April 2017

Ask Elizabeth: April 2017

We’ve recently acquired a new kitten and want to make sure that we do all we can to give her a long and happy life. With so much information available, I wonder if you can give me a quick rundown of the things you feel are most important to assure that our baby has the best chance to live a long and happy life.

Keeping Medicines Safe and Effective

Subscribers Only - When you pick up antibiotics at the veterinary clinic for your ailing cat, your handling, storage and disposal of the medication can go a long way toward improving his health, safety and the environment. Risks of medicine-related calamities exist in every home with pets. They include accidentally mixing human and pet medications, exposing cats to flea topical flea preventives made for dogs and storing medications incorrectly in a manner that may reduce their effectiveness.

Short Takes: April 2017

Hundreds of projects are underway across the U.S. and perhaps thousands worldwide using citizen scientists. They’re volunteers who collect information, usually in cooperation with professional scientists, in fields from computer science to medicine, ecology, outer space and beyond. Rather than the big breakthrough, the results of scientific studies often can indicate what’s ineffective in treatment. That was the case when Craig Webb, DVM, Ph.D., at Colorado State University led a clinical trial of a diabetes mellitus treatment.

A New Definition for Animal Hoarding

Subscribers Only - Can you identify the animal hoarder in your community? Is she the neighbor who has cats gathering in her yard? Perhaps it’s the quiet man who keeps his window shades closed? Or an outgoing community leader? How can you determine the difference between an animal hoarder and someone who responsibly cares for multiple pets The majority of hoarders are women, and the most common animal victims are cats.

Ticks Become a Full-time Menace to Cats

If you think your cat can’t get ticks or the diseases that they spread, emerging evidence indicates otherwise. While cats, unlike dogs, are fairly resistant to tick-borne diseases, they can be affected, says Meredith L. Miller, DVM, ACVIM, a lecturer in small animal medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

A Warning on Human Skin Cancer Cream

The Food and Drug Administration is warning owners, veterinarians, healthcare providers and pharmacists of the risk of pets’ illness and death associated with the topical human cancer medication fluorouracil. Initial reports cited the death of five dogs who accidentally ingested the prescription cream, which is also sold as Carac, Efudex and Fluoroplex. While the FDA has yet to receive reports involving cats, the agency expects cats to be extremely sensitive to the cream, which is used to treat pre-cancerous and cancerous skin growths.

Download the Full April 2017 Issue PDF

Subscribers Only - If you have a cat who loves to snuggle under the covers, don’t fit him with a flea and tick collar containing medicine designed to last six months or more. “There are no studies out there, but logically, if a pet wearing such a collar snuggles under the covers, the person can be in contact with that topical insecticide during the entire night of sleep. Why take that risk?” Penny says. “However, if your cat sleeps at the foot of your bed on top of your bedspread, that is fine.”