Posts tagged ‘cat’

How to Remove Skunk Smell from Pets, Clothes, etc.

When I was a teenager, I heard an awful noise in our backyard. It was a loud and fearful shriek, like nothing I had heard before; it was followed by the yelping of our yellow Labrador.

Our dog Trooper had just been sprayed by a skunk and he was not happy about it. Frankly, nobody on our block was happy that warm spring night. I could hear the neighbors disgust as they went from room to room and shut their windows.

My mom bathed the dog in the backyard and I went to buy tomato juice. We bathed him in Tomato juice for a while and it was mildly effective.

But, there are some better alternatives.

The home remedy is a foaming mixture:

  • 1 Quart Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
  • 1/4 Cup  Baking Soda
  • 2 Tbsp Dish-washing Soap (not dishwasher detergent)

The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will create oxygen bubbles that react with the thiols in skunk oil to neutralize the smell. Be sure to use the mixture right away, while it is foaming, before the bubbles dissolve. This was proven to be more effective than tomato juice by Myth Busters in episode 16. This potion can be used on clothing, people and animals.

If you you’re a planner or have a time to go to a local pharmacy, you can pickup a product called Tecnu — I found many internet users who claim it is more effective than the homemade brew while Myth Busters found the home brew concoction to be more effective than commercial products.

Regardless of which method you choose, you should use a proper eye cleaning solution for your pet’s eyes and put cotton balls in their ears to prevent these solutions from getting in their ears.

Broken Secrets | Chad Upton

Sources: eHow, Skunk Removal Recipe, Myth Busters

July 7, 2010 at 5:00 am 3 comments

Cats Cannot Taste Sweetness in Food

My favorite classic science fair exhibit is the taste buds booth.

It’s like going to the electronics department in Costco — you eat free food samples while some kid tells you stuff you’ll never remember because all you’re thinking about is how you can get away from the booth without it looking like you just came over for the free food samples.

Taste has been studied for a long time. In 1901, Harvard professor Edwin G. Boring  published a paper that stated different taste receptors can be found on different parts of the human tongue. His last name was Boring, but his work was not. In fact, his work is slightly controversial since all areas of the tongue are sensitive to all tastes; however, some areas are more sensitive than others.

Some wine and beer glasses are shaped to encourage the liquid to hit certain parts of your tongue first, this is supposed to deliver the ideal taste sensation for that drink.

There are five generally accepted taste sensations:

  • Sweet
  • Bitter
  • Savory
  • Salty
  • Sour

Most mammals can experience all of these sensations. There are some exceptions, particularly with sweetness. New world monkeys do not perceive aspartame as sweet. Humans, apes and old world monkeys do. Cats cannot taste sweetness at all.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: Wikipedia (taste buds, sweetness, wine glass), Scientific American

June 17, 2010 at 12:38 am 7 comments

Why Chocolate is Dangerous for Dogs and Not Humans

Whether it was your idea or not, your dog or cat may swallow chocolate at sometime in their life.

You want to avoid that since there are two toxins in chocolate that can have adverse affects on your pets: caffeine and theobromine.

Both of these drugs are very similar, but chocolate contains a lot more theobromine than caffeine. Theobromine does not affect the human nervous system as much as caffeine, nor is it as addictive as caffeine. But, theobromine is still addictive and believed to be the agent that causes Chocolate addiction. It is also believed to be responsible for chocolate’s notoriety as an aphrodisiac.

Although theobromine increases heart rate in humans, it also dilates blood vessels, which reduces blood pressure. In fact, it is superior to codeine at suppressing cough and can be helpful in relaxing muscles to alleviate symptoms of asthma.

Humans are able to consume chocolate in moderation because we can breakdown theobromine fairly quickly. In dogs, cats, rats and other species, they cannot digest it efficiently. This leads to a buildup of this toxin and is known as theogromine poisoning. Actually, this can also happen to elderly people who consume large quantities of chocolate.

For animals, a dangerous quantity of chocolate depends on the type of chocolate. Milk chocolate is not as dangerous as semisweet chocolate and it’s not as dangerous as cocoa powder.

Milk chocolate contains approx 44-64 milligrams of theobromine per ounce. Semi-sweet chocolate is about 150-160 mg/oz. Cocoa powder is 800 mg/oz.

A toxic dose for pets is 100-200 mg/kg of body weight (1 kg = 2.2 pounds). That said, problems can still be evident with smaller doses.

Signs of toxicity include:

  • Excitement, nervousness, trembling
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death (usually a result of other problems caused by the toxin)

As much as people like to treat their pets like humans, they are not human and should not be treated like humans when it comes to diet. There are many other human foods that are not recommended and poisonous to pets:

  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Coffee
  • Fatty Foods
  • Onions
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Artificial sweetener

Pet’s digestive systems are very different from humans. Checkout Vetinfo for more details on why some of the above foods should not be fed to your animals.

Thanks to Ryan W for suggesting this secret.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: Wikipedia (Theobromine), About.com, Vetinfo

June 16, 2010 at 1:09 am 7 comments


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