of Vietnam and Thailand. These huge, shallow areas of wetland are where they carouse around rivers skimming insects, larvae and insect eggs off the surface of the water with their upturned mouths, and doing so wearing much less dramatic colors. Males are relatively territorial and will defend their own space from other fish, especially those who also have colorful, flowing fins. They love to hide, rest and play in the abundant foliage found in their natural habitat.

Around the 19th century people from Malaysia and Thailand began to collect these fish from the wild. They were kept for both bright color patterns and long flowing fins, as well as aggression. This developed in conjunction with staged fish fighting matches, apparently enjoyed by the King of Siam in 1840. In the wild these fish only spar for a few minutes, however in captivity they were bred for a willingness to continue fighting. Once a fish retreats, the match would be considered over. Luckily not a fight to the death!

One of the most fascinating facts about this unique fish is that it has a labyrinth organ, a defining characteristic of fish in the suborder Anabantoidei, which the betta belongs to,  which allows it to actually obtain oxygen from the air above the surface of the water,  instead of taking it from the water through their gills.  The labyrinth organ helps the inhaled oxygen to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and develops from  expansion of a bone in the first gill arch.  As a result, like all labyrinth fish, they can survive for a short period of time out of water, provided they stay moist. For a betta fish to stay healthy, it is critically important  for them to periodically get some exercise as well as use their labyrinth organ to obtain air. Betta fry (babies) are 100% dependent on getting air through their gills, until their labyrinth organ fully develops at around 3-6 weeks of age.

Healthy gorgeous betta fish!

Healthy gorgeous betta fish!

So now we  have a purpose bred beautiful and aggressive, beloved aquarium fish with an air breathing super power and one heck of a personalty!  Actually they all have different personalities, some more peaceful than others, which is what makes putting them in a tank with other fish, let’s just say, interesting! Read on for more about that!

Other fascinating facts about them include,  that the males blow bubble nests which they use to carefully tend and raise the eggs (after the female that  deposited them, has been chased off, since she will most likely eat them),  that they like to sleep in hammocks,  they can be taught tricks, that they come in an amazing variety of more than 9 color patterns,  and at least 14 different fin and scale patterns (like crown tail, double tail, half-moon, etc.),  that besides food and clean water they need exercise, friends, and rest (so no lights on 24 hours a day), to stay healthy.

So how long can I expect my betta to live?

An interesting survey recently showed that most bettas live about 2 years, a few to three, fewer still make it to 4, yet nearly as many that make it past 2, make it past 5. These are fascinating statistics.  This means most bettas live to either 2, or much longer, with not much in between. Knowing that most bettas are at least 6 months to a year old before you purchase them (they wait until full sexual maturity at about 4-5 months of age to begin selling them, so that you can see their fully developed fins and colors), and that most make it to an age of two, my suspicion is that the way that most people keep and care for them, is sustainable only about 12-24 months before the long term stress of mismanagement begins to take it’s toll.  Well how hard can it be to take care of a little betta fish in a bowl? The answer is, it’s not hard, it’s actually quite easy, as long as you care careful about 1 key thing:

Do not do once weekly complete water changes!

I see this one little oversight taking the lives of more betta fish than any other problem. So why is this such a big deal? Because your fish eats food, which then turns into fish poo, which is made up of ammonia, which is eaten up by all the invisible good little bacteria that live on the gravel, in the water, on the plants, and on any and all other surfaces inside the tank. If you dump out the water each week, and worse yet, rinse all the gravel, and plants, you each week are killing off the beneficial bacteria which are vital to the good health of your fish.  If you have no good bacteria, then each week your fish is exposed to toxic levels of ammonia. Even though it may only be at toxic levels for a day or two until you do that full water change, over time this continual stress takes it’s toll on your fish’s immune system.  So it’s like spending one full day a week in a crowded bar full of smokers with no windows.  Eventually you are going to develop a cough, or worse. The same thing is happening with your fish. They are amazing little creatures that can tolerate a lot and still survive, yet they do much better with slow changes in all things. Therefore don’t change all the water once a week, do a 25% water change every 2-3 days, and watch your fish thrive! And make sure that water stays around 78-80 degress F, after all, these little ones came from Asia!

Additionally, the have small stomach’s about the size of their eyeball, so feed them at least once, but more like twice a day, just enough that they eat it all in one meal (floating uneaten food is your second worst enemy to fish health besides water quality).  Here is a little video clip I did on the topic of feeding What do betta’s eat in captivity?

Also ensure they have an enriched environment, this means interesting things to explore, and mix it up regularly with plants, rocks, ornaments, ceramic tubes, floating ping pong balls, moss balls,  and other smooth objects (no clay flower pots with sharp edges/chips that can snag fragile fins). Nourishing your fish’s mind is just as important to his long term health as nourishing species specific food (never generic aquarium fish food to bettas, only food meant just for them).

Betta fish of a smoother fin variety.

Betta fish of a smoother fin variety.

So what about the size of the tank? One fish in a 5 gallon tank is a MINIMUM! Anything smaller than that is just not adequate.  Bigger is better, and much easier to take care of, to boot! And what about friends in the tank? Well would you like to be in solitary isolation your whole life? Probably not, and neither does your fish.  Even though males are solitary in the wild, they are surrounded by all manner of other species of fish. You can mimic the same by making smart choices of fish to share their space. One of the better choices are corydora (little clear/silvery fish and you need at least 6 for them to be happy), and they also prefer a Ph up to about 7. Clown pleco’s, a colorful  algae eater is another good choice. This one is smaller than some of the other pleco variety’s and will give the added bonus of eating algae in the tank too although, you will want at least  20 gallon tank for a fish of this size. Guppies are another option although sometimes the bettas will pick at them if they have flowing tails. There are reports of betta’s getting along with no problems  in other kinds of community fish tanks, as well.

Adding new fish must be done carefully, from an adequate quarantine period, to monitoring fins as some betta’s are more aggressive than others. In general the more space and interesting places to hide and explore, the less stress and everyone will have a higher chance of getting along. Of course you don’t want to have 2 male bettas, or a male and female, as both situations lead to aggression. Some people choose to keep betta’s alone in a 5 gallon or larger tank to not risk it or hassle with it at all. If you choose this then keep in mind your fish will need more maintenance and interaction to stay happy and healthy. You will want to play laser tag, and/or add the other other enrichment ideas already discussed, on a regular basis to keep your only fish child happy.

I have done everything I could, but my fish is sick anyway, now what?

Finally, so now you now most of what you need to know, yet your little fish is sick anyway. How can I be sure my fish is sick, and what do I do first? Here is a video I did based on what one client asked me Why is my betta pale and not swimming? Other ways you can tell a fish is sick is have they have worn, frayed fins, growths or abnormalities on their bodies, or they do not eat. So first things first if you suspect your fish is sick:

  1. Get a water quality test kit, and use it, daily while the fish is sick, and once a week thereafter, for as long as your fish lives. Most importantly make sure the ammonia and nitrites are zero. If they are not? Daily 25% water changes (not more) until the conditions are right. Be sure to add something to remove the chlorine from tap water, too, and it helps to add a little beneficial bacteria (available at your aquarium store).
  2. Double check the temperature and make it right, between 78-80 F.
  3. Before spending money to add chemicals and treatments recommended by someone, if your fish is still not doing well and you have done the above, your next step is to call an aquatic veterinarian! One near you can be located through these sources: World Aquatic Veterinary Medical AssociationAmerican Veterinary Medical AssociationAmerican Association of Fish Vets. If there is not one near you, then reach out to the one nearest you, who can then possibly guide your local small animal or exotic vet in the treatment and care of your sick fish.

So how long can a betta fish live? Well with proper care, enrichment, exercise, and great water quality, bettas have been know to live up to 9 years. However, if yours does not live that long, it does not mean you have necessarily done anything wrong. We often don’t really know how old the little one was before you got him or her, or what they might have been exposed to, or what their genetics were before they came to be in your care.  All we can do is arm ourselves with education, love and devotion. It’s the least we can do for them, after all the joy, smiles, and entertainment the little beings bring to us.

On that note I am DrQ, here with best wishes for your fishes! If you have tried all of this and still have a sick fish, please contact me for a consultation http://www.drkoi.com Please leave comments, share, and follow me on our favorite social media site such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkdin for more valuable animal care information. Thank you!

 

 

An Animal Life Coach? Who is DrQ, & Why Listen to You?

Teaching at Purdue University.

Teaching at Purdue University.

Do you love your animals like a member of the family,  and want the best, healthiest, longest relationship you can possibly have with them? Guess what, it all starts with YOU! In order to provide the best for your animals, YOU have to be at your best! If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for them!  And if you need a little help, then Jena Questen DVM, CertAqV (that’s Questen like Strengthen),  holistic veterinarian and the one and only Life Coach for People with Pets, is here for YOU!  She has been in the field of veterinary medicine for over 20 years, and with a keen interest in nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices for even longer,  DrQ is here to help you and your animals live longer, happier, and healthier!   She has experience with everything from horse racing, to dog training, emergency medicine, fish and even yaks, while in the human realm she is involved with health and wellness projects (even yoga and cooking classes), for children and adults.Dr Questen With a bunch of animals

“What drives me each day, is that  I am passionate about strengthening the bond between people and animals, in a happy, healthy, positive, way!”.

Not only a certified veterinary acupuncturist with training in natural medicine, a member of the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association,  the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior,  was the only Technical Veterinarian for the entire United States division of  Novartis Aqua Health, and the 21st person in the world to achieve the CertAqV designation for work in aquatic animal medicine, a sought after speaker on multiple topics including health, business, children and animals, and work-life balance,  DrQ is well qualified to offer insight into improving health and behavior, for humans and animals.

Your animals are counting on you, to be the best YOU you can be, so you can be fully there, every day of their life.

The best way, to make that happen, is for her to see the animals and their families in their own homes,  on their own ‘turf’ so to speak. If that’s not possible, then she can still help though video conferencing,  presentations, and seminars, and through her new on-line university http://www.stealmoreyears.com.

 “I am passionate about building an intimately caring relationship with you and your animals, so that you feel comfortable getting all your questions and issues addressed, as well as those you have not even realized yet!   I am here to help you not just “take care” of an animal, but to enjoy boundless daily wonderment and happiness,  each and every day are are so blessed to share together, while saving money,  frustration, and time.  The most amazing part about it, through the science of animal behavior, is the special bonus which is learning how to improve ALL the relationships in your life, from family, to work, as well as the animals. Take it from me,  I know what it’s all about,  because I am animal lover too!”.

Involved with animal rescue and dog training throughout her life, it was a dolphins trainers manual she acquired in 2003 that changed everything.  This single book impacted of all her interactions with her own animals, and her clients and their pets, from then on. Learning about the science supporting the use of positive reinforcement opened her eyes to the importance of how only through great behavior can animals have great health.  Since then she has not stopped learning and studying the fascinating field of animal behavior, is one of the few veterinarians outside of board certified specialist who understand behavior and training as well as she does (especially with horses), and is a well-respected sought after mentor in the dog training world. Learning the science involved in animal training through the world of dolphins,  and marveling at how much a person can love a pet fish, have fueled her passion and understanding of the human-animal bond to a deeper level.

There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing those science based principles, and helping you achieve a bond deeper than they ever thought possible, while learning little every day life hacks for both of you to get healthier,  stay healthier, and happier, together, for longer! “.

So just what is an Animal Life Coach?

A well respected, highly trained professional, who loves your animal as you do, is deeply committed to your success, and provides health and wellness support and advice to animal lovers of all ages and abilities. By taking into consideration health, behavior, environment, and stress, the Animal Life Coach improves lives by identifying areas of improvement, cutting costs, outlining paths to success, improving productivity and quality of life, achieving goals, and all while promoting a deeper bond between animals and the people who love them, so they both can live happier, and healthier, longer!

Feel better! Be more productive! Get healthier! And do it all while cherishing and prioritizing the animals you call family!

Thank you for taking good care of me!

Thank you for taking good care of me!

More than veterinarian, a trainer, or a coach,  I am the first and only  Life Coach for People with Pets, here to help you build the deepest, most meaningful, productive, and rewarding relationship with the people and animals in your life, in a healthy, happy, and respectful way.

DrQ, the one and only Life Coach for People with Pets, here to help you, and your animals, live happier, and healthier, longer!

Call  (855)377-2638 = (855)DrQ and U, and get started today.  I am Dr Q, and the rest…is up to you!

Animal lover’s: Let’s Revolutionize the World in 2 Minutes!

You ever wonder about how everyone, everywhere, quickly figured out the basics needed for keeping a pet? Seems even the most inexperienced would- be animal enthusiast, knows that the animal will need some kind of food and water every day, as well as a place to toilet.  The food will probably be whatever is easy on the wallet.  They purchase a few supplies, and look forward to a lifetime of smiling at that cute face! And from there, a person sets off on the average 10 year journey of pet guardianship. Hoping for the best, and dealing with pitfalls as they come, from illness and injury, to jumping and house-soiling. Sometimes seeking help along the way from the things that impact daily life in a little more seriously negative way, or just dealing with it.

For the person starting out, this is usually all there is to what goes into the preparation of having an animal for pet. If you are very lucky, and found a healthy little soul mate with a heart of gold, then you are going to be really happy you chose to have a pet! You get a great sense of fulfillment and happiness from all the years of selfless love and devotion you enjoy. But what if  you happen to fall in love with one that brings a little more gray hair, and frustration, on occasion? What if I told it never had to be that way, ever again? With one magical little tip, you can help teach your beloved how to transform into that “gosh darn best dog we ever had”, starting today! That’s right, it’s true!

So, here it it. My one magical tip that I am bursting to share with each and every pet parent, no matter their experience level, or even type of animal, this is what I wish each of you would do: spend 2 minutes a day, every single day, showing that animal something you would like them to do. Then reward them for it. Don’t ‘tell’ them to do something, ask them for a favor. Do it as faithfully as brushing your teeth, follow a couple of quick guidelines I have below, and you will be amazed at the profound transformation that will occur in only a few days! Your animal will love you for it! That’s it!

Let’s get this in perspective. All that worrying about the food, and the vaccines, and the type of toys to buy, should only be HALF of the time you spend in a day thinking about, and caring for your animals. The other half should be thinking about, what is my animal thinking about? And use that time to teaching the animal something neat to do, that makes your life even easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable.  Just 2 minutes a day, ask yourself, what is __________thinking right now, hm?” And ask for that favor, accordingly.

So don’t think of training as a big drudgery, or something someone is telling you that you should force on the animal.  Think of it as recces! Recess from your daily routine like dishes and laundry (a great excuse to do something super fun, and get to hang out with your best pal!), it only takes a few minutes (literally), and your animal gets to enjoy your undivided attention!

Ok, so what are the guidelines? Easy:

  1. Ask nice.
  2. Reward even more nicely for lessons well done.
  3. Ask 3 times for what you would like. If after that, they do not do it, or even try to do whatever it is. STOP! TAKE A DEEP BREATH. And then ask the easiest, most fun thing you both already know well, reward for it, and call it a day. Spend the rest of the 2 minutes cuddling. 🙂

Follow these easy steps,  in that order, and I personally guarantee you cannot fail to make great strides in the health, behavior, and the bond you share , than you ever even dared to dream possible. Yes, it is that easy! I dare you to do it for one week!

There you have it, all out in the open,  my biggest and most powerful health improving tip (for you and your animal) I can give you, is to spend just two minutes,  each day, playing with and teaching your animal something special to do. This instills in them a sense of accomplishment and pride and boosts their self confidence, as well as yours!

It does not have to be a fancy trick or a tough command. It can be as easy as don’t paw the treat out of my hand when I hand it to you. Let’s just work on being polite to each other. Treating each other with human decency and respect. It is not alright for our dogs to jump all over us, and our cats to claw us when they feel like it. It is not fair to us, or them. So let’s open people’s eyes to a whole new world of possibilities, where in every restaurant dogs are allowed, because the generally population of dogs are so well mannered. That less cats get re-homed because they get stressed out sometimes and pee on the floor. That no kids get hurt from fearful animals.

Let’s change the status quo about what is acceptable behavior for animals in society. Instead of the well mannered dog being the exception, they should be the rule, and then dogs could be allowed so much more freedom to bring them with us, they would enjoy it, and in turn be an even greater boost to the health of society at large! Image how just  2 minutes a day could revolutionize the entire world of animals in our society, in the pet industry, would help keep more animals out of shelters, and help more people to see the value of animals in our lives, as friends and partners in life. Won’t you join me, and let’s start a revolution, in just 2 minutes a day. Good luck!

I am DrQ, the rest, is up to you! Best wishes!

P.S. If would like more useful information like this on how to best care for animals, please like my Facebook page, and enjoy a personal invitation to join us at my new on-line university http://www.stealmoreyears.com Hope to ‘see’ you soon!

 

Want New Fish? Read This!

Whether you have had huge tanks your whole life, or just want to get a little goldfish, there are a few important things to know to set you up for success.

1) Evaluate your current situation, and decide what you need.  If you have a small pond, then only plan to get another one or two small fish.  Remember, the more water + the less fish = higher chance of success, less work and costs for you (in general).  How much money do I have to spend on this new fish? How much more time do I want to spend caring for my fish? Is the tank or pond that I have now in good working order, or should it really get some upgrades before I commit to caring for a new life? Also ensure that what you want to get, will get along with the fish you have.

2) Be prepared to, and quarantine, the new fish, period.  Saying that the person, shop, auction, whatever, already quarantined the fish, defies the very definition of quarantine.  The fish has to be in YOUR environment, exposed to YOUR temperature changes, YOUR water source, etc. for a set period of time, ideally 4-6 weeks, before any decisions can be made about the health of that animal.  Diseases and parasites, (such as a herpes virus you or I might get as a fever blister when we work too many long hours), often lay dormant within the animal, even for years, but then overtake the fishes immune system and become a problem during times of stress i.e. moving to your house!  And then gives it to the fish you already have, and then, you have a big problem, which could have been avoided in a quarantine tank.  Have another set up, a tank from a garage sale (or I got my last one at the local thrift shop), get it cycling and have the water quality in it going great, and put your new fish in there.  Preferably your 2 new fish, as they really like to have a friend and will do better in at least a pair.   It’s a little more work, but so worth it, for so many reasons.  In fact, if everyone did this one important step, there would be almost be no need for me as a fish doctor!  So go ahead,  I dare you to try and put me out of business! Quarantine those new fish!  And no I do not recommend prophylactic treatment with a bunch of chemicals, dewormers, antibiotics, etc.  Just use this opportunity to bond with the new fish, up close and personal, before they are introduced into the main system.  Observe them and check their water quality carefully, every day, and then treat any problems as, or if, they arrive.

3) ONLY then should you begin to look for your new fish.  Of course if goes without saying to get fish from a reliable source with a great reputation.  Word of mouth is the best.  But also use your powers of observation.  Choose the fish that chooses YOU!  Not the little lonely one in the back corner with the torn fins who is all alone…he is for the shop owner to assume accountability for. Look carefully for torn fins, being interested in you and the surroundings, swimming strongly with the other fish, showing a strong interest in food, with a bright color and no visible marks, bumps, or other abnormal bulges or discolorations. You want the one (s) who can’t seem to want to swim over to you fast enough and say “Hey Buddy, What’s UP? YOU look awesome, want to hang out with me?”! And if your not lucky enough to have experience this with pet fish, and I hope you do, then at least pick one who seems the most vibrant, to you.

4) Safely transport the new fish home.  Proceed directly to already established quarantine tank.  Get the assistance of whoever you are getting the fish from, with the safe transport of your new friend. But if you want more help, I have an article for that which I can provide you with.

5) Feed, love, care for, and check temperature, ammonia, nitrites,  nitrates, and Ph, AT LEAST, on this new fish, every single day while in quarantine for the next 4-6 weeks.  If problems arise, consult me, right away.  I have seen Ph crashes kill thousands of dollars worth of fish in less than a day.  Don’t wait and see, this is what the quarantine period is all about. One month later and all is good? No problems or concerns whatsoever? Then congratulations on your new addition!  It is now safe to introduce the new arrival to the rest of the gang, of course ensuring that the water in the main tank matches what your new fish has been is, especially as far as temperature is concerned.   

So there you have it folks, everything you need to know about getting, and keeping, a new fish healthy and happy, in 5 simple steps!  And I remember, I am DrQ, here to help YOU, keep your animals happy, and healthy, years longer.  What other questions do you have?  Connect with me on Facebook #jenaquesten, Twitter @drquesten, Linkin, Google+, and almost everyone else you might like to hang out, and I will answer. Have a great day, and, best wishes for you and your fishes!Goldie

 

 

 

Your Positive Dog Business: Getting more!”

Thank you for taking good care of me!

Thank you for taking good care of me!

No matter if you own a positive (boarding, training, rescue, etc.) dog business, work for one, or dream of owning one in the future, join us for a chat time interview on the Facebook Group Positive Pet Advise on March 8th, 2015, 2 pm MST, with DrQ, Life Coach for People with Pets. Learn the perfect way to describe your business, and how to partner with your local vet, pet stores, and others, to help promote and grow your business.  This is for people who put their clients and their pets first,  realizing that the way to success, is through serving our clients with professionalism, compassion, and in the most authentic way possible, while striving to never stop learning.