Friday, March 30, 2012

Testing Testing 1...2...3? (Part 3)

Back to balancing Precious’s thyroid (Continued from Part 1 and Part 2

I had increased her thyroid medication.  Her owner, who lives on the other side of town, asked if she could have the test run at her previous vet, since she lives much closer there.  I said that was fine.  She brought Precious there, and the vet ran the FT4 test, and also ran a chemistry panel  to see if the liver enzymes had changed at all.  The good news:  the FT4 was now normal and we could proceed with the anesthesia.  The worrisome news: the liver enzymes were still high; in fact, they were even higher than before.

Monday, March 26, 2012

UPDATE: Can Cats Mate with Rabbits?

An update to the reader question: Can Cats Mate with Rabbits?

...and the answer is still, no. Not even during Easter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easter Lilies and Felines: DANGER DANGER! KEEP AWAY!

Easter Lilies and Felines: DANGER DANGER! KEEP AWAY!

Keep your cats away from lilies; an important springtime reminder.

The ingestion of lilies can cause acute renal failure in cats.  Many plants are called “lilies”, however renal failure has been seen only with Easter lilies, Stargazer lilies, tiger lilies, Asiatic lilies, Oriental lilies, and day lilies. 

All parts of the plant are toxic. Prompt, aggressive treatment is necessary for a successful outcome.  Once renal failure develops, however, the prognosis rapidly declines; some recovery may be possible, but this may take weeks, and peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis at specialized referral centers may be the cat’s only hope.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sex and the Kitty

Not Impressed....
Sex and the Kitty

Dr. Arnold Plotnick, cat expert gives us the scoop on the feline birds and the bees

Introduction

The domestic cat is an incredibly prolific creature. In many cultures, cats have been admired (and even worshipped) for their reproductive capabilities. Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of fertility, is depicted as a cat in artwork.

This fertility, however, has a downside. The Humane Society of the United States, in promoting the importance of spaying and neutering in controlling the feline population, informs us of a startling statistic: if one un-spayed female cat and one un-neutered male cat were allowed to mate indiscriminately, and if each of the kittens in the subsequent litters were also allowed to breed, it could theoretically result in the production of over 400,000 kittens in just seven years! Clearly, controlling the reproduction of our domestic pets is important in reducing the number of unwanted animals that end up in shelters where most are euthanized. But how much does the average cat owner know about their beloved cat’s reproductive system and capabilities? Read on, and be amazed!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Poor Little Faye and her Herpesvirus Conjunctivitis

Faye, I simply love this cat.  Poor little Faye, a patient of mine for a long time, has chronic herpesvirus conjunctivitis.  Her eyes are always red, always inflamed, always runny.    She’s seen the veterinary ophthalmologist a few times, and basically there’s nothing that can be done except to give antiviral eye drops when she has a flare-up, but otherwise, she’ll always have a low level of eye inflammation.  The cat is fine with this.  This is all she’s ever known, and although the eyes are red, they don’t seem to bother her much.

Except today.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Don't Ignore that Cough

I recently had a bummer of a case.  A 12 year old cat who presented to our clinic for itching.  The cat had generalized hair loss all over the abdomen, extending to the inner thighs.  It also had hair loss on the inner forearms, and  some scabs on the head and neck.  The owner said that  the cat was also coughing about two weeks ago, but that  the cough had resolved.

She was worried  that the cat would be stressed out by traveling to the vet, so she had a housecall vet come to her house to evaluate the cat. 

Whenever a cat is losing hair, the first thing I wanna know is:  Is the hair falling out, or is the cat pulling it out?  Clearly, this cat was pulling it out.  She was grooming her abdomen and legs non-stop.  The  next question I ask is:  Does it itch?  Some cats will overgroom for psychological reasons, rather than for dermatological reasons.  Grooming is a comfort behavior, and when cats are stressed or upset, they will often overgroom.  The abdomen is a favorite spot, but other areas, such as the flanks and the forearms are also common areas.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Rabies Update


A few months ago I posted about rabies.  I thought I’d share with you the latest statistics regarding the occurrences of rabies in the U.S. in 2010.  In the U.S., wildlife is the most important source of the rabies virus, but spillover into domestic species does occur.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Testing Testing 1...2...3? (Part 2)


So where were we (continued from part 1)?  Right, the FT4 test.  Lo and behold, it came back elevated.  So, the cat is hyperthyroid.  The vitamin B12 and folic acid level came back normal.  If either the B12 or the folate were low, we could say with good certainty that the cat has some gastrointestinal illness.  But a normal B12 and/or folate level does not exclude gastrointestinal disease. So GI disease is still a possibility. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Testing Testing 1...2...3? (Part 1)


I saw a 12 year old cat the other day. The owner was seeking a second opinion.  The cat had been losing weight, but was still eating okay.  The owner took it to her veterinarian.  The vet performed bloodwork, but for reasons I’ll never understand, she only did a complete blood count (CBC) and a chemistry panel.  She didn’t run a thyroid test, and didn’t do a urinalysis.  I find this frustrating, and inexplicable.  It’s a senior cat.  You need to do a senior profile.  I can understand not doing a urinalysis if you can’t obtain a urine sample.  Getting urine from cats can be difficult sometimes.  (I never have a problem with that, though.  After thousands of physical exams, I can get urine from about 99% of the cats I examine. Seriously. I am the urine king.)  So, maybe that’s why no urinalysis was done.  There was no excuse for not running a thyroid test, though, especially in a cat with weight loss and a good appetite.  

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