Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Preventing Cats from Chewing Electrical Cords

Although cats are generally more discreet about what they put in their mouths compared to dogs, some cats have a penchant for chewingunusual objects.  One thing both dogs and cats often chew on are electrical cords.  This can be a hazard for two reasons.  First, it can be a danger to your cat, because of potential electrical burns.  Second, it can be a danger to your home, as an exposed wire can be a fire hazard. 

Cats that chew through electrical cords often experience burns on their lips and/or tongue.  More serious problems can arise, like seizures, respiratory difficulty, and even cardiac arrest. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hill's y/d for Feline Hyperthyroidism - Managing Hyperthyroidism in Cats with Diet

Hyperthyroidism is the most common glandular disorder in cats.  It is mainly seen in elderly cats, usually over 10 years of age.  It occurs when the thyroid gland in the neck starts producing too much thyroid hormone.  This causes cats’ metabolism to increase, and cats will start burning calories like crazy, causing them to lose weight.  They try to compensate by eating more food, but they usually cannot keep up, and cats will lose weight despite having an excellent (often ravenous) appetite.   Other clinical signs are possible, such as excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, panting, restlessness or hyperactivity, and excessive vocalization at night.

(See: Hyperthyroidism in Cats - The Fact Sheet)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Power of Words in Veterinary Medicine - The Unedited Version

The Power of Words in Veterinary Medicine (The Unedited Version)

A cancer diagnosis had become as common as a urinary tract infection. I had forgotten the impact of a poor prognosis.


In our celebrity-driven, reality TV-obsessed world, it’s become pretty apparent that in the year 2012, the classic objects of desire – money, fame, and power – remain as coveted as ever.  Although we veterinarians tend to live in our own little bubble, by no means are we immune to the ways of the real world.  Speaking strictly for myself, I have no desperate desire for fame. My small but devoted cadre of followers of my clinic’s Facebook page and my personal blog is more than sufficient to make me feel recognized.  As for wealth, I certainly wouldn’t mind a little more of it, but I do own my own practice and we’re doing pretty well, and given the economic woes that many of my clients have experienced these past few years, I consider myself fortunate to have a steady job and a nice paycheck and there’s no justification for me to whine about finances. 

It’s the “power” part of the equation that I find myself dwelling on instead.   Fame and wealth may seem elusive, but as a veterinarian, I have more power than I have ever dreamed of.  I suppose if I were to broach the topic of power to a group of veterinarians, most would suspect I was referring to the power one might acquire when advancing from an associate position to becoming a partner or perhaps even a practice owner, attaining the power to control one’s own life a little better, i.e. less worrying about job security, fleeting benefits, non-compete clauses, or sudden changes in schedule.   However, this is not the type of power that’s been occupying my thoughts.  I’m referring to the power we have, as veterinarians, to completely ravage the lives of others with a simple sentence or two. 

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Letting Your Cat Outdoors Can Be Dangerous

Letting Your Cat Outdoors Can Be Dangerous

As a feline practitioner and advice columnist, I receive many letters from concerned cat owners.   I received a letter a while back from an owner whose cat used to live indoors and outdoors.  He would essentially come and go as he pleased, through the cat door in their kitchen.  Most of his time was spent outdoors, in the owner’s backyard.  Everything was fine.  A new job opportunity has resulted in the owner moving to a new home.  The street out front has much more traffic, and the backyard is considerably smaller.  The owner is very concerned that if he lets the cat outdoors, the cat may get lost, or maybe get injured.  The cat, however, is miserable being cooped up inside all day.  
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