5 Subtle Yet Visible Signs that Your Cat is Aging

5 Subtle Yet Visible Signs that Your Cat is Aging

5 Subtle Yet Visible Signs that Your Cat is Aging

By Jessica Vogelsang, DVM | Featured on PetMD

“Cats are the great pretenders.” So goes one of the common tropes of feline ownership, and in many cases it’s true. Cats are subtle creatures, not ones for making a big scene whenever they feel under the weather. But subtle or not, cats are susceptible to just as many symptoms of aging as the rest of us, particularly as they approach their senior years. The good news is astute pet owners looking for small changes can spot many signs of aging as long as they know what to look for.

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What Food is Best for a Cat with Diabetes?

What Food is Best for a Cat with Diabetes?

Article Featured on PetMD

What Food is Best for a Cat with Diabetes?

The great majority of diabetic cats have what is called Type 2 diabetes. This means that, early in the course of the disease at least, they are still producing levels of insulin that should be adequate for normal body function. The problem is that the rest of the body has become less sensitive to insulin, almost always due in large part to the hormonal effects of obesity. To have an effect on blood sugar levels, the pancreas has to crank out ever higher amounts of insulin, which eventually exhausts the pancreatic beta cells responsible for insulin production.

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7 Things You Can Do to Make Halloween Safer for Your Pet

7 Things You Can Do to Make Halloween Safer for Your Pet

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital wants to make sure your pets have a fun and safe Halloween! Here are 7 things you can do to make Halloween safer for your pets!

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What Do Cats Think About Us? You May Be Surprised

What Do Cats Think About Us

What Do Cats Think About Us? You May Be Surprised

Unlike dogs, our feline friends treat us like other cats, author says.

BY 

| Article Featured on National Geographic

Since cats first got their adorable claws into us about 9,500 years ago, humans have had a love affair with felines.

Today more than 80 million cats reside in U.S. homes, with an estimated three cats for every dog on the planet.  Yet there’s still a lot we don’t know about our feline friends—including what they think of their owners.

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Can You Give a Dog Benadryl?

specialty vet clinic, beaverton

If your dog is unlucky enough to be stung by a bee or bitten by a mosquito, of course you’ll want to ease their itching and prevent your dog from having an allergic reaction. Since Benadryl is a go-to over-the-counter medicine for people, is it safe to give a dog Benadryl? The answer is yes, but you should first consult with your vet on the proper dog Benadryl dosage, and then you’ll need to make sure that there are no other active ingredients besides diphenhydramine.

Do not give Benadryl to dogs with glaucoma, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. Benadryl can help dogs having allergic reactions to insect bites or stings and can help some dogs with motion sickness. Giving a dog Benadryl can also help with environmental allergies, but if your dog has allergies, talk to your veterinarian about prescription allergy medication that might help.

Can you give a dog Benadryl


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

What to Expect When Your Kitty Becomes a Senior Cat

What to Expect When Your Kitty Becomes a Senior Cat

What to Expect When Your Kitty Becomes a Senior Cat

By Dr. Ken Lambrecht | Featured on PetMD

My 15-year-old cat, Lance, sits next to me as I write this piece. He is special to me because he is  the oldest of my four cats and we have shared quite a bit of time together. Caring for him helps me to cross-check the guidance I give to anyone who is sharing their life with a senior cat and wants to provide them with the very best care. Owner observations and vigilance, regular veterinary exams, and wellness testing are the four cornerstones of excellent senior cat care.

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Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Pets

Original Article By Petmd

Cancer is the #1 Disease-Related Killer of Pets

Many people do not realize that cancer is not just a human condition; it affects Continue reading Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Pets

8 Surprising Facts About Puppy and Kitten Nutrition

Original Article By PetMD

Think you know all there is to know about puppy and kitten nutrition? Are you aware that puppies and kittens are more sensitive to nutritional imbalances than adults, for example? Or that excess calcium intake can cause a puppy to develop orthopedic disease?

Go past Puppy and Kitten Nutrition 101 to learn lesser-known facts about their dietary needs. Then use this knowledge to provide your newest family member with the proper start in life she needs to thrive for years to come.

1. A Balanced Diet Is Even More Important for Growing Animals Than for Adults

All animals, regardless of age, need a balanced diet to thrive, but puppies and kittens are especially sensitive to nutritional imbalances, says Dr. Jonathan Stockman, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “The requirements and the sensitivities to excess in nutrients are generally highest.”

One example is calcium, an essential dietary mineral that plays a critical role in bone development. In excess, calcium can cause a puppy to develop severe bone changes and orthopedic disease, he says. “Large and giant breed puppies are particularly sensitive to this, whereas adult dogs are able to regulate calcium absorption when the diet is high in calcium.”

 

2. Puppies Should Not Be Fed Adult Formula Food

Because they are sensitive to nutritional imbalances and their energy needs are greater, puppies should only be fed a growth formula diet, vets say.

Growth places the highest energy and nutrient demands than any other life stage on a dog or cat, apart from lactation, says Dr. Jessica Harris, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at Carolina Ranch Animal Hospital in Garner, North Carolina. “The energy needs of a puppy are two-fold: 1) support the tissues already developed and 2) provide the energy required to form new tissues.”

Puppies use about 50 percent of their consumed energy for maintenance and 50 percent for new tissue development in the early growth phase, Harris says. “As the puppy gets older, the energy needed to support growth diminishes and proportionately shifts to support maintenance. Energy is provided by protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Thus, growth diets often provide a greater percentage of protein and fat to support growth than do adult maintenance diets.” Growth diets also provide optimal amounts of calcium, phosphorus, copper, and essential fatty acids, “which have an important role in bone formation and maturation, cartilage maturation, hair color, red blood cell development, and trainability.”

3. Unchecked Growth Can Be Harmful to a Dog’s Bones

Feeding a puppy to maintain her ideal body condition versus allowing maximum growth promotes the optimal rate of bone development, says Harris, who is also a clinical nutrition instructor at the Topeka, Kansas-based Mark Morris Institute.

“The adult weight and size of the animal is not impacted by whether the growth rate is rapid or slow, however, the risk of skeletal deformities increases with the rapidity of growth.”

Determining a puppy’s body condition score (BCS) is a reliable way to determine normal growth rate. Body scoring helps you gauge if your dog is maintaining a healthy muscle mass and body fat index. It’s something you can practice at home, using your hands and visual observation.

4. Young Animals Need Multiple Feeding Times to Thrive

Animals rely on reserves for energy in between meals, says Harris. “These energy reservoirs are stored glycogen in the liver or fat depots throughout the body. Ketones produced by the breakdown of lipid or amino acids can also provide energy.  As young animals often have limited reserves and are at risk for the development of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), multiple meals offered throughout the day best averts the onset of lethargy, trembling, weakness, lack of coordination, and seizures.”

Puppies should eat at least three meals per day, and kittens younger than 6 months should be fed more often, “For example, four to six times a day,” says Dr. Donna Raditic, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist with Nutrition and Integrative Medicine Consultants based in Athens, Georgia.

This should be accompanied by close monitoring—with your veterinarian—of body weight, muscle condition score (MCS), and BCS, Raditic adds. She encourages pet parents to use a food gram scale to weigh food and monitor daily caloric intake.

Just like human weight loss programs will use food gram scales to educate us about portion size and caloric intake, weighing your puppy/kitten’s diet right from the start will help you to be sure you are feeding the correct amount,” she says. “Adjusting intake in grams is much more accurate than going from one-eighth cup to one-fourth cup.”

5. Nutritional Needs Differ by Breed Size

There are a few key differences in the nutrient needs of large breed puppies as compared to small- to medium sized breeds, says Harris. Most of these focus on reducing the risk of developing orthopedic disease.

“Although the development of musculoskeletal disorders is multi-factorial and a complicated disease process, it has been correlated nutritionally with calcium, phosphorus, the calcium-phosphorus ratio, vitamin D, and energy intake,” she explains. “Large breed growth diets contain a little less than 1 percent calcium and more than adequately meet the growing large breed puppies’ calcium requirement. Small- to medium-sized breeds are less sensitive to slightly overfeeding or underfeeding calcium, and as a result, the level of calcium in foods for these puppies have a broader margin of safety.”

6. A Gruel Formula Can Help Ease the Weaning Process

Providing your companion with porridge-like formula during weaning—which starts when an animal is about 3 to 4 weeks old and is marked by the eruption of baby teeth and an interest in solid food—can help ease the process, Harris says.

“It has been largely successful to introduce a gruel made by blending a canned growth food with a canine/feline liquid milk replacer in a 1:1 ratio,” she says. “Alternatively, one part dry commercial food can be ground in a food processor and mixed with three parts of canine/feline liquid milk replacer.”

She says the young animal should always have access to the formula, and that it should be replaced three to four times a day. It will spoil and promote bacterial growth if left out at room temperature for prolonged periods.

It’s during playtime that a young animal typically encounters the gruel, then will progressively consume small amounts. “As the young animal’s interest increases, the liquid portion of the mixture can be gradually reduced until they are consuming only the canned or dry commercial growth diet, usually between 6 and 9 weeks of age,” Harris says. “This transition is a delicate balance between the mother, the young, and the owners and requires close monitoring and patience.”

Not all brands of milk replacer are equal, however. “Care should be taken when selecting the milk replacer, as not all brands meet the minimum nutrient requirements for growth per American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for all labeled species.”

7. Feeding Methods are Not One-Size-Fits-All

Pet parents have three options for feeding growing puppies and kittens: Free choice, which makes the food available 24/7 (like an all-day buffet); time-limited, where food is out for a set period of time; and amount-limited, where portions are pre-determined.

“Each have their own benefits and drawbacks and what is right for one animal may not be the best option for another,” Harris says. “Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the [owner] have a discussion with their veterinarian about the best feeding option for their growing pet.”

Size and breed are factors that can impact that decision. For example, “free-feeding puppies can be problematic for the large, giant breeds,” says Raditic, who also co-founded the Companion Animal Nutrition & Wellness Institute.

“If rapid growth is induced, this may drive the genetics of these breeds at risk for developmental orthopedic disease (for example, hip or elbow dysplasia),”she says. “For small and medium breeds, it can be problematic increasing body fat—for these breeds are at risk for obesity and to be overweight.”

8. Working with Your Companion’s Natural Behavior Can Provide Additional Health Benefits

Working with an animal’s instincts can promote health and well-being. “Simulating normal feeding behavior will increase activity, reduce boredom, help with weight management and prevent obesity, and strengthen the bond between cat and owner,” says Dr. Amy Learn, a veterinarian at Cary Street Veterinary Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.

Cats are innate hunters, so work to add enrichment to their feeding regimen. “For example, using feeding toys or embracing a cat’s three-dimensional world,” Raditic says.

Dogs evolved as hunters, as well as scavengers. “These activities were a substantial part of their daily time budget and are not currently utilized when we hand them a bowl of food,” Raditic says. You can still honor a dog’s natural behavior, however, by allowing her to work for her food “with puzzle toys or programs like ‘learn to earn,’ which have been shown to provide mental stimulation,” explains Learn.

The more we understand about a young puppy or kitten’s dietary needs, the better care we’re able to provide. Early nutrition deeply impacts puppies and kittens and sets the stage for longevity and quality of life, Raditic says. “Every pet parent needs to understand and own this preventative care for their furry companion.”


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

How to Select a Kitten That's Right for You

Original Article By Vetstreet.com

Adopting a new kitten can seem like a daunting responsibility, especially if it’s your first. This guide will help you determine exactly which kitty will be a good match for your lifestyle. Continue reading How to Select a Kitten That’s Right for You

Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says

Original Article By PetMD

A UK-based study found that dogs may be become anxious or depressed when their owners use their smartphones excessively. Unsurprisingly, the study also found Continue reading Your Smartphone Is Making Your Dog Depressed, Study Says