From the July 2016 Issue

The Number 1 Reason for Lackluster Coats

The Number 1 Reason for Lackluster Coats

Fur, primarily made of the protein keratin, grows from follicles in the skin. While human follicles each grow a single hair, animal follicles may grow many. Each follicle has an oil gland to lubricate the skin and hair, and to keep the coat lustrous. If your cat’s coat turns dull and dry, you may suspect a medical problem and make a veterinary appointment. Meanwhile, you might also want to check the labels on his food.

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Current Issue

An Exciting New Frontier in Medicine

Your arthritic cat walks stiffly, and it’s difficult to find a medication to treat him without side effects. Could stem cell therapy be an option? Its use in human medicine has grown in the past decade, heralded as a promising treatment for a host of diseases. The latest area of pioneering research, according to the National Institutes of Health, is adult-derived stem cells for repair of the heart.

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Recognizing Pancreatitis in Cats

Feline pancreatitis has always been difficult to detect and treat. At least one study, now nearly a decade old, found that the potentially deadly disease might affect more than 60 percent of cats, yet only a small percentage are ever diagnosed. The reasons lie in the widely varying characteristics and unknown elements of the disease, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Some cats will display only mild signs such as lack of appetite and lethargy, while growing evidence suggests that many cats with chronic pancreatitis show no symptoms at all.

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No Surprise: Canine Flu ‘Jumps Species’ to Cats

At last count, at least four cats at a Northwest Indiana animal shelter have tested positive for canine influenza — one of the first times the flu strain H3N2 has “jumped species” in the U.S. Other cats and dogs at the Humane Society Calumet Area showed similar signs of the respiratory disease, as well as lip smacking and excessive salivation, and the shelter temporarily closed.

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The Number 1 Reason for Lackluster Coats

Fur, primarily made of the protein keratin, grows from follicles in the skin. While human follicles each grow a single hair, animal follicles may grow many. Each follicle has an oil gland to lubricate the skin and hair, and to keep the coat lustrous. If your cat’s coat turns dull and dry, you may suspect a medical problem and make a veterinary appointment. Meanwhile, you might also want to check the labels on his food.

Click here to read more.

Fewer Heartworm Cases, More Severe Signs

Cats are less commonly infected by heartworms than dogs, and approximately 80 percent of infected cats clear the infection without signs of disease, but studies have shown the incidence of infection to be greater than previously thought. One study found that between 2 and 5 percent of shelter cats were harboring heartworms. Other statistics show that the prevalence of heartworm disease in cats likely approaches 5 percent, and that it can even occur in cats living indoors.

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Will Her Kitten with Distemper Virus Improve as He Ages?

We adopted the cutest little kitten from our local shelter last month. “Bob” apparently was exposed to feline distemper virus and, as a result, he wobbles and shakes when he walks, and falls over when he plays. He gets the most adorable determined look on his face when he wants to do something — and although it may take him longer to accomplish a task, we can’t help but admire his persistent, sunny nature. Can you tell me about this condition he has and will he show any signs of improvement as he ages?

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Reducing Shelter Stress With Cardboard Boxes

The researchers say cats with the boxes adapted to their surroundings more quickly than the group without boxes — at least in the short term. Stress may cause more infectious diseases in shelters by raising cortisol levels, which may suppress the immune system, researchers note in explaining the study’s importance.

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National Spending on Pets Reaches Record High

Services such as pet sitting saw the biggest growth. They increased 11.8 percent to $5.41 billion. Supplies and over-the-counter medication grew 3.9 percent, to $14.28 billion. Veterinary care was second in spending at $15 billion, up 2.5 percent. while pet food continues to be No. 1 in sales. Owners spent $23 billion on food last year, a 3.5 percent increase, which the association attributes mainly to higher prices rather than a larger volume of sales.

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Download the Full July Issue PDF

Last year the diagnostic center and the University of Wisconsin analyzed hundreds of samples to identify the influenza strain in the Chicago area that caused illness in hundreds of dogs. “The ability of the avian origin H3N2 canine influenza virus to infect cats was clearly demonstrated in South Korea and China prior to its arrival in the U.S. early in 2015,” Dr. Dubovi says. “The initial report on the susceptibility of cats to H3N2 was based on a significant outbreak of respiratory disease in an animal shelter housing both cats and dogs.” Experimental studies also confirmed the ability of H3N2 to infect cats.

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