Archive for the ‘Preventative Medicine’ Category

Your Cat Not Eating? Hepatic Lipidosis and Feline Anorexia – What to do.

January 28th, 2013

Anorexia? This is not a term your veterinarian uses to describe your cat’s poor body image.  This term simply means not eating.  What may be to the casual observer an insignificant symptom, anorexia is one of the most important and often only indications that your cat is not well.  Our feline companions are exceptionally good at hiding discomfort and illness, and only once they are feeling quite bad will they indicate their decline.  As a result, a cat that is anorexic (not eating or eating significantly less than its metabolic needs) is one that needs immediate veterinary attention.

The primary disease causing the inadequate calorie intake can initiate a cascade of metabolic events that affects the liver as well as protein and fat metabolism.  The feline liver is not designed to handle these changes, which can result in a condition called Hepatic Lipidosis, or fatty liver. In this condition, the liver becomes “clogged” with fat that it cannot handle and causes it to fail.  Feline Hepatic LipdosisThe original disease may be one easy to manage alone, however when compounded by anorexia, recovery may be negatively effected. Almost any illness or problem can lead to your cat’s poor appetite, including but not limited to pain, nausea, Diabetes, kidney disease and thyroid disease.  Nutritional support for these cats not only helps the pet to recover, but will “buy” time for a diagnosis to be made, especially in difficult cases.

If you think your cat’s appetite is poor, depending on your cat’s symptoms and status, a veterinarian can recommend several patient-specific nutritional strategies that the pet parent can try at home to encourage an anorexic cat to start eating.

Don’t wait for your cat’s appetite to completely disappear before seeking help from a veterinarian.

There are many things your veterinarian can do provide nutritional support, while causes of anorexia are investigated.  Medications to control nausea, appetite stimulants, syringe feeding and in the most severe cases, feeding tubes are used to aid in calorie intake.  It is imperative that your cat continue to have adequate nutrition to improve its outcome.  Feeding tubes may seem extreme, however they are relatively simple and cost effective to place and can be managed easily by owners at home if necessary.

As your veterinarian works to identify and treat the primary disease affecting your cat, with blood work, radiographs (x-rays), ultrasound, etc., nutritional support will drastically improve the chances that your cat will have a positive outcome.

Dr. Jennifer Teitelbaum is the veterinarian owner of Mulberry Grove Animal Hospital, The Villages Florida Veterinarian. Dr. Teitelbaum lives with her husband and two children in Summerfield, along with two dogs and one cat.  She enjoys spending time with her kids and family, running and boating.

Create a state of security and familiarity to help your cat cope with a new environment. Just plug t...
$34.99 $25.99
Feliway reduces or completely stops stress-related behavior including urine marking, vertical scratc...
$34.99 $23.04
Please Wait
Searching...

Home Dog Boarding Site Rover.com Joins with VetLIVE

November 7th, 2012

We Are Pleased to Announce That Home Dog Boarding Site Rover.com Partners With VetLIVE

Rover.com and VetLive.com are partners

Planning a trip without your dog can often be stressful, but with Rover.com, making arrangements just became easier. Rover.com provides a unique alternative to traditional kennels by allowing your dog to stay in a loving home with someone just like you. Since 2011 the Rover community has expanded to thousands of cities across the U.S., and with more than 70,000 members it makes finding the perfect dog sitter a snap.

As a dog-care industry leader, Rover.com was founded on the commitment to provide peace of mind for owners, and safety for dogs. Unlike caged kennel facilities, Rover.com allows sitters to care for dogs in their own home as well as the dog’s home; wherever the dog will be most comfortable!

“Cages can’t cuddle. We believe people feel much more at ease knowing that their dogs are receiving real love, in real homes when they are away” explains Aaron Easterly, CEO at Rover.com. “A significant goal of Rover.com is to give pet owners true peace of mind while their dog is under the care of one of our member-sitters.”

In-home dog care has many benefits for the dog. The stress of a new environment such as a kennel can be very overwhelming for a dog in addition to any separation anxiety they may be experiencing. The most important benefit of in-home boarding is the dogs safety, happiness and parent’s peace of mind.

Home Dog Boarding

Boarding kennels can be very busy which may be distracting to caretakers at the facility. The caretaker may not have the appropriate time to spend with each dog to address its needs, provide the exercise it needs and make sure it is as comfortable as possible. While your dog is with an in-home sitter, they are are treated like the sitter’s own dog in an environment they are completely familiar with. To ease any worries an owner may have, Rover.com has an insurance and satisfaction guarantee. “We have a community of sitters who love dogs and are committed to the health, safety and well-being of those in their care, so our insurance option just enables us to meet their goal and ours,” says Easterly. A new added bonus is our new partnership which gives members access to 24/7 vet support.

Rover.com helps their members create bark-worthy profiles by encouraging them to include photos, credentials, past and current experience, home details and other relevant information. Badges on sitter profiles indicate certifications such as CPR and First Aid. Profiles allow pet owners to learn about their potential sitter and to help them feel at ease about the person they are contacting.

Rover.com makes offering your pet sitting services easy and simple. Being a sitter is a great way to earn money while doing something you love – caring for dogs!

Perhaps the best part about being a Rover sitter is the opportunity to help the dog community through Rover.com’s Sit a Dog, Save a LifeTM program, which enables sitters to donate a portion of their dog-sitting proceeds to participating charities. Rover.com encourages a meet-n-greet with the sitter before the stay, so dogs and owners feel comfortable with the choice. Before the stay, owners receive an itinerary with important information such as feeding instructions and Veterinary care details. During the time of care, sitters and owners can take advantage of the Rover mobile app to check-in, share photos and log activities like walks or trips to the park.

We are beyond thrilled for our new partnership with Rover.com and hope you utilize their services the next time you travel without your pet! Check out Rover.com for more information.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Dr. Laci Schaible

How To Keep Dogs Safe From Summer Heat

August 8th, 2012

This summer has been unusually hot. Dogs can’t sweat through their fur like we sweat through shirts, so it’s up to you to help your dog survive the heat wave.

Can’t Dogs Handle The Outdoors?

Dogs only have two ways to release heat: by panting and by releasing heat from their paws. That’s it. As summer wears on, it’s critical that you keep your dog cool. If they get too hot and can’t release heat fast enough, heat stroke strikes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ask a Vet | Aggressive Cat Behavior

March 20th, 2012
By Online Vet, Dr. Laci

It is a problem that I had heard clients complain about before but had never had the stress of dealing with myself. Cats A and B are best friends and do everything together. Cat A goes to the vet and Cat B stays home. Cat A returns to receive anything but a warm welcome from Cat B, who hisses, attacks and seems determined to destroy Cat A. Cat B is convinced Cat A is an enemy and a threat. A previously wonderful cat relationship seems destroyed, and the household is a tense environment for all humans and furkids involved. “Will this ever improve…” you may ask a vet? Read about my own experiences.

ask a vet, online vetWe travel with our pets, like many people across the world do nowadays. Usually this works out okay, but our calico cat Mackenzie did become ill on a recent trip and we soon found ourselves in the vet emergency room at 1am. While Mackenzie suffered no long-term ill effects from the cup of espresso she managed to lap up while I was in the other room, the vacation condo was anything but relaxing when I returned home the next morning with Mackenzie in her carrier.

Rigby, our Siamese did not greet us with a welcome, to say the least. There was hissing, fur flying, growling, screaming, and full on attacks. Initially, I (and Mackenzie) was frozen and shocked, and then as soon as I could compose myself, I realized that Rigby was experiencing what is called non-recognition feline aggression. She didn’t know that Mackenzie was her beloved sister, as Mackenzie smelled like a stinky vet hospital and it is believed that cats recognize each other off their scents, not visual clues.

Non-recognition aggression in cats is an bizarre phenomenon that does not seem to occur in dogs—thank goodness. What it is about these mysterious felines’ personalities or sensory perception that leads to these events remains largely hypothetical, but it does happen and the bad news is there is no easy fix.

What finally worked for us was bathing both the cats in addition to feeding them in the same room. The bath really seemed to help speed things up in our household, but that isn’t always the case.

If you find yourself in this situation, you must separate the cats for as long it takes for the aggresion to end. This may be a few hours or you may be unlikely like we were and it make take upwards of two weeks. You can try to counter condition the aggresor cat by offering food only when the other cat is in sight; even if they are on opposite sides of the room. Make sure the aggressor is on a harness for the safety of all involved. You gradually decrease the space between the cats. Whenever one shows any aggression, distact him/her by making a loud noise, for instance. Read the rest of this entry »

Pet Nutrition: Pet Food Label Tips from your Online Vet

November 29th, 2011
Part 2: Ask a Vet

online vet, ask a vet, chat with a vetAs we reviewed last week in part one of pet nutrition, AAFCO stands for Association of American Feed Control Officials. This organization sets the nutritional standards for pet foods sold in the United States.

Easy things first–

online vet, ask a vetMOISTURE

There are four product forms for pet foods based on moisture level of the food:

1.  Dry = < 20% water content

2. Semi-moist = >20% and <65% content

3.  Wet = >65%  water content

4.  If the moisture level is above 78%, the product must be labeled as a stew, gravy, sauce, broth, milk replacer, expensive pet food in water, etc. The reason is that the maximum moisture declared on a wet pet food shall not exceed 78%

pet food nutrition, how to read a pet food labelThis probably seems pretty basic and logical to you.  Moving forward with how nutritional adequacy is actually determined.  There are two methods.

1. Formulation method

This method is less expensive, and results are determined more quickly because actual feeding or digestibility trials are not required. There is no guarantee of pet acceptance or nutrient bioavailability when utilizing this method.

The pet food product must simply meet the nutrient requirements for the specific life stage established by an AAFCO recognized nutrient profile. This is accomplished by a laboratory analysis.

Read the rest of this entry »

Best Dog for Family

September 17th, 2011

Ask a vet about which dog to adopt

It’s hard to believe it was almost a decade ago she came into my life. I lost my dog Bentley in my second year of vet school who was still practically a puppy. He was two, but if any of your have giant breed dogs, you know that two is nowhere near adulthood for the large canines of the world. While I did adopt Bentley when he was a puppy, I had honestly had enough puppy-hood to last me for a couple years. After all, I was single, living alone, and in vet school, which basically meant I was an endangered servant and was ready for a dog that needed a little less intense training and supervision.

Ask a vet about it.  The next time you are thinking of bringing a new pet into your home, consider which pet needs your love and home the most.  You won’t regret it.

I decided to adopt an adult dog. While I wanted to stick with a Great Pyrenees, as I had fallen in love with the breed, this time I decided I wanted to adopt a more needy dog, as it’s pretty much a guarantee that adorable bundles of white fluff with pink tongues and kitty-cat like ears on top will have a waiting list for perspective parents.

best dog for family, what kind of dog should i adopt, vet adviceI found Madison actually right off of Petfinder’s website. Madison was a young adult Great Pyr, but she definitely qualified as a special needs girl. She had a horrific case of scabies when I adopted her, along with Ehrlichiosis and heartworm disease. Basically she was doomed, which is why I thought that I would be her perfect parent, as I was a vet student who would make sure that she received the best medical care and I was able to do this more affordable, as I had endless free vet advice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Aggression in Cats

September 14th, 2011

aggression in cats, how to stop cats from bitingHissing, scratching, biting, screaming, fur flying…if you have been around cats, it is likely you have witnessed at least one of their displays of aggression. While aggressive behaviors in cats can be normal, they can become problematic and there is no quick fix.

Play aggression is perhaps the most common types of aggression cat owners have seen. So what is it? During a causal play session, the cat may suddenly begin biting and scratching. The playfulness escalates to an unacceptable level of aggressiveness. The aggressiveness is most often directed toward other cats or humans but may occasionally be directed toward dogs or other animals.

Kittens that have been removed from their mothers too early, or have had inadequate or inappropriate socialization of kittens to people and other cats may be a cause. This is because kittens that are bottle-raised have not been taught what is appropriate during play by their mother or littermates. They may not realize that their behavior is unacceptable. Read the rest of this entry »

Giardia in Dogs

July 12th, 2011

Ask a Vet About Causes of Diarrhea in Dogs | Giardia

ask a vet online, dog diarrhea, giardia in dogs

Do you have a dog with sudden or relentless diarrhea? One of the common causes of diarrhea in dogs worldwide, indoor, or outdoor, big dog or teacup princess is caused by a single celled protozoan parasite called Giardia. Giardiasis is an acute or chronic gastrointestinal (GI) tract disease. It is characterized by diarrhea and weight loss in both dogs and cats.

Wondering what could be the cause of your pet’s diarrhea?  Ask a vet online now to find out what could be going on.

Giardia may infect dogs and cats. Some types of Giardia can also infect humans. Transmission is by the fecal-oral route, which means that the parasite is swallowed in food and water contaminated with feces. Note, your pet doesn’t have to eat feces to get the parasite. Usually the transmission is through contaminated water–think puddles, lakes, streams, or water that isn’t suited for drinking in some countries.

Giardia in dogs can be asymptomatic, but when signs are present, the most common one is diarrhea that results in the passage of large volumes of watery feces–think cow patty consistency. It has a distinct odor to it as well, one that I have become all too familiar with after being in veterinary medicine for over a decade. The color of the stool usually isn’t abnormal–if you are seeing grey, green, yellow, or black, you’re probably dealing with another culprit.

giardia in dogs, ask a vet, diarrhea in dogs

Giardia

Intermittent or chronic diarrhea, weight loss, decreased appetite, and vomiting occur less often. Rarely, acute or chronic large-bowel diarrhea may develop, with increased frequency and straining to defecate and the presence of mucus and red blood in the feces.

Read the rest of this entry »

Beat the heat with vet tips for a safe summer

July 9th, 2011

summer pet tips, ask a vet, ask the vet, heatstroke in pets

July is here, and along with it the official dog days of summer. Keep your pets safe during this heated season with these easy tips.

Outdoor smarts.

Dogs and cats can become dehydrated quickly, so give your pets plenty of water when they are outdoors, even if they are only out for a short period. Shady places are important so Fido can escape the sun when the temperature rises. In addition, don’t let your pet linger on hot asphalt. Lying on a hot surface cause your pet’s temp to quickly soar, and may even burn them. Of course our readers know to never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle, but be sure to keep an eye out for careless dumb dumbs that do. Don’t forget–heatstroke can be fatal.

heatstroke in dogs, signs of overheated cat, overheated dog

Heatstroke is NOT this obvious.

Know how to tell if your pet is overheated.

The signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, seizures, and an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees, and even blue or bright red gums. Don’t forget—short-faced or stub-nosed breeds like pugs are more susceptible to overheating as they can’t pant as effectively. Also at risk are overweight pets, or those with concurrent illnesses, espeically heart or lung in origin.

Read the rest of this entry »

Overheating in Dogs

May 28th, 2011

heat stroke in dogs, online vet reviewsAs the weather warms up, it is important to brush up on your knowledge of heat stroke in pets.

Signs that your dog is overheated

Panting is one of the most early and common signs, followed by the dog appearing dull or disoriented. Breathing is usually fast and noisy. They may even collapse or convulse. Their gums may either be bright red or blue. Vomiting, diarrhea, and internal bleeding (manifesting as red/purple spots on the gums, skin, urine, or feces) may occur. Sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias is even a possibility.

If your dog is just panting and you aren’t sure if they are in danger for overheating, you can attempt to take their temperature. Heat stroke usually occurs at a temperature of 104 F and over . Keep in mind, rectal temperatures are the most accurate way to take your dog’s temperature, however, if they have stool in their rectum, it will be artificially lowered.

What should you do if you suspect your dog is overheated?

Grab your dog, wet him or her with cool tap water, and head to the veterinarian ASAP! Wrap your dog in a wet towel on the way to the hospital, as lowering the temperature (slowly, not rapidly) is of crucial and timely importance. Cool tap water, not ice, should be used. If you dog shows interest in drinking water, allow them by all means. If you dog is unconscious, make sure no water can get up their nose or mouth. Call your vet en route, so they can have a team prepared to act quickly! Read the rest of this entry »