“Eufloria”: Catnip Isn’t the Only Plant Scent Cats May Love

Article Featured on Vetstreet.com

Cats seem to rely on their noses to understand the world more than we humans do. Cats detect smells and sense pheromones (chemicals produced and released by other cats) through their olfactory systems. For confined cats, appreciating the importance of their sense of smell can greatly enrich their environments, which generally means a happier cat.

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Cats are securely bonded to their people, too

Cats are securely bonded to their people, too

Article Featured on ScienceDaily

Cats have a reputation for being aloof and independent. But a study of the way domestic cats respond to their caregivers suggests that their socio-cognitive abilities and the depth of their human attachments have been underestimated.

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Recall: Frozen Cat Food for Salmonella Concerns

A Utah raw pet food company is recalling one brand of its frozen cat food for concerns it may be contaminated with salmonella.

GoRaw LLC, doing business as Steve’s Real Food, has recalled its 2-pound bags of frozen Quest Beef Cat Food. Health officials in Minnesota say a sample tested positive for salmonella.

Quest Beef Cat Food and other Steve’s Real Food products are sold in smaller, independent pet stores around the country.

There have not been any reports of injury or illness from the recalled products, the FDA says.

If you have the Quest Beef Cat Food in your freezer, you may return it to the store for a refund. But if you do so, it’s important that you use caution. The company says you should treat its products the way you would raw chicken: Wash your hands after handing it, and clean counters and surfaces the food may have touched.

If you have questions, contact the company at 801-432-7478, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Dr. Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine) welcomes referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.

Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: info@ovshosp.com

Holiday Pet Safety

Holiday Pet Safety

Article Featured on AVMA

December abounds with holiday celebrations, but nothing can spoil good cheer like an emergency trip to the veterinary clinic. These tips can help keep your winter holiday season from becoming not-so-happy – for your pet and for you.

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10 Tips for the First 30 Days After Adopting a Dog

10 Tips for the First 30 Days After Adopting a Dog

By Carly Sutherland | Article Featured on PetMD

Adopting a dog is exciting for both you and your new furry family member. The first several days in your home are special, and quite frankly, critical for your new dog. She is likely to be confused in a new environment and unsure of what to expect from you.

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Good Dog! 10 Ways to Stop Bad Pet Behavior

Good Dog! 10 Ways to Stop Bad Pet Behavior

| Featured on Everyday Health

Transform your pooch from troublemaker to the best-behaved pet on the block with these simple steps.

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Constipation in Cats: It’s Never Normal

Many cats are notorious for not drinking much water. This makes them prone to constipation. It would be a major error to take this condition lightly. Constipation is never normal. It can lead to a lot of suffering and a poor quality of life, so it should be taken seriously.

Why is constipation in cats a big deal?

First, constipation is not a pleasant experience for any cat. Second, repeated episodes of constipation can cause irreversible enlargement of the colon. Serious constipation can lead to a condition where the cat cannot expel stools at all, and needs an enema. At worst, a cat can be so blocked up or “impacted,” and the colon so enlarged, that surgery is the only option.

What causes constipation in cats?
The most common causes of feline constipation are:

  • Dehydration
  • Painful defecation
  • Stress in the home
  • A dirty litter box
  • A disease

Identifying the cause is not always easy, but it’s important so that we can manage the constipation and reduce the chances of it worsening. A thorough discussion with your family vet will help you determine the cause.

Your vet may ask:

  • Was there a change in diet?
  • Was there a change in water intake?
  • Is your cat on any medication?
  • Are there any painful joints that might keep your cat from reaching the litter box?
  • Is there excessive licking or grooming?
  • Could it be a litter box issue?
  • Was the type of litter changed?
  • Is the litter box cleaned often enough?
  • Are there multiple cats and not enough litter boxes?
  • Is there a source of stress in the household, such as a new cat or a new dog?

How can you prevent constipation in cats?

Here are several ways to decrease the risk of constipation in cats:

  • Feeding your cat canned food is an easy way to increase water intake. Dry food may contain about 10-20% water, whereas canned food may have 80%
  • Make sure there are multiple litter boxes if you have several cats
  • Clean each litter box at least once daily
  • Different cats prefer different types of litter. Make sure your cat seems happy with the litter you choose
  • Discuss a daily laxative with your veterinarian
  • Increase exercise and playful activities

What are the signs of constipation in cats?
Constipated cats may be seen straining in the litter box. When in pain, constipated cats may vocalize during defecation. They often have decreased thirst and appetite. Constipation can also cause vomiting.

It is important to differentiate constipated cats from cats with urinary blockage. At first glance, they may look the same: straining in the litter box. However from a medical standpoint, the two conditions are radically different.

Testing for constipation in cats
As always, your family vet will start with a thorough physical exam. Diseases of the anus or rectum can cause pain during defecation. Blood work may reveal a metabolic disease, such as low potassium or high calcium. It also can show dehydration. A colon full of stool can be felt or palpated during the exam, unless the cat is seriously overweight. For overweight cats, an X-ray of the belly can be taken to assess the extent of the situation and the size of the colon. In addition, an X-ray of the pelvis may reveal old, untreated fractures causing a mechanical blockage, which can prevent stools from being expelled.

Treating constipation in cats
Depending on the severity of constipation, treatment may include:

  • Fluids, IV or under the skin (rehydration)
  • Manual removal of stools, along with an enema (from your veterinarian)
  • A diet change, that is rich in fibers
  • A laxative
  • Drugs (called promotility drugs) to move food and fecal matter “downward”
  • In extreme cases, surgery is required to remove the colon, which is then called a megacolon

Why could my constipated cat need surgery?
Extreme or terminal constipation is called obstipation. A cat with obstipation is suffering and has a miserable quality of life. The colon is so stretched by large, rock-hard stools, that it is incapable of expelling them. The muscles of the colon become unable to do their job. In those cases, medications, diet changes and enemas become useless. The goal of surgery (called a colectomy) is to remove the diseased, giant colon. Usually performed by a board-certified surgeon, this delicate surgery can be a life-saving procedure. Quality of life is typically excellent after surgery.

Questions to ask your veterinarian:

  • How can we treat my cat’s early constipation?
  • Are we catching his condition early enough?
  • Does my cat need surgery?

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Dr. Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine) welcomes referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

Address
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.

Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: info@ovshosp.com

Our Checklist for Your Pet’s Full-Body Health

Article Featured on Vetstreet.com

You probably see your pet every day. And he may look perfectly fine to you, but how can you tell if he isn’t? The short answer is sometimes you can’t. That’s why it’s so important to schedule regular wellness visits with your veterinarian — even if your pet seems totally fine. Some medical conditions aren’t easy to detect without the benefit of a full physical exam and perhaps even diagnostic testing like bloodwork and urine testing.

It’s always a good idea to let your vet know if you notice any changes in your pet’s activity level, appetite, behavior or personality. But other than that, what does a normal, healthy pet look like? Here are a few of the basics.

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Arthroscopy: A Minimally Invasive Way to Treat Dogs With Joint Pain

Arthroscopy: A Minimally Invasive Way to Treat Dogs With Joint Pain

Article Featured on Vetstreet.com

Any time a dog shows signs of joint pain, including lameness, stiffness or difficulty going up or down stairs, your veterinarian may suggest X-rays and blood work. If these techniques don’t provide enough information about the joint, arthroscopy may be an option for some patients.

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Top Tips for Caring for your Senior Pet

Top Tips for Caring for your Senior Pet

Article Featured on Freshpet

As our pets reach their senior years, the care they require begins to change. Our resident vet, Dr. Katy Nelson, shares eight tips all owners should keep in mind when caring for their senior pets.

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