Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hypercalcemia in Cats

Hypercalcemia

by Dr. Arnold Plotnick

(Originally published in "Catnip Magazine")

Calcium plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy body in humans and animals.  Too much of a good thing, however, can be dangerous, and this is definitely true for calcium.  Discovering an elevated serum calcium level in cats is a fairly common finding in veterinary medicine.  A variety of treatments are available that will readily bring an elevated calcium back into the normal range, but treating with medication should not be the primary approach.  Because the most  effective treatment is to address the underlying cause, our initial approach  to hypercalcemia  (elevated  serum calcium) is to search for the origin.  Once we find the cause (or should I say if we find the cause, because sometimes it can be tricky), we can prescribe the proper treatment.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Top 20 Internet Cat Videos of 2011

We've gathered together our 20 favorite cat videos from 2011 that we posted throughout the year on our Manhattan Cat Specialists' Facebook Page. Without further ado:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cats Are The 1%!! Get Your Cats Spayed or Neutered.

Know the facts. 99% of cats live a more lavish lifestyle than 99% of the top 1% of humans. OCCUPY CATS! Get Your Cats Spayed or Neutered.

SEE: Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cat Writer's Association Awards 2011

The Cat Writer's Association (CWA) is an organization of professionals writing, publishing and broadcasting about cats.  Members include writers, editors, publishers, artists, public relations specialists, broadcasters and others. 
 Every year the CWA sponsors a contest in which they give out awards for the best written articles in a variety of categories.  The winners are announced at their annual conference.  This year, I submitted a few articles for consideration, and I’m pleased to announce I won three (!)  awards this year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shelter Sketches: Meet Vincent, Marellus, and Mia

This is amazing! Meet Chelsea Conlin, a freelance illustrator who also uses her artform to save animals. She is in charge of Shelter Sketches on http://iloverescueanimals.org.( ILRA )

Each week, Chelsea snags a photo posted from an animal shelter or rescue group of animals that need homes, and transforms the picture into a work of art.

This week Chelsea picked the three kitties rescued, and up for adoption at Manhattan Cat Specialists! Yay!  We posted this picture with some information about how to adopt these kitties:

Before Chelsea:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pulp Kittens - available for adoption now at Manhattan Cat Specialists

Manhattan Cat Specialists http://manhattancats.com kittens for adoption.


We have three new rescue kittens available for adoption at Manhattan Cat Specialists; Vincent, Marcellus, and Mia are approximately 8-10 weeks old..  These kittens were scheduled to be euthanized. Instead, they're relaxing with us at the hospital, shaking off small colds, and almost ready to be adopted into loving homes.

All specific info (testings for FIV and FeLV, vaccination record, ect) will be updated here in about a week.  In the meantime, if you are in the New York City metro area and would like to adopt a cat, please visit our adoption info page, and then give us a call.  If you have friends or family that may be interested in some adorableness in their lives, please share this post.  These kitties deserve loving homes.

230 West 76th Street  |  New York, NY 10023  |  212-721-2287

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cat Litterbox Problems Solved




CatChannel solves all your cat litterbox problems.

Cat Resources
Cat Litterbox Resources Get answers to your cat litterbox questions with a quick check of litterbox resources from CatChannel.com and CAT FANCY. Find articles that discuss cats’ inappropriate elimination, cat constipation, loose bowels in cats, cats who use the litterbox to sleep and other cat litterbox conditions. Looking for something not on our cat litterbox resources list? Contact a CAT FANCY and CatChannel.com expert to ask your about your cat’s litterbox condition. All this and more can be found in our cat litterbox resources section.
Spaying/Neutering
What will happen when you fix your cat? Find out from an expert.
Constipation Sources
Learn why your cat might have a stoppage of stools.
Cat Spraying
When your cat uses scent marking to mark territory, try some simple steps to help redirect your cat's behavior.
Locate the LItterbox
Check this quick tip to see how good litterbox location will help your cat have healthy habits.
Inappropriate Elimination
Going outside the litterbox is a common cat problem. See how to help correct this behavior and get your cat to use his litterbox again.
My Cat Is Sleeping in the LItterbox — Why?
Your cat might be trying to tell you something if he's using his litterbox for a bed.
Soft Stools
Your cat's loose bowels can signal a problem. Get expert advice on your next step.
Keep It Inside the Box
CatChannel.com's veterinary expert explains how to teach cats to use their litterboxes.
Defecating Outside the Litterbox
Your cat could avoid the litterbox for everything. Get tips on how to correct bad litterbox behavior from cat behaviorists.
Why Cats Stop Using the Litterbox
Do some detective work to discover why your cat went from using the litterbox to using the floor around it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats

Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats

by Arnold Plotnick MS, DVM, ACVIM, ABVP


Section: Overview

Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) is a syndrome characterized by an accumulation of excessive amounts of lipid (fat) within the cells of the liver, abnormal bile flow within the liver, and impaired liver function. Severe impairment of liver function may affect the liver's ability to detoxify the blood. As toxins accumulate, they can affect the mental status of the cat, leading to mental dullness, severe depression, and seizures. Hepatic lipidosis can occur as a primary event, or it can occur secondary to other disease processes, such as diabetes. It is the most common liver disease encountered in cats.

Adult cats of either sex can be affected. Any breed of cat is susceptible. Middle aged to older cats are most likely to be affected.

Hepatic lipidosis can be a serious disease. Even with aggressive therapy, a significant number of cats die from the condition.

The cause of hepatic lipidosis remains unknown. Obesity is thought to be a predisposing factor, as most (but not all) affected cats are obese at the time of disease onset. A period of anorexia (decreased appetite), occurring as a result of a stressful event (such as the addition of a new pet or family member, or a sudden change to a less palatable diet) can trigger the onset of hepatic lipidosis.

Need a New Wingman? Adopt a Cat.



Here's a great pro-cat adoption PSA by the Denver Dumb Friends League

Friday, November 4, 2011

Top 5 Healthy Cat Treats

Top 5 Healthy Cat Treats

Don’t serve up tricks, just treats that your cat can eat for health this holiday and beyond.


Cat eating treats
The best treats serve two purposes: tasty reward and healthy supplement.
Cats require a nutritionally complete and balanced diet to live an active, healthy life. Life is meant to be enjoyed, however, and every now and then it’s OK to toss your cat a tasty treat.

Not all cat treats are the equivalent of kitty candy. Some “treats” are actually beneficial for cats and are almost on par with giving medication. Here’s my list of five “treats” that can make your cat happy and healthy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 7

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 7 (continued from Day 6)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge)
Tuesday

It’s our last day in Istanbul.  Sigh. 

When I booked the flight, I had originally planned on taking the 11:00 a.m. flight, bringing us back into NYC  at 2:30 p.m.  Instead, accidentally, I booked the 5:15 p.m. flight.  Once I did this, it was too late to switch without paying a substantial penalty.  So I kept  the 5:15 flight.  This flight would arrive in NYC at 9:00 p.m, and by the time we got home it would be 10:30 or 11:00.  Having to work the next  day, it wouldn’t give much time at all for unwinding or unpacking.  As it turns out, I’m glad I did it this way, because we didn’t have to catch the shuttle to the airport until 1:00, giving us a half day of sightseeing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 6

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 6 (continued from Day 5 part 2)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge)
 
Monday

            Monday was our last full day in Istanbul.  Today, the plan is to take a cruise up the Bosphorus.  Anyone who’s read Orhan Pamuk’s book, “Istanbul” knows the importance the Bosphorus Strait plays in the lives of the people of Istanbul.  The 19 mile-long Bosphorus serves as Istanbul’s main highway, hosting a never-ending stream of vessels, from little fishing boats to humungous oil tankers to luxury cruise ships.  It’s one of the busiest waterways in the world.  It’s the only outlet to the Mediterranean for Russia, and the only route to any sea for other countries on the Black Sea, like Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Georgia.  The Bosphorus separates two continents – Europe and Asia.  It connects the Black Sea in the north with the Sea of Marmara and (eventually) the Mediterranean in the south.  The Turks view the Bosphorus as much more than just a body of water.  It’s a sacred inheritance.  The locals are very content to just sit for hours on a bench that overlooks the Bosphorus and watch the boats go by.  I crossed the Bosphorus when I headed  over to Uskudar.  A 13 minute ferry ride, however, is no way to experience the strait.  Today, we have a 90 minute cruise up the 19-mile waterway, and I’m excited. 

            The public ferry, which leaves from the Old Town side of the Golden Horn, departs every day at 10:35 a.m.  To ensure a good seat on the left (European side) of the boat, we got to the ferry dock early.  Maybe a little too early.  So, with a bit of time to kill, we crossed over to the Spice Market area and grabbed a pastry and some tea.  The vendors outside the spice market were just setting up their stands.  I noticed in a planter nearby, a cute young cat poking about.  This cat had a red collar on, which I suppose indicated that she was being looked after by someone. 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 5, Part 2

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 5, part 2 (continued from Day 5 part 1)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge)

Our goal was the Cinili Mosque, also known as the Tiled Mosque, named for the amazing tilework inside.  We started our climb, through the  streets of this very working class neighborhood.  The  incline was very steep, and we were getting pretty tired.  Off to our right, high up on the hilltop, I spotted what I thought was the Tiled Mosque.  It actually turned out to be the Atik Valide Mosque, Sinan’s last great work and the most important Ottoman monument in Uskudar.  Built in 1571 and dedicated to Sultana Nur Banu, the mother  of Murad III and wife of Selim II, the  mosque was impressive, and had a great courtyard that opened onto a prayer hall adorned with delicate black, red and gold frescoes.


Monday, October 24, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 5, Part 1


My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 5, part 1 (continued from Day 4, part 2)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge) 

Sunday

            Today I thought we’d try something a little different.  Today we’re gonna pop on over to the Asian side of Istanbul. Our destination is Uskudar, a charming district easily accessed  by ferry and teeming with historical mosques. Exploring Uskudar gives us a chance to experience the streets  of a quiet, everyday neighborhood, without the opulent  architecture, modern style and throngs  of people that we see on the European side.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 4, Part 2

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 4, part 2 (continued from Day 4, part 1)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge) 
Okay, we’re done with the historical sites.  Now the shopping begins.  It’s time to plunge ahead into the insanity that the call the Egyptian Spice Market.

Built in the mid-17th century, this hall was gradually taken over by merchants peddling spices, herbs medicinal plants and pharmaceuticals.  Most of the stalls still sell the same products, although admittedly the place has gotten pretty touristy.  It’s called the Egyptian Spice Market because it was once funded by taxes collected from Egypt.  It has the ambience of a true Oriental market. 


Friday, October 21, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 4, Part 1

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 4, part 1 (continued from Day 3, part 2)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge)

Saturday

            To fully appreciate the urban Istanbul of today, you must leave the Old Town and plunge headfirst into the hip, happenin’, lively, upbeat, European-feeling New District, and that’s what we did.  After spending the first two full days exploring the classic sites of the Old Town, we indulged in the part of the city where our hotel was located.  We started with the old standbys, Taksim Square and Istiklal Street. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 3, Part 2

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 3, part 2 (continued from Day 3, part 1)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge) 


We finally came up to the gates of the museum.


Once inside the gate, there were more cats to be played with.  Like this real sweetheart outside the main hall of the museum.

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 3, Part 1

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 3, part 1 (continued from Day 2, part 2)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge) 
Friday

Today turned out to be one of the most exhausting days of the trip.  We decided to tackle the famous Topkapi palace. This is the place where the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror decided to set up shop after capturing Constantinople.  It ended up serving as the sole administrative palace for Ottoman sultans for more than 400 years.  It housed several thousand people, a city within a city.  Not too shabby a place to store one’s stuff.

The day started out nicely enough, with me noticing a woman using her headphone cord to play with a kitten on a bench in Sultanahmet Park. Cute!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 2, Part 2

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey -  Day 2, Part 2 (continued from Day 2, part 1)
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge) 

After spending the morning at two major sites, it was time for lunch.  Not far from the Blue Mosque was Sultanahmet Koftecisi, a restaurant famous for their kofte, or meatballs.


On my way there, I spotted a calico cat across the street.  She was a sweet and friendly cat, and she was noticeably pregnant.  I befriended her right away.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 2, Part 1

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey -  Day 2, Part 1 
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge)

I went to bed 10:00 p.m., totally exhausted. Even though I’m somewhat of an insomniac, I figured that after 23 hours without sleep and with a carb-heavy dinner in my gut, I’d sleep like I was in a coma. No such luck.  I woke up at 2:30 a.m, Turkish time, rarin’ to go.  I resisted the urge to get up, and instead forced myself back to sleep, and  thankfully woke up at 6:00 a.m.  We left the hotel early, since we had a big day ahead. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey - Day 1

My Stray Cat Expedition in Istanbul, Turkey -  Day 1
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
(click pictures to enlarge) 

Wednesday


After many months of very busy practice, in which it seemed that every cat in the city was sick and they all wanted to come to my hospital, I finally got to take a much needed vacation.   The destination:  Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, formerly Byzantium, the city that straddles two continents, the city where east meets west.  Insert any cliché you like. I’m headed to Turkey, and I am psyched.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pancreatitis in Cats - A mysterious disease that remains tricky to diagnose

Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) is a common gastrointestinal disorder in dogs and cats.  In the past, the incidence of pancreatitis in cats was thought to be low, but recent studies suggest the contrary. The true incidence of the disease is unknown, however, as many dogs and cats have mild disease and are not presented to a veterinarian.  Unfortunately, many cases of pancreatitis in cats go undiagnosed due to the nonspecific, vague clinical signs, and the lack of a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic test.  However, a new test has become available that may improve our ability to achieve a diagnosis of this elusive disease in cats.

Dr. Plotnick's Top 5 Hot Topics on CatChannel

Dr. Plotnick's Top 5 Hot Topics on CatChannel
(Sept 30, 2011)



Monday, September 19, 2011

Stray Kitten Seen at a Manhattan Veterinary Hospital Tests Positive for Rabies

Here is a very important reminder as to Why We Vaccinate (Even Indoor Cats):


On August 21, 2011 a stray kitten seen at a veterinary hospital in Manhattan tested positive for rabies.  The kitten was found in a parking lot in Livingston, New Jersey.

DOHMH encourages veterinarians to ensure that their clients' pets are up-to-date for rabies vaccination, and to educate pet owners regarding rabies prevention.

Veterinarians should consider rabies in the differential diagnosis for any patient with a history of exposure to a potentially rabid wild or feral animal and/or if presenting with progressive neurologic disease.

To date this year, a total of 10 animals have tested positive for rabies, including the kitten mentioned in this alert.

For current information on rabies and animals testing positive for rabies in NYC visit http://nyc.gov/health/rabies

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shadow's Light was Extinguished Today :O(

We had to say good-bye to a very special cat today.  After 16 years of comfortable life, our friend Shadow passed away today.

When Shadow's original owner died unfortunately her cats could not stay together.  Each cat was taken in by a new home, except Shadow.  We decided to take Shadow in because he was just so incredible.  Shadow hung out downstairs in the office.  He would purr when anyone entered the room.  His joy of the day would be when someone opened the food storage room door; he would waltz into the room and bask in what he thought was his kibble treasure room (video).

Then, a wonderful client of ours wanted to take in Shadow.  Shadow got to live the last half a year with the love and in the home he deserved.  In the end, there were heart complications, and Shadow had to be put to sleep. We'll miss Shadow, he was a great guy to have around.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Language Barriers

I run an all-feline veterinary hospital, and we have a fairly large Japanese client base. This is not by accident. One of my technicians, Hiromi, is Japanese, and she made it clear to me when I hired her 8 years ago that she would like to actively help me cultivate a Japanese clientele. In speaking with her cat-owning Japanese friends and acquaintances, Hiromi has heard countless tales of frustration, as they described the difficulty in explaining exactly what it is about their cat that had them worried, as well as their inability to fully understand what the doctor had told them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is Trouble : Adopt Trouble

This is Trouble
Trouble has a black belt in cute

Trouble can chase catnip toys with her mind

If Trouble was in the military there would be no war


Adopt Trouble
212-721-2287
mcs@manhattancats.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our Hospital Cat Topeka Paws One Kibble at a Time

Our wonderful and moderately dainty Manhattan Cat Specialists hospital cat, Topeka, has an unusual way of eating her food.

At the end, you get to see her most excellent cyborg laser eye.

Have a watch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Tossed Crispy’s Insulin in the Trash

Most diabetic cats require lifelong oral or injectable medication. For a few lucky cats (and owners), however, diabetes resolves. How does this happen?

My cat Crispy has terrible skin allergies. A few years ago, it got really really bad. She was chewing at her feet and the insides of her legs non-stop. I tried a hypoallergenic diet, but that made no difference. I would have liked to have tried antihistamines but Crispy is impossible to medicate. It’s embarrassing that I’m a veterinarian and I prescribe medications to cats all day, and yet I cannot medicate my own cat. I’ve tried flavored liquids, I’ve tried hiding pills in treats, I’ve had treats made up with the medication blended throughout the treat (she ate exactly one of them, and never ate another one, ever again). Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory in some cats, and may help reduce skin inflammation when given daily. So I tried putting them on her food. She caught one whiff of them on her food and that was that. She absolutely refused to touch the food thereafter.

I could tell from the appearance of the skin problem that this type of allergic dermatitis would probably respond nicely to steroids. I’m not crazy about giving steroids to cats, but with skin allergies, you give steroids initially at a high-ish dose, and then you rapidly taper the dose down to the lowest dose that controls the signs. I was figuring 1 tablet of prednisolone twice daily for 5 days, then once daily for 5 days, then every other day thereafter. I was hoping that once I got down to the every other day dosing, it wouldn’t be too horrible. Well, several bite and scratch wounds later, I abandoned the process. Crispy will simply not allow herself to be orally medicated. Period.

I had to do something. Look at what she was doing to her leg!


As a last resort, I gave Crispy an injection of a long-acting steroid.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Private Life Of A Cat - Silent Film Circa 1944

 The Private Life Of A Cat was directed by avant-garde filmmaker Alexander Hammid in 1947. (Update: We discovered the film was released in 1944). Originally a silent film, I’ve added some music by Korla Pandit, Philippe Besombes and Jean-Louis Rizet.

The film was shot in the apartment that Hammid shared with his wife filmmaker Maya Deren on Morton street in Manhattan.

Part narrative, part documentary, the story is simple and yet deeply expressive.

Via Dangerous Minds

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hot-Weather Tips for our Cat & Dog Companions

When summer arrives, it is very important that we take the proper precautions when dealing with our pets. Here are a few important tips and facts that should help protect our furry friends.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ages and Stages - The Cat Age to Human Age Comparison (Part Three)

Ages and Stages
A New Chart Helps Pet Parents Calculate Their Cats' Age in Relation to Human Years
by Dr. Arnold Plotnick published in Cat Fancy September 2011

Cats are living longer than ever before, and I suppose it is human nature to wonder how a cat’s age would compare to a human’s. In talking with many people, I’ve discovered that the myth that dogs and cats age seven years for every one year is alive and well. I don’t know exactly how this notion came about, but I suspect many years ago someone decided that dogs live, on average, ten years, and people live, on average, seventy years, so dogs age approximately seven years for every one human year. This myth has been perpetuated for years, and frankly, it drives me crazy. First of all, cats live longer than dogs; this immediately skews the calculations regarding cats. Second, if you think about it, it’s not uncommon for some cats to live to be 18 or 19 years old. By the seven-to-one system, an 18 year-old cat would be equivalent to a 126-year old person. It’s true that people are also living longer than ever before, however, I’ve seen many 18 year old cats. I’ve yet to meet a 126 year-old person.


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