Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pet Health Tip #22- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

As dogs age, they can develop symptoms similar to dementia in humans.  It is termed Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or CCD.  Dogs with CCD can show a variety of symptoms.  Forgetting how to do simple tasks, such as how to climb stairs or how to back up, is a common symptom.  Your dog may stand at the bottom of the stairs as if he is confused, or he may get stuck in a corner.

Another common symptom is becoming fearful.  Because your dog is fearful, his personality can change causing him to growl or bite if suddenly startled.  When approaching your dog, it is very important to make sure he knows you are there in order to decrease the chance of startling him.

Many dogs will also develop a fear of the dark.  These dogs often pace restlessly at night.  Finally, many dogs with CCD will no longer be housebroken.  They will start to eliminate in the house.

There are medications available that will slow the progression of CCD, but similar to humans with dementia, there is no cure.  The best thing we can do is gain an understanding of these changes and do the best we can to accommodate our geriatric pets.  For instance, if your dog has grown fearful, try to minimize the amount of stress in his life.  One example would be allowing him a safe place to go if there are small children in the house.  If he has grown fearful of the dark, give him a nightlight.  Also, he may need to be constantly shown how to do simple tasks.  Finally, he may need to be placed into a crate when you are not home.  This can accomplish two things; one, it will give him a place where he feels safe when he is alone; and two, it will keep him from eliminating in the house.

Geriatric dogs can be a challenge.  Our dogs give us unconditional love and the least we can do is give them our patience and understanding as they age.

Friday, July 1, 2016

DOGS AREN'T MEN is FREE!!! 7/3-7/7

BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Rebecca Miller is a gifted veterinarian with an extraordinary understanding of animal behavior. She is leading a fulfilling life as the owner and operator of the Animal Friends Veterinary Clinic. Ever since her 30th birthday, her mother has made it her mission to help Rebecca find a man, get married, and give her grandchildren. But Rebecca doesn’t see the need for a man in her life. She has her dog, Captain, and that’s all the companionship she needs. However, her world changes the day she literally runs into Derrick Peterson, a gorgeously handsome ER doctor. 

Derrick’s experiences with women have taught him that they are vain, silly, and untrustworthy. He keeps his relationships with them brief and superficial. However, he finds himself being irresistibly drawn to Rebecca. She’s smart, witty, compassionate, and very different from the women he usually encounters. Will Rebecca be the one to break down the wall he’s spent a lifetime building around his heart?



BOOK REVIEWS:


"Harlequin-romance tradition meets contemporary intrigue in a heartwarming novel that brings out the best in both genres. Dogs Aren't Men blends humor and tenderness with a skillful literary hand."- Foreword Clarion Reviews


"A quality entry in the romance genre...readers will appreciate the book's steady pace, well-constructed story, and genial style."- Publisher's Weekly

"A fast-paced, energetic romance with a little sass."-Kirkus Review



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Monday, June 13, 2016

WOUNDED HEARTS FREE!!! 6/15-6/19

BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Hawk has spent his life dealing with hatred, at the hands of his stepfather as a boy, then later, the white men who hate him for being half Indian. Years of being an outcast have hardened his heart and darkened his soul. He stays away from civilization as much as possible, preferring to live a life of solitude. 

Suzanna Brody is a schoolteacher in the small western town of Sand Hill. She likes her life, but she secretly longs for a family. At the ripe old age of twenty-two, she’s all but given up hope. Having grown up in an orphanage, she’s never known what it was like to be a part of a loving family. 

A chance meeting brings these two broken-hearted people together. They are immediately drawn to one another. When Hawk is accused of a crime, Suzanna is ready to stand by his side. Will her love be enough to save him? 




BOOK REVIEWS:



"Suzanna is pleased both of her friends have found their prince charming, she just wishes that she could as well, and it is getting harder and harder to convince herself that her work as a schoolteacher will be enough to fulfill her on its own. She had almost become resigned to being a spinster, when she’s saved from a riding mishap by Hawk, a man used to getting the worst from people due to his ‘half-breed’ status. The attraction between the two is immediate and intense, but Hawk fights it hard, determined not to expose Suzanna to the harsh reality of his life. I thought Nathan from the first book was stubborn and frustrating when it came to him finally giving in to his feelings for the woman he loved, but he was nothing compared to Hawk, and Hawk's frequent coldness toward Suzanna made his almost unlikable at times. The gradual way in which he came around, as he chased criminals with Nathan, was something beautiful to watch, and I loved the ending!"- Amazon Reviewer


"Once again, Billi Tiner kept me on the edge of my seat wondering want would happen next. Love the characters and the ending. Wasn't too happy about some of the people that didn't make it to the end of the book. But in the end, all is well."- Amazon Reviewer


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

PET HEALTH TIP #21- Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is (unfortunately) a common problem during the hot summer months, especially when temperatures soar into the 100's.  Two of the most important things you can do to protect your dog from the heat are to make sure your dog has lots of shade and plenty of water.  It is easy to forget how fast water can evaporate in extreme heat, so make sure you re-fill the water dishes often.

Outdoor dogs with thick coats of fur, even if it is relatively short, should be shaved.  The thick fur is just like you wearing your winter coat out in the heat!  Another great idea is to add water misters to their pen to act as an air conditioner.  And lastly, do not leave your dog in a vehicle, even if the windows are cracked!

Symptoms of heat stroke include: Excessive panting; recumbency (lying on side); pale mucous membranes (gums and inside of cheeks); and unresponsiveness.

Emergency treatments: It imperative to get the dog's temperature down as quickly as possible.  Heat stroke dog temperatures can rise above 105 degrees.  The best thing you can do is get your dog to a veterinarian, so he can be started on IV fluids and the vet can work on lowering the dog's temperature.  However, if you are unable to get to a vet clinic, there are some treatments you can try.  First of all, you don't want to lower the temperature too quickly.  One of the best ways to lower a dog’s temperatures is to pour rubbing alcohol along his spine.  Rubbing alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, thus acting as a coolant.  Also, a room temperature water enema works well.  You don't want to use cold water as the dog's temperature is already well above room temperature and cold water would be too much of a shock to the dog's system.


Even with proper treatment, a heat stroke victim's chances of survival are minimal. So, the best treatment is prevention.  Please be aware of our four-legged friends during the warm summer months and do what you can to keep them safe and comfortable.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

PET HEALTH #20-Cystitis

Cystitis refers to inflammation of the bladder wall.  Several underlying medical issues can cause cystitis.  The most common cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection.  This is especially true for female dogs and cats.  Bacterial infections in dogs and cats happen the same way they do in people, and pets will show similar symptoms.  These symptoms include: increased frequency of urination, straining to void the bladder, and blood in the urine.  Antibiotics are used to treat bladder infections.

Bladder stones (uroliths) can also cause cystitis.  Bladder stones are mineral deposits that form into rock-like substances.  These stones can be as large as golf balls!  The symptoms are exactly the same as with bladder infections.  Occasionally, a small stone may become trapped in a male dog’s or cat’s urethra causing a blockage.  This is a serious condition that requires emergency treatment.

During the early stages of stone development, the pet will have crystals in the urine.  Dogs may or may not develop symptoms of cystitis during the crystal phase.  Cats will typically start to show symptoms during this phase.  As I stated earlier, these crystals and stones are caused by mineral deposits.  These deposits are created by the urine either being too acidic or too alkaline.  The treatment is a change in diet, which will either raise or lower the pH of the urine.  Some bladder stones will dissolve in response to the diet change.  However, surgery is usually needed to remove the stones.


A less common cause of cystitis is a bladder tumor.  These usually develop in older female dogs. The tumors are typically benign.

There are other less common causes of cystitis.  All causes create the same symptoms.  Therefore, if your pet is showing symptoms if cystitis, you should take him or her to a veterinarian in order to get an accurate diagnosis.

Friday, April 15, 2016

PRICKED BY A ROSE is on Sale for $0.99!

For a limited time, my new contemporary romance "Pricked by a Rose" is on sale for $0.99!



BOOK DESCRIPTION:



After being abducted by a serial rapist, Rose McAllister is haunted by nightmares. Wanting a fresh start, she leaves her job in the city and moves three hundred miles away to a quaint college town. She begins to think that a normal life is possible as a budding relationship develops between her and her sexy new neighbor. 

Mason Sterling is fighting to move past painful memories of his own. As his attraction for Rose intensifies, the instinct to protect his heart becomes stronger. Can he overcome his trust issues enough to give their relationship a chance to grow into something beautiful? Is she worth risking another broken heart? 



click image to buy now!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

NOW AVAILABLE!!! "Pricked by a Rose" a new contemporary romance

PRICKED BY A ROSE



BOOK DESCRIPTION:


After being abducted by a serial rapist, Rose McAllister is haunted by nightmares. Wanting a fresh start, she leaves her job in the city and moves three hundred miles away to a quaint college
town. She begins to think that a normal life is possible as a budding relationship develops between her and her sexy new neighbor. 


Mason Sterling is fighting to move past painful memories of his

own. As his attraction for Rose intensifies, the instinct to protect his heart becomes stronger. Can he overcome his trust issues enough to give their relationship a chance to grow into something beautiful? Is she worth risking another broken heart? 




click image to buy now!