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Keeping Active Pets Healthy During The Warm Weather

Keeping Active Pets Healthy During The Warm Weather

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Getting back to nature may not always be the best thing for pets. In fact, medical claims data shows that as pets spend more time outside in warm weather, they are more likely to be injured, suffer from heat stroke or be affected by a number of other ailments.

Of course, that doesn’t mean pets need to be kept on a short leash just because it’s nice out. Pet owners just need to take some precautions.

“Pets are treated more frequently in the warm months due to their increased exposure to the outdoors. Warm weather exposes pets to more insects, higher temperatures and bodies of water, such as swimming pools, lakes and oceans,” says Dr. Carol McConnell, director of veterinary education and services for Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI). “High temperatures can lead to sunburn and heatstroke. Exposure to swimming pools can lead to ear infections or-worse-case scenario-a pet accidentally falling into a pool and drowning.”

Dr. McConnell says her company sees a significant spike in veterinary claims during the warmer months. In February of 2005, for instance, her company paid on 12 claims that involved a pet stepping on an object such as glass and injuring its paw. That number jumped to 76 claims in June and 87 in July. Some of these injuries most likely required surgery, which averages about $574 for canines and $337 for cats.

Dr. McConnell suggests offsetting those costs by keeping a watchful eye on your pet and by purchasing pet insurance.

“Protecting your dog or cat with a pet health insurance policy is not only a smart decision prior to warm weather months, but all year round,” she explains. Her company’s insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for thousands of medical problems and costly procedures relating to accidents, illness or injury. Optional Vaccination & Routine Care Coverage is available as well.

The following facts from Dr. McConnell explain some of the most common warm weather injuries to pets:

• Foreign Bodies-Foxtails, a type of grass with sharp points, are common in dry, warm months. The sharp points often become embedded into pet paws, ears, eyes or noses. As a penetrating foreign body, the foxtail inevitably causes an infection.

• Stings/Bites-Insects and spiders of all shapes and sizes come out of their hiding places in the warm weather months. Mosquitoes congregate near pools of water. Dr. McConnell recommends ridding your yard of even the shallowest pools of water (including the toddler’s pool) so mosquitoes don’t breed. Additionally, pet owners should keep their pets away from bees, wasps and woodpiles that may harbor spiders.

• Heatstroke-Dr. McConnell recommends keeping pets indoors as much as possible during the warmest hours of the day (usually 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Never leave your pet in the car unattended.

• Burns-Hot sidewalks can be downright painful for pets and could account for the rise in claims for burns, says Dr. McConnell. In addition to burns on the paws, sunburns are more common in hot months, especially on body areas not protected by fur or dark skin.

• Ear Infections-These are frequently caused by water getting trapped in a dog’s ear after swimming or bathing. If your pet is involved in water activities, speak to your veterinarian regarding specific ear-cleaning products that will help dry the ear canal after water exposure to prevent recurring ear infections.

• Near Drownings-Although relatively rare, cases of near drownings do increase in warm weather summer months. If this happens, be sure to keep the pet warm, and dry thoroughly with towels. Then, take the pet to the veterinarian immediately.

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Tips For Treating Your Arthritis Pain And Symptoms 5

Tips For Treating Your Arthritis Pain And Symptoms

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The word arthritis comes from two Greek words that translate to “joint inflammation”. However, as those who’ve lived with arthritis can testify, the pain experienced can feel like a lot more than just inflammation. In this article, you’ll find some tips on how to deal with that pain, and how you can make arthritis easier to live with.

If you are planning on traveling and have arthritis, please be sure to get a good night of sleep the night before your trip. If you are well rested, it will allow your bones and joints to work more smoothly and allow for an easier trip. You won’t notice the pain as much if your body has had a well rested night of sleep.

Find a rubber mat to place at your stove to help prevent back and leg pain while you are standing and cooking. These buoyancy of these mats help keep pressure off of your legs which will do wonders for keeping your body feeling healthy. Buy one as well for in front of your sink to use when you are washing dishes.

Buy products that are specially designed for arthritis sufferers. There is no need to struggle with tasks like opening a jar, buttoning your shirt or turning a doorknob when there are products on the market designed to help you do all of those things. In fact, there are products designed to help arthritis sufferers with just about any task you can think of. Try searching online for arthritis-friendly products or check with any of the leading arthritis organizations for a list of helpful products.

Make time for yourself. Setting aside at least thirty minutes a day to do something strictly for you should not make you feel guilty. Doing this can make you more productive and relaxed, which will in turn prevent flare ups and painful swelling. Learn to relax, and you will find yourself in better health.

Do not be uncomfortable about asking for help or finding someone who can help you in times of discomfort just by being there or giving you an ear to listen to. Having a support system of close friends or family will help you take some of the worry and stress out of your daily routine just by being able to talk or have a shoulder to lean on.

Always protect your joints when you are dealing with arthritis. Keep your joints moving throughout the day and avoid holding them in the same position for too long a period of time. Always consider how to best execute a task to minimize stress to your joints.

Incorporate a fitness routine that will strengthen muscles. Muscle groups are important in joint movement and flexibility. You should consult your physician or therapist about the level of intensity that is right for you and incorporate this into your weekly routine. You will not only increase your body wellness but also your emotional well-being.

Arthritis has plagued people throughout history. Because arthritis has been around for so long, people now know many ways to help cope. This article has shown you some of the best advice on how to deal with your arthritis. While not every tip may work for you, plenty of them should be a big help.

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Early Detection: Important Factor for Earache Cure

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Pain is something that can hamper many individuals from performing their daily activities, adversely affecting their lifestyle and overall wellness. Earache is something that can be uncomfortable and keep an individual up all night with intense pain. An earache from a cold can cause a sharp, dull burning sensation. This condition is often caused by infection or disease in the ear, nose, mouth, throat or any injury to the jaw area. If not treated properly, earache can lead to hearing loss. This article is about earache and how early detection can prevent further health ailment.

Earache can also be caused by accumulation of fluid and pressure at the back of the eardrum which is called the middle ear. The middle ear is connected to the nasal passages by the Eustachian tube—a tube that allows normal fluids to drain out the middle ear. Regular draining of fluids out the middle ear helps balance the air pressure in the ears. A cold or allergy may block the Eustachian tube to inflammation and build-up of secretions. If the fluid accumulates and may cause stiffness, pain, ear infection, and hearing loss. Some of the causes of earache may include raptured eardrum, tooth infection, sinus infection, sore throat, and many more.

Symptoms of earache may include the following:

High fever or severe pain in the ear area
Severe pain which suddenly stops, this may indicate a ruptured eardrum
Headache, dizziness, swelling around the ear, or twitching of the face muscles
Buzzing or ringing sound in the ear
Blocked or full sensation in the ear
Swelling of the ear

People who suffer from earache pain can try to sleep with the bad ear facing up to alleviate pain. If this adjustment does not relieve pain, there are pain killers out in the market that can give earache pain relief. These medications contain acetaminophen like Tylenol or Ibuprofen which can help alleviate pain that is brought by earache. There are antiseptic ear drops out in the market that may help eliminate bacteria that causes ear infection. These ear drops may also provide fast and effective earache pain relief.

Other steps that can be done to relieve pain may involve the following:

Use vaporizer to add moisture and humidity and keep the mucous thin.
A cold pack or cold wet wash cloth applied to the outer ear for 20 minutes may reduce pain.
Chew gum, chewing may help relieve the pain and pressure of an ear infection. Ear pain caused by rapidly descending from high altitudes can be relieved by swallowing, chewing gum, or other methods.

Taking medication for earache pain relief should be combined with a healthy diet and sufficient rest to help prevent the progression of earaches. A healthy diet that contain non-acidic food and beverages is essential in keeping this disorder under control. In addition to this, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and coffee should be avoided to prevent the occurrence of earache. Smoking, excessive alcohol, and coffee may weaken the immune system, making it prone to various kind of infection. Earache is a condition that should not be taken for granted. Like other health conditions, the most effective earache treatment is early evaluation and treatment.

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What Kind of Massage is Right for You?

What Kind of Massage is Right for You?

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Massage feels sinfully good, doesn’t it?
The truth is, massage is one of the best things you can do for yourself; especially during times of change such as menopause.

This soothing therapy has been shown to lower blood press, reduce muscle pain, improve joint flexibility and alleviate headaches, just to name a few of its healing powers.

Most people think of massage in terms of muscle aches, but it’s much more than that. It increases blood flow to your muscles, tissue and every cell in your body which brings oxygen and nutrients to these critical areas. It also stimulates lymphatic flow, improving tissue drainage and the immune system.

Here are some of the different strokes you have to choose from:

Acupressure
An ancient Chinese technique involves the therapist using his fingers to press key points on the skin to release muscle tension and promote circulation and energy flow. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture involves needles. The pressure restores balance to the body and treats ailments such as headaches, menstrual cramps and constipation.

Swedish Massage
This is probably the most common form of massage in the US. Its main goal is relaxation and improved circulation. The therapist applies oil to the skin and uses flowing strokes and kneading movements to relieve tension from the muscles.

Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage is more vigorous and uses various styles to loosen the muscles. It helps break patterns of tension, relieves chronic pain, including inflammation-related pain such as tendonitis and improves range of motion.

Shiatsu
Shiatsu is Japanese for “finger pressure.” This technique is similar to acupressure where the practitioner uses their finger, thumb, palm, elbow, knee (and sometimes even walk on you) to put pressure on acupuncture healing points. This unblocks the flow of energy and encourages blood and lymphatic flow. It also promotes relaxation and strengthens the body against disease and restores balance.

Sports Massage
This treatment incorporates several massage techniques which is great for athletes. It keeps the body flexible, increases performance and assists in rehabilitation from an injury.

Hot Stone Therapy
During this therapy, heated stones are placed strategically on the body which dilates blood vessels and gets blood and oxygen flowing into tense areas. It can feel like a body “rush.” The soothing heat can also prepare the body for deep-tissue work as well as alleviate PMS symptoms.

Aromatherapy Massage
The therapist incorporates essential oils extracted from herbs, flowers and roots into the massage. They select the proper oils based on a particular physical condition and blend them into a massage oil or lotion. The end result is a relaxing massage tailored to your individual needs.

Reiki
This therapy is an Eastern method meaning “universal life energy.” It brings healing energy to the organs and glands in order to bring the body back into balance and help prevent disease. The massage practitioner places their hands on or just above the body to realign chakras and dissolve toxic substances from your physical and emotional being. People often feel warmth or tingling sensations during Reiki.

Pregnancy Massage
This massage focuses on a pregnant woman’s needs including swollen hands and feet, stress on weight-bearing joints, exhaustion and lower back pain. And of course the practitioner positions you to accommodate your baby bump.

Craniosacral Therapy
This therapy involves the Craniosacral system which extends from the skull to the bottom of the spine and consists of the brain, spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid and surrounding membranes. The practitioner uses a light touch to restore cerebrospinal fluid movement. This can help treat such conditions as headaches, eye and ear problems as well as whiplash and back pain.

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Home Remedies For Treating Ear Infections

Home Remedies For Treating Ear Infections

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Ear infections can be incredibly painful and it is so sad to watch your child when they are crying in pain with a sore ear. Even a mild ear infection can be quite painful but a severe infection can be excruciating. Those who suffer from occasional ear infections will know how bad they are, but imagine if you suffer from chronic ear infections.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘prevention is better than cure’, well there are home remedies that you can use to help prevent ear infections and these can be particularly good for those who suffer from chronic infections. There are a number of home remedies you can use for ear infection, but if you do suspect your child has an infection it is best to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

One type of ear infection is ‘swimmers ear’ and this is caused by water in the ear. Swimmers ear often occurs after someone goes swimming – hence the name. One thing that you can do to prevent swimmers ear is to dry your ears with a hair dryer after you have finished swimming. I know it sounds a little strange and you want to make sure you don’t have the hot ear too close, but it does work. The air from the hair dryer will dry the extra moisture that remains in your ear canal and this helps to prevent bacteria from growing in your ear. The other thing you can do is to wear earplugs when you go swimming to prevent water getting into your ear canal. These two tips can let you enjoy your day at the pool without worrying about getting an ear infection later.

Ear infections can also be caused by blocked ear canals. If you have a cold or your sinuses are blocked then the Eustachian tubes can also become blocked, putting pressure on the ear canals. This can be worse at night when you are lying down as your Eustachian tubes can’t drain as well as they can during the day when you are upright. Some people are prone to getting this type of ear infection whenever they have a cold.

Here are some tips for unblocking your ears and avoiding an ear infection from developing:

1. Yawning or chewing gum will flex the muscles around the ear canal and can help to ‘pop’ the ears. The contracting and expanding of these muscles can help the ears to drain.

2. Take a deep breath and then close your mouth. Then close your nostrils and try to blow out through your nose. This also helps to pop your ears and drain the Eustachian tubes.

If you or your children are susceptible to ear infections then there are also some herbal remedies that you can get from the health store or pharmacy. These can help give some relief when suffering from ear infections and reduce that terrible pain that goes hand in hand with these infections.