Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crispy the Cat and her New Challenges

MAR 17, 2015 8:00pm - In 2001, while working at the ASPCA, I encountered a kitten in their hospital’s ICU. She was one of the cruelty cases. Some horrible person had put her in very hot water. The tips of her ears fell off, as did her tail. The doctors and staff at the ASPCA took excellent care of her, slathering burn cream on her wounds and tending to her medical needs. I vowed, if she survived this ordeal, that I would take her home and make sure the remainder of her life was completely trauma free.

I kept my word. The little diva, who I dubbed “Crispy”, turned out to be the most intelligent cat I’ve ever owned, and we formed quite a bond. I can read perfectly every thought of hers, and she apparently can read mine. It’s been like this for 14 years.

This past Thursday, during a visit to my hospital for her annual grooming and lab tests, I felt a mass in her abdomen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Georgia Engel and Dr. Arnold Plotnick

Simply wonderful! Georgia Engel - star of film, television, and stage - lover of felines - brought her cat in to see Dr. Plotnick at Manhattan Cat Specialists for a check-up. She is known for her role as Georgette Franklin Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and has also appeared on The Love Boat, Coach, The Office, Mork and Mindy, Fantasy Island, Passions, just to name a few.  We were all star-struck here at the cat hospital.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lymph Node Enlargement in the Cat

Lymph Node Enlargement in the Cat

We’ve all heard of lymph nodes, but what exactly are they?  What do they do?  And why be concerned when they become enlarged?

As a feline veterinarian, I perform dozens of physical examinations every week.  Every veterinarian performs the physical exam in his or her own style, making sure to evaluate all body systems thoroughly.  Assessment of the lymph nodes is unquestionably a part of every veterinarian’s physical exam. 

The lymphatic system is an arm of the immune system that plays a role in the development of the body’s immune response. Lymph is the fluid that flows through the lymphatic system.  It is rich in protein and white blood cells.   Cells of the immune system circulate throughout the lymphatic vessels in the body. Lymph nodes are small, oval-shaped organs that make up part of the lymphatic system.  As lymph flows through the lymphatic vessels, it passes through at least one set of lymph nodes, and often several sets, before ultimately emptying into the general circulation where it mixes with blood.   The lymph nodes are the major sites in the lymphatic system where the immune cells gather.   

Friday, February 27, 2015

Therapeutic Diets in the Management of Feline Medical Conditions - (What to Feed a Cat that is Unhealthy)

In my feline-only veterinary practice, not a day goes by without a client asking me what is the best diet for their healthy cat.  These days, it is becoming more difficult to answer this seemingly simple question. Many people feel that cats should be fed canned food only, and that dry food is terrible for their cat. Other people feel that the composition of the food is much more important than the form (canned vs. dry) and insist that low carbohydrate (“grain-free”) diets are the only ones suitable for true carnivores like the cat.  Still others shun all commercial diets and are adamant that homemade “raw” diets are the only way to go.

An easier question for me to answer is what to feed a cat that is unhealthy.  As veterinary medicine has progressed, the use of therapeutic diets has played an increasingly important role in the management of many illnesses.  The number of companies that manufacture therapeutic diets has grown, as has the variety of diets that they offer.  These diets can help manage a remarkable number of ailments (see Table 1).  In this article, I’ll touch on the most common conditions that I see in my practice, and how these diets help me manage these disorders.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Arden Moore's New Book *Fit Cat: Tips and Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life.*

One of the best things about being a veterinarian and writer is that I often get to cross paths with very cool people.  And there is probably no one cooler than my friend and colleague Arden Moore.  The supremely talented Ms. Moore takes multitasking to an entirely new level.  She is a radio show host, podcaster, dog and cat behavior consultant, editor, speaker, entertainer, educator, and pet first-aid instructor.   Let’s not forget author extraordinaire.  She has written many many books, including The Cat Behavior Answer Book; Happy Cat, Happy You; The Kitten Owner’s Manual; Planet Cat: A CAT-alog; 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Cat; and Understanding Your Cat: Practical Answers to All Your Behavior Questions.  That’s just some of the cat stuff.  She’s written just as many dog books.

Today I was the lucky recipient of an advance copy of Arden’s newest cat book, “Fit Cat: Tips and Tricks to Give Your Pet a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life." First of all, it’s an attractive looking book, with some really cute cats and kittens on the cover.  Somehow, Arden manages, in just 200 pages, to thoroughly cover nearly everything you’d need (and want) to know about keeping your cat physically and mentally healthy and happy.  Check out the scope of these 14 chapters:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rabies in New York City in 2014

"You're crazy Dr. Plotnick!"
Call me crazy, but every year I like to read the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s rabies reports and see if anything has changed since the last year, or if there are any new trends.

The news is:  there was a big drop in rabies cases.  For the entire year 2014, twelve animals tested positive for rabies.  They were 10 raccoons, 1 skunk, and 1 opossum.  Six raccoons and the skunk were from Staten Island, and 4 raccoons and the opossum were from Brooklyn.   That’s a very big drop for Staten Island.  In 2013, there were 49 rabid animals reported.  Last year, it was only 7.  There were no rabid animals in Queens, for the fourth year in a row.  The Bronx almost always has one or two rabid animals reported, but in 2014, there were none reported.  That’s the first time that’s happened since 1996. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mast Cell Tumors in Cats

Mast cells are a component of the immune system. They originate from the bone marrow, and play an important role in the inflammatory process, especially in allergic reactions. Mast cells are found in all tissues of the body, but are concentrated in the skin, respiratory tract, and digestive tract.

Mast cells produce a variety of chemicals that have differing effects on the body. These chemicals are stored in granules within the mast cell. In fact, it is the striking blue granules that are the most salient feature of mast cells when looking at them under a microscope.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reader Question: My Stumpy Manx Has Been Constipated for 5 Years. Is There Anything that Can Be Done?

We have a 6 1/2 year-old male Manx cat.  Our cat has been dealing with constipation for about 5 years, off and on.  Lately he has been getting anal infections which have been treated with antibiotics.  We have recently starting giving the cat lactulose and cisapride once again because of the constipation.  I was also told he has no nerve feelings on the right side and is about 3 vertebrae short from where his tail stub is. I realize it is difficult to make a prognosis in an email and especially without examining the cat.  Is there anything else that can be done for my cat? We love him with all our hearts.  I really do not want my cat to suffer nor do I want to euthanize him sooner than has to be.

Thank you,
Adele G.

Dear Adele,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Free Feline Dental Evaluations for your Cats at Manhattan Cat Specialists

Free Feline Dental Evaluations for your Cats in February at Manhattan Cat Specialists.

If you and your cats are in New York City, you might want to consider a free feline dental evaluation.  Dental disease is the most common disease seen in pets. In fact, the majority of cats aged over five years have some form of dental disease. Pets need dental care just like humans do – and Manhattan Cat Specialists wants to help keep your cat’s teeth healthy!
February is National Pet Dental Month. To encourage cat owners to take good care of their cats’ teeth, Manhattan Cat Specialists is offering, during the month of February, a free dental evaluation by one of our veterinary technicians. During this screening, the technician will evaluate the condition of your cats’ teeth and gums and will inform you if it appears that your cat has issues that need further evaluation. We can also advise you on how to keep your cats teeth healthy at home.

Providing proper dental care for your cat can protect it from pain and serious illness. Your cat will have fresh breath, be more comfortable eating, and enjoy meals more, allowing for a longer and happier life.

Call our office at 212-721-2287 and schedule your free dental screening during the month of February.

If you're on Facebook, join our event to easily save the info and share with friends.


Anatomy of the Feline Mouth  

Tooth or Consequences

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Feline Ovarian Remnant Syndrome

Last week, at my cats-only veterinary hospital, I examined a young female cat that had been adopted a few months before from a rescue organization.   The owner had brought her in for behavioral issues.  “She’s been making trilling noises, and she sticks her rear end in the air, and is rolling around on the carpet all squirmy”, said her owner.  “She’s also become super-affectionate.  I have to admit, in some ways it’s kinda cute”, she said, “but the trilling and meowing is driving us crazy. She does it all night!”  

This was classic estrus (heat) behavior.  “There’s nothing to be concerned about”, I told her.  You’ve just given a textbook description of a cat in heat.  Once we spay her, this behavior will stop”, I told her.

    “Well, that’ s just it”, she said.  “She was spayed five months ago.”

    Oh dear.

“You’re pretty certain she was spayed?”, I asked. The owner grabbed her purse and fished out the adoption papers. “Female spayed”, it said on the form, plain as day.  I told her that it’s possible that the person who gave the cat to the rescue group may have told them she was spayed, when in fact, she really wasn’t, and that these kinds of mistakes happen now and then. “When I adopted her, they said that they had spayed her the week before.  In fact, her belly was still shaved when I took her home”, she said.  I retrieved our clippers and guiltily shaved the hair that had grown back so nicely.  I could clearly see the scar from the previous spay surgery.  I had no doubt now that the cat had indeed been spayed.  “This looks like a case of Ovarian Remnant Syndrome”, I told her.  
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