Parkway Animal Hospital https://pkwyanimalhospital.com QUALITY VETERINARY SERVICE AT A REASONABLE PRICE Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:27:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Holiday Toxins for Pets https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/holiday-toxins-for-pets/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/holiday-toxins-for-pets/#respond Fri, 30 Nov 2018 19:26:34 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=224105 The post Holiday Toxins for Pets appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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While the holidays bring more challenges to the already difficult winter months, we can’t forget about indoor and outdoor toxins frequently seen at this time of year.  Keeping your pets healthy and safe will help keep the holidays stress free.

Are poinsettias as toxic to pets as many people think?

While poinsettias may cause gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, no significant toxicity is typically seen.  Dogs and cats may have a lack of appetite or stomach upset for 1-2 days after eating the leaves of a poinsettia, but fortunately, this often resolves without any medical intervention. However, if your pet is not feeling well for more than 1-2 days, it’s recommended that you bring them to your veterinarian.

Are there other holiday plants that may be harmful to pets?

Many holiday arrangements contain lilies (Lillium species), holly, or mistletoe.  Bouquets brought into the house by holiday guests should be thoroughly inspected, as lilies are one of the most common flowers used by florists. Just one or two bites from a lily can result in severe acute kidney failure in cats – even the pollen and the water that the plant is in are thought to be poisonous.

Holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets. When Christmas or English holly is ingested, it can result in severe gastrointestinal upset, thanks to the spiny leaves and potentially toxic substances found in the plant (including saponins, methylxanthines, and cyanogens). If ingested, most pets smack their lips, drool, and head shake excessively due to injury from the spiny leaves.

“Holly berries and mistletoe
can also be toxic to pets.”

As for mistletoe, most of us hang it high enough that it’s out of reach of our pets. Nevertheless, it can also be toxic if ingested. Thankfully, American mistletoe is less toxic than the European varieties. Mild signs of gastrointestinal irritation may be seen, although if ingested in large amounts, collapse, hypotension (low blood pressure), ataxia (difficulty walking), seizures, and even death have also been reported.

My pet loves to play with the Christmas decorations. Is this safe?

While it is hard to resist the temptation of sparkling lights and glittering tinsel, these items can be very hazardous to pets. If your pet ingests tinsel, it can become lodged in the intestinal tract and cause a linear foreign body to develop.  Correction for this includes costly surgery and, in severe cases, serious complications can arise.  Many animals enjoy chewing on electrical cords from tree lights, or biting the lights themselves.  This can result in electrical burns to the mouth and tongue and other complications from electrocution.  Your homemade ornaments can also pose a risk. Homemade ornament dough is high in salt, which may cause electrolyte abnormalities and seizures. Hang these decorations high on the tree or pets may think they’re meant for them!

What are the dangers of potpourri to pets?

If you typically heat your scented oils in a simmer pot, know that they can cause serious harm to your cat. Even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Dogs aren’t as sensitive, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry, so scent your home with a non-toxic candle kept safely out of kitty’s reach.

Dry potpourri may also cause chemical burns in the mouth, potential foreign bodies, and gastrointestinal upset, depending on the size of animal and amount ingested.  While candles are often scented with oils, the largest concern with ingestion is a foreign body and potential obstruction.  In addition to an upset stomach, surgical removal of the candle may be necessary in severe cases.

What foods are most problematic to my pet this time of year?

With the holiday season comes a delightful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it’s not wise, and in some cases, quite dangerous, to share these treats with your pets. Foods that can present problems include:

  • Foods containing grapes, raisins, and currants (such as fruit cakes, breads, and cookies) can result in kidney failure in dogs.
  • Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine and highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
  • Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a natural sweetener which is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.
  • Leftover fatty, meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), leading to abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.

Is ice melt safe to use in the same area that pets are around outside?

Ice melt is commonly used around entryways and sidewalks.  For convenience, containers that are filled with ice melt granules are often left within a pet’s reach.  There are numerous formulations available and small exposures typically lead to stomach upset and possibly dermal and paw pad irritation. Many of these products are salt (sodium) based. If ingested in large amounts, electrolyte abnormalities may occur which can result in seizures and brain damage.  If your pet has consumed any amount of ice melt, it’s important to call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian immediately.

What type of problems can occur if pets ingest antifreeze?

While antifreeze is around all year, exposure to this fatal chemical is more prevalent in the winter months, and it is important to make sure your pet isn’t ingesting any radiator coolant. Antifreeze can be found in numerous sources. In many regions with cabins that are not used frequently during the winter, it is common for people to place antifreeze into their cabin’s toilet to prevent it from freezing during the winter.  We see numerous poisoning cases at Pet Poison Helpline from dogs running into cabins and drinking out of the toilet.

“We see numerous poisoning cases
from dogs running into cabins
and drinking out of the toilet.”

Finally, there are rumors of small amounts of antifreeze in holiday decorations, such as imported snow globes. Recently, some were suspected to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol) in the liquid. If a snow globe falls off the table and cracks open, and your pet then licks up the contents of the snow globe, there is the risk of antifreeze poisoning. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze when ingested by a cat or a tablespoon or two for a dog, depending on their size, can be fatal.

Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy. While signs may seem to improve after eight to twelve hours, internal damage is actually worsening, and crystals develop in the kidneys resulting in acute kidney failure. Immediate treatment with an antidote (fomepizole or ethanol) is vital. Because the antidote only works if given within the first 3 hours for cats and 8-12 hours for dogs, it’s imperative that you seek veterinary care immediately for blood testing for antifreeze poisoning (including an ethylene glycol test and venous blood gas test).

About Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, MN, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff provides treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $59 (USD) per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com. Pet Poison Helpline is not directly affiliated with LifeLearn.

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Diabetes Mellitus in Cats – Overview https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/diabetes-mellitus-in-cats-overview/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/diabetes-mellitus-in-cats-overview/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 16:37:49 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=224080 The post Diabetes Mellitus in Cats – Overview appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas, a small organ located near the stomach. The pancreas has two different types of cells that have very different functions. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The other group, called beta cells, produces the hormone insulin, which regulates the level of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream and controls the delivery of glucose to the tissues of the body. In simple terms, diabetes mellitus is caused by the failure of the pancreas to regulate blood sugar.

The clinical signs of diabetes mellitus are related to elevated concentrations of blood glucose and the inability of the body to use glucose as an energy source.

What are the clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in cats?

The four main symptoms of diabetes mellitus are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Because of the nature of cats, these signs may go unnoticed, especially in the early stages of disease or if a cat spends a lot of time outdoors. Cats that are fed canned or semi-moist diets receive much of their water intake from their food, and increased water intake will be harder to recognize.

Are there different types of diabetes mellitus in cats?

Diabetes mellitus is usually classified into 2 types of disease:

Type I diabetes mellitus results from total or near-complete destruction of the beta cells. This appears to be a rare type of diabetes in the cat.

Type II diabetes mellitus is different because some insulin-producing cells remain, but the amount of insulin produced is insufficient, there is a delayed response in secreting it, or the tissues of the cat’s body are relatively insulin-resistant. Obesity is a predisposing factor in type II diabetes, which appears to be the most common type of diabetes in the cat.

How common is diabetes mellitus in the cat?

Obese cat with diabetes

Obese cat with diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is the second most common endocrine disease in cats. It is seen more frequently in middle-aged to senior cats and is more common in males than females. While the exact incidence is unknown, the number of diabetic cats is increasing at an alarming rate due to the tremendous increase in the number of overweight and obese cats. It is important to note that a cat three pounds over its ideal weight is considered obese, and that means the average domestic cat weighing 13 pounds or more is at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

How is diabetes mellitus diagnosed?

Diabetes mellitus is diagnosed by the presence of the typical clinical signs (excess thirst, excess urination, excess appetite, and weight loss), a persistently high level of glucose in the blood, and the presence of glucose in the urine.

The normal level of glucose in the blood is 80-120 mg/dl (4.4-6.6 mmol/L). It may rise to 250-300 mg/dl (13.6-16.5 mmol/L) following a large or high-calorie meal. However, diabetes is the only common disease that will cause the blood glucose level to rise above 400 mg/dl (22 mmol/L). Some diabetic cats will have a glucose level as high as 700-800 mg/dl (44 mmol/L), although most will be in the range of 400-600 mg/dl (22-33 mmol/L)

Urine test for cats

Diabetes in cats

To conserve glucose within the body, the kidneys do not filter glucose out of the blood stream into the urine until an excessive level is reached. This means that cats with normal blood glucose levels will not have glucose in the urine. Diabetic cats, however, have excessive amounts of glucose in the blood, so it spills into the urine. Once blood glucose reaches 180 mg/dl or more, the excess is removed by the kidneys and enters the urine. This is why cats and people with diabetes mellitus have sugar in their urine (glucosuria).

Definitive confirmation of feline diabetes mellitus may require a specialized test called a serum fructosamine test.

How is diabetes mellitus treated in cats?

Diabetes mellitus is a treatable condition. Although long-term treatment requires commitment and dedication, it can be rewarding to manage this condition successfully in a beloved cat.

Initial steps in treating a diabetic cat include removing potential predisposing causes for the diabetes. For example, some medications predispose cats to develop diabetes, and withdrawal of these drugs may lead to resolution of the condition. Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes in cats, so weight normalization may actually lead to resolution of diabetes in some cats.

“All cats with diabetes mellitus benefit
from being fed a well-balanced diet.”

All cats with diabetes mellitus benefit from being fed a well-balanced diet, and your veterinarian is the best source for guidance about which nutrient profile will best benefit your cat. Many cats with diabetes mellitus benefit from a diet that is high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates because a relatively low carbohydrate diet decreases the amount of glucose absorbed from the intestinal tract and lowers the requirement for insulin. Unfortunately, while nutrition is a critical element of diabetes management success in cats, it is generally not as easy as making a simple nutritional choice.

Most cats require regular insulin injections to control the diabetes mellitus, at least initially. Your cat may require several hospital visits until an appropriate insulin dosage is determined. New technology has allowed the adoption of home glucose monitoring with the use of a simple device. Additional home monitoring can involve the evaluation of urine for the presence of glucose, although this is not a very sensitive way to monitor glucose levels. Most cats will achieve initial stabilization within a few days to a few weeks, and will require once or twice daily injection of a small dose of insulin. Very small needles are available which cause no pain to the cat, and within a short time the procedure becomes routine. Your veterinarian will determine the appropriate administration times, dosages and type of insulin that your cat requires.

Do treated cats need to be monitored?

Yes, it is important to monitor treatment of diabetes mellitus to be sure the cat is doing well. Home monitoring of blood glucose is becoming more popular and more common, although part of treatment monitoring will involve periodic blood samples collected by your veterinarian.

To assist in the care of your cat, it is particularly valuable to keep accurate records of the following information:

Daily record:

  • time of insulin injection
  • amount of insulin injected
  • amount and time of food fed and eaten, and at what time
  • amount of water drunk

Weekly record:

  • weight of the cat

“You should never change the dose of
insulin without first discussing
it with your veterinarian.”

In addition, it may be valuable to monitor the quantity of glucose passed in the urine as a guide to the effectiveness of the treatment. Glucose levels are best measured on urine that is passed during the night or first thing in the morning.

To collect cat urine, it is usually easiest to replace the normal cat litter with specially designed urine collecting pellets or with clean and washed aquarium gravel overnight. These materials will not soak up any urine, which can then be collected into a clean container for testing. Your veterinarian may provide you with test strips to dip into the urine and measure the sugar level. If there is a marked change in the amount of glucose in the urine or in blood glucose levels, this may indicate the need to modify the insulin dose, but you should never change the dose of insulin without first discussing it with your veterinarian. Changes in insulin doses are usually based on trends in blood and urine glucose levels, as there is normally some day-to-day variation.

What happens if my cat receives too much insulin?

If a cat receives too much insulin, it is possible for the blood sugar level to drop dangerously low. For this reason, it is important to be very careful to ensure the cat receives the correct dose of insulin.

“If a cat receives too much insulin,
it is possible for the blood sugar
level to drop dangerously low.”

Clinical signs displayed by a cat with a very low blood sugar level include weakness and lethargy, shaking, unsteadiness and even convulsions. If a diabetic cat shows any of these signs it is important to take a blood glucose reading if you have a home monitoring device, and seek immediate veterinary attention. In mild cases of hypoglycemia, you may observe “wobbling” or a “drunken” walk, or the cat may seem sedated when you call or pet them. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a medical emergency! Your veterinarian can advise you about specific emergency treatment of low blood sugar in your cat that you can deliver at home until the cat can be seen by a veterinarian.

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Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs – Overview https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/diabetes-mellitus-in-dogs-overview/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/diabetes-mellitus-in-dogs-overview/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 15:50:55 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=224076 The post Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs – Overview appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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This handout provides general information about diabetes mellitus in dogs. For information about its treatment, see the fact sheets “Diabetes Mellitus – Principles of Treatment in Dogs” and “Diabetes Mellitus – Insulin Treatment in Dogs”.

What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes in dogs

Picture of a healthy pancreas in a dogs

Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas, a small but vital organ located near the stomach. The pancreas has two significant types of cells. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The other group, called beta cells, produces the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates the level of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream and controls the delivery of glucose to the tissues of the body. In simple terms, diabetes mellitus is caused by the failure of the pancreas to regulate blood sugar.

The clinical signs of diabetes mellitus are related to elevated concentrations of blood glucose and the inability of the body to use glucose as an energy source.

What are the clinical signs of diabetes and why do they occur?

The four main symptoms of uncomplicated diabetes mellitus are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite.

Glucose is a vital substance that provides much of the energy needed by cells, but it must first be absorbed by the cells. Insulin attaches to receptors on the surface of cells and opens “pores” in the cell wall that allow glucose molecules to leave the bloodstream and enter the cell’s interior. Without an adequate amount of insulin to “open the door,” glucose is unable to get into the cells, so it accumulates in the blood, setting in motion a series of events that result in diabetes mellitus.

“When there isn’t enough insulin,
the cells of the body become starved
for their promary source of energy – glucose.”

When there isn’t enough insulin, the cells of the body become starved for their primary source of energy – glucose. In response to this apparent starvation, the body starts breaking down stores of fat and protein for energy, causing weight loss. The apparent starvation stimulates hunger and the dog eats more, resulting in weight loss in a dog with a ravenous appetite. The body tries to eliminate the excess glucose by excreting it in the urine. Since glucose attracts water, it promotes loss of bodily fluids into the urine, resulting in the production of a large amount of urine. To avoid dehydration, the dog drinks more and more water.

Some people with diabetes take insulin by injection, and others take oral medication. Is this true for dogs?

In humans, there are two types of diabetes mellitus. In both types there is a failure to regulate blood sugar, but the basic mechanisms of disease differ between the two.

Type I diabetes mellitus (sometimes also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) results from total or near-complete destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. As the name implies, dogs with this type of diabetes require insulin injections to stabilize blood sugar.

In type II diabetes mellitus (sometimes called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), some insulin-producing cells remain, but the amount of insulin produced is insufficient, there is a delayed response in secreting it, or the tissues of the dog’s body are relatively insulin resistant. Type II diabetes may occur in older obese dogs. People with this form can often be treated with an oral drug that stimulates the remaining functional cells to produce or release insulin in an adequate amount to normalize blood sugar. Unfortunately, dogs do not respond well to these oral medications and usually need some insulin to control their disease.

How is diabetes mellitus diagnosed?

Diabetes mellitus is diagnosed by the presence of the typical clinical signs (excess thirst, excess urination, excess appetite, and weight loss), a persistently high level of glucose in the blood, and the presence of glucose in the urine.

The normal level of glucose in the blood is 80-120 mg/dl (4.4-6.6 mmol/L). It may rise to 250-300 mg/dl (13.6-16.5 mmol/L) following a large or high-calorie meal, but diabetes is the only common disease that will cause the blood glucose level to rise above 400 mg/dl (22 mmol/L). Some diabetic dogs will have a glucose level as high as 700-800 mg/dl (44 mmol/L), although most will be in the range of 400-600 mg/dl (22-33 mmol/L).

To conserve glucose within the body, the kidneys do not filter glucose out of the blood stream into the urine until an excessive level is reached. This means that dogs with normal blood glucose levels will not have glucose in the urine. Diabetic dogs, however, have excessive amounts of glucose in the blood, so it spills into the urine. Once blood glucose reaches 180 mg/dl, the excess is removed by the kidneys and enters the urine. This is why dogs and people with diabetes mellitus have sugar in their urine (glucosuria) when their insulin levels are low.

How is diabetes mellitus treated in dogs? Is treatment expensive?

Dogs with diabetes mellitus generally require two insulin injections each day, and nutrition is an important component of disease management. In general, they must be fed the same food in the same amount on the same schedule every day. Although a dog can go a day or so without insulin without a crisis, this should not be a regular occurrence. Treatment must be looked upon as part of the dog’s daily routine. This means that you, as the dog’s owner, must make both a financial and personal commitment to treat your dog. If you must be out of town or go on vacation, your dog must receive proper treatment while you are away. Once your dog is well regulated, the treatment and maintenance costs are reasonable. The special diet, insulin, and syringes are not overly expensive, but the financial commitment may be significant during the initial regulation process or if complications arise.

“Dogs with diabetes mellitus require
daily insulin injections and dietary change.”

Initially, your dog may be hospitalized for a few days to deal with any immediate crisis and to begin insulin regulation. One example of an “immediate crisis” is a dog that is so sick it has quit eating and drinking for several days. Dogs in this state, called diabetic ketoacidosis, may require several days of hospitalization with intensive care. Otherwise, the initial hospitalization may be only for a day or two while the dog’s initial response to insulin injections is evaluated. At that point, your dog returns home for you to administer medication. During the initial phase of insulin therapy, regular return visits are required to monitor progress. New technology has allowed the adoption of home glucose monitoring with the use of a simple device. Additional home monitoring can involve the evaluation of urine for the presence of glucose, although this is not a very sensitive way to monitor glucose levels. It may take a month or more to achieve good insulin regulation.

The financial commitment may again be significant if complications arise. Your veterinarian will work with you to try to achieve consistent diabetes regulation, but some dogs are difficult to regulate. It is important to pay close attention to all instructions related to administering medication, nutrition, and home monitoring. One serious complication that can arise is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can be fatal. This may occur due to inconsistencies in treatment.

What is the prognosis for a dog with diabetes mellitus?

Once canine diabetes mellitus is properly regulated, the dog’s prognosis is good as long as treatment and monitoring are consistent. Most dogs with controlled diabetes live a good quality of life with few symptoms of disease.

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Instructions for Ear Cleaning in Cats https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/instructions-for-ear-cleaning-in-cats/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/instructions-for-ear-cleaning-in-cats/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 18:26:28 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=224030 The post Instructions for Ear Cleaning in Cats appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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Ear cleaning is not usually necessary in cats. Most cats are fine without it, but for those who are prone to wax build-up and/or ear infections, ear cleaning is a very important part of your cat’s hygiene needs. Cleaning your dog’s ears does not require any special equipment. Your veterinarian can help you decide how often your dog’s ears should be cleaned.

Ear cleaning is not usually necessary in cats. Most cats are fine without it, but for those who are prone to wax build-up and/or ear infections, ear cleaning is a very important part of your cat’s hygiene needs.

Why is it important?

The structure of the cat’s ear canal makes it very difficult for material trapped deep within the horizontal canal to be expelled without the assistance of cleanings. This material can lead to itchiness and ear infections if not removed.

Do I need to use an ear cleaner?

It is highly recommended to use a good quality ear cleaner. Cleaners with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol can cause irritation within the ear canal, especially if the canal is inflamed or ulcerated. Some ear cleaners have antibacterial or antifungal ingredients to help prevent ear infections. Certain cleaners are better at removing wax build-up. Your veterinarian can help you decide which ear cleaning solution is best for your pet.

What do I need to clean my cat’s ears?

Cleaning your cat’s ears does not require any special equipment. A good quality ear cleaning solution, some cotton balls or gauze, and some treats to reward your cat are all that is needed.

DO NOT use cotton tip applicators (Q-tips) due to the risk of perforating the ear drum or causing trauma to the ear canal. In addition, the use of cotton tip applicators can push debris further into the canal.

Do all cats need to have their ears cleaned?

No. While it is important to clean your cat’s ears when needed, over-cleaning may cause irritation in the ear canal and this can lead to infection. Most cats have healthy, clean ears and never need to have their ears cleaned.

However, it is recommended to clean your cat’s ears if you notice discharge or an odor when examining the ear. Your veterinarian can help you decide how often your cat’s ears should be cleaned.

If your cat’s ears are red, inflamed, and painful, consult with your veterinarian prior to cleaning. Your cat may have an ear infection or a ruptured ear drum.

Step-by-Step Guide for Ear Cleaning

  1. Sitting in a comfortable position, hold your cat in your lap. Wrapping or swaddling your cat in a towel may help keep her calm if she is resistant to having her ears cleaned.
  2. Grasp the tip of the ear flap (pinna) pulling back slightly to expose the ear canal and to help straighten the ear canal out.
  3. While holding your cat’s ear flap, gently but firmly with one hand, hold the ear cleaning solution in your other hand.
  4. Squeeze some ear cleaning solution into your cat’s ear. Use enough cleaner to completely fill the ear canal. It is fine if some of the cleaner spills out of the canal. DO NOT put the tip of the bottle into the ear. If the tip of the bottle touches your cat’s ear, wipe the tip off with a clean cotton ball soaked in alcohol to prevent the spread of bacteria or yeast.
  5. Continue to hold the ear flap with one hand and gently massage the base of the ear below the ear opening for about 30 seconds with the other hand. This allows the cleaning solution to break up the debris that is in the ear canal. You should hear a ‘squishing’ sound as the cleaning solution moves around in the horizontal part of the canal.
  6. While still holding the ear flap, wipe away debris from the inner part of the ear flap and the upper ear canal using a cotton ball or gauze.
  7. Allow your cat to shake her head. This allows the remaining ear cleaning solution and debris from the ear canal to move out of the canal to the outer opening of the ear.
  8. Once again, hold the ear flap, and remove the loosened debris and cleaning solution from the outer opening of the ear canal using a cotton ball or gauze.
  9.  Remove any debris and remaining cleaning solution from the ear canal with a cotton ball or gauze – only go into the canal as far as your finger will reach.
  10. NEVER use a cotton-tipped applicator (Q-tip) to remove the solution from the ear canal. Doing so can damage the ear canal and/or ear drum or push debris further into the canal.
  11. Provide treats to your cat.
  12. Repeat the same process with the other ear.
  13. If your cat appears to be in pain during the cleaning process, stop and consult your veterinarian.
  14. Repeat the cleaning procedure as often as is recommended by your veterinarian.

If your cat has an ear infection and requires medication to be applied to the ears, clean the ears first and then apply the medication.

Step-by-Step Guide for Medication Application

  1. Medication can be applied immediately after cleaning your cat’s ears. Your veterinarian will provide further information about how often the medication is to be applied and how many drops are needed.
  2. Grasp the tip of the ear flap pulling back slightly to expose the ear canal and help straighten the ear canal out.
  3. Administer the number of drops of medication that your veterinarian has prescribed.
  4. DO NOT put the tip of the bottle into the ear. If the tip of the bottle touches your cat’s ear, wipe the tip off with a clean cotton ball soaked in alcohol to prevent the spread of bacteria or yeast.
  5. Continue to hold the ear flap, and gently massage the base of the ear below the ear opening for about 30 seconds. This allows the medication to coat the entire ear canal. You should again hear a ‘squishing’ sound in the ear as the medication coats the horizontal part of the canal.
  6. If the inner part of the ear flap is involved with the infection, place the prescribed amount of medication on the infected part of the ear flap. Spread the medication around with your finger (preferably covered with a glove).
  7. Repeat this process with the other ear, as needed.
  8. If debris or medication accumulates on the flap part of the ear, it can be wiped away with a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaning solution.

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Instructions for Ear Cleaning in Dogs https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/instructions-for-ear-cleaning-in-dogs/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/instructions-for-ear-cleaning-in-dogs/#respond Thu, 20 Sep 2018 18:18:32 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=224027 The post Instructions for Ear Cleaning in Dogs appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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Ear cleaning is a very important part of your dog’s grooming needs. Some dogs need more frequent ear cleaning than others. Dogs who are prone to ear infections often benefit from more frequent ear cleanings. Cleaning your dog’s ears does not require any special equipment. Your veterinarian can help you decide how often your dog’s ears should be cleaned.

Ear cleaning is a very important part of your dog’s grooming needs. Some dogs need more frequent ear cleaning than others. Dogs who are prone to ear infections often benefit from more frequent ear cleanings.

Why is it important?

dog ear canal

dog ear canal

The structure of the dog’s ear canal makes it very difficult for material trapped deep within the horizontal canal to be expelled without the assistance of cleanings. This material can lead to itchiness and ear infections if not removed.

Do I need to use an ear cleaner?

It is highly recommended to use a good quality ear cleaner. Cleaners with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol can cause irritation within the ear canal, especially if the canal is inflamed or ulcerated. Some ear cleaners have antibacterial or antifungal ingredients to help prevent ear infections. Certain cleaners are also better at removing wax build-up. Your veterinarian can help you decide which ear cleaning solution is best for your pet.

What do I need to clean my dog’s ears?

Cleaning your dog’s ears does not require any special equipment. A good quality ear cleaning solution, some cotton balls or gauze, and some treats to reward your dog are all that is needed.

DO NOT use cotton tip applicators (Q-tips) due to the risk of perforating the ear drum or causing trauma to the ear canal. In addition, the use of cotton tip applicators can push debris further into the ear canal.

Do all dogs need to have their ears cleaned?

No. While it is important to clean your dog’s ears when needed, over-cleaning may cause irritation in the ear canal and this can lead to infection. Some dogs that have healthy, clean ears may never need to have their ears cleaned.

However, it is recommended to clean your dog’s ears if you notice discharge or an odor when examining the ear. Your veterinarian can help you decide how often your dog’s ears should be cleaned.

If your dog’s ears are red, inflamed, and painful, consult with your veterinarian prior to cleaning. Your dog may have an ear infection or a ruptured ear drum.

Step-by-Step Guide for Ear Cleaning

  1. Sitting on the floor, have your dog sit in front of you with his rear end positioned between your legs. If you have a large breed dog, position him so he is sitting with his rear end in the corner of a room, with his one side against the wall. Stand on his other side.
  2. Grasp one ear and hold the ear flap (pinna) up vertically to expose the ear canal and help straighten out the ear canal.
  3. While holding your dog’s ear flap, gently but firmly with one hand, hold the ear cleaning solution in your other hand.
  4. Squeeze some ear cleaning solution into your dog’s ear. Use enough cleaner to completely fill the ear canal. It is fine if some of the cleaner spills out of the ear canal. DO NOT put the tip of the bottle into the ear. If the tip of the bottle touches your dog’s ear, wipe the tip off with a clean cotton ball soaked in alcohol to prevent the spread of bacteria or yeast.
  5. Continue to hold the ear flap up vertically with one hand and gently massage the base of the ear below the ear opening for about 30 seconds with the other hand. This allows the cleaning solution to break up the debris that is in the ear canal. You should hear a ‘squishing’ sound as the cleaning solution moves around in the horizontal part of the ear canal.
  6. While still holding the ear flap up, wipe away debris from the inner part of the ear flap and the upper ear canal using a cotton ball or gauze.
  7. Allow your dog to shake his head. This allows the remaining ear cleaning solution and debris from the ear canal to move out of the canal to the outer opening of the ear.
  8. Once again, hold the ear flap up, and remove the loosened debris and cleaning solution from the outer opening of the ear canal using a cotton ball or gauze.
  9.  Remove any debris and remaining cleaning solution from the ear canal with a cotton ball or gauze – only go into the ear canal as far as your finger will reach.
  10. NEVER use a cotton-tipped applicator (Q-tip) to remove the solution from the ear canal. Doing so can damage the ear canal and/or ear drum or push debris further into the ear canal.
  11. Provide treats to your dog.
  12. Repeat the same process with the other ear.
  13. If your dog appears to be in pain during the cleaning process, stop and consult your veterinarian.
  14. Repeat the cleaning procedure as often as is recommended by your veterinarian.

If your dog has an ear infection and requires medication to be applied to the ears, clean the ears first and then apply the medication.

Step-by-Step Guide for Medication Application

  1. Medication can be applied immediately after cleaning your dog’s ears. Your veterinarian will provide further information about how often the medication is to be applied and how many drops are needed.
  2. Gently but firmly, grasp the tip of the ear and pull the ear flap straight up to expose the ear canal and help straighten out the ear canal.
  3. Administer the number of drops of medication that your veterinarian has prescribed.
  4. DO NOT put the tip of the bottle into the ear. If the tip of the bottle touches your dog’s ear, wipe the tip off with a clean cotton ball soaked in alcohol to prevent the spread of bacteria or yeast.
  5. Continue to hold the ear flap up vertically and gently massage the base of the ear below the ear opening for about 30 seconds. This allows the medication to coat the entire ear canal. You should again hear a ‘squishing’ sound in the ear as the medication coats the horizontal part of the ear canal.
  6. If the inner part of the ear flap is involved with the infection, place the prescribed amount of medication on the infected part of the ear flap. Spread the medication around with your finger (preferably covered with a glove).
  7. Repeat this process with the other ear, as needed.
  8. If debris or medication accumulates on the flap part of the ear, it can be wiped away with a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaning solution.

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Cat Behavior Problems – Marking and Spraying Behavior https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/behavior-problems-in-cats-spraying-and-marking-behavior/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/behavior-problems-in-cats-spraying-and-marking-behavior/#respond Sun, 16 Sep 2018 00:47:17 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=223986 The post Cat Behavior Problems – Marking and Spraying Behavior appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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What is spraying?

Spraying is the deposition of small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces. In most cases, the spraying cat will back into the area, the tail may quiver, and with little or no crouching, will urinate. Although much less common, some cats will also mark their territory by leaving small amounts of urine, or occasionally stool, on horizontal surfaces.

Why do cats “mark” with urine?

Cats mark the locations where they live or where they visit in many ways. Cats will mark with scent glands on their feet, cheeks, face, and tail as well as with urine. Cheek rubbing (bunting) and scratching (with both the odor from the glands in the footpads and the visual mark) are both forms of marking. By depositing an odor, the cat communicates to other animals that it was there long after it has gone. Cats will mark their territory to signal “ownership” and to advertise sexual receptivity and availability. Marking can occur due to the presence of other cats in the vicinity, either outdoors or among cats that live in the same household. Cats will also mark their territory when they feel threatened or stressed. This can occur with a change in household routine, compositions, living arrangements, new living locations and other environmental and social changes. In these cases, the cat may mark new objects brought into the household or the possessions of family members, especially those with which there is the greatest source of conflict or insecurity. Because marking is a method of delineating territory, urine is often found in prominent locations or at entry and exit points to the outdoors such as doors and windows and around the periphery. When outdoors, cats tend to mark around the periphery of their property, on prominent objects on the property, on new objects (e.g., a new tree) introduced into the property, and in locations where other cats have marked.

Which cats are more likely to urine mark?

Both male and female cats can mark with urine. Urine marking is most common in intact (non-neutered) male cats. When an intact male sprays urine, it will have the characteristic “tom cat” odor that is strong and pungent. Castration or neutering will change the odor, and may reduce the cat’s motivation for spraying, but approximately 10% of neutered males and 5% of spayed females will continue to spray. While cats in multiple cat households are often involved in spraying behaviors, cats that are housed singly may spray as well.

“Neutering will decrease the odor of tomcat urine.”

I am finding small amounts of urine in multiple locations. What does that mean?

Some cats will mark their territory with small amounts of urine (and on rare occasions, stool) in various locations. These locations can be similar to those for spraying (i.e., near doors, windows, new possessions in the home or favored locations), but may occasionally be found on owner’s clothing or other favored possessions.

However, small amounts of urine deposited outside of the litter box is more commonly due to either a disease of the lower urinary tract or litter box avoidance, which could have many causes. Similarly stool found outside of the litter box can be due to a multitude of medical causes including colitis, constipation and any other condition leading to difficult, more frequent or uncomfortable elimination. As with any other elimination problem, a complete physical examination and laboratory tests are necessary to rule out each physical cause.

marking in cats

How do I treat a spraying or marking problem?

As with all behavior problems, the history will help determine treatment options. The location of the urine marking, the frequency, duration and number of locations are important. The number of cats both inside and outside of the home should be determined. Changes in environment, social patterns of humans and animals, and additions (people, pets, furniture, renovations) to the home should also be examined.

“The location of the urine marking, the frequency, duration, and number of locations are important.”

If the cat is not already neutered, and is not a potential breeder, castration is recommended. A urinalysis should be performed to rule out medical problems. The location of the urine spots should be determined. Is the urine found on walls, 6 to 8 inches up from the floor, or are the small urine spots found in multiple locations?

Treatment is aimed at decreasing the motivation for spraying. It has been shown that spraying may be reduced in some cases by reviewing and improving litter box hygiene. Ideally, the minimum number of litter boxes should equal the number of cats plus one, the litter should be cleaned daily and changed at least once a week, and proper odor neutralizing products should be used on any sprayed sites. In addition any factors that might be causing the cat to avoid the use of its litter should be considered.

If marking appears to be stimulated by cats outside of the home, then the best options are to find a way to deter the cats from coming onto the property or prevent the indoor cat from seeing, smelling, or hearing these cats for remote control devices and booby traps that can be used to deter outdoor cats and to keep indoor cats away from the areas where they are tempted to mark. It may be helpful to house your cat in a room away from windows and doors to the outdoors, or it may be possible to block visual access to windows. When you are home and supervising you can allow your cat limited access to these areas. It also may be necessary to keep windows closed to prevent the inside cat from smelling the cats outside, and to use odor neutralizers on any areas where the outdoor cats have eliminated or sprayed.

If the problem is due to social interactions inside the home, it may be necessary to determine which cats do not get along. Keep these cats in separate parts of the home with their own litter and sleeping areas. Reintroduction of the cats may be possible when they are properly supervised. Allowing the cats together for positive experiences such as feeding, treats and play sessions, helps them to get used to the presence of each other, at least on a limited basis. However, when numbers of cats in a home reach 7 to 10 cats, you will often have spraying and marking problems.

I’ve cleaned up the spot, but the cat keeps returning to spray. What else can I do to reduce the problem?

Because the “purpose” of spraying is to mark an area with urine odor, it is not surprising that, as the odor is cleaned up, the cat wants to refresh the area with more urine. Cleaning alone does little to reduce spraying.

“Cats that mark in one or two particular areas
may cease if the function of the area is changed.”

Cats that mark in one or two particular areas may cease if the function of the area is changed. It is unlikely that cats will spray in their feeding, sleeping or scratching areas. It has also been shown that cats that mark an area with cheek glands are less likely to mark in other ways such as with urine. In fact it might be said that cats that use their cheek glands are marking in a more calm, familiar manner while those that urine mark are doing so in a more reactive, anxious manner. A commercial product containing synthetic cheek gland scent (Feliway®) has proven to be an effective way of reducing urine marking in some cats. When sprayed on areas where cats have sprayed urine or on those areas where it can be anticipated that the cat is likely to spray, it may decrease the likelihood of additional spraying in those areas. The use of feline facial pheromone may stimulate cheek gland marking (bunting), rather than urine spraying. It is available as a room diffuser that covers about 700 square feet for cats marking multiple sites or as a spray to be used directly at the area where your cat sprays. It has also been used to calm cats in new environments, including the veterinary hospital and to help familiarize the cat with a new cage or cat carrier.

Where practical, a good compromise for some cats is to allow them one or two areas for marking. This can be done by placing a shower curtain on the vertical surface, tiling the area, or by taking two plastic litter boxes and placing one inside the other to make an L-shape (with the upright surface to catch the marked urine). Another option is to place booby traps in the sprayed areas; but with this option, spraying of another area may then develop.

Are there any drugs that are available to treat this problem?

Over the years many pharmacological means have been tried to control spraying behaviors. The choices have focused on the theory that one of the underlying causes for spraying and marking behaviors is anxiety and territorial competition. For that reason, antidepressants such as clomipramine and fluoxetine have proven to be effective for controlling marking in some cats. Anti-anxiety drugs such as buspirone and benzodiazepines have also been used with varying degrees of success. Dosing, cost, and the potential for side effects will all need to be considered in selecting the most appropriate drug for your cat.

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Aggression in Dogs – Territorial https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/aggression-in-dogs-territorial/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/aggression-in-dogs-territorial/#respond Sat, 15 Sep 2018 21:57:02 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=223980 The post Aggression in Dogs – Territorial appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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Territorial or protective aggression may be exhibited toward people or other animals that approach the pet’s property. Generally, people and other animals that are unusual, less familiar to the dog, or most unlike the members of the household are the most likely targets of territorial aggression.

What is territorial aggression, and how can it be diagnosed?

Territorial or protective aggression may be exhibited toward people or other animals that approach the pet’s property. Generally, people and other animals that are unusual, less familiar to the dog, or most unlike the members of the household are the most likely “targets” of territorial aggression.

“Something different about the sight, sound, or actions of the stimulus is causing an alerting, anxious, or defensive response on the part of the dog.

In other words, something different about the sight, sound or actions of the stimulus is causing an alerting, anxious or defensive response on the part of the dog. While most forms of territorial aggression are likely to occur on the property, some dogs may protect areas where they are temporarily housed, and may protect family members regardless of the location. Territorial aggressive displays may range from growling and barking to lunging, chasing, snapping and biting. Territorial displays may occur at windows, doors, behind fences and in the car. Some dogs may quickly claim territory and show similar behaviors at picnic areas, park benches, etc. Dogs that are physically prevented by a barricade or leash from gaining access to the stimulus (i.e., are frustrated) may have their aggression heightened, or may develop displacement behaviors (e.g., spinning, circling, self mutilation) or redirected behaviors (e.g., turning their aggression on the owner who attempts to reach for or grab the dog). Many dogs continue their aggression once the person has entered the territory or home, which could result in biting and severe injury. In some cases, due to the high arousal level of the dog, an element of frustration may also be present and can lead to redirected behavior toward objects or other animals or people.

How can territorial aggression be prevented?

Territorial aggression can be prevented or minimized with early socialization and good control. Young dogs should be taught to sit and receive a reward as each new person comes to the door. To reduce potential fear and anxiety toward visitors, you should ensure that a wide variety of visitors come over to visit the puppy while the puppy is young and developing its social skills (see Socialization and Fear Prevention). In time, most dogs will begin to alert the family by barking when strangers come to the home. However, the dog that has been well socialized and under good control can be trained to quickly settle down and relax.

Why are territorial behaviors ongoing and perhaps even increasing?

For many dogs, territorial displays are a normal part of their behavioral repertoire. While any dog may show territorial responses, certain breeds of dogs have been bred for guarding and watchful behaviors. Without appropriate supervision, owner interaction and training of appropriate responses, these dogs may engage in territorial displays that vary in intensity from mild barking to intense displays that might include growling, snarling, lunging, piloerection and even biting a person or animal entering the territory. Opportunity and environmental access to the stimulus will influence whether the behavior will take place. Without proper owner supervision and training, these behaviors may become excessive. Dogs that are tied may show extreme territorial behaviors and aggressive responses. Dogs that are left outside all day without owner supervision are also at risk for developing escalating territorial responses. Many dogs that show territorial responses are often fearful and anxious and just want the intruder to leave.

aggressive dog

The longer the person stays within the territory, the more aggressively aroused the dog may become. The goal of the territorial display is to get the “intruder” to leave. If the pet is frustrated from chasing the stimulus away because it is tied, penned, or behind a closed door or window, then the longer the stimulus remains in place within sight or hearing of the pet, the greater the anxiety. Although dogs with mild fears might habituate with continued exposure, dogs that are constantly exposed (flooded) by an anxiety-evoking stimulus will have their fear heightened until the stimulus leaves. The removal (retreat) of the individual then further reinforces the strength of the response.

Should I punish my dog for his aggressive displays?

Often the first strategies people try are related to punishment: yelling, scolding, startling, or any physical punishment may be effective in interrupting a dog’s aggressive display. There may be some serious long term side effects of this approach such as fear, increasing aggression and anxiety and a decrease in the occurrence of warning signs from the dog. Repetitive use of punishment in association with approach of unfamiliar people can create an association that it is threatening to have unfamiliar people around. Punishment may stop the dog from displaying aggression but it will contribute to the anxiety, fear and need to protect. Because the warning displays have been suppressed, the result is a dog that doesn’t bark but that may indeed bite without the aggressive display. The aggressive encounter is dangerous and surprises people making the dog seem unpredictable and unmanageable. In fact these bites are a function of training a dog to inhibit territorial aggressive displays by punishment, thus giving the appearance that the dog accepts the approach of the intruder. It is more effective to teach the dog what you do expect him to do when someone comes over (see Using Punishment Effectively and Why Punishment Should Be Avoided).

How can I treat territorial aggression?

For dogs exhibiting territorial aggression, you will need to gain enough control to have your dog sit, stay, and when calmed down, take a reward at the front door. Generally, a leash and head collar will give the fastest and most effective control (see Training Products – Head Halter Training). Teaching the dog to settle on command near the vicinity of the front door is an essential first step (see Teaching Calm – Settle and Relaxation Training). If the dog cannot do that, then they must be removed from the area before admitting people into the home. Providing safety for any individuals who must come to the home is essential (see Aggression – Getting Started – Safety and Management). If the dog is showing territorially aggressive responses to visitors, it must be removed and securely confined when company is present to avoid injury. If redirected behavior is a component of the initial problem, it may be necessary to separate dogs to prevent fighting and injury if the problem dog encounters the stimulus. Owners should not reach for the dog when he is aggressively aroused to avoid injuries to them. If barking precedes the aggression, you might be able to stop the sequence of events and train the dog to settle with products that inhibit barking, such as the bark activated citronella collar or a handheld alarm (see below). However, you must be present to immediately reinforce the quiet and settled behavior with a favored treat or reward.

“Punishment must be stopped because punishment tends to increase rather than decrease the anxiety and fear that may be underlying the behavior.

Another essential first step is to no longer allow territorial aggressive displays to continue. An effort should be made to prevent ongoing territorial displays either at windows or along fence lines. This might mean blocking visual access out windows by covering them up or preventing the dog from getting to them, and not allowing outdoor access unless the dog is wearing a leash and head collar and is actively supervised by an adult who is holding onto the dog’s leash. Punishment must be stopped since punishment tends to increase rather than decrease the anxiety and fear that may be underlying the behavior.

Once your dog can settle on command, more specific training can occur. All the stimuli that provoke the territorial response should be identified and a response gradient determined. That is, at what distance is the territorial response noted, and how does the response vary with changing distance (approaching and retreating)? Using a desensitization and counter-conditioning program (see Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning and Implementing Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning – Setting Up for Success), you can begin retraining with low levels of stimuli. For territorial aggression, low-level stimuli may include people arriving in a car, walking past the front of the house, or perhaps even a family member knocking on the door or ringing the bell. The idea is that each time someone arrives at the house or rings the bell, the dog will come to expect a favored reward (toy, cheese, hot dog slice, or play session). Once the dog can be controlled and receives rewards in this environment, gradually more intense stimuli can be used.

A big part of my dog’s problem is barking. How can I control that?

Some dogs confine their territorial display to barking and nothing else.

“Teaching the dog to reliably respond to a command that signals quiet is essential.

Teaching the dog to reliably respond to a command that signals quiet is essential. In some cases an anti-bark collar, bark-activated alarm, shaker can, or other audible device that is activated by the owner will disrupt the barking (at least temporarily). In this interval when the dog is quiet, you must reinforce the quiet behavior with a favored treat or toy. Over time, gradually increase the length of the quiet time before the reward is given, and provide multiple rewards if the dog does not bark at all. With some dogs, it may be more difficult to control barking (see Barking and Training “Quiet” and Behavior Management Products).

 

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Household Hazards- Toxic Hazards for Cats https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/household-hazards-toxic-hazards-for-cats/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/household-hazards-toxic-hazards-for-cats/#respond Sat, 15 Sep 2018 21:50:46 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=223978 The post Household Hazards- Toxic Hazards for Cats appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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Many think that because cats are finicky eaters they are poisoned less often than dogs. However, with their curiosity and fastidious grooming, intoxication is, unfortunately, not uncommon. Several factors predispose cats to becoming ill once they have been exposed to even a small amount of a poisonous substance.

Many think that because cats are finicky eaters they are poisoned less often than dogs. However, with their curiosity and fastidious grooming, intoxication is, unfortunately, not uncommon. Several factors predispose cats to becoming ill once they have been exposed to even a small amount of a poisonous substance.

“Cats lack certain liver enzymes which affects their liver metabolism, making them more sensitive to drugs and chemicals.

These include their small body size, their habit of hiding when ill so that exposure is not immediately evident, and their lack of certain liver enzymes which affects their liver metabolism, making them more sensitive to drugs and chemicals. When cats are poisoned, these factors make them more sensitive to poisonings than dogs.

How can a cat become poisoned?

Cats can be poisoned via a number of routes. Contamination of the digestive system can result from the direct ingestion of a toxic substance, from ingestion of poisoned prey, or from grooming contaminated fur. Some toxins can be absorbed directly through the skin, particularly the paws, and a few toxins can cause damage by inhalation. As cats are fastidious groomers, any skin or hair exposure can quickly result in the poison being ingested as a result of grooming.

What clinical signs might warn me that my cat may have been poisoned?

The signs vary depending on the particular poison concerned. Toxins may produce:

  • Gastrointestinal signs such as drooling, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Neurological signs including hiding, excitability,  incoordination, tremors, seizures, lethargy  or coma
  • Respiratory signs such as coughing, sneezing, or difficult breathing
  • Skin signs of redness, inflammation and swelling
  • Liver failure that causes lack of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, jaundice, diarrhea and weight loss
  • Kidney failure that may show as lack of appetite, vomiting, halitosis (bad breath), increased drinking and urination, decreased drinking and urination, and weight loss

Some toxins act on more than one body system, and can produce any combination of the above signs. It is important to remember that, while most cases of intoxication will cause acute (sudden) problems, chronic, delayed intoxication can also arise (albeit more rarely). Chronic exposure to toxins can be very difficult to recognize and treat.

I think my cat has been poisoned. What should I do?

If you suspect your cat may have had access to a poisonous substance, it is important to contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline or seek veterinary care as soon as possible. If the cat is anxious and aggressive, it is usually best to wrap it in a towel and put it in a box to prevent it from hurting itself or you.

“Wrapping in a towel also prevents the cat from ingesting further contamination from its coat. “

Wrapping in a towel also prevents the cat from ingesting further contamination from its coat. It is NOT advisable to try to make the cat vomit, since no home products effectively result in vomiting in cats. Only veterinarians can medically induce vomiting with injectable medications. It is best to call the veterinary hospital while you are en route to let them know you are coming, and allow them time to prepare any treatments your cat may need.

My cat has some ‘chemical’ on its coat. What should I do?

You should only attempt home treatment when the contamination is mild and is confined to the coat. The aim of treatment is to prevent absorption through the skin or internal ingestion of the substance.

“It is important to remove as much of the contamination as possible prior to washing, since the process of washing can increase the absorption of some chemicals.”

Remove the cat’s collar as it may also have been contaminated. When in doubt, if you cannot safety bathe your cat without getting injured, it’s always safest to bring your cat directly to the veterinarian to allow for proper restraint. To remove chemicals from a cat’s coat, it is best to clip off contaminated hair (using clippers, never scissors or anything that can damage or injure you or your pet!)  and then wash the cat in a liquid dish soap (used to wash dishes in the sink). It is important to remove as much of the contamination as possible prior to washing, since the process of washing can increase the absorption of some chemicals. After any potential exposure to poisons, it is advisable to keep the cat indoors for 24 hours for observation. Keep it in a warm, quiet room. If your cat shows any symptoms, seek veterinary attention immediately.

What should I do if my cat has swallowed some of this chemical?

If you feel your cat may have swallowed a toxin, contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) to determine if the product was poisonous at all. When in doubt, seek immediate veterinary care. Even if the contamination was confined to the coat, many chemicals and toxins can still be absorbed across the skin or groomed off the skin and orally ingested. Do not try to induce vomiting at home, or begin any home remedies without consultation from a vet or Pet Poison Helpline.

What sort of things can poison cats?

According to data from Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control based out of Minneapolis, the top five cat toxins of 2010 include:

1)            Human or veterinary drugs

2)            Poisonous plants

3)            Insecticides

4)            Household cleaners

5)            Other toxins, such as glow sticks and liquid potpourri

Human and veterinary medications – During 2010, about 40 percent of feline cases at Pet Poison Helpline involved cats that improperly ingested human or veterinary drugs. Cats have difficulty metabolizing certain drugs, especially as compared to dogs and humans. Common drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) are some of the most deadly to cats. When ingested, NSAIDS can result in severe kidney failure and stomach ulcers. Likewise, one acetaminophen (Tylenol®) tablet can be fatal to a cat, as it results in damage to red blood cells. Untreated, it can cause severe anemia (low red blood cell count), difficulty breathing, a swollen face, liver failure and death. Cats also seem to like the taste of certain antidepressants (e.g., Effexor), which seem to contain an attractive smell or flavor in the coating. With any accidental medication ingestion, immediate veterinary care is imperative.

Plants – Poisonous plants were the second most common cat toxin in 2010, representing about 14 percent of feline-related calls. True lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis spp.), including the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show lilies, are among the most deadly and cause kidney failure in cats. Because these flowers are fragrant, inexpensive and long-lasting, florists often include them in arrangements. Small ingestions of two or three petals or leaves – even the pollen – can result in severe, potentially irreversible kidney failure. Immediate veterinary care is imperative. Despite their name, other plants such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lily are not true lilies and do not cause kidney failure. Instead, these plants contain oxalate crystals that can cause minor symptoms, such as irritation in the mouth, tongue, throat and esophagus.

Insecticides – Nine percent of feline-related calls in 2010 were for cats exposed to household insecticides or cats inappropriately treated with a topical flea and tick medication meant for dogs. Exposure to household insecticides such as lawn and garden products, sprays, powders, or granules often occurs when a cat walks through a treated area; however, serious poisoning is rare. More concerning is exposure to concentrated topical flea and tick medications meant for dogs. Dog-specific insecticides containing pyrethrins or pyrethroids are highly toxic to cats. Poisoning occurs when pet owners apply such products directly to cats or cats lick these medications off dogs that live with them. Severe drooling, tremors and life-threatening seizures can occur. Always read labels carefully before using any kind of insecticide and ask your veterinarian about appropriate topical flea and tick medications for your cat.

Household Cleaners – Exposure to household cleaners accounted for approximately six percent of feline-related calls to Pet Poison Helpline in 2010. Many cat owners don’t realize that some common household cleaners like kitchen and bath surface cleaners, carpet cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners can be toxic to cats. Symptoms can include profuse drooling, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and even organ damage. After cleaning your home, make sure all excess liquid or residue is wiped up or eliminated, and stow the products out of your cat’s reach as soon as possible. Only allow your cat back into the cleaned areas after the products have completely dried.

Other Toxins – The remainder of feline-related calls during 2010 involved less obvious toxins, such as glow sticks and liquid potpourri. Glow sticks and jewelry contain a very bitter tasting liquid called dibutyl phthalate. While rarely deadly, just one bite into these items can cause your cat to drool profusely. Most of these exposures can be managed at home. Offer (but do not force) your cat chicken broth or canned tuna (in water, not oil), to help to remove the bitter taste from the mouth. Remove the glow sticks and clean up any remaining liquid to prevent re-exposure to cats, who may continue to groom it off their fur. A bath may be in order to remove any “glowing” liquid from his or her skin. If you see signs of redness to the eyes, squinting, continued drooling, or not eating, a trip to the veterinarian may be necessary.

*Pet Poison Helpline, is an animal poison control service available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet – including birds! Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com. Pet Poison Helpline is not directly affiliated with LifeLearn.

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Body Condition Scores https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/body-condition-scores/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/body-condition-scores/#respond Sat, 15 Sep 2018 21:44:53 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=223975 The post Body Condition Scores appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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Weight-conscious people are familiar

Measuring body weight in dogs

with BMI (Body Mass Index) as a yardstick to identify ideal weight. There is a way to measure the body condition of our furry friends, too. The pet version of BMI is called BCS (Body Condition Score) which is a quantitative yet subjective method for evaluating body fat.

Weight-conscious people are familiar with BMI (Body Mass Index) as a yardstick to identify ideal weight. Pet owners are also focused on the weight of their pets. Luckily, there is a way to measure the body condition of our furry friends, too. The pet version of BMI is called BCS (Body Condition Score) which is a quantitative yet subjective method for evaluating body fat. It may seem more complicated than the human scale because although people come in lots of different shapes and sizes, the pet world has a bigger variety of both—especially the canine portion of the pet population. Think: Chihuahua vs. Bulldog vs. Great Dane.

Consistent Scoring

Despite the variety of body types in dogs and cats, there is an organized system of evaluating BCS.  Two recognized BCS scales are utilized, one ranging from 1-5 and the other 1-9. Some veterinarians prefer the 1-9 scale which has more latitude to identify subtle changes in weight. Others like the 1-5 scale which has less categories. Whatever method you choose, it’s best to identify the scale by referencing the highest number. For example a dog with a BCS of 5 would be obese on the 5 point scale (5/5) and ideal weight on the 9 point scale (5/9).  A cat with a BCS of 3/5 would be ideal weight on the 5 point scale and thin on the 9 point scale. Reference points are therefore important.

 Here’s how the numbers stack up for both scales:

1/5 Very thin

2/5 Underweight

3/5 Ideal weight

4/5 Overweight

5/5 Obese

1/9 Emaciated

2/9 Very thin

3/9 Thin

4/9 Underweight

4.5-5/9 Ideal weight

6/9 Overweight

7/9 Heavy

8/9 Obese

9/9 Severely Obese

Assigning a Score

Assigning a score to your pet requires visualization and palpation. You have to look at and feel your pet.Start by looking at your cat or dog from above. Does she have a waistline that curves in behind the rib cage giving her an hourglass figure? Next, sit on the floor and look at your pet from the side. Does he have a tummy tuck? Does his abdomen slant upwards between the ribcage and the hind legs? Or does he have a saggy belly?

“If your pet is a healthy weight,
you should easily feel his ribs.”

Now for palpation. If your pet is a healthy weight, you should easily feel his ribs. Place your thumbs on the backbone and spread your fingers across his rib cage. You should feel a thin layer of fat with the ribs right underneath. To know how much fat is acceptable, make a fist with one hand and feel your knuckles with the other. That’s what your pet’s ribs should feel like.

A pet with a BCS of 3/5 or 4-5/9 will have ribs that are easy to palpate without applying any pressure with your fingers. An emaciated pet with a BCS of 1/5 or 1/9 will have ribs that stick out with no fat layer. These ribs are not only easy to feel but are easy to see. Obese pets with a BCS of 5/5 or 9/9 have ribs covered by a thick layer of fat making them very difficult to see or feel.

You can also run your hands over your pet’s rump to feel the pelvic bones. And pet him from neck to tail to feel the backbone. Both areas should be covered with minimal fat allowing you to actually feel bone without pressing too hard.

Now, let’s assign a numerical score to what you see and feel.

1/5 or 1/9 Ribs, backbone, pelvic bones stick out. Loss of muscle mass present. Severe tummy tuck and dramatic waistline on both cats and dogs.

1.5/5 or 2/9 Ribs and backbone and pelvic bones visible, but only minor loss of muscle mass. Severe waistline and tummy tuck.

2/5 or 3/9 Ribs, pelvis, backbone easily palpated and somewhat visible. Severe waistline and tummy tuck.

2.5/5 or 4/9 Ribs, pelvis, backbone easily palpated but not as visible. Obvious waistline and tummy tuck.

3/5 or 5/9 Ribs, pelvis and backbone palpable with a thin layer of fat covering. Waistline and tummy tuck obvious but not severe with more gradual curves. Cats have minimal abdominal fat pad in front of the rear legs.

3.5/5 or 6/9 Slight fat layer over ribs, backbone and pelvis making them more difficult to palpate. Tummy tuck present but minimal. Waistline visible, but not prominent. Cats have minimal fat pad.

4/5 or 7/9 Ribs covered with heavy fat layer requiring finger pressure to feel. Difficult to feel backbone or pelvis. Waistline not apparent. Tummy tuck still slightly visible. Cats have moderate abdominal fat pad.

4.5/5 or 8/9 Ribs, pelvis and backbone covered with thick fat layer and palpable only with extreme pressure. No tummy tuck or waistline.

5/5 or 9/9 Ribs and backbone not palpable under thick fat layer. Abdominal distention projects downward (opposite of tummy tuck) and outward (protruding waistline). Fat deposits on legs, face and over tail head covering pelvis. Cats have extensive abdominal fat pad and sagging bellies.

Note: Feeling ribs is less disturbing to the dog than feeling the backbone or pelvis. Arthritic dogs may experience pain if you press on their back or hips.

BCS and Pounds

Determining when a pet has reached an ideal body weight takes into consideration both BCS and actual weight. When monitoring a weight program, it’s important to record both numbers simultaneously. Get into the habit of weighing your pet each time his BCS is assessed and keep an ongoing record to track progress. To compare your pet’s score with your own, remember that a BCS of 4/5 or 7/9 correlates to 30% body fat which is considered overweight in people

The State of Pet Obesity

The Association for Pet Obesity estimates that 54% of pets in the United States are overweight. That means the majority of cats and dogs need to shed a few pounds.  As with humans, pet obesity has serious health implications. Heavy pets are at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, joint ailments (arthritis), high blood pressure, and surgical/anesthetic complications. Moreover, overweight pets have shorter life spans than their fit colleagues, as seen in the Purina Life Span study. In this study, dogs at ideal body weight lived approximately two years longer than their obese counterparts.

“The Association for Pet Obesity estimates that
54% of pets in the United States are overweight.”

Keeping your pet fit will make his life happier, healthier, and longer. Sadly, obesity is the number one nutritional disorder of pets. Luckily, it’s one that we can manage and monitor by utilizing systems like BCS.

 

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Dental Cleaning in Cats https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/dental-cleaning-in-cats/ https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/dental-cleaning-in-cats/#respond Sat, 15 Sep 2018 21:30:21 +0000 https://pkwyanimalhospital.com/?p=223966 The post Dental Cleaning in Cats appeared first on Parkway Animal Hospital .

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It all starts with an exam room evaluation. When rough tartar accumulates on tooth surfaces and touches the gum line, it’s time for a professional oral assessment, treatment, and prevention visit. This visit will include a thorough dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing to remove the tartar and invisible plaque from all of the tooth surfaces.

What is involved with a professional teeth cleaning visit for my cat?

It all starts with an exam room evaluation.  When rough tartar accumulates on tooth surfaces and touches the gum line, it’s time for a professional oral assessment, treatment, and prevention visit.  This visit will include a thorough dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing to remove the tartar and invisible plaque from all of the tooth surfaces.

Your veterinarian may perform pre-anesthetic blood tests to ensure that kidney and liver function are satisfactory for anesthesia, as well as an evaluation of the heart and abdomen if needed.

What happens during the exam?

For proper dental care your cat must be placed under general anesthesia.  Once your cat is closely monitored under general anesthesia, your veterinarian and veterinary assistants will thoroughly examine the mouth, noting abnormalities in the medical record.

A dental probe will be used to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets, where food can accumulate if not cared for.  When periodontal disease is advanced, it may not be possible to save badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted.

“For proper dental care your cat must be
placed under general anesthesia.”

How are my cat’s teeth cleaned?

Next, tooth scaling will be performed, using both hand and ultrasonic scalers, to remove tartar above and below the gum line. The tartar below the gum line causes the most significant periodontal disease, so it is important that it be thoroughly removed.

After scaling, the teeth are polished to remove microscopic scratches and decrease the rate of subsequent plaque build-up. Special applications such as fluoride, antibiotic preparations and cleaning compounds may be used to decrease tooth sensitivity, strengthen enamel, treat bacterial infection and reduce future plaque accumulation.

The procedures your cat may require will be discussed with you before her dental cleaning. Since it can be difficult to predict the extent of dental disease in advance of the procedure, it is imperative that your veterinarian be able to reach you during the procedure to discuss any additional treatment that may be necessary.

Why can’t I just remove the tartar and plaque with a human 

cat tooth

dental scaler?

Although you can remove the accumulated tartar above the gum line, in cats that are extremely cooperative, there are three problems with doing this. First, only the visible tartar above the gum line is removed, leaving plaque and tartar below the gum line which will continue to cause periodontal problems. Second, it’s neither possible nor safe to clean the inner surfaces of the teeth properly in a conscious cat. Third, the use of any instrument on the tooth enamel will cause microscopic scratches on the surface and will ultimately damage the tooth surface, leading to further disease – this is the reason your dental hygienist always polishes your teeth after removing tartar with dental instruments.

Do I have to make an appointment for my cat to have a dental scaling and polishing?

Yes. Your veterinarian will perform pre-anesthetic tests and examine your pet for underlying disorders prior to the procedure, and they may determine that antibiotic treatment should be prescribed in advance.

How can I prevent tartar accumulation after the procedure?

Plaque and tartar begin forming in as little as six hours after your cat’s dental cleaning.  Daily brushing can be performed to help slow the accumulation of tartar, but must be done daily.  Unfortunately very few cats will tolerate this.  Plaque and tartar accumulation can be decreased by rubbing a Q-tip along the gum line daily, if your cat will tolerate this.

Can I use human toothpaste?

Absolutely not. Human dentifrice or toothpaste should never be used in cats. Human teeth cleaning detergents contain ingredients that are not intended to be swallowed and can cause internal problems if they are swallowed. Human products also commonly contain higher levels of salt which can be a problem for some cats.

You should also avoid using baking soda to clean your cat’s teeth. Baking soda has a high alkaline content and, if swallowed, it can upset the acid balance in the stomach and digestive tract. In addition, baking soda does not taste good, which may cause your cat to be uncooperative when you try to brush her teeth.

Why is pet toothpaste recommended?

Numerous pet toothpastes are non-foaming, safe to be swallowed and available in flavors that are appealing to cats including poultry, beef, malt and mint. If you use a product that tastes good, your cat will be more likely to enjoy the whole experience.

In addition to the pleasant taste, many of these pet-friendly toothpastes contain enzymes that are designed to help break down plaque chemically, which reduces the time  you need to actually spend brushing your cat’s teeth.

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