Tuesday, May 19, 2015

In Memoriam: Missy - From Rescue Cat to In-Clinic Living

Manhattan Cat Specialists has some sad news to share. On Wednesday evening, May 13, our sweet, sassy hospital cat, Missy passed away. Since 2008, Missy had graced our clinic with her fiery tortoiseshell attitude, (“torti-tude”), greeting clients at the front desk with a teasing grin and a swipe of a paw after one pat on the head. As our staff biographies explained so well on our website, Missy’s bio stated “give her a pat and she’ll appreciate it; give her two and she’ll swat your hand away.” Even with her feistiness, though, Missy was a part of our clinic, and she learned to love us and trust us, and it never crossed our minds to give it a second thought to care for her as our own when she became our responsibility.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cats and the Veterinary Physical Exam - Twice a Year For Life

"Twice a Year For Life"

Take your feline friends to the veterinarian for semi-annual exams. 

            At our cat practice, we recommend that clients bring their cat in for evaluation every six months.  Most of our clients accept this without question, but some of our clients are puzzled by this.  “I always thought cats were supposed to be examined once a year”, they tell me.  I tell them that once a year is a minimum.  I really think twice a year is more appropriate for cats.  Here’s why:

            Cats are experts at hiding their clinical signs.  Evolutionarily, cats are programmed to hide signs of illness.  Predators instinctively look for the weakest or sickest animal to prey on, so cats do everything they can to pretend that they’re not sick, until they simply can’t hide it anymore.  By the time the cat reveals to the owner that the cat is sick, sometimes the illness has progressed too far to successfully treat. 

            In a previous blog post, I posted a chart comparing a cat’s age to a human’sage.  Early on in life, cats age relatively fast.  Once they hit adulthood, it’s a pretty steady progression, with each cat year approximating four human years.  Going to the veterinarian once every year would be the equivalent of a person going to the doctor every four years.  Going every six months would be the equivalent of going every two years, which is more reasonable.   I hate going to the doctor as much as anyone, and I delay it if I can, but even I will admit that going once every four years is too infrequent, and even every two years is still not often enough.  To illustrate my point, I’m going to use two real life examples, starring yours truly, and yours truly’s own cat, Crispy

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Reader Question: What is causing my cat's chronic diarrhea?

Dear Dr. Plotnick,

My 16 year-old female cat has had chronic diarrhea for 2 years now amd our vet is stumped. She has gone from 7 lbs down to 5. She is also constantly hungry. Her water intake is normal. We feed her continually. She's had a blood test, an x-ray, and ultrasound, and everything is normal. We now have her on a high protein diet and it seems to be maintaining her weight now.  We're reluctant to do a biopsy because of her age. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Lois F.

 Dear Lois,
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