From the October 2015 Issue
If your cat squints or his eyes are increasingly tearing, take a closer look. Does he have a red eye with a cloudy blue tint to the surface and a dilated pupil? These could be signs of glaucoma that require immediate treatment to avoid significant or complete loss of vision. Because of the subtle nature of the symptoms, some cats dont have a veterinary examination until substantial damage has occurred.
Whether your cat is suffering from disease or the effects of extreme old age, a time may come when medical treatment can no longer help. In the past, that might have meant euthanizing your cat. Today, however, veterinarians increasingly suggest hospice care as an option. Some clinics offer house calls with staff members providing hospice services, while in some cases owners decide to provide care at home under veterinary supervision.
When Eileen Marek of Sherman Oaks, Calif., was referred to a specialist after her 15-year-old cat Chelsea was diagnosed with bone cancer of the jaw, she expected the worst. I was thinking I would have two choices, she says, surgery or put her to sleep. I was pretty stressed going into that appointment.
Cats have long endured the reputation for being fussy eaters. Weve known for a decade that, with some exceptions, most cats lack the taste receptor gene for sweets. Now a study suggests that they may have a legitimate reason for avoiding another flavor.
There are pros and cons in dressing up pets, says Allen Schoen, DVM, Ph.D., a pioneer in integrative animal health care and author of Kindred Spirits: How the Remarkable Bond Between Humans and Animals Can Change the Way We Live. Dressing up pets is an opportunity for some people to just be joyful, fun loving and it brings the child out in us. It can increase our laughter, which is all positive in supporting our overall health and immune system, but care must be taken to make sure that the pet also enjoys being dressed up.
I have a domestic female kitty who turned 14 this month. I noticed several months ago that she began to walk with a slight limp in one of her hind legs. Some days are better than others, and she has become a bit quieter than in the past. Can you provide some advice?