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.

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