Subscribers Only Im hoping that you can help me solve a very frustrating problem. My cat Jessica is a six-year-old Siamese. Her skin has become very dry and flakey, and I think it must be very itchy. Shes constantly scratching at herself, sometimes so roughly that little clumps of her coat fall out. I havent taken her to see a veterinarian yet, but a neighbor told me that I should be giving Jessica omega-3 supplements. But omega-3 comes from fish oil, and I think that Jessica is allergic to fish, so Im afraid to do that. Are there any other sources of omega-3? What other ingredients in her food could be making her so uncomfortable?
Subscribers Only Worlds Best Cat Litter recently announced that Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary of St. Pauls, NC was randomly selected from a fan submission to win the first round of GiveLitter for the year. The shelter will receive 2012 pounds of litter that will help its hardworking staff clean up after blind cats currently looking for homes.
Subscribers Only For many years, Katherine Goldberg, DVM, worked in veterinary critical and intensive care units. As she found herself becoming increasingly interested in the stories behind the emergencies, she was moved to make a difference for terminally ill pets. In 2010, she founded Whole Animal Veterinary Hospice Services, a practice whose mission is to provide compassionate care in the comfort of your home. She now spends most of her time doing just that. We spoke with Dr. Goldberg at a recent presentation in Ithaca, NY, where her practice is based. What exactly is veterinary hospice? The word hospice which has the same root as hospitality originally meant a place of shelter for weary travelers. In 1969, Elizabeth Kubler-Rosss groundbreaking book On Death and Dying helped to jumpstart the human hospice movement, and the term hospice began to be used to describe specialized care for dying people.
Subscribers Only Consider this: One cat and her offspring can produce a whopping 420,000 cats in just seven years. Each year, from April to November, hundreds of thousands of kittens are born often to feral or stray moms that struggle to survive on our city streets, in the suburbs, and in rural areas across America. Without human intervention, most of these newborns will die or lead short, miserable lives. The moms that are not killed by cars, other animals, or disease, will repeatedly become pregnant, adding to the already crushing pet overpopulation problem.
Subscribers Only Diagnostic decision-making can sometimes present a challenge to veterinary clinicians when they are presented with an apparently healthy adult cat with a heart murmur. Murmurs can be associated with cardiac disease though some studies have also identified benign causes of murmurs in cats. Auscultation alone will not differentiate the cause of the murmur and additional diagnostics will be required. Feline murmurs can be inducible (upon physical provocation such as stress, fear or pain) or non-inducible (continuously present). A high percentage of cats with inducible murmurs appear to have no evidence of structural heart disease.
Subscribers Only All kittens play, practicing to defend themselves by arching their backs, jumping on each other, chasing each other and maybe exchanging a few nips on the ears. The difference between playing and fighting, says Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, the emeritus James Law Professor of Animal Behavior at Cornell Universitys College of Veterinary Medicine, is that when playing, cats will take turns chasing each other. There isnt one dominant aggressor or one main victim. In general, however, cats dont play much after 16 months of age, and males are more likely to engage in play of this kind. As for fighting, cats will fight at any age. True fighting is usually more of a one-way process, says Dr. Houpt. One cat will be the aggressor and the other will be the victim. Hissing, clawing and batting with the paws are more fear directed than playful. The noisier the interaction, the more likely its a fight and not play.
Subscribers Only Into the lives of many cats of a certain age comes a certain diagnosis: hyperthyroidism. Susan Steiners cat was no exception. At 12 years of age, Greys weight had diminished to a mere five pounds. Faced with the less-than-appealing choices of invasive surgery or expensive radiation treatment, she opted for a third choice: medication. Every morning and every evening, Ms. Steiner pulverized a half-tablet of methimazole, carefully mixed the powder with the most appealing canned cat food she could find, and hand fed it to her senior cat. That was 15 years ago. Changes that have since occurred in the world of hyperthyroidism might have made her choices different today.