Dental Care

Dental care is very important for your pet no matter what age! This page has a number of resources for your cat & dog’s teeth – what you can do at home to improve dental care, the costs of professional care, dental insurance information, and more!

Check out the resources at Our Dental Care Blog.

Heat stroke signs in dogs

Summertime safety is an important consideration for pet owners. Pets should never be left in parked cars, as temperatures can quickly rise to deadly highs. Other tips include limiting walks and runs with your dog to early morning or evening hours, watching out for paw pad burns on hot asphalt, and using a pet-friendly sunscreen on pets with light-colored fur. For more information on summer pet safety, check out the graphic below provided by VetDepot (http://www.vetdepot.com/summertime-safety-pets-infographic.html).

summertime-pets-safety-infographic

Raisins and Grapes Can Be Toxic

Let’s discuss raisin and grape toxicosis.

For some years now veterinarians have known that certain dogs, upon eating grapes or raisins, have reactions that range from mild GI (gastrointestinal, stomach and intestine) problems to kidney failure and death.

Cats, being fastidious eaters, probably just have better sense than to eat raisins or grapes. But take no chances and do not offer grapes or raisins to your kitty. Continue reading “Raisins and Grapes Can Be Toxic”

Feline Leukemia (FeLV)

Feline leukemia is a cancerous disease caused by feline leukemia virus (FeLV). FeLV causes diseases other than leukemia including other cancers and immunodeficiency. Cats may not start to show signs of disease for months or years after being infected with FeLV. Infection with FeLV is a major cause of illness and death in domestic cats. Approximately 2.3% of cats in the United States are infected with FeLV. Read more at peteducation.com and bestfriends.org.

 

If you’re for declawing cats, raise your hand.

Ever wonder what goes on behind closed doors at veterinary clinics? Why do veterinarians always take animals into the back? Are there dirty little veterinary secrets that animals can’t tell us? Declawing is one of the most painful, routinely-performed surgeries in all of veterinary medicine, and yet it is so common that one-quarter or more of all cats in the US are declawed. Continue reading “If you’re for declawing cats, raise your hand.”

Feline Vaccination Series

This vaccination series is designed to help protect your pet from several diseases. Booster shots should be given every 3 to 4 weeks until kittens are 3 months old. Adult cats should be vaccinated every 3 years but should have annual physical examination to screen for other illnesses. Vaccinations should be given to all cats even if they are strictly indoors. Recently adopted cats with unknown health histories should also be vaccinated, since it is safer to give an extra vaccine than none at all.

What are Vaccines Designed to Prevent?

UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS (URI) -includes rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. These highly infectious diseases cause cold-like symptoms and can lead to severe debilitation or even death in young kittens.

PANLEUKOPENIA (Feline Distemper)-a dangerous viral disease that causes severe vomiting, diarrhea, and may suppress the immune system. The disease is often fatal, even with treatment.

RABIES-a serious public health concern because the virus is carried by mammals including raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, and cats and can be transmitted to humans. A raccoon-rabies outbreak currently exists in the Northeast. The virus is spread through wounds, via the saliva of a rabid animal, and causes neurologic symptoms such as overly vicious or timid behavior, lack of coordination, and difficulty swallowing. Once these symptoms appear, the disease is fatal. While there is an effective post-exposure treatment for humans, none exists for animals. An unvaccinated cat that is exposed to rabies must be destroyed or quarantined for 6 months under strict guidelines. A vaccinated cat is well protected from contracting rabies.

Rabies immunization in dogs and cats is required by law in Massachusetts. Even cats that stay indoors must be vaccinated, since they can get out, or a rabid animal can get in. Kittens should have their first rabies vaccine at 3 months, with boosters given one year later and then every 3 years.

FELINE LEUKEMIA (FelV)-A viral disease that suppresses the immune system and may result in cancer or other serious diseases. Although the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it should be strongly considered for all outdoor cats, cats in multiple-cat households, and cats that have frequent contact with other cats (e.g., show cats, cat-teries). All new kittens and cats should be tested for this virus.

What about Other Preventative Measures?

FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV)-FIV, first identified in 1986, can cause chronic illness by interfering with the immune system. Cats may carry the virus for years before showing any signs. Presently there is no vaccine available for the virus. We recommend that all new kittens and cats be tested for this virus.

NEUTERING-due to the serious pet-overpopulation problem in the United States, neutering of males and females is strongly recommended. Sterilized animals are less prone to many medical problems commonly affecting older animals, and neutering may prevent undesirable behavioral traits such as spraying and fighting. We recommend neutering 4 and 6 months of age, but it can be performed as early as 8 weeks.

INTERNAL PARASITES- most cats will suffer from intestinal worms at one time in their lives. Kittens are especially at risk. Remember to bring a stool sample with you each time you bring your pet to the veterinarian.