Category Archives: veterinarian

Keep Your Cat Safe in a Heat Wave

The temperature is soaring, and it’s only going to get hotter. Make sure you know how to keep your cat safe in the summer heat.

158335528

  1. Watch out for heatstroke. Symptoms include panting, lethargy, drooling, fever, vomiting and collapse. If you think your cat may have heatstroke, get the vet ASAP — the condition can cause permanent organ damage and death. Learn more about heatstroke in pets.
  2. Offer your cat several ways to cool off. Leave a fan on in a place where your cat can sit in front of it, add some ice cubes to her water or offer her a cool treat (check out our recipe for catsicles.)
  3. Let your cat find cool spots in the house. Your cat will seek out the cooler parts of your home, so make sure she has access to areas with tile floors or rooms that don’t get much sun.
  4. Play in the morning or evening. Any exercise should take place during the cooler hours of the day. This is especially important for young kittens and seniors, both of whom are very vulnerable to heatstroke. (If your cat has just eaten, make sure you give her some time to digest before you begin playtime.)
  5. Brush your cat often. A well-groomed, tangle-free coat will help keep your cat cool. (Learn more about grooming your cat.)

 

Article originally published by PetFinder.

Feeding Older Cats

160320397 (1)

Cats begin to show visible age-related changes at about seven to twelve years of age. There are metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes, too. Some of these are unavoidable. Others can be managed with diet.

  1. Start your cat on a senior diet at about seven years of age.
  2. The main objectives in the feeding an older cat should be to maintain health and optimum body weight, slow or prevent the development of chronic disease, and minimize or improve clinical signs of diseases that may already be present.
  3. As a cat ages, health issues may arise, including:

    – deterioration of skin and coat
    – loss of muscle mass
    – more frequent intestinal problems
    – arthritis
    – obesity
    – dental problems
    – decreased ability to fight off infection

  4. Routine care for geriatric pets should involve a consistent daily routine and periodic veterinary examinations to assess the presence or progress of chronic disease. Stressful situations and abrupt changes in daily routines should be avoided. If a drastic change must be made to an older pet’s routine, try to minimize stress and to realize the change in a gradual manner.

Related Links

Weaning

During weaning, kittens gradually progress from dependence on a mother’s care to social independence. The process typically takes between four and six weeks, with most kittens completely weaned by the time they’re eight to ten weeks old.

Overweight Cats

Obesity is an extremely common problem in pets and, as with humans, can be detrimental to the health of a cat. The overweight pet has many added stresses upon his body and is at an increased risk of diabetes, liver problems and joint pain.

Nutrition Tips for Kittens

If you’re responsible for taking care of kittens in the first few months of their lives, you need to be prepared to move them from a diet of milk to regular kitten food. Here are some easy tips.

Nutrients Your Cat Needs

Barring any special needs, illness-related deficiencies or instructions from your vet, your pets should be able to get all the nutrients they need from high-quality commercial pet foods, which are formulated with these special standards in mind.

Feeding Your Adult Cat

Adult cats should eat enough of a high-quality, nutritious food to meet their energy needs and to maintain and repair body tissues. The amount you feed your adult cat should be based on his or her size and energy output.

Nutrients Your Dog Needs

If you would like to learn about what your pet’s body needs, and why, here are the six essential classes of nutrients fundamental for healthy living.

 

 

Source: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/feeding-older-cats

Is Your Cat Missing the Litter Box?

You have a problem. Your cat is thinking outside the box, and not in a good way. You may be wondering what you did to inspire so much “creative expression.” Is your cat punishing you? Is Fluffy just “bad”? No, and no. House soiling and missing the litter box is a sign that your cat needs some help.

492403919

According to the Winn Feline Foundation, house soiling is the number one complaint among cat owners. The good news is that it is very treatable.

An accredited veterinarian can help you determine if the problem is medical or related to social or environmental stressors. In addition to a complete physical exam, the doctor will ask you specific “where and when” questions.

Health factors
Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, a specialist in feline urinary disorders at The Ohio State University, and founder of the Indoor Cat Initiative says that many veterinarians recommend a urine test for every cat with a house soiling problem. The urinalysis will determine if blood, bacteria, or urinary crystals are present — signs that your cat might have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
FLUTD is very common and can cause painful urination. Cats that begin to associate the litter box with pain will avoid it. Other medical possibilities include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis and muscle or nerve disorders that might prevent your cat from getting to the litter box in time.

Environmental factors
If there is no medical cause, the next step is to look at environmental factors. Start with the litter box. Your cat might be avoiding the litter box because it is not cleaned well enough, you’ve changed the type of litter you use, or there is only one box for multiple cats.
Another possibility is that your cat is “marking” — spraying urine, typically on vertical objects such as walls and furniture, or in “socially significant” areas near doors or windows. Both male and female cats mark. The most common offenders are cats that have not been spayed or neutered.
Buffington says that stress can cause elimination problems too. For example, subtle aggression or harassment by other house cats or neighborhood cats may be an issue.

Indoor Cat Initiative
Even unremarkable changes in your home can make your cat anxious or fearful. Look around. Did anything change right before your cat started having problems? Did you get a new pet? A new couch? Maybe you just moved the old couch to a different part of the room, or had a dinner party. Cats are sensitive creatures and changes that seem small to you can throw your cat off his game. Check with your veterinarian about finding solutions that work for both you and your cat.

Source: http://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/cat_care/behavior/missing_the_litter_box.aspx 

Hurricane Season Checklist for Your Cat

125802273

Let The Cat Practice help you prepare your cat for a safe and smooth evacuation.

  • Is your cat current on his/her vaccinations? 
  • Is your cat microchipped and have current photo identification?
  • Do you have medication for travel?
  • Do you have enough medication and special food for extended evacuation?
  • Do you have heart worm and flea prevention for an extended evacuation?
  • Do you have enough food, water, bowls, litter boxes and litter for an extended evacuation?
  • Does your cat have a carrier?
  • Do you have an evacuation route planned?
  • Are you aware of the pet friendly hotels for evacuation? www.officialpethotels.com

Sign up for our internet based information system, Pet Portal, which is customizes for your cat. This free service has all of the pertinent medical information needed for your pet. You will receive an invite for Pet Portal via email.

Caring for pets during emergencies

79167118

Nothing says it better than the horror story from Hurricane Floyd: A man was leaving his flooded home when he noticed a neighbor’s dogs swimming in circles around the yard. Wondering why the dogs didn’t simply swim to safety, the man swam over to investigate. To his horror, he found that the dogs had been left chained to a stake in the yard and were swimming frantically just to stay alive. He was able to rescue the dogs, but stories such as this pointedly demonstrate the need for to you to have a good action plan in place in case a natural disaster strikes your home. In this case, the dogs’ owner most likely had been told to leave everything behind and flee as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, his dogs nearly lost their lives as a result.

In the event of an emergency, your life and your family’s lives are the first you should be concerned with. You should only look to save your animals once you are sure you and your family will be safe. But once you are safe, you most likely will want to ensure the safety of your pets. Are you prepared?

Consider your location

First things first. You can only be prepared with a plan of action if you know what you’re planning for, so take some time to think about the area you live in. Some areas are naturally prone to certain disasters California’s earthquakes, for example. Find out what types of disasters have previously struck your area hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, etc. Contacting your local emergency management office or Red Cross will help you to identify what could affect your particular neighborhood. You should also plan for non-natural disasters fires, gas leaks, chemical spills, etc. If, for example, there’s a big chemical processing plant in your area, then you need to be aware of the possible dangers so that you can react if need be. No matter where you live, you’ve got your own special brand of disaster just around the corner, and it may strike at any time.

If You Leave, They Leave

In the event that you have to leave your home, take your pets with you. If it isn’t safe for you to be there, it isn’t safe for them either. Too often people rationalize that their pets’ instincts will kick in, and they’ll be okay. Even if your cat, who has spent the last six years of his life hunting only the fake mice you pull around on a string for him, does have the instincts to survive, it doesn’t mean that the conditions are survivable. No drinkable water for you means no drinkable water for him too. Of course, you have to have somewhere to take your four-legged friends–Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets. Make a list of all the places with in a 100-mile radius of your home where you might be able to take your pet if the need arises, include boarding facilities, veterinarians with boarding capabilities, hotels that will accept pets (ask if they’ll allow pets during a disaster situation), and animal shelters. (Use animal shelters only as a last resort, as they will be overburdened with other animals whose owners did not plan for them). Also, you need to gather your critters inside the house as soon as you are aware that you may have to leave, so that you can easily get them when it’s time to go. Then, when you do leave, make sure you have your little friends under firm control–even the best behaved dog can become scared during an emergency, making his behavior less than predictable.

Be prepared

Like a Boy Scout, you should always be prepared. This means having a disaster kit in your home as well as a smaller version in the trunk of your car if your pet routinely rides with you. Make sure that your pet’s kit is contained in something that is easy to pick up quickly and take out the door with you. You should replace this food and water every six months and rethink your pet’s needs for the kit once a year to make sure that the supplies meet your current needs the same collar that fits your new kitten is not likely to fit him a year later.

The kit should include a week’s supply of food and water in nonbreakable, airtight containers to ensure safety and freshness. If you pack canned food you’ll want to make sure you have a hand-held can opener too. And don’t forget a plastic dish that can double as a food and water dish. An extra collar and leash are also important things to have in your kit. You should also have a portable kennel for each of your critters handy. The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that the official Red Cross policy is that there are no animals allowed in emergency shelters, but they have been known to make exceptions if the animal is securely confined. Pets such as birds will obviously have to have a carrier of some sort as they cannot be leashed. You will want to make certain that you have a well-stocked first-aid kit for your pet that includes tweezers, gauze bandages, first aid cream, antiseptic spray, and hydrogen peroxide. Ask your veterinarian about storing any medications that your pet may need to take regularly.

All the right papers

Many people have their home telephone numbers on their pets’ ID tags. You may want to have an extra set of tags made that list the number of a friend or family member outside the area so that if your phone lines are down, or you’ve been evacuated, your pets can still make it back to you. Another option is to simply include an out-of-area number on your pets’ everyday tag, which can be useful if you’re away on vacation too. And many people don’t have tags for their cats at all, even though they should. According to the 1996 National Council on Pet Population Study, out of one million dogs and 580,000 cats that were taken in as strays, only 17 percent of the dogs and two percent of the cats made it back to their owners. The American Humane Association strongly believes that tags are your pets’ ticket home. You may also want to consider having your pet microchipped or tattooed. And finally, don’t forget the paperwork. Have a copy of your pet’s recent vaccination records in your kit–some boarding facilities may require them before they will take your pet in. A recent picture of your pet may also come in handy if you should become separated and need to make “Lost” posters. Hopefully you won’t ever have to put them up, and hopefully you’ll never have to use your disaster plan. But if you do ever need it, you’ll be very thankful that you were prepared; it could make a trying time a bit easier for you and your faithful companion.

Source: http://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/general_health_care/caring_for_pets_during_emergencies.aspx

Funny Cat Compilation 2014

Does your cat hang out in a fish bowl? Check out this video of the “best funny and cute cat videos compilation 2014” to see how adorable cats can be!

Funny Cat Compilation 2014

Disaster Preparedness Tips

You may have heard about, if you were not part of, the natural disasters that have happened around the world.  One thing we know for sure is that hey can happen at any moment, so it is important to be well prepared.

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe. The best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared.

Here are 3 easy steps that will help you get started on disaster preparedness.

Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker to let people know pets are inside your home.

Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven in the event of evacuation.

Step 3: Keep an Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits handy and make sure everyone in your home knows where it is kept.

 

Source: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/disaster-preparedness

Dr. Cousins on WWLTV Discussing Feline Heartworms

Cat Friendly Practice: How Can I Benefit?

Veterinary clinics are now becoming Cat Friendly Practices by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.(AAFP). This means that they have made changes to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment such as feline-only waiting areas and examination rooms. Their staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat.

222

  • They make an effort to have a calming environment.
  • They have incorporated a waiting room/area that reduces stress associated with noise, other pets or unfamiliar smells (methods can include feline-only area, cat-only appointment times, going directly into the exam room, etc.).
  • Staff are trained to understand the individualized needs of cats including feline specific behavior and facial features.
  • They implement the Feline-Friendly Handling Guidelines to facilitate a more positive experience.
  • They use a slow approach to achieve positive results.
  • They develop an individual plan based on your cat’s specific needs, preferences and behaviors.
  • They implement ways to make you and your cat be as comfortable as possible.
  • Staff continually obtain education on the most current feline research and guidelines.
  • They will help ensure that you are a valuable member of your cat’s healthcare team and help you understand your cat’s needs and what you can do at home to ensure they get the care they need.
  • Many use synthetic feline facial pheromones for a calming effect.
  • Many have a feline-only examination room that provides a safe, non-threatening area where cats can be examined calmly and effectively.
  • They have experience to recognize subtle, early signs of fear or anxiety and adapt appropriately.
  • Their cat ward, hospitalization area and operating room have been assessed to include appropriate feline equipment, tools and procedures.

Source: http://www.catvets.com/cfp/cat-owners/cat-owners-benefits

Cleaning Cat Ears

Cleaning Cat Ears

Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you.” Or maybe your cats won’t come when they are called because they can’t hear you. It is probably time to learn how to clean your cat’s ears. Ear cleaning is an important part of your cat’s grooming and overall health care. You can avoid some serious problems by learning how to clean your cat’s ears or by having a vet or professional groomer do it for you.

Let’s begin with a quick cat anatomy review, so you’re familiar with all the parts of a cat’s ear.
  • The Outer Ear: Also known as the pinna or ear flap. This is the visible part of the cat’s ear and it is usually upright with a pointed tip. Some breeds are an exception, such as the Scottish Fold, which has a floppy ear.
  • Ear Canal: This is a two inch tube-shaped organ that leads to the eardrum. The eardrum, also known as the tympanic membrane, is the essential part of the cat’s hearing. The eardrum vibrates when it picks up sound.
  • Inner Ear: The part of the cat that’s responsible for maintaining equilibrium and balance.
It’s safe to assume that your cat is probably not going to look forward to his ear cleaning episode. Following a few simple steps can make the process quicker and easier for both you and your pet. You do not need to clean your cat’s ears constantly, but you should check them every other month and be aware of symptoms that might indicate problems with your cat’s ear health. The most common problem for cats is a parasitic infestation from ear mites. If you notice your cat scratching his ears excessively or shaking his head, this may be a sign of ear mites or another type of ear infection. A trip to the vet will be necessary.

Supplies You Will Need For Cat Ear Cleaning:

  • Ear cleaning solution
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Warm water
  • A plastic eyedropper
  • Large towel for swaddling a nervous, squirming cat

Step-By-Step For Easy Ear Cleaning:

  • Always have your veterinarian examine your cat’s ears first before you attempt to clean them yourself.
  • Clean the ear with a ceruminolytic (de-waxing) agent. Ear cleaning solutions for a cat can be found at any pet store.
  • Hold the cat in your lap swaddled in a towel
  • Fold the cat’s ear back so that the ear canal is accessible
  • Fill the ear with de-waxer solution and massage the ear gently
  • Release your cat for about five minutes giving him time to shake his head.
The solution will help loosen any wax so you can remove it more easily. You probably want to have all the doors to the room closed, as the first reaction your cat is going to have once you release him is to take off.
  • Wipe the inside of your cat’s ear with gauze or a cotton swab
  • Never used a cotton tipped applicator! (Q-Tip). You may accidently puncture your cat’s ear drum with this type of tool, so it is much safer to stick to cotton swabs.
If you have never cleaned your cat’s ears, you should be observant of symptoms that may indicate an ear mite infestation or other infection. Some things to look for include redness, discharge, small black spots that resemble coffee grounds, odor, scratching or head shaking. Normal ear wax will be light brown. Any kind of liquid discharge from your cat’s ears is serious and you should contact your vet immediately.

Fast Facts About Cat’s Ears:

  • There are hundreds of ear cleaning and ear mite products for your cat. Most are available through your pet store or on the Web. Ask your vet to recommend a solution so that you are confident you’re purchasing the most effective product.
  • Dogs are more prone to ear infections than cats
  • Persian cats are more prone to ear infections than other cat breed
  • The external canal (Otis Externa) is where most infections occur in a cat
  • Chronic ear infections are extremely serious and can close a cat’s ear canal. If this happens it will probably require surgery.
If you have an indoor cat and it is your only pet, it will be less likely to catch a contagious infestation such as ear mites. It’s still a good idea to gently clean your cat’s ears from time to time and be aware of the signs that could indicate a problem.