Dangerous Places for Cats

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Dangerous Places for Cats

Article Found on CatHealth.com

Home is where the cat is. And in a home with a feline occupant, the cat is everywhere, including in nooks and crannies that the human residents may not have even known existed. Thus, you need to make sure that your multi-species domicile is safe for your kitty, so she can play, primp, and purr in peace—and you can have peace of mind.

This article focuses on many, though not all, common locations in homes that are likely to pose risks to cats. By being aware of these danger spots and knowing how to make them safer and/or prevent your cat’s access to them, you can help keep your feline companion healthy and happy in her indoor territory. Continue reading Dangerous Places for Cats

Dogs Understand What’s Written All Over Your Face

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Dogs Understand What’s Written All Over Your Face

Article Found on ScienceDaily

Dogs are capable of understanding the emotions behind an expression on a human face. For example, if a dog turns its head to the left, it could be picking up that someone is angry, fearful or happy. If there is a look of surprise on a person’s face, dogs tend to turn their head to the right. The heart rates of dogs also go up when they see someone who is having a bad day, say Marcello Siniscalchi, Serenella d’Ingeo and Angelo Quaranta of the University of Bari Aldo Moro in Italy. The study in Springer’s journal Learning & Behavior is the latest to reveal just how connected dogs are with people. The research also provides evidence that dogs use different parts of their brains to process human emotions. Continue reading Dogs Understand What’s Written All Over Your Face

Crinkling Tin Foil and Other Sounds Can Cause Seizures in Cats

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Crinkling Tin Foil and Other Sounds Can Cause Seizures in Cats

By Samantha Drake

Everyday sounds, like crinkling tin foil, a metal spoon hitting a ceramic bowl, rustling paper or plastic bags, or hammering a nail, can have a worrisome effect on your cat, according to a new study. Researchers say certain high-pitched sounds cause noise-induced seizures in older cats — and the response is not all that unusual.

Until now, the condition has not been well-documented, so many cat owners tend to dismiss the seizures as a sign of old age, notes Dr. Mark Lowrie of Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire, England. Lowrie is the lead author of the study recently published in The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

“We don’t know the prevalence of this condition currently but it is far more common than anyone first thought,” he says.

Older Cats Affected

The media has dubbed the seizures the “Tom and Jerry Syndrome” after Tom, the cartoon kitty who often jumps suddenly in response to the antics of Jerry, his cartoon mouse nemesis. Researchers call the disorder “feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS).”

FARS affects older cats, says Lowrie, with 15 being the average age of the cats in the study. Although any breed of cat could have FARS, about one-third of the cats in the study were Birmans, specifically those with blue and seal points, he adds.

The study of 96 cats, a population roughly half male and half female, also found that even relatively quiet sounds, like squeaky shoes or jangling keys, can cause a seizure. Lowrie explains that cats have an ultrasonic hearing range, including frequencies humans can’t detect. Many of the domestic sounds found to trigger seizures have a high amount of ultrasonic frequencies. “Therefore, they may sound innocuous to us, but to cats sensitive to these frequencies, they actually sound more startling,” he says.

Interestingly, about half the cats in the study were hearing-impaired or deaf, he points out.

Managing FARS

Obviously, many of the sounds that trigger FARS can’t be entirely eliminated from a domesticated cat’s environment. Although there’s currently no cure for FARS, the anti-seizure medication levetiracetam helps to effectively manage the condition in cats, says Lowrie.

The researchers began investigating FARS after the charitable organization International Cat Care brought the condition to their attention, Lowrie explains, adding, “This was a real concern.”


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome 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

Are You Ready to Care for Foster Animals?

Are You Ready to Care for Foster Animals?

By Nancy Dunham | Article Featured in PetMD

It’s difficult to imagine a downside to fostering dogs, cats or any other animals.

Just looking at the many social media photos of foster pet parents cuddling the dogs, cats and other foster animals entrusted to their care is enough to prompt anyone to want to volunteer now and ask questions later.

Continue reading Are You Ready to Care for Foster Animals?

Cat Years To Human Years: How Old Is My Cat?

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Cat Years To Human Years: How Old Is My Cat?

By Helen Anne Travis

When you adopt a cat from a shelter or take in a stray, it’s usually impossible to know the exact age of your newest family member. Sure, there’s a clear difference between a kitten and a senior cat-izen but to the untrained eye, the years in between might look a lot alike. You’ll likely bring her to a veterinarian, who will conduct a physical exam and maybe run some tests to help determine your kitty’s approximate age. But what exactly do doctors look at? And how precise are their estimates?

To learn more, we caught up with Dr. Erick Mears, the medical director for BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Florida, and Dr. Rachel Barrack of Animal Acupuncture in New York City to find out how the experts determine a cat’s age. Continue reading Cat Years To Human Years: How Old Is My Cat?

Summertime Dehydration and Your Dog

Some of us take the phrase, “dog days of summer” quite literally— we want to go everywhere accompanied by our beloved dogs! While this can be great, know that the heat of summer has the potential to be hazardous to your dog’s health. One of the greatest summer dangers is dehydration. Dogs get hot faster than people, and it’s easy for even the healthiest of dogs to become dehydrated.

Significant forethought and planning to accommodate higher temperatures separate a fun summer day from a trip to the emergency veterinarian. Continue reading Summertime Dehydration and Your Dog

What to Do When Your Cat Won’t Eat

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What to Do When Your Cat Won’t Eat

Article Found on WebMD

People joke about cats and their finicky eating habits, but it’s actually a serious issue if your cat won’t eat.

Although a refusal to eat is concerning for all pets, it can be more dangerous for cats.

When animals don’t eat enough, they must rely on their fat reserves for energy. Before stored fat can be used for fuel, it must be processed by the liver. This step requires adequate supplies of protein.With rapid weight loss in a cat that stops eating, protein supplies are soon exhausted and the liver becomes overwhelmed by all the fat. This results in a dangerous condition known as hepatic lipidosis, which can lead to liver failure. Continue reading What to Do When Your Cat Won’t Eat

How to Care for Your Pet After Surgery

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How to Care for Your Pet After Surgery

By Diana Bocco | Found on PetMD

When it comes to post-operative care for pets, there’s no such thing as “standard procedure.” That’s because each cat and dog surgery and each pet is different.

“Post-op specifics will vary depending on your pet’s age and condition, as well as the exact type of surgery involved,” says Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM, an integrative veterinarian and the country’s first veterinarian to be awarded a Diplomate Certification from the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine.

In general, Osborne says, it’s common for most pets to be sleepy and a bit lethargic for the first 12-24 hours after surgery—which is why it’s important to let them rest and recover.

If you’re not sure what to expect—or even if you think you are—talking to your veterinarian can help you to figure out the right course of action.

“Many well-meaning pet owners pick up their pets after surgery and then panic because they’re not sure what to do or what to expect,” Osborne says. “It’s a good idea to ask for a written list of specific details regarding your pet’s post-op care.” Continue reading How to Care for Your Pet After Surgery

5 Signs Your Pet Is Having an Allergic Reaction

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5 Signs Your Pet Is Having an Allergic Reaction

Article by Mindy Cohan, VMD | Found on PetMD

Allergic reactions are something we have in common with our pets. Anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction often seen in people following exposure to things such as shell fish, nuts and insect stings, can also affect dogs and cats.

Both people and pets are susceptible to numerous allergens such as insect bites or stings, drugs (like medications and vaccines), foods and environmental substances (like mold, pollen, grass and house dust mites). Allergic reactions have both a multitude of causes and manifestations. It is important for pet owners to be familiar with the various symptoms of allergic reactions so that medical attention can be administered in a timely manner.

Here are five signs your pet is having an allergic reaction and how to treat them:

Itchiness

Itchiness is one of the most universal manifestations of allergies in pets. Itchiness can be either localized or generalized. Some of the common areas that are affected include the limbs, face, ears, armpits and hindquarters. Pets with allergies are often observed biting, licking or scratching at these sites, resulting in inflamed skin and hair loss. Dogs and cats suffering from severe allergies might traumatize their skin, resulting in open sores and infection. Seeking veterinary attention at the onset of itchiness is important to keep pets comfortable and prevent skin infections.

Facial Swelling

Seeing a pet with a swollen face causes both alarm and distress for owners. Puffiness can occur on the muzzle, ears and around the eyes. A change in a pet’s appearance is more dramatic and noticeable in pets with short hair coats. Areas that become swollen as a result of an allergic reaction are also often itchy, so a pet scratching or rubbing its face will also alert owners of a problem. Medical treatment fortunately provides rapid relief for pets suffering from this uncomfortable symptom.

Hives (Urticaria)

As with facial swelling, the onset of hives is more readily recognized in pets with short fur. Owners of pets with thick or long coats may not visibly notice hives, but will need to rely on their sense of touch in order to detect this symptom. Hives manifest as raised bumps throughout the skin. They may or may not be accompanied by itchiness. While they are not life-threatening, hives require urgent medical treatment for your pet’s comfort.

Gastrointestinal Problems

While most commonly associated with allergy-inducing foods, vomiting and diarrhea can result from any allergen. Protein-based foods such as beef and dairy products are more likely to cause allergies in pets than grains, and pets who become allergic to a particular food ingredient may have itchiness, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

The diagnosis of food allergies is difficult and requires a prescription diet consisting of a novel protein source (like venison, rabbit or duck) or hydrolyzed protein, which is less likely to cause inflammation within the gastrointestinaltract. Pets with non-seasonal itchiness along with vomiting or diarrhea should be evaluated for food allergies. Some pets with food allergies merely become itchy in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. Your pet’s veterinarian can discuss protocols and tests for discerning food allergies from inhalant allergies.

Vomiting and diarrhea can also result from an anaphylactic reaction. During anaphylaxis, the immune system is activated to release many chemicals. These agents have a systemic effect on many areas of the body, including the stomach and intestinal tract.

Anaphylaxis/Shock

Anaphylaxis is the most severe and serious type of allergic reaction. It can cause the body to go into shock resulting in decreased blood pressure, difficulty breathing, collapse and loss of control of the urinary bladder and bowels.

Any allergen can cause anaphylaxis in pets. One of the more common causes of anaphylaxis in dogs and cats are vaccines. Pets that receive vaccines should be monitored closely and not left unattended immediately after the injection has been administered. Following vaccination, monitor your pet for lethargy, weakness, pale gums, labored breathing and vomiting. If anaphylaxis occurs, symptoms are seen within a few minutes. If not treated promptly, anaphylaxis can be fatal.

It is important for pets to have any anaphylactic reaction documented in their medical record. In the future, vaccinations should be given with precautions such as the administration of reaction mitigating medications ahead of time and close supervision afterwards.

Treatment of Allergic Reactions

The management of allergic reactions is dependent upon the severity of symptoms. If your pet is stung by an insect, carefully remove the stinger if possible and apply ice or a cool compress to the area. Some pets may only experience pain at the site of the bite. Always monitor your pet for the development of hives, facial swelling or signs of shock and seek immediate veterinary care if problems arise.

Medications such as antihistamines and steroids are commonly used to treat allergy symptoms. Although common, over-the-counter antihistamines (e.g. Benadryl) are used in both people and pets, never administer medications to your dog or cat without consulting a veterinarian.

Pets suffering from anaphylactic reactions require immediate care. Treatments may include injectable steroids, epinephrine, intravenous fluids and antihistamines. Intubation to maintain an open airway and oxygen therapy are often necessary for pets experiencing difficulty breathing. Hospitalization and close monitoring are very important following a severe allergic reaction.

Avoidance of known allergens is the safest way to keep pets happy and healthy. Unfortunately, prevention is not always possible. If you suspect your pet is having an allergic reaction, seek veterinary care as soon as possible.


Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome 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

7 Signs That Your Cat Might Have Arthritis

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7 Signs That Your Cat Might Have Arthritis

Article Found on CatHealth.com

Arthritis isn’t just a condition suffered by people; cats can develop it, too. While it seems to be that cats are a bit more resistant to the effects of joint degeneration than dogs, older cats can still suffer from it, and it can decrease their quality of life.

Cats don’t usually cry when they’re in pain, and that can confuse some owners. Our feline companions are often stoic, and they may try to hide their pain from us, so it’s important to know how to decode their behaviors. Here, we explore some of the signs to watch for that might indicate your cat has arthritis. Continue reading 7 Signs That Your Cat Might Have Arthritis