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How to Medicate a Cat

There is a moment at the end of some feline exams that everyone involved hates….the part where I tell you (the owner) that Fluffy (the cat) is going to need medication. I can see you deflate a little at the prospect of the inevitable daily struggle, and Fluffy is glaring at me, her tail swishing back in forth as if daring me to try to pill her. I don’t envy you.  As the caretaker (I don’t dare imply any ownership) of two felines, I have been in your position many times. I’ve gotten pretty good at pilling a cat, frankly, but have…

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Pet of the Month: Prince Charming

We love hearing stories about our patients. Every once in a while, a pet’s story is so inspiring that we can’t help but want to share it. We met Prince Charming about a year ago when he was adopted by one of our clients from a rescue where he was being treated for abuse that necessitated amputation of one of his rear limbs. As kismet would have it, he adopted one our clients on their visit and due to his “handicap” (although he would never acknowledge it as that) and his indomitable spirit, he has gone on to touch lives…

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Summer Tips for Exercising your Pooch!

Summer is here! What is more fun than taking your pet around the neighborhood or exploring your favorite trail? What a great bonding experience, and good for everyone’s soul. However, not all dogs are created equal, and dogs, in general, have exercise tolerances different than people that you may not think of before lacing up your sneakers. Here are some things to think about before choosing an appropriate activity. Short legs Little pups (think Maltese, Chihuahuas, Cavaliers) or short-legged dogs (think Corgies, Dachsunds, Bassets) have to take 3-4 times as many steps as you when going for a walk. So…

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Cats: Just Say “No” To Tylenol

“Salina” (not her real name) hobbled out of her carrier onto the exam table towel and cried more of an “Owww” than a “Meow.”  She was a 12yr old relatively well “torbie” (tortoise shell tabby) with a swollen, oozing left hind leg. The bloody wounds—one on the top and one on the bottom—of her L hind leg led us to suspect she was in a fight and likely bitten by another cat as she ran away from him.  Now it hurts! Mr. and Mrs. Smith (not their real names) naturally felt bad for the cat that they love, and as…

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CANINE DEMENTIA

As FiFi gets older, she seems a little more confused. She goes to her water bowl, then stands there like she forgot what she wanted. She barks at nothing, stands in the corner, gets lost behind a chair, seems unusually restless or vocal at night more recently. Maybe even a little less tolerant of you than she used to be. Does this sound like anything you may see in humans? If you take away our power of speech, then many of these activities and behaviors can be seen in elderly people with some level of dementia or Alzheimer’s. In dogs…

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How old is that doggy in the window….really?

Everyone knows that 1 dog year is equal to 7 human years, right? Turns out, not quite.  A 5-year-old Chihuahua is in a much different life stage than a 5-year-old Great Dane. Here is a much closer breakdown of your pet’s true age in human years based on breed size:

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TOXOPLASMOSIS, CATS AND HUMAN PREGNANCY

Cats, once cuddled and spoiled, often have a wary eye turned their way when their owners become pregnant. Some have been given to shelters and occasionally, euthanized because of the fear of them transmitting toxoplasmosis and causing harm to an unborn child. Although that child should receive first priority in the new mother’s life, the dark reputation felines have pinned on them is largely unearned. So, for our furry friends sake, lets set a few things straight. Toxoplasma gondii is the single-celled parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Right now, there are 60 million people in the United States with these parasites inside that have no symptoms because…

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The Trifexis Controversy

About 1 year ago, 3 young dogs passed away suddenly. The new owners that adopted them were devastated, of course, and luckily, independently had autopsies performed to determine the cause. In all 3 cases, the cause of death was determined to be endocarditis most consistent with bacterial infection (heart failure). Unfortunately, the owners and breeder have disregarded the pathology reports and insisted that the cause had to have been the Trifexis that all three dogs had received prior to their deaths. Since then, numerous other pet owners have lost pets (as will happen despite best efforts), and very rarely is pathology…

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Eggcellent Egg Production

How does a bird make an egg? How can she lay eggs if there is no male? Egg production is as delightful and mysterious as it is fascinating.  It’s paradoxically simple, yet complex. While similar to human ovulation, it is also distinct.  All that the new little life requires up until the time of pipping (hatching) is packaged neatly within a thin shell, containing its genetic makeup and food supply, as well as a cushion. If there is to be a baby bird produced, mating will have had to occur prior to the egg lay (before the shell is even made); otherwise,…

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DECIPHERING the FOOD BAG…..Part 2 of 2 (Ingredients, Guaranteed Analysis, Feeding, Nutritional Adequacy)

Continuing our topic today on how to decipher the pet food bag – this is great information since even I can get overwhelmed walking through the pet food aisle! Ingredients: “Net Quantity”: This tells you how much of the food is in the container. Don’t be fooled by larger bags or bigger cans….it can give you the false impression you’re getting more than you really are. When comparing quantity between foods, look for the “net quantity”. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity by weight from most to least. Now….we all know that a pound of meat (full of water and fat)…

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