Cat Health

A pet cat looks to its owner for love, affection, warmth, food, and safety. It relies on its master to stay able-bodied, well nourished and safe throughout its life. This is not an overpowering or intense responsibility. Effective ways of maintaining cat health can be performed through preventative monthly checks at home, by keeping cats indoors and by having cats vaccinate per a veterinarian’s advice.

A thorough nose-to-tail checkup must be carried out to make sure there are no symptoms of any illness or diseases. The ears should be clean and pink and free of any wax or mites. The cat’s eyes should be brilliant, lucid, alert, and free of discharge. Oral checkups should include observing if gums are pink and teeth clean. There should be no tartar formation along the gum line and the cat’s breath should not be unpleasant.

Feeling the cat’s body for lumps, bulges, sores or other abnormalities is important as a precautionary practice. One must be attentive to spot fleas, dirt scratches and parasites, which are prone to be found behind the ears, between the toes and along the tail. To maintain a cat’s health, regular brushing of the fur is essential. This helps in removing dead skin cells and loose hair and also in clearing fleas off its coat. Cats clean themselves but in the process, they swallow a large amount of hair, which leads to vomiting of hairballs. There are many hairball remedies on the market, but the best way to deal with them is removing excess hair with regular brushings.

Regular clipping a cat’s claws prevents growth of paw pads. Cats enjoy scratching. Instead of de-clawing the cat, which is very painful and unnecessary, one must train the cat to use well-placed scratching posts. All cat owners should maintain an emergency first aid guide and a vet should be consulted when home care is inadequate.

Cats should not be given any medication without the advice of a veterinarian. Most common human drugs are toxic to cats. Along with performing regular home examinations one must take the cat to the vet for scheduled appointments. Taking simple precautions and following the advice of the vet is vital to enjoying life with a pet cat.

Cat Health Problems

All cat owners should be aware of the common health problems that their cat could face. Cat health problems can be detected through behavioral changes, symptoms and sounds. Common health problems include anemia, allergies, skin infections and tapeworms caused by fleas.

Flea collars are a popular accessory for solving the cat health problem of fleas, but their effects are still being debated. Some studies show they may also cause some irritation to the cat’s skin. Another cat health issue is ear mites. Ear mites are dark, waxy microscopic parasites, which itch and can be contracted by proximity to an untreated animal. If untreated, ear mites can cause deafness. Several treatments are available to fight this ailment.

Tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and coccidia are internal parasites commonly affecting cats. Symptoms vary from mild to severe diarrhea, weakness, depression, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting and a dull coat. A veterinarian can recommend de-worming medication based on a sample of the feces.

Toxoplasma gondii are small parasites, affecting humans with a weak immune system. These parasites can also affect a cat. Proper handling of food, and regular cleaning of litter boxes prevents the transmission of these parasites. Common symptoms include painful urination or blood in the urine.

Cats may contract upper respiratory infections causing sneezing, running nose, spotty eyes, fever and decreased appetite. Fatal if left untreated and highly contagious, prevention is the best approach. Feline infectious peritonitis is a lethal virus causing fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Blood tests can determine if there was exposure to the virus. There is no effective treatment and prevention using vaccines is the only hope.

Feline distemper is a contagious viral disease transmitted through contact with humans, infected cats, hair, paws and food bowls. Symptoms occur suddenly with vomiting, loss of appetite and diarrhea. Feline immunodeficiency virus, passed on by cat bites is fatal, causing chronic infections that don’t respond to medication, respiratory problems, loss of appetite, diarrhea and oral infections.

These are just a few common cat health problems. One must be attentive to the cat’s actions and behavioral changes at all times and work with veterinarians to overcome cat health concerns.

Cat Health Insurance

It is said that “cats almost always land on their feet”. However, when they don’t, an accident or illness might occur without warning. Whether the cat is an indoor or outdoor pet, obtaining a cat health care policy saves money. Cat health insurance is not complex or expensive. One can usually get a feline insurance policy for less than 10 dollars a month. When selecting a policy for the pet, one can choose an accident and illness plan designed specifically for cats.

Outdoor cats can face dangerous situations daily. A pet’s health can be protected with a wide-ranging health care package, planned with variable insurance charges. These insurance policies can include scratches, cuts, wounds from other cats, unfavorable response to insect bites, unintended ingestion of trash or other non-edible items and motor vehicle mishaps. These may all be covered at realistic monthly costs with low deductions.

Indoor cat owners may not be as interested in medical insurance, presuming it to be unnecessary. While indoor cats are less prone to motor vehicle accidents, they can still be part of accidents around the house. And they can get sick, especially as they get older. Good health care packages cover many common indoor feline medical situations without being a monetary drain.

There are many cat health insurance plans. One may choose solid accident and first time illness protection. This includes unlimited listed illnesses and protects kittens and young cats. An all-inclusive coverage for all accidents and over 3,500 illnesses, providing lifetime benefit on all types of mishaps can also be availed of. These are ideal as they offer a comprehensive coverage. Certain programs concentrate on senior pets, providing coverage of major sicknesses that are usually suffered by older pets. This includes health conditions such as seizures, accidents, cancer and heart problems. There are even some programs that cover veterinary costs in case a missing pet is brought home in a condition requiring lifesaving treatment.

These days, after studying various options, one may select a plan from myriad offerings, and find one that suits their pet’s needs.

Canadian Pharmacy School

Pharmacists in Canada are now moving over and going beyond routine duties like sitting behind the counter, collecting drugs and counting them. In fact, the industry is now witnessing a paradigm shift and pharmacists are at the centre of this new development in that country.

Canada is now grooming a new generation of pharmacists who are now even counseling patients and giving them advice on the best and cost effective drugs. This new dimension to the career of a Canadian pharmacist has been attributed to the developments in the industry as a whole and the need to adapt to new market trends. Pharmacists are now being trained to adopt a patient centric approach, which also includes taking over some of the duties, hitherto performed by doctors.

Budding Canadian pharmacists are also being taught to identify, mitigate and prevent problems related to medication. While the field of pharmacy is ever changing and evolving, pharmacists are now required to be on their toes all the time and adapt to changes in all the three modes of drug sale including online, mail order and conventional methods. Pharmacy schools are now giving special training in these aspects. A pharmacist should learn to cope with the bulk of information flowing in or he could be overwhelmed just by the number of new drugs that are hitting the market every year.

Special emphasis is also placed on learning about the laws and regulations that are in place in Canada and the prevalent public health policy at the provincial or national government levels. Pharmacists are also required to liaise with community support groups and with ailment related groups like the local associations like the local lung association and local diabetics association. This mandates the knowledge of public relations work not to mention possession of good communication skills. The curriculum followed by Canadian pharmacy schools has evolved well in the last few years to cover these emerging areas and to provide students with the edge needed to obtain employment after obtaining their degrees.

Drug manufacturers have been roped in by many reputed pharmacy schools to aid pharmacy students in choosing their streams from a wide range of options. Pharmacists are also being guided to grow into the excellent community pharmacists who go on to become the first link in the health care system. They are expected to play a significant role in ensuring that the patients receive the best drug therapy. Pharmacists can also specialize in fields like oncology, infectious disease, psychiatry, etc. Specializations help them in playing their role in various health care teams.

The industry also wants pharmacists in areas like clinical research, marketing and public relations. They are also being involved in preparing information materials related to drugs and in educating pharmacists, physicians and patients.

As of now, 9 universities in Canada are having pharmacy schools. The admission requirements usually vary from one university to another. After obtaining a Bachelors degree in pharmacy, one has to pass a national board examination through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. After this, one can also get some practical experience through an internship program. Different provinces in Canada have put forth different requirements for becoming a licensed pharmacist.

In 2002, the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) began recognizing the accreditations awarded by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) for programs leading to a baccalaureate degree in pharmacy.

Canadian Pharmacy Prices

So what is that makes the Canadian pharmacies so attractive to customers in the US? The answer is quite simple and just boils down to one word: pricing. Pharmacies based in Canada claim to offer prices which can more than offset the option of purchasing drugs from a vendor based in US. These pharmacies sell virtually all drugs sold by vendors back in the US and can be shipped to any destination in America. The situation is such that American HMOs are encouraging US citizens to get the prescriptions medications from Canada.

This is the main reason why Canadian pharmacies have managed to attract many US customers and the customer list continues to grow. There have been claims of filling up to 3000 prescriptions a day. Medications imported from Canada could cost up to 60-80 per cent less than those purchased from within the US. Canadian pharmacies also sell drugs to patients without prescriptions in these cases, if the patient is connected to an online doctor. Prescriptions are then given either online or over the phone and the drugs are shipped to your location overnight using the courier service.

Some pharmacies also provide an option of purchasing cheap drugs from countries in Asia and Europe, or whichever country offers the lowest possible price, and can have it shipped to you at no extra charge. In any case, the prices will still be far cheaper than the ones offered by US pharmacies. The entire US pharmaceutical industry is up in arms against their Canadian counterparts and wants to control this trade in order to survive with healthy profit margins.

Canadian Pharmacy Prescriptions

Canadian pharmacies are doling out prescriptions like never before. While they are serving a huge domestic market, they are also catering to customers in the US. These pharmacies operating out of Canada are filling out prescriptions for everything from common cold to controlling blood pressure.

It is understood that they can read prescriptions given out by Canadian doctors for Canadian patients but what about the patients across the border residing in the USA? In many cases, a Canadian doctor rewrites the prescription given out by his US counterpart so as to make the whole process of filing out process legal. In case of unlicensed pharmacies, no one bothers as, prescriptions are not needed just name the drug and they will ship it across to you. Negligence of some of the basic business ethics by certain firms has led to these pharmacies coming under the scanner of authorities both in the US and Canada.

In the US, fears have been raised over the risk to patients from sale of counterfeit drugs. These drugs may contain inert components, which can cause significant harm to the body of the consumer. In some cases it has been found legitimate drugs well past their expiry date were diverted to illegitimate retailers for sale across the internet. Cases of improperly manufactured drugs have also come to light.

According to the Canadian Medical Association, physicians should necessarily conduct a physical exam and discuss the merits and risks associated with consumption of a particular drug before it is prescribed. However, in case of many Canadian pharmacies this was not found to be the case. This was also facilitated by desperate patients in the United States who were willing to buy anything offered cheap for various ailments without being bothered about its side effects.

Some Canadian pharmacies have however, implemented many measures to gain trust of the customer based in US. Most notable among them is arranging for a visit by a Canada based physician to the patient in US for examining him before filling out a prescription. All this is happening while the business for Canadian firms is growing by leaps and bounds. Canadian firms are now filling out prescriptions like never before. Some firms have claimed to have filled as much as 3000 prescriptions a day indicating the volume of business catered to by these pharmacies.

So irrespective of the some of the measures being planned to regulate these pharmacies, it only seems that these firms will continue witness healthy growth rates.

Canadian Pharmacies

The US pharmaceutical industry is currently fighting it out with their Canadian counterparts. The reason? For one, the latter has managed to garner a sizeable amount of the former’s market share. Driven by cheaper prices, this trend is continuing and Canadian pharmacies are adding customers like never before. US pharmaceutical companies have gone on the offensive, criticizing their Canadian counterparts for indulging in unfair trade practices.

The origin of this conflict goes back to the early 90s when the American industry lobbied hard to make cross-border trading with Canada and Mexico duty free. The result of this was the North American Free trade Agreement or NAFTA. Thanks to NAFTA, trade between the three North American countries (the US, Canada and Mexico) began growing. NAFTA permitted free movement of goods across the borders without the imposition of usual cross-border tariffs.

The American industry benefited enormously from this because they could now outsource their manufacturing to these countries and sell the finished products back again to them. Thus the manufacturing costs went down and profits began coming in. American pharmacies, whose main rival those days was Europe, also benefited from this, as most of their R&D facilities were in Canada and the work was done at much lower rates.

The joy of American pharmaceutical companies was short lived as many Canadian companies started selling drugs at discounted prices to US customers. This was done as Canadian companies realized that the cheaper R&D and manufacturing costs can be used to offer cheaper drugs to customers. Further, the price of drugs in Canada is strictly regulated by the government. On an average, a buyer based in US can save anything from $50-$200 a month by purchasing drugs from across the border. Displaying a spirit of competitive capitalism, the Canadian companies began selling drugs directly to US customers in Border States and by other means, like Internet and phone, to buyers in other areas.

In the US, it is illegal to import prescription drugs from Canada. However, import of drugs for up to 3 months of personal use is permitted.

The interesting fact is that most of the brand-name prescription drugs sold in Canada and the US are all products of the same manufacturing plants. Canada imports many raw materials and finished products from the US. Thus, most Americans may actually be re-importing American drugs.

With increasing profits, Canadian pharmaceutical companies started looking at other means of marketing including sale via the internet and mail order delivery. The American model of differential pricing at the retail level and for bulk customers like insurance companies means that the real price of a drug sold may not be known. Thus, the main segment of customers who have approached Canadian pharmacies are either the uninsured or those states whose negotiation power has been curtailed thanks to various regulations. Thus, indirectly at least, these purchasers are actually paying for the subsidies doled out to the insured. This is why they end up paying more for the drugs in their own country.

In the long run however the increase in purchase from Canada may actually push the retail prices in Canada North wards. A phenomenon, which, is already happening thus, sooner or later Canadian drugs may also become expensive on par with their US counterparts. But for now at least, the Canadian pharmacies seem to be on the right track.

Canadian Mail Order Pharmacy

Canadian mail order pharmacy has become another means to reach out to the US customer in need of cheaper medication. The business is growing and attracting new customers daily. Many Internet sites have sprung up as intermediaries for transacting drug business between users and pharmacies in Canada and outside.

As is the case with online pharmacy, these sites also offer drugs for purchase at rates that can compete with the best offered in the US. These firms offer a mix consisting of both brand name and generic prescription medications. Most sites claim to offer up to 3,000 prescription and non-prescription medications and savings of up to 80% as compared to US retail prices.

Mail order pharmacy is also fast catching up among US customers. In this case also, most of the intermediaries and the original pharmacies do not require a valid prescription by a doctor either in US or Canada. In fact you just have to name the drug and it is yours. Some of them are offering a catalog, which allows customers to choose import of drugs from other countries, which are even cheaper. Comparative prices of the requisite drug in at least five countries are listed and these firms even assist the customer in making his purchase decision.

All these services can be accessed from the comfort of ones home. The competitive pricing strategy coupled with the range of services offered has raked in millions of dollars for the Canadian pharmacy companies. Unless Canada regulates the business or the prices of drugs goes up in that country, the demand for mail order drugs will only increase.

Canadian Discount Pharmacy

When it comes to grabbing a sizeable share of the US pharmacy market, the Canadian discount pharmacies have already achieved the target and are now going further. Driven by competitive prices and low investment requirements, these companies are now giving extensive competition to their US counterparts who seem to be loosing the battle on their home turf.

The problem with purchase of drugs in US is that the government is not regulating the price of drugs there. This means that most Americans have to pay more than their counterparts in G-8 countries for purchasing essential drugs. The aggressive pricing policies pursued by the American pharmacy companies have only helped increase the rates further. This has led to US buyers frantically searching for other alternatives for buying cheaper prescription drugs and they did not have to look beyond Canada.

Operating out of Canada, most of the discount pharmacies are low-investment startups that have made healthy profits in the last few years. Even though competitive discounts are offered, low labor requirements, coupled with low initial investments and little infrastructure requirements, ensure that the balance sheets always end up on the positive side. The margins are quite handsome and an ever increasing demand inside the US has encouraged many to go in for similar ventures. In fact it seems to be quite a lucrative proposition as indicated by the number of entrepreneurs it has managed to attract in the last few years.

These stores most of which operate out of the net claim to offer confidential service that one can get at their neighborhood pharmacy store without even leaving their homes. Their advertisements claim to offer nearly 5000 prescription and over-the-counter drugs for up to 70 percent less than what is available in the American markets. Wait, there’s more one can also get generic alternatives imported from other countries at prices which may seem throwaway for most Americans.

Though the licensed discount pharmacies in Canada ask for a US prescription, the unlicensed ones just ask for the name of the required drug. The number of unlicensed online stores has seen a steady increase and it is said to be in the ratio of 2 unlicensed ones for every three licensed stores. Wide payment options are also offered one can pay in dollars, euros or even through intermediaries which facilitate easier financial transaction. The lure of cheap drugs is so much that most customers do not mind the 10-12 day wait for arrival of the ordered drugs.

The volume of business catered to by Canadian discount stores is nothing but astounding. The licensed discount stores claim to fill up to a whopping 3000 prescriptions a day. In such a scenario, one can only imaging the amount of prescriptions filled in by the unlicensed discount stores can only be guessed. Some of the licensed discount pharmacies have gone beyond just filling up prescriptions they even arrange for a Canadian physician to evaluate and co sign prescriptions. For bulk orders or for orders above $100, many discount stores even offer to ship home your purchase free of cost.

In lieu of providing such diverse array of services, it is no wonder that the industry is now said to be worth any where from $1-5 billion a year. The Canadian discount pharmacies may however face some competition from their Mexican counterparts as the industry there is now growing and soon may explore means of reaching out to customers in US. This may however happen somewhere in the next decade or so, and till then, the Canadian pharmacies will continue to sell their drugs to US customers.

The windfall profits have further augmented the capacities of these stores and many are planning to launch customized services for regular clients. Till now, word of mouth and internet search was the most common mode to reach out to customers. All this may however soon change as many stores are also planning to introduce unique marketing strategies to locate and reach out to potential customers faster. This may indicate the direction in which the discount stores are headed to in the future.

Calculate Body Mass Index

The body mass index is a number that represents the fat content in a human body based on the height and weight of any individual and is applicable to both men and women. A Belgian mathematician and statistician named Adolphe Quatelet developed the body mass index during the 1830s. Hence, it is sometimes called the Quatelet Index.

A simple formula that can be used to derive the Body Mass Index is to divide a person’s weight in kilograms and divide it by their height in meters squared.

Underweight people usually have a BMI below 18.5, while a normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, while overweight people have a BMI between 25 and 29.9, and the BMI of an obese person is over 30.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of fat content in an individual’s body and can signify the risks of disease and death that the person faces. It would help immensely if one kept a close watch on this number, so as to be aware of any health risks they face.

There are some flaws with the BMI system. For example, it overestimates the body fat in athletes and body-builders due to their muscular build and might underestimate the body fat content in old persons or others who, for some reason, have lost body mass. Other risk factors associated with the calculated BMI could be hypertension, high cholesterol, and high sugar.

The BMI measures one’s weight relative to their height, as stated above, while the waist circumference measures abdominal fat. Combining these with information about that particular individual’s additional risk factors yields the risk for developing obesity-associated diseases.