Health | Lifestyle

The Most Common Health Conditions in Dogs

By on August 30, 2017

When we return home from work to find that our dog is sick, thoughts of relaxation quickly turn into panic, and you need to decide what action to take to return your dog to good health. If your dog has just eaten something that its stomach didn’t quite agree with, you may not have to worry too much. However, if your dog is showing adverse symptoms for a prolonged period, you might need to visit a vet.

Unfortunately, vet fees can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and many of us just don’t have enough cash set aside to pay for such high bills. However, you don’t have to bear the full brunt of the cost if you purchase pet insurance in Australia. Some people think the price of insurance isn’t worthwhile, but you may change your mind by learning about some of the most common health problems in dogs.

Be Prepared for Any Situation

If you buy insurance for your beloved dog, you won’t have to worry too much about covering the costs of vet bills for the following health conditions:

  • Ear Infections

Dogs often have especially sensitive ears, which are prone to health conditions thanks to the likes of mites, bacterial infections, yeast, allergies, and hair growing deep inside the ear canal. If you notice the following symptoms, it’s time to take your dog to the vets:

  • Head tilting or shaking
  • Vigorous scratching
  • Strange eye movements
  • Ear odour
  • Bad balance
  • Unusual discharge

It’s usually quick and straightforward for a vet to get rid of dog ear infections, and if you have insurance, you won’t be subject to pay 100 percent of the fees.

  • Worms

Worms, whether they’re whipworms, roundworms, tapeworms or hookworms, are nasty parasites that make a habitat from your dog’s insides, and they can be fatal for puppies and dogs with weak immune systems. Here are the most common symptoms of worms:

  • A loss of appetite
  • A dry or rough coat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting

Worms can be fatal for dogs at worst and uncomfortable at best, so make sure to visit a vet if you notice a combination of the symptoms above.

  • Fleas

Fleas aren’t usually a serious problem, but they can cause complications if left untreated. Unfortunately, it only takes a few weeks for one flea to become an infestation, but they are usually easy to treat if you act early. Common symptoms include:

  • Excessive biting or scratching of the skin
  • Tapeworms (see above)
  • Flea dirt that appears to be small black dots on your dog’s skin
  • Hot spots
  • Hair loss

If neglected, fleas can lead to infections, allergic reactions, and even anaemia if your dog loses too much blood, so always visit a vet sooner rather than later if you suspect your dog has fleas.

Help is at Hand

Provided you purchase pet insurance from a company that’s earned a reputation for excellence, you can feel confident that your dog will be back to full health in no time, and you won’t be subject to sky-high vet bills. If you notice any of the symptoms detailed in the previous sections, you should contact a reliable vet and call your insurer right away.

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Health | Lifestyle

Wine, Women, and Woe: Is Wine Drinking Becoming A Dangerous Social Trend?

By on March 3, 2017

There appears to be a growing trend in the number of women who love wine. In “Real Housewives” several members have parlayed their own screen imbibing into marketing their own wine brands. There are numerous Facebook groups for women who like wine.

Although this may not seem like anything unusual, women have not always had such a keen appreciation for the delicacy and flavor of wine. Clever wine marketing is actually behind the popularity of wine drinking among women.

This is how the trend started and gained momentum over the decades:

After the prohibition, most of the Californian wineries had perished. In an attempt to recover, the wine industry decided to promote to women because postwar housewives were frustrated by the fact that wine was considered a symbol of male power. In classy restaurants, for example, where wine was most often consumed, when waiters approached a couple, they addressed the man, and it was the man who viewed the wine list and took the first taste after the bottle was uncorked.

One successful promotion was introducing wine in supermarkets. Middle-aged housewives were hired as wine samplers. When younger women shopped, they were offered them a sip of wine. After the sampling, they were trained on how to educate the younger women on what wine went best with the dinner they were preparing that evening.

Another successful promotion was wine tips in women’s magazines. These articles taught women how to order wine in restaurants and how to serve it at home. It also promoted wine as a way to relax and unwind after a stressful day.

Over time, public perception about wine changed. Women began to associate it with equality, entry into college, economic status, and stress relief. It became seen as a symbol for women who were entering male-dominated colleges and working in male-dominated professions like technology and finance.

However, wives and mothers also began to associate wine as a positive thing. They saw it as an antidote to their boring lives. Although not vying for status or recognition with men, imbibing wine offered relief from the dreariness of staying at home and looking after children.

Is this a sign of growing alcoholism among American women? Not necessarily. According to an article in the Greenhouse Addiction Programs blog, entitled “Binge Drinking: Do You Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?” there is a defining difference between “low risk drinking” and “binge drinking.” This site refers to the definition offered by the National Institution on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA): “Moderate drinking is defined as having up to one alcoholic beverage each day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.”

Statistics on Women Who Imbibe

While social drinking is innocent enough if it is done in moderation, things become a little more alarming nationwide when you look at the statistics.

According to Gabrielle Glasse, who wrote an article in the the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Why She Drinks:”

  • Women are the primary drinkers of the 800 million gallons of wine sold annually in the US.
  • Between 1998 and 2007, the arrest rate for drunk drivers rose 30% for women while it dropped to 7% for men.
  • Between 1999 and 2008, the Emergency Hospital admission rate for dangerously intoxicated people rose 52% for women while it only rose to 9% for men.

She also discussed how Gallup Poll studies showed the following trends:

  • Well-educated, affluent women were more likely to drink.
  • White women drank more than black women and Hispanic women.
  • The percentage of women who had come to imbibe rose over the years. For instance, in 1992, 37% of White women out of a sample group of 85,000 American drank. Then in 2002, the percentage had risen 10%. (The percentage of all racial groups increased over time.)

Women’s Tolerance for Alcohol 

Although the rate of alcohol consumption can be correlated with the rising social and economic equality of women, the effect of alcohol on women is not the same as that for men.

Women who drink the same amount of alcohol than men experience a stronger effect. This is because they have more fat and less water. The fat makes them absorb more alcohol while there is less water to dilute it.

What’s more, men have more of an enzyme which breaks alcohol down before it slips into the bloodstream.

Since women experience the toxicity of alcohol more than men, they are also more quickly impaired by it. This means that liver and brain damage is more acute in women than men.

When Is Wine Drinking Problematic?

According to the NIAA, addiction problems arise when low-risk drinking becomes excessive drinking. They define low-risk drinking “as no more than three drinks in a day for women or four drinks per day for men.” And they define excessive drinking as anything “more than the recommended daily drinking levels – or more than seven drinks in a week total for women or 14 drinks for men – is termed “excessive drinking” and may increase the drinker’s risk for developing chronic health problems caused or worsened by alcohol or experiencing an accident under the influence.”

 

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Health

Signs Your Best Friend Could Be Dealing with Addiction

By on January 16, 2017

Your best friend since high school has started acting strange and you can’t really put your finger on it. One thing you do notice is the fact that she’s been drinking a lot more than usual when you’re around her. You want to help, but you want to be sure that there is a problem before you approach her. Determining whether someone you care for has a problem with alcohol is easier said than done.

Despite what you might know about the stereotypical drunk who acts belligerent and can barely stand is not necessarily what you’re going to see when you’re around your friend. Likely if there is an issue she’s ashamed, embarrassed, and afraid to come forward and get help. This means they can be very good at hiding the signs from you. That’s why knowing what to pay attention to can help you recognize the signs of alcohol abuse or addiction in your friend and support her in getting the help that she needs.

Learn as Much as You Can

Before approaching your bestie about her potential issue, it can be beneficial to first learn a bit more about addiction and the treatment options. This way you can be a great source of support for her when she is ready to get help. Aside from talking with a doctor, one of your best sources of information about alcohol addiction in women and treatment options is specifically tailored rehab for women. A rehab facility will have trained abuse and addiction counselors as well as medical personnel on staff to answer your questions and give you reliable tips on how to help your friend.

Signs Your Friend is Hiding an Alcohol Problem

1.  Increased Quantity

One of the first signs that your best friend could be hiding an alcohol problem is her increased consumption. With alcohol dependency and addiction, the person’s body develops a high tolerance for the substance requiring a person to use more. Examples might include you noticed your friend refills her glass more than once at girl’s night or always seems to have a wine bottle ready to open.

2.  Missing In Action

Increased isolation is another sign that your friend could be dealing with an alcohol problem. If she’s missing events that she would normally make or seems to be turning down your offers to hang out, it is possible that she’s trying to hide her addiction from you. Loss of interest in activities and people is fairly common when suffering from addiction. There simply becomes a point where their addiction seems to consume their lives leaving little room for much else.

3.  Money Trouble

Someone who is suffering from addiction will often fall into financial troubles. The cost of affording alcohol on the consistent basis can be enough to cause necessary bills to fall behind. If your friend has been stressed about finances lately, or seems to be asking you for financial assistance, they could be trying to pay for their vice.

4.  Physical Changes

If a person has been suffering from addiction for a while, they could start to change physically. Though alcohol affects everyone differently, some changes you might notice include drastic changes in their weight, decreased overall health (getting sick more often), changes in the skin, and so on.

If you’ve noticed any of these signs when interacting with your best friend she could really need some help. When approaching her on the matter, be sure that you communicate with her in a loving and supportive way as addiction can be very difficult to admit and deal with. Once she is ready to receive help, pointing her in the direction of rehab facilities for treatment would be the best option. Though it may be hard to deal with, knowing that she has her bestie there every step of the way will make the treatment and recovery process a lot easier to get through.

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Beauty | Health

How To Plan The Perfect Spa Day At Home

By on February 3, 2016

Sometimes you just need a spa day, or two, in order to get through the week. It may not be feasible to head to an actual day spa, and that can be a pricey trip as well, but you can have your own luxurious spa time from your own home, and you can even invite friends or family to join you.

Relaxation is important for stress relief, and a home spa day can bring you much relaxation. You just need a few things on hand in order to plan your stress free day. If you have some friends that could use a day of relaxation, invite them over.

You can swap shoulder massages, and you can have each guest bring an ingredient from their own kitchen or pantry to help make some great homemade skin care items. You might even want to paint each other’s nails or give each other a pedicure. It’s all in the name of friendship and stress relief.

Find The Right Tone

If you want to relax you need to set the right tone. That means shutting off the television, giving the kids something to keep them quietly busy, and turning off your phone. This isn’t a time to be checking Facebook.

Set the mood for relaxation with some relaxing music. There are many different genres of music that lend themselves well to stress relief. Try some inspiring celtic music or some classical tunes, among others, to create an atmosphere perfect for relieving anxiety.

Get The Right Ingredients

The ingredients for your spa day don’t just include music, but  it also includes specific ingredients, massage oils, facial care items, and anything else it takes to complete whatever spa activities are on your list to complete. Make sure you also have some delicious fruit infused water on hand so everyone stays hydrated.

Ingredients like honey, strawberries, buttermilk, and oatmeal can all do amazing things for your skin. Oatmeal is anti-itch, honey is softening, and strawberries have a great astringent effect. Have each of your guests bring one of these items, or their own favorite facial mask or cleanser. You can find recipes on Pinterest as well.

You can also purchase products that are made with great ingredients, like coconut oil. Look for organic products and don’t be afraid to check out reviews.

Invite The Right People (Or Do It Alone)

You can have a spa day alone, but it can be fun to invite your girlfriends to enjoy the relaxing time with you. Invite friends that love taking care of themselves and will be happy to participate in pedicures, manicures, facials and massages!

Having a home spa day can be a very fun way to care for your health, your skin, and your hair. Don’t let stress take over, enjoy a spa day anytime you can.

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