Woops. Look at me forgetting to schedule our post again. Sorry it's so late, friends. You can blame me.
Let's start with the Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge, hosted by none other than Angel Sammy.
Katrina was in a spring cleaning sort of mood.
She said to her loyal cat and dog, "I think we should clean out this old closet, don't you?"
In reply, she got a meow and a woof from her furry friends Riley and Jones,
And when she moved to the closet, her two furry friends were in tow.
Perhaps a thing to two we could sell for profit?
Actually, it probably houses a skeleton or two.
I haven't opened this closet in how many years? Two?"
When Katrina opened the closet, they found plenty of old coats and shoes,
As well as an old, busted umbrella of red and blue.
Then Katrina exclaimed, "Oh, would you look at this!"
And just like that, she pulled an old typewriter out of closet.
Placing it on the nearby desk,
A hearty laugh erupted from Katrina's chest.
She said, "I completely forgot I had this dusty old thing.
Now I simply have to give its keys a few taps and pings."
When Katrina had to leave for work, she said, "I'll test it out when I get home."
To her furry friends Riley and Jones she said, "You two behave and leave it alone."
As soon as Katrina left, the cat and dog headed to that intriguing typewriter on the desk.
They could still behave by giving it just a quick and little test.
The only problem was that there was then a jostling behind that closet door.
What's worse, the closet door creaked open an inch, and then a few more.
Then a skeleton's hand reached out of the closet toward the typewriter on the desk.
Riley and Jones' hearts began hammering with fear in their chests.
Katrina was right about there being a skeleton in the closet, indeed!
From the closet, a rough voice said, "I miss my typewriter, you see.
Might I type on it a bit? May I? Please?"
That's when those skeletal fingers indeed began typing.
What it typed was really quite unsettling,
And the bug-eyed cat and dog really began fretting.
One paper flowed from the typewriter with the words, It was a dark and stormy night.
The skeleton's hand ran a few more papers through the typewriter, causing even more fright.
Another paper floated down with the words, Once upon a midnight dreary...
If the skeleton went away, in relief the cat and dog would immediately start cheering.
At that moment, Katrina walked through the door, saying, "Riley! Jones! Where are you?"
Seeing the papers strewn all about the desk and floor, she said, "What have you been up to?"
The skeleton had retreated and returned to the closet.
Even so, the cat and dog would never touch that typewriter, that they promised.
Katrina looked curiously at her cowering furry friends.
"What is wrong with you two?" she said.
Sighing, Katrina continued, "You're acting weirder than usual, Riley and Jones.
In fact, you two are acting like you've seen a ghost."
Her guess was much closer than she might have thought.
When Katrina sat at the desk with the typewriter, with fear the cat and dog were fraught.
Yesterday we discussed the topic of fleas and the importance of using preventatives. We briefly noted on how a flea infestation can lead to a kitty or pup being infected with tapeworms. Today, we are expanding on the topic of these nasty, wormy invaders.
To begin, as we just stated, a tapeworm infestation can be the result of a flea infestation. This is because fleas can carry tapeworm larvae, and when a cat or dog grooms and thereby ingests a carrier flea, that furbaby can then become infested with tapeworms. Fleas are not the only hosts of tapeworms, though. A cat or dog can also become infected by ingesting a rodent, rabbit, or bird that is carrying them. For this reason, some veterinarians will recommend that outdoor cats and dogs remain on tapeworm preventatives regularly, to prevent infestation in the event that a tapeworm host is ingested during a hunt.
Now that we know how a kitty or pup can end up with tapeworms, let's give a brief summary on the signs. One obvious sign that a furbaby has tapeworms is visually seeing it in their feces, or around their anus, or even in an area where they frequent. What you see in the feces of an infected cat or dog are actually segments that break off of a tapeworm, and these segments are perhaps best described as looking like grains of rice. Other symptoms of tapeworms include a cat or dog scooting their rear end on the floor, to alleviate the itching, irritating sensation of the tapeworm and its segments. In severe cases, such as after a lengthy tapeworm infestation, side effects can include lack of growth or weight loss, or even intestinal blockage as a result of tapeworms.
If you have any concerns that your furbaby might have tapeworms, take your furbaby and a sample of their stool in for your veterinarian to examine. There is the possibility that tapeworms may not shed consistently, and some stool samples may come back as negative even when tapeworms are present in the intestines. This is why it is also important to explain and describe to your veterinarian any signs you have seen, such as tapeworm segments in the feces, scooting, weight loss, and so forth.
These days, treatment for a tapeworm infestation is relatively straight-forward and easy, with the use of parasiticides. Thereafter, prevention is of course also key. Flea preventatives are imperative in ensuring that your furbaby does not become infected with tapeworms by way of fleas. If your cat or dog is often outdoors, and especially if they are known to hunt or ingest wildlife, you can also discuss with your veterinarian giving preventatives more heavily geared toward tapeworms. Tapeworms can hinder your furbaby's ability to thrive, so of course be sure that you understand their risks and do your best to prevent these wormy pests.