Monthly Archives

March 2016

How to Create Low-Stress Veterinary Visits for Cats

By Educational, Guides, Uncategorized

Kitten-in-carrier

The ominous hissing, the mournful meows, the defensive scratching or biting, the upset bowels-feline stress is just plain unpleasant for cats and you.  Many cats get stressed when it’s time for a veterinary visit.  Thankfully, there are ways to help cats relax and enjoy the ride-yes even in the car.  Here’s what you can do.

 Transport your cat in a carrier

Putting cats in a carrier on the way to and from the veterinary clinic is extremely important.  Cats are often startled by loud noises or other pets, and if you’re carrying your cat in your hands, you might not be able to hold on if it abruptly tries to get away. Also, cats that are allowed to roam freely inside the car face the risk of more severe injury should there be an accident.

Choose a hard-plastic carrier with a removable top

Some cats might resist being put into a carrier.  But removable tops make getting cats into-and out of-the carrier easier.  Simply undo the screws or latches, lift off the top, set the cat in the bottom, and replace the top.  This eliminates the need to force the cat inside, which makes the cat-and you-more relaxed.

Make the carrier a favorite place

Some cats come to love their carriers.  When cats see their carriers as safe, enjoyable places, they’re happy to go into them and feel more safe in scary places, like the car.  Use these strategies to create crate fondness in your cat:

  • Leave the carrier out in your house so your cat can access it at any time.
  • Make the carrier inviting by putting a favorite blanket or toy in it.
  • Every now and then, lay a few treats inside the carrier.

Head to the veterinary clinic for “happy visits”

Does your cat seem to bristle at the thought of visiting the veterinarian?  Then take it on a few stress -free trial runs.  Call the veterinary clinic to ask if the schedule would allow you and your cat to stop in for five or 10 minutes.  You won’t be making a medical visit, but rather a mock appointment that allows your cat to experience all the steps of a routing visit without the physical examination.  This free-of-charge “happy visit” gives your cat the chance to get used to the sounds and smells of the clinic, meet the veterinary team members, and eat a few treats all while enjoying the safety of its carrier.  After some canoodling, you and your cat will head back home.

If a car ride alone puts your cat in a tailspin, entice your cat into its carrier and start by going for a test drive around the block.  Continue to take a drive every now and then, gradually increasing the amount of time you and your cat spend in the car.  Remember to reward your cat with a treat for being a good passenger.  Eventually, you’ll work your way up to doing a drive that will allow you and your cat to make a “happy visit.” Positive reinforcement is the best way to modify feline behavior, so making car rides and veterinary visits pleasant will help decrease your cat’s anxiety.

Your cat threw up? No, it's not normal!

By Guides, Health, Uncategorized

cat grass

Hairballs are normal, yes, but chances are that’s NOT what’s making your car wretch.

Vomiting is a common and frequently complex problem in cats.  According to Gary Norsworthy, DVM, DABVP (feline practice), the greatest of all feline myths is that vomiting is normal.  It’s not.

If one of your human family members seemed healthy but was vomiting twice a week-or twice a day-would we accept it as normal?  Give up on these excuses:

  • He eats too fast.
  • She has a sensitive stomach.
  • They’re just hairballs, and they are normal.
  • That’s just the way her is; he’s a puker.

Signs of Disease

Gastrointestinal diseases, renal failure, inflammatory or other liver diseases, pancreatitis and even lymphoma can cause chronic vomiting.  Don’t wish away vomiting as probably a hairball-get it checked out by your veterinarian.

Sign of Poisoning

Vomiting that isn’t chronic could be caused by poisoning.  The following substances are the most common household toxins for cats.

  • Plants: Autumn crocus, azalea, cyclamen, kalanchoe, lilies, oleander, dieffenbachia, daffodils, lily of the valley, sago palm, tulips, hyacinths, poinsettias, and amaryllis to name a few.
  • Over the counter medications: Including aspirin, acetaminophen, Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Kaopectate, Pepto- Bismol
  • Prescription drugs: Including antidepressant drugs, such as Prozac, Pacil, Celexa and Effexor.
  • Dietary Supplements and vitamins
  • Human food: Onions for example
  • Household cleaners: Drain cleaners, concentrated dishwashing chemicals (including dishwasher tabs), lime-removal products,, oven cleaners and concentrated toilet cleaners pose the biggest threat.
  • Topical flea/tick treatments, flea shampoo and collars: (If your purchase from a veterinary hospital, they are guaranteed!)
  • Essential oils: Often found in potpourri
  • Insecticides and rodenticides

If you fear your cat has ingested a toxin, remove your cat form the area, check to make sure your cat is breathing and acting normally, do not give any home antidotes, do not induce vomiting with consulting a veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline, and call the Pet Poison Helpline at (855)764-7661.  If veterinary attention is needed go to your veterinarian.

Treat Your Home For Fleas!

By Educational, Health

dog-and-cat-scratchIf your dog or cat has been scratching a lot lately, there is a great chance that your furry friend has fleas. They are tiny black or dark colored insects that feed on blood of your pet. In addition to causing severe itching, they can also transmit various infectious diseases. Dog and cat fleas don’t feed on humans, however, they can bite which means that they also pose a health concern for humans. For that reason it is extremely important to react immediately if your dog or cat has fleas. But besides treating your pet, you should also treat your home.

The Majority of Fleas Live Inside or Outside Your Home

Believe it or not but the fleas that live on our pets account only for a tiny minority of the entire flea population. The majority live inside your home in various stages – eggs, larvae and pupae. They can be found in carpets, bedding, furniture, low traffic areas… And if not dealt with promptly, they can cause a heavy infestation that can be very difficult to eliminate.

Many fleas also live outside, waiting for a host hiding in shrubs, trees, leaves, grass cuttings and other shady and moist areas. They also like to hide out in dog houses and other outdoor structures, while avoiding sunny areas.

Eliminating Fleas from Your Home

Treating your pet won’t eliminate fleas that live inside your home. If not dealt with, they won’t only re-infest your pet but they will also “take over” your home. In a very short period of time. Obviously, it is a lot easier to get rid of them before you have a bad infestation although it takes some time and a lot of persistence to eliminate the last flea.

To get rid of fleas in your home, you are advised to:

– Vacuum on a daily basis. Be particularly thorough when it comes carpets, upholstered furniture and your pet’s bedding. According to some studies, vacuuming kills fleas in all stages but just in case, empty/discard the bag after vacuuming or put a small piece of a flea collar in your vacuum cleaner bag.

– Wash your pet’s bedding, removable furniture covers and other washable cloth items every week. The idea is to get rid of fleas that managed to escape the vacuum cleaner.

– Use an insecticide. Unfortunately, you will probably have to use an insecticide to effectively eliminate fleas from your home. If you don’t like the idea of using toxic chemicals inside your home, you may try with natural products. But if you have a bad infestation, you will probably have to use harsher chemicals or even call a professional exterminator.

– Ask your vet for flea prevention treatments for your pet. If you don’t want your pet or home to get infested with fleas again, ask your vet to help you choose the best flea prevention treatment for your pet. Many products that provide protection against fleas also offer an effective protection against other parasites such as ticks and worms.  They is one that you only give a oral, chewable tablet to once every three months!

– Don’t forget about your yard. If you don’t want any fleas inside your home or on your pet, you are highly recommended to cut the shrubs, remove the leaves and grass cutting from the lawn, and try to eliminate as many potential flea-habitats as possible. Also, make sure to keep your garbage bins securely closed. Otherwise, they may attract rodents, wildlife and stray animals which can drop flea eggs in your yard.

In conclusion, make sure to treat all areas together to get the best results.