Don’t Cry Kitty Cat – Feline Leukemia

So, you just adopted an adorable kitten from your kind neighbor. And when you took him to the vet for his first checkup, he did great in the physical exam. However, his blood samples showed something odd: Your cat is positive for feline leukemia (FeLV). What does this mean? And how will this affect the future of your kitten? Here are nine facts about this disease, which occurs in about 2% to 3% cats in the United States.

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Fact #1: Feline leukemia is not cancer

Among humans, leukemia is a cancer of the blood and the bone marrow. However, feline leukemia is a virus. Although, it is the feline leukemia virus that can cause cancers.

Fact #2: There are 3 types of feline leukemia infections

The first type is FeLV-A. All cats infected with the virus start with type A, which causes a suppression of the immune system. FeLV-B occurs in about half of infected cats, causing tumors and other abnormal tissue growth. The rarest is FeLV-C, found in only 1% of infected cats, and causes severe anemia. Cats positive with FeLV can develop a combination of all three types of infections or just have Type A.

Fact #3: The virus is short-lived but very contagious

The most common ways for cats to get infected with FeLV are through bite wounds and mutual grooming. Nasal and saliva secretions have a high concentration of the virus. Mother cats can transmit it to their kittens through their milk, although some kittens are able to fight off the infection. It might be rare, but the virus can be transmitted through shared food dishes and litter boxes.

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Fact #4: Repeated exposure is necessary for infection

Healthy adult cats can fight off the virus for a long time, even with long-term exposure. However, kittens have less resistance to the virus. The virus will not even appear in the blood test until the cat has been exposed for at least 4 weeks.

Fact #5: Exposure to FeLV does not necessarily mean infection

About 30% of exposed cats do not get infected at all, while another 30% develop a transient infection. Between 5% and 10% of exposed cats develop a latent infection, and begin struggling with complications of the virus or transmit the virus to their kittens. But 30% of exposed cats develop a persistent infection; they remain contagious and have a shorter life expectancy.

Fact #6: Infected mother cats have pregnancy troubles

A mother cat that is infected with FeLV has a higher chance of spontaneous abortion of some kittens, stillbirths and even resorption of the fetuses. Feline leukemia is also a possible cause of some cases of fading kitten syndrome.

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Fact #7: About a third of persistently infected cats develop cancer

Of the 30% of exposed cats that develop a persistent FeLV infection, about a third develop a virus-related cancer. The most common type is called lymphosarcoma, otherwise known as lymphoma, which are masses that can be found in the lymph nodes of the neck, armpits, chest and groin. It can also spread to other organs like the kidneys, eyes and brain.

Fact #8: FeLV-positive cats can have good lives

Leukemia-positive cats should be kept indoors and fed the best diet possible. Regular vet checkups are important for maintaining health. They might not live as long as healthier cats, but they can enjoy a good quality life for as long as they get excellent care. Because the immune system of FeLV-positive cats is weak, they require a more aggressive treatment for any infections.

Fact #9: Immune-boosting therapies can help

There are some vets that would recommend using system-boosting medications like interferon, Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator or even undergo a vet surgery in Central Bucks to remove any tumors.

If you suspect that you have an FeLV-positive cat, it is important that you visit a veterinary radiation oncologist in PA as soon as possible so your cat can receive the proper management. Look for a reputable pet referral hospital that you can bring your cat to.

Sun Protection Should Include UVA & UVB

UVA and UVB rays are levels of ultraviolet light that come from the sun, and are known to penetrate layers of your skin and have the ability to cause damage. From superficial burns up to skin cancer, there are so many reasons to protect you from these potentially harmful rays. If you think you already are fully protected because you apply sunscreen, think again. Knowing the difference between UVA and UVB light will give you insight on what each type of ultraviolet light is can be responsible for and can even help you select the sunscreen best for you.

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Getting to Know UVA Rays

UVA rays are always present, whatever the season or the weather may be. If you think that you cannot get sun damage when it is cloudy outside, tell that to the UVA rays. These rays are so powerful that they also penetrate some clothing and even glass. Also, UVA rays are the rays responsible for the signs of early aging as they are able to penetrate much deeper into the skins lower dermis and subcutaneous layers of skin, potentially damaging these vital cells.

In terms of the sun’s rays, UVA rays used to be considered relatively safe, which is why tanning beds, which use UVA rays, took center stage. Recent studies have shown, though, that using tanning beds before the age of 30 increases your skin cancer risk by 75%. People might think that their skin looks younger because it is tan, but each tan may be causing your skin irreversible damage, which will be more apparent later in life.

When you think of UVA rays, think sun spots, wrinkles and leathery skin.

Getting to Know UVB Rays

UVB rays are the rays that you blame when you get a sunburn from swimming in the beach or pool. Unlike UVA rays, these rays vary in intensity depending upon the time of year and atmospheric obstacles; they are strongest during the summer months. Still, do not discount the fact that they can reflect off water or snow, so it is always important that you protect yourself throughout the year.

Also, UVB rays are the culprit for causing most skin cancers. While the large doses of UVA rays can lead to the development of cancer, it is the UVB rays that are usually to blame. Heading the advice to stay out the sun during the midday hours is wise and it is the UVB rays that you are trying to avoid most during this period. When you think of UVB rays, think of sunburn and skin melanomas.

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Protecting Your Skin

All sunscreens offer protection against UVB rays, but it was not until recent years that sunscreens started to include UVA protection. However, as of 2014, not all sunscreens do. In this case, look for one that specifically says UVA/UVB protection or one that says “broad spectrum coverage” on the bottle. Broad spectrum sunscreen offers skin damage as well as skin cancer prevention.

Use a minimum of SPF30 and reapply every two for prolonged exposure to the sunlight. The best sunscreen SPF level is a controversy depending upon who you ask. To determine how long your sunscreen will last under perfect conditions (this means no water or sweat taken into account, carefully read the packaging since the ingredients may vary for each product.

Do not forget that sunscreen does not last forever.  All ingredients have a half-life and recommend you pay attention to the expiration dates. You should use about a full ounce on your body and about a teaspoon on your face every time you apply. Never let a cloudy day affect your decision to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. The less protection on your skin, the more prone you are to sunburn, cancer and aging signs.

Bucks County Estates with a View

Discover beauty and spectacular views in Bucks County. From beautifully landscaped gardens to natural wildflower preserves, this little slice of heaven is perfect for the gardening enthusiast. Reconnect with nature as you find yourself surrounded by the indigenous flora and shrubbery at any one of these amazing gardens and the stunning views they offer.

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  • Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. A place where the mind, heart and spirit are in bloom. This 134-acre preserve has more than 800 species of native plants. You should always find something blooming at Bowman’s Hill preserve between the months of March and October. Walk through the nature trails and relax by the pond or in the woodlands. This place also has educational tours for both children and adults, making this the perfect calming experience for visitors of all ages.
  • Byer’s Choice Emporium. This beautifully manicured garden in Chalfont gives a stark contrast to the eternal winter inside. Visitors can enjoy strolling the English sunken garden and view the gardens numerous sculptures, along with trees, bushes and flowers.
  • Tyler Gardens. Locatedat Bucks County Community College, this formal garden was brought to life back in the early 1930s and was created to host extravagant gatherings at the home of the Tyler Family. This four-tiered garden is inspired by both Italian and French designs, and is now open to the public. It sits on an acre of land and has a large variety of flowers, shrubs, staircases, stone walls and a gazebo. Beautiful bronze sculptures and water fountains made by Stella Elkins Tyler are still on display.
  • Andalusia.  This is a Greek revival style mansion with extensive gardens. You can schedule a tour of the tranquil gardens, and it is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Take in the picturesque views of the Delaware River while checking out stunning trees, plants, and flowers in the graperies, the pool pavilion gardens and the green walk.
  • 9/11 Memorial Garden of Reflection. This serves to honor and remember the victims of the September 11th tragedy. Take a look at the outdoor exhibit entitled “After Darkness…Light” which features the remnant of the Twin Towers, the names of the victims that called Bucks County home, engraved in glass, and two towering fountains at the center of the garden. The new Oak Garden serves as the first phase of a new arboretum at the park, which should add more meaning to what is already an emotional experience.used on featured communities 3 350 300x225
  • Peddler’s Village. The gardens in this place are a nice area to stroll on paved walkways. This is an 18th century inspired shopping village with sprawling gardens all throughout its 42-acre property. Some of the most notable things in this village are a traditional Dutch style tulip garden that gives the whole area new life once it blooms in spring.
  • Hortulus Farm Nursery & Garden Center. Located in Wrightstown, this place is dubbed as “where history and horticulture meet” and is a major exhibitor in the Philadelphia Flower Show for almost a decade now. This is a haven for some of the most unusual and the rarest flower species. Throughout this 100-acre farm, you can explore the enthralling gardens, stroll through the idyllic ponds and experience the rich horticulture history at the library and museum.
  • Peace Valley Lavender Farm. With its unmistakable scent of lavender, this farm will has a gift shop where you can get lavender-inspired gift ideas, like bath soaps and body lotions, potpourri and culinary products. Between June and July, you can marvel at the never-ending lavender fields when they are in full bloom. Their alluring beauty and aroma will take your breath away.

How beautiful would it be to have a glimpse of these beautiful gardens from your bedroom window? There are estates for sale in Bucks County and million dollar homes in Newtown Township that will offers you gorgeous views of your own gardens. Ask your agent about Solebury township homes for sale now.

Auto Loans to Improve Credit Scores

Taking out auto loans and paying them off will let you keep that car or truck that you just bought out of the hands of the repo man. But for those who need more of an incentive to be on time with auto loan payment checks, having a good track record on your auto loan will also likely help you increase your credit score. There are three national credit agencies that report your credit history to lenders and other parties, namely Experian, Equifax and Transunion. The Fair Isaac Company (FICO) handles your credit score or “fico rating.” Making your auto loan payments is a great way to improve your FICO score and get better interest rates on future loans. Below are some tips to help you make the most of this strategy.

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Ask Your Lender about Credit Reporting

In some cases, your lender might have restrictions on the way they report your auto loan payment history. This is especially true if you secured a loan from a small finance agency or other informal lender who may handle financing on their own. You need to ensure that your positive payment history transcribed to Experian and TransUnion to help you build your credit. If they do not, make enough noise that will make them do so, or choose a lender who will. You might also want to consider vehicle loans from a credit union, as they mostly offer the best auto loan rates.

Take a Look at Your Credit Timeline

There are some auto loans that will defer an impact to your credit score immediately. Today, vendors are offering some riskier types of auto loans, like long term repayment structures and no money down financing, which can actually lower your credit store initially. As you slowly pay them off successfully, your credit should rebound, but it is a good idea to research the exact timeline so you know just how the loan will affect your credit at any given time.

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Consider Your Refinancing Strategy

Making your payments on time should help build up to a critical mass point where your current loan history will make you eligible for refinancing or other loan consolidation solutions. Refinancing your auto loan allows you to lower your interest rate if another lender offers to buy your debt. The lender will see your current on-time payments as proof of ability to pay that will lower your overall credit risk and ultimately lead to credit score improvement.

Consider Down Payments Benefits

Another way to make loan payment strategies work for you is to consider choosing the “best buying strategy”. This may require a larger down payment in return for a more attractive repayment rate.

All of the strategies above can lead to credit score improvements. Keep in mind, though, that a vehicle loan from a credit union or a financing service is still a responsibility, and is something that you need to work into your household or personal budget. This includes pertinent sacrifices and potential gains, along with some startling risks. Make sure that you research your auto loan thoroughly for the best chance at getting more of the good and less of the bad.

Kitchen Flooring Ideas

Your kitchen might be the most expensive room to buy flooring for. Why?, because materials used in this room must withstand traffic, spills and more scrubbing of food splatters and chemical agents. Many homes use stone tiles, ceramics and wood with a durable urethane finish, but there are still so many other options for your floor that are available that will make good sense. Here are a few of our ideas:

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Beautiful Bamboo. If you have an earthy color palette, consider bamboo plank flooring. Bamboo reflects light, keeping the room airy and bright. You can find renewable bamboo floors in various sizes and patterns to complement your kitchen styles. Bamboo can also be stained in a variety of colors.

Limestone Offers a Casual Finish. Consider a matte or honed finish if you opted with limestone floors for your kitchen. This kind of finish provides the room with a more peaceful look and feel. This kind of flooring also hides scratches, needs minimal maintenance, and gives added traction when wet.

Comfortable Cork. Cork flooring is durable, quiet and cushiony, so it is easier on your joints. It costs almost the same as hardwood, and has a unique ecological advantage: sustainability. Cork trees regenerate in just nine years, while other trees can take up to 30 years or more.

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Engineered Wood. Consider engineered wood over laminate or solid hardwood. Light flooring with white-washed cabinets create a cool monochromatic color. Engineered wood is best in rooms with potential water issues as it shrinks and expands less than solid woods.

Traditional Hardwood. Wood floors gives character and warmth to a room. If you want wood flooring in your kitchen, remember that solid woods are vulnerable to moisture and warp with repeated exposure, so put a rug near your food preparation and clean up zones to catch any spills. Treatingthe wood with a sealant is highly recommended.

Stylish Slate. Large slate tiles give a stylish and sound surface underfoot. Its color is also great for hiding hair, pet fur and more. To maintain it, reseal it with a matte-finish product annually. The type of stone you choose and where to put it determines if you need to seal it.

Try Travertine. Travertine tiles add an elegant touch to any space. Maintenance is as easy as yearly sealing, monthly wet mopping and dry sweeping a few times a week. Polished travertine is virtually stain-resistant and is a good choice for high-traffic areas, such as a kitchen.

These are just a few of the kitchen flooring ideas with many more options available today. You can look for other kitchen designs with style online. And while you are at it, consider adding under cabinet kitchen lighting to further compliment your flooring choices and custom wood kitchen cabinets.

Credit Unions Provide Members Financial Advice as a Benefit

Most people associate banks with trustworthiness, stability and longevity in the financial world. Recently, though, with the shake down of the financial markets and the collapse of  many financial institutions, some of us are starting to question if banks are the best way to store, transfer and save your money. Credit unions have been mistaken as a payday lender or an exclusive club that requires you to be a part of a union or work in a certain field to join. However, neither of these things is true. If you are considering a credit union instead of a bank, there are a few reasons to make the jump.

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Accessibility and Friendliness

Big banks can seem to formal, cold and even unreachable. Others assume that branch managers do not have the authority to make the decisions to help you, or the bank itself is so big that it does not care about having your business. Credit unions can offer a friendlier tone, atmosphere, and be more accessible on every level. Being smaller and local allows credit unions to be very connected to their neighborhoods and versatile to respond to community feedback.

A Co-Op, Not a Corporation

Credit unions usually consider themselves to be financial cooperatives, instead of financial institutions. The goal is not to make more money from customers through improving interest earned, but to address this common need through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. The only standard requirement for membership is that you are part of the affiliation is serves. Credit unions offer all the same services as banks, from checking to savings, loan administration and financial advice.

It is a Democracy

Perhaps the most outstanding feature of federal credit unions in Pennsylvania is that they are member-owned and member-run. Credit unions are free to make decisions to benefit their members, instead of seeking to please some removed group of stockholders somewhere.

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Better Rates

The ability to have a voice in decision making is a big step in the right financial direction, but something that is usually out of reach if you are a member of a corporate bank. Because profits to stockholders are not a part of the company vision, credit unions are encouraged to pass money earned on to members in the form of fewer fees, more services, lower interest loan rates and higher deposit dividends.

Free Education and Other Perks

There are some credit unions that offer fun and useful products like individual health and pet insurance and financial consultations for free. Most credit unions focus on community enrichment and financial education, with many offering free classes and advice from a finance expert, as well as other means of education to the community.

When it comes to banking services, credit unions offer the same menu of financial services that you will find in large banking corporations. If you are frustrated with unresponsive customer service and long lines, a credit union just might be the best place to put your money. It is tough to beat a place that it community- focused, friendly and offers better interest rates.

Who Pays for the Dog’s Vet Care in Car Accidents?

Americans spend billions of dollars annually on their pets, some estimates to be at $41 billion. If you are a pet owner, it is only natural that you would also want to protect your dog with auto insurance while they travel with you in your car. If your dog is injured in a car accident while riding along with you, its vet care could be covered in an accident claim if the following conditions are met.

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  • The accident was not your fault.
  • The negligent driver has property damage liability.
  • Your dog under this policy will be classified as personal property. (Do not take offense at your pet being referred as a property. The manner in which car insurance policies are written only applies bodily injuries to humans.)

However, if it is your driving error that caused the accident, the expenses for an emergency surgery for your dog may not be covered under your liability insurance coverage.

Protect Your Pet with Auto Insurance

To guarantee coverage for your pet when there is a car wreck, regardless of fault, you will have to investigate the fine print in several different policies. Every car insurance company has their own rules when it comes to pets. A few provide coverage, while most others do not. Just as it is for every other kind of insurance, it is a matter of shopping around for coverage that will protect your pets.

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Those few car insurance companies that protect pets provide coverage for pets under the collision clause of a policy. Limits, depending on the company, range from $500 to $1,000. For the sake of clarity, collision, unlike liability insurance, pays for your accident claim without regard to fault up to the policy limits.

Whatever you do, do not make the mistake of assuming that regular pet insurance will cover injuries that your pet sustained in the car accident and pay for the emergency vet clinic in Philadelphia that has provided treatment.

What if You Hit a Dog?

Hitting your own dog can result in an at-fault accident which can lead to a collision claim. It will be up to your insurance carrier on how the claim is filed. Remember to always ensure your dog is out of harm’s way if they are often outside. Here are some tips to keeping your pet safe.

  • Do not let your pet roam freely, especially your dog.
  • Do not let your pet sit in the front seat of your car.
  • Do not let your pet sit in your lap.
  • Do not let your dog ride with its head out the window.

The stress or panic of the situation can make leaving the scenes of hitting a pet seem like a good decision, but it is not the right thing to do. Get caught and you could be cited with animal cruelty. Do the right thing and contact the emergency vet clinic near you and a police officer to arrange transport if the pet is not yours. Certainly, nobody wants to deal with a CCL injury in dogs or a more severe internal injury, but this is your responsibility to address the situation.