Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 Year in Review

It’s hard to believe that I’m already writing my end-of-the-year blog post. Every year seems like time has just whizzed by, but 2014 really zoomed by exceptionally fast.

I made a concerted effort to read more books in 2014 than I did in 2013, and it worked.  This year, I read 30 books!  I gave each one my personal star rating, from 1 to 5, with five stars being the highest.  Rather than list them in the order that I read them, I’ll list them from best rating to worst.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Reader Question: Treatment for Low-Grade Intestinal Lymphoma

Question:
Dear Dr. Plotnick,

My 12-year-old cat Molly has just been diagnosed with small-cell intestinal lymphoma, following a surgical biopsy.  What can I expect in terms of treatment and prognosis? Thank you very much.

Susan M. S.


Answer:
Dear Susan,

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reader Question: Broken Paw and Surgery Recovery

Question:
Dear Dr. Plotnick,

My cat broke her paw and she had surgery within 24 hours of it happening. She is recovering (surgery was a week ago today) and she seems to be getting back to herself a little more every day.  She is eating, drinking and cuddling and resting most importantly.  Can you please let me know when a cat has surgery on her paw wrist, uses the splint from 2 – 3 weeks and does the proper rest for 8 – 10 weeks - are the chances good for a full recovery? I am very concerned for her and want her to be ok – I am of course just very worried about her well-being. What do you think?

Fiona


Answer:
Dear Fiona,

Monday, December 8, 2014

Feline Asthma

Feline Asthma

My first appointment of the morning was to see Gypsy, a 5 year old neutered male Siamese owned by Gail Harstein.  The chief complaint written in the appointment book was the vaguely worded “hairball problem”.  In the exam room, I asked Gail to elaborate.

“He’s been trying to cough up a hairball for weeks”, said Gail, “but nothing comes up.”  As a feline practitioner, I hear the mistakenly used phrase “coughing up a hairball” at least once a week.  Hairballs live in the stomach.  Cats vomit hairballs.  Vomiting is associated with the gastrointestinal system.  Coughing is derived from the lungs; it is associated with the respiratory system.  When I hear the phrase “coughing up a hairball”, further questioning is necessary to determine whether the cat is vomiting or coughing.   Gail described what she was seeing.  “He hunkers down, extends his neck, and makes a raspy noise a few times.  After about a minute, he’s done, and he trots off on his merry way”, she said.  This was a classic description of a coughing cat.  Any ambiguity was further dispelled when Gail followed with, “Here, I took a video.”  In this age of smartphones, anything can be recorded instantly, and Gail’s short video was definitive: ten seconds of Gypsy coughing his head off.  I told Gail that there are several potential causes for coughing, but in a young Siamese cat, feline asthma is at the top of the list.

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