FCVC Blog - We Talk PetsKeeping pet owners in the know
Fleas are one of the most misery-making pests you can run into. If your cat or dog is allergic to them that can be even worse. In this article from our friends at WebMD.com we see how to spot FAD and get treatment. Working with your veterinarian is a key step:
Fleabites make most pets itch. But some dogs and cats are allergic to the pests. Your doctor may call this flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) or fleabite hypersensitivity. If your pet has a flea allergy, “even one or two fleabites can make your pet miserable,” says Carol Osborne, a veterinarian at Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center in Chagrin Falls, OH.
Curiosity about the real meaning behind the phrase “the dog days of summer” took us to this interesting article from our friends at the Mother Nature Network:
The dog days of summer are known for being among the hottest of the season. Such days conjure up listless floating in the pool, scrambling to find shade and, of course, dogs panting even though they haven’t been running around. It’s too hot for running, after all.
Despite the phrase’s association with heat-struck canines, it has nothing to do with them. Well, it has nothing to do with earthbound dogs anyway.
Something to get your week going – an interesting comparison of cats, dogs and humans. Did you know your cat can manipulate you with it’s meow’s?
FCVC knows it can be disconcerting when your dog does not want to eat. This article from our friends at PetsWebMD.com pinpoints some of the possible causes and solutions to try before the last resort of going to the vet.
Whether you’ve had pet dogs for years or you’ve just adopted your first puppy, it can be very distressing when your dog won’t eat. There are a variety of reasons for loss of appetite in dogs. It’s important to determine the cause in order to design the best treatment plan.
As a follow-up to Spoil Your Dog Day and National Lazy Day on the subject of pampering our pets – we ran across this article from our friends at PetSafe. Marketing research specialist Jessica wrote:
My dog, Emmitt, had his 2nd birthday last week. I guess in dog years that means he’s a teenager. Since last week was Emmitt’s birthday, I decided I’d share some fun and unique ways to pamper your pet(s) that we did in my household!
Radagast Pet Food, Inc. of Portland, OR is recalling three lots of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken Recipe because testing results indicate they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Company is also recalling one lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Pasture-Raised Venison Recipe because testing results indicate it has the potential to be contaminated with Shiga Toxin producing E. coli O121.
Work Like a Dog Day
The English language is often confusing. Take, for instance, two common idioms we use in our everyday lives: “It’s a dog’s life” and “Work like a dog.”
We did not want to leave out our canine pet friends from the fun fact fest. So we have this list of dog facts for you today:
Did You Know…
1. A dog’s nose print is as unique as a human fingerprint.
2. Basenji dogs don’t bark. They yodel.
We thought we would trot out some fun feline facts to start off your weekend with a few smiles – whether you have a kindle or a clowder. (Hint – a kindle is not related to Amazon…)
Did you know…
In many parts of the world, black cats are considered to be good luck!
Moggy is the British slang term for a domestic cat that does not have a pedigree.
Cats sleep for about 2/3 of their lives. When your cat is 12 years old, it will have been awake for only 4 years of its life!
Cats today live about twice as long as they did 50 years ago.
Cats have 4 rows of whiskers. They can move the top 2 rows independently of the bottom 2 rows.
Today, shelters are still visited by tearful mothers-to-be with cats in tow, having made their appointments after well-meaning relatives or old-school obstetricians have convinced them that keeping a cat risks the health and well-being of their unborn child. Don’t succumb to these old wives’ tales. Knowing the facts will help provide ways to safeguard both fetus and feline.
On July 12, the FDA announced that dog owners should be aware of a connection between food their animals are eating and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). These reports are unusual because DCM is occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease. The diets in the cases reported to the FDA frequently list “potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other “pulses” (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients”.
FCVC loves supporting those opportunities to bring animals out of shelters into loving homes. In advance of tomorrow’s “National Mutt Day” (aka Mixed Breeds Day) event, we thought we would share an upcoming event closer to home.
The Larimer Humane Society will be having their “Clear the Shelters” day on August 18, 2018, from 9am-5pm.
In this post we want to look at two more Pet Insurers – Healthy Paws and Figo. Along with Trupanion (in our previous post), these insurers get high marks in their industry. We wanted to know if there is a big difference in price and if there are any “Gotchas!” In other words, are you going to get your money’s worth?
What is Credit Card Care vs Insurance?
Users of everyday credit cards will recognized that they are used for expenses that occur as they happen. Insurance is pre-paid (usually a monthly payment) against a point in time when the need occurs.
CareCredit is a health financing credit card which you apply for and is subject to approval. Their veterinary option says:
This is a subject that can rile up passions on both sides – for or against. There are people who say that it is the best way to provide the best possible care for your pet – without going into major debt. Like a life vest, you can consider it to be a preventive measure.
Then there are those people who say use a credit card and insurance is not worth the expense. This is a topic that you will need to individually decide about for you and your pets. We are try to help this discussion along with a series to provide some facts about insurance providers and what they do cover when it comes to expenses.
Have you ever wondered how far your cat wanders when they go outside? What adventures they encounter? It might be farther and scarier than you think! This research done by the University of Illinois casts some light on your pet’s trails.
Researchers (and some cat-owners) wanted to know: What do feral and free-roaming house cats do when they’re out of sight? A two-year study offers a first look at the daily lives of these feline paupers and princes, whose territories overlap on the urban, suburban, rural and agricultural edges of many towns.
Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs
There are certain sugar-free gums, candies, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and baked goods which contain xylitol, a 5-carbon sugar alcohol used as a sweetener. When ingested by dogs, xylitol may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure. This naturally-occurring sugar substitute is also available as a granulated powder for cooking and baking.
Cats are part of the family, so it’s only natural to want to share our food with them. Although your cat may not be interested in a lot of the things you eat, she may still help himself to something she shouldn’t eat.
What to Watch For
Any food not specifically formulated for cats can affect the digestive system, causing vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. Here are some foods of particular concern:
Having fun in the summer often means excursions to saltwater, sand and sea adventures. But you need to know that saltwater can be deadly to your pets – here’s why:
Summer Safety: Saltwater A Lethal Threat to Dogs
Monday, July 9, was supposed to be a fun day in the sun with his Labrador retriever, O.G.
After a day full of classes and studying, Taylor took O.G. to Honeymoon Island, a dog-friendly beach in central Florida.
“He was like any other Lab. He loved to play in the water, loved people, and was a big old goofball,” Taylor told WebMD. “We were swimming and having a good time. We took breaks, and I made him drink fresh water, but we just stayed out too long.”
Later that night, his dog started vomiting and had diarrhea, something that had happened after other beach trips. But by Wednesday, the pup wasn’t eating and was lethargic.
Some cats become more sensitized to weather events than others. Here’s the scoop on why your kitty’s reaction may be off the wall.
Thunderstorm Phobias in Cats
The persistent and exaggerated fear of storms, or the stimuli associated with storms, is referred to as thunderstorm phobia. To treat this condition, your veterinarian should have some grasp of pathophysiology, as this phobia involves physiologic, emotional, and behavioral components.
Because dental health is so important to the over-all health of your pet, this article features causes of bad pet breath.
We all know bad breath — also known as halitosis — when we smell it. Bad breath is the result of a build-up of odor-producing bacteria in your dog’s mouth, lungs, or gut. Persistent bad breath can indicate that your dog needs better dental care or that something is wrong in his gastrointestinal tract, liver, or kidneys. In all cases, halitosis is a red flag that should be investigated.
At FCVC we know that summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather and mingle with family and friends. In turn, it can also be a season of dangers for your pets. This article highlights some of the most prevalent. (Not so common: One person online said their dog ate the citronella candles!)
Summer has long been a time for vacations, cookouts and pool parties. When the temperature heats up, the dangers to pets increase, too. To keep your dog, cat and other furry friends safe, make sure you are prepared.
What better way to see Colorado and get you and your best dog pal some exercise? Colorado has an abundance of dog friendly trails that you can hike together. A new resource called AllTrails.com lets you know if the trails are dog friendly (usually on a leash).
For example you can go to Horsetooth Falls on the Horsetooth Rock Trail. Horsetooth Rock is viewable from the edge of Fort Collins). A description of the trailis listed:
Check out tips for dealing with the heat for your pets and the infographic from the ASPCA site that we found helpful:
We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger. To prevent your pet from overheating, take these simple precautions provided by ASPCA experts:
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal disorders seen in dogs. The condition is characterized by a malformation of the coxofemoral (hip) joint.
Instead of the normal tight fit between the acetabulum (cup or socket) and femoral head (ball), animals with this condition suffer from a laxity within the joint. The malformation is a result of both genetic and environmental factors.
We’ve all been there—shivering in the relative shelter of the porch as we attempt to convince our dogs to get out there and do their business in the pouring rain. There is no more worthy adversary than a dog who hates to get wet.
“Dogs probably don’t like going out in the rain for the same reason we don’t—it is just unpleasant,” says Dr. Bonnie Beaver, Professor at Texas A&M University. “We have the advantage of being able to use umbrellas and raincoats, especially to keep rain from hitting our face. Dogs don’t have that ability.”
Close your eyes and run your tongue against your teeth. Now imagine never brushing your teeth and having that same experience. It’s no wonder so many of our dogs have “Dog Breath”.
Regular dental care is an important part of preventative health care for your pet. When plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on your pet’s teeth, gum disease erodes the roots of the teeth causing tooth loss.
In addition, what many people don’t realize, is that every time your pet chews they are showering their bloodstream with harmful, even potentially life threatening bacteria.
The temps are roasting hot! Let’s make sure it isn’t us and our pets that are roasting!
Humans are not the only ones who need to monitor their exposure to UV rays: animals are at risk too.
Human or animal skin with little or no pigmentation is very sensitive to the sun in general.
Dogs and cats with white or thin coats are at particular risk, as are animals with very closely sheared fur or with certain pre-existing conditions. Hairless pets or pets with very short or thin fur can also be vulnerable.
We continue our blog post from part 1 on cat behavior problems and the use of medications for treating them…
Medicines for Treating Ongoing Behavior Problems
Behavior problems that involve day-to-day household issues, such as problems between multiple cats within a household, or ongoing problems, such as excessive grooming, are best treated with medicines that are given long term, such as TCAs, MAOIs and SSRIs.
Cats are considered perfect pets by many people because they’re relatively self-sufficient. If we provide a few basics-like a clean litter box, fresh water and access to nutritious food-they share our lives without demanding constant care. However, this same benefit can sometimes create problems when things go awry. When a cat develops a behavior problem, pet parents are often at a loss as to how to solve it.
As with dogs, many behavior problems in cats can be resolved with a change in management of your pet or your pet’s environment.
In our previous blog post we told you a little about how the Longhopes Shelter does donkey rescues and adoptions. In this post you can find out ways to be a part of the rescue shelter efforts.
There are many easy ways you can help the Longhopes Donkey Shelter!
FCVC does not provide animal services for donkeys or horses. However, as a veterinarian can recommend the Longhopes Donkey Shelter as a wonderful rescue facility that takes care of their animals and as a place to adopt, sponsor, donate or volunteer.
Recently Dr. Mahoney adopted two rescue donkeys from the Longhopes Donkey Shelter. Their pictures are here on the left.
After viewing the facility, Dr. Mahoney said, “The facility is wonderful. You can see the animals are well taken care of, and that they love their surroundings.”
As they age, cats often suffer a decline in functioning, including their cognitive functioning. It’s estimated that cognitive decline-referred to as feline cognitive dysfunction, or FCD-affects more than 55% of cats aged 11 to 15 years and more than 80% of cats aged 16 to 20 years. Memory, ability to learn, awareness, and sight and hearing perception can all deteriorate in cats affected with FCD. This deterioration can cause disturbances in sleeping patterns, disorientation or reduced activity. It can make cats forget previously learned habits they once knew well, such as the location of the litter box or their food bowls. It can increase their anxiety and tendency to react aggressively. It can also change their social relationships with you and with other pets in your home. Understanding the changes your cat is undergoing can help you compassionately and effectively deal with behavior problems that may arise in her senior years.
Some cat cravings are easy to understand: Cream, catnip, mice.But plastic bags, houseplants, wool, paper, rubber bands? Why would a cat eat those?
Strange Things Cats Eat
The urge to eat nonfood items — called pica — can be pretty common in cats.
Many cats will nurse on wool, says Arnold Plotnick, DVM, a veterinary internist and feline specialist in New York. Oriental cats “are predisposed to that,” he says.
That habit also may appear in cats that were weaned too early. The younger a cat is weaned, the stronger its drive to nurse and the more likely the cat is to suck on wool — or its owner’s arms, earlobes, or hair. Although some cats may only suck on such fuzzy items as wool, fleece, and stuffed animals, others progress to eating these fabrics.
Do Cats Need Grass?
Certainly those of us with houseplants and cats know our feline companions can do a good deal of damage snacking in the windowsill garden. My beloved cat, Symba, ascribed to the Morticia Addams school of floral design when it came to roses. He would gently behead every flower until the vase contained only stems and the floor below was littered with blossoms.
Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, one thing is for certain: your feline friend has probably nibbled on grass on more than one occasion. While it might seem like strange behavior — especially when your cat throws up afterwards — there’s really nothing to worry about. Not only is there no evidence to suggest that grass will harm your cat, but many experts theorize munching on those long green blades can be beneficial for your cat.
While dogs may wag their tails furiously as a sign of greeting and excitement, cats have more nuanced—but no less expressive—body language. Unlike their canine counterparts, felines have more complicated gestures, and oftentimes pet parents find it difficult to decode their cats’ feelings. In particular, many pet parents may speculate about the meanings of a cat’s tail wags.
“Cats have very expressive tails, so tail position and movement can tell us a number of things,” said Dr. Eloise Bright, a veterinarian based in North Ryde, Australia. Of course, tail movements are only one piece of the body-language puzzle. Other important physical signs to note include everything from posture and facial expressions to the position of the ears and tail.
Your cat’s purr can mean many different things. Find out what she’s trying to tell you.
The purring cat. It may well be considered the epitome of contentment. But there’s much more to purring than meets the ear.
Research is starting to shed some light on purring — starting with how cats do it.
How do cats purr? Experts have offered a number of theories over the years. Most now say that purring begins in the brain.
A rhythmic, repetitive neural oscillator sends messages to the laryngeal muscles, causing them to twitch at the rate of 25 to 150 vibrations per second (Hz). This causes a sudden separation of the vocal cords, during both inhalation and exhalation – the unique feline vibrato.
Something a little fun to start off the week =
We have heard of people being allergic to cats or dogs, but what about your pet being allergic?
When a cat has allergies, her immune system is overly sensitive to certain everyday substances and begins to identify them as dangerous. Even though these substances-or allergens-are usually common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a cat with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. As her body tries to rid itself of these substances, she may show a variety of symptoms.
Some cats just won’t give peace a chance. There are several reasons that cats might not get along. The most common is under-socialization—a lack of pleasant experiences with other cats early in life. If your cat grew up as the only cat, with little or no contact with other felines, he may react strongly when he’s finally introduced to another cat because he’s afraid of the unknown, he lacks feline social skills, and he dislikes the disruption to his routine and environment.
Cats tend to prefer consistency over change. This is especially true if the change involves a newcomer to your cat’s well-established territory. Cats are a territorial species. While some cats overlap their territories a great deal, others prefer to keep a good distance from their neighbors. Two unrelated males or two unrelated females may have a particularly hard time sharing space.
Fleas are the most common external parasite of cats, and their bites can cause itching and inflammation in humans and cats alike. Fleas may also serve as vectors for CSD and other zoonotic diseases. Flea-infested cats may become infected with tapeworms from fleas ingested while grooming. While not common, people can also become infected with tapeworms by inadvertently ingesting fleas.
Scabies, or infection by the mange mite Sarcoptes scabiei, is another zoonotic external parasite of the skin of cats. While not as common as flea infestations, these mites can be passed from infected cats to people, where they burrow into the skin and cause itchy, raised lesions. Treatment in people usually involves the use of topical ointments to decrease itching, diligent treatment of infective pets, and careful cleaning of clothes and bedding.
Although most feline infectious diseases only affect cats, some of these diseases can be transmitted from cats to people. Diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people are called zoonotic diseases. While not comprehensive, this article highlights the most common zoonotic diseases that may be carried by cats and simple precautions you can take to reduce your risk of contracting these diseases. For more information about specific risks, diagnosis, and treatment of zoonotic diseases, contact your physician/health professional.
Catnip, catmint, catwort, field balm — it doesn’t matter what you call it. Lions, tigers, panthers, and your common domestic tabby just can’t seem to get enough of this fragrant herb.
Originally from Europe and Asia, minty, lemony, potent catnip — Nepeta cataria — has long been associated with cats. Even its Latin-derived cataria means “of a cat.” And research shows that cats big and small adore this weedy, invasive member of the mint family. But why do they like catnip so much? Is it safe? And what does it mean if your cat doesn’t like it?
Your cat would like to remind you that Feline Friday is tomorrow. Our cat friends and their parents save 10% on all feline services on Fridays. Call to book your appt! 970-587-5140
Those stiff hairs on your cat’s face and legs don’t just add to her cuteness — they have real work to do. Whiskers are GPS and radar systems for your cat.
“They are a powerful and important part of how a cat senses the world,” says W. Mark Cousins, DVM, the founder of a veterinary clinic in New Orleans.
You can learn a lot about your cat’s health from his poop. Whether you’ve just adopted your first kitten or you’ve shared your home with cats for years, watch for a few key signs when you scoop out the litter box.
Cat Poop: What’s Normal?
Most cats will poop at least once a day. If they’re healthy, their poop should:
Be deep brown in color
Feel not too hard or too soft or mushy
Not smell too foul, though some odor is normal
Shedding is a cat’s natural process of losing dead hair. Outdoor cats may lose more hair in the spring and fall and retain more fur in the winter, while indoor cats can shed all year round. Regularly grooming your cat and vacuuming hair from your house should minimize the inconvenience of shedding. However, if you see bald patches in your cat’s fur or notice a significant loss of hair, the underlying cause may be a health-related problem and should be investigated by a veterinarian.
A little humor for Father's Day!
A healthy immune system is critical to your pet’s well-being. It works around the clock to protect the body from potential invaders. An immune system operating at less than full throttle can make your pet susceptible to any number of health challenges. Many pet owners are turning to Standard Process Veterinary Formulas to provide their pets with nutrients to support a strong immune response.
At FCVC we know that you can get pets from many places. We have added the Adopt-A-Pet Search widget right on our site! While we are talking mostly about cats this month, Adopt A Pet.com is for dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and other critters. This is in keeping with our support of rescue groups and shelter that have many cats, dogs and other species of pets that need good homes. Maybe even at your house! Give the Adopt-A-Pet Search a try and see what pets are waiting for you today. We would love to see your new pet, too!