Close Encounters of the Feline Kind

Original Drawing by Dr. John Bialasik, DVM; 2019

 

Close Encounters of the Feline Kind…
Has your cat’s behavior recently changed with no explanation? In a recent
publication released from the FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation) an astounding
number of indoor and outdoor cats were reported missing in the last 9 years. Of the
fortunate cats recovered and returned home, families reported strange behaviors
and events displayed by their kitty. While the discussion of alien encounter and
abduction is not being proven with these cases, the probability and possibility is a
strong theory.
If your cat has recently gone missing and then returned, we encourage watching for
the following behaviors:
Telekinesis
You may feel that your cat is always in your head, a constant meowing may
penetrate your sleep, day dreaming and break through your concentration. An urge
to constantly fill and refill the food bowl may be experienced. You may notice
yourself purchasing tuna fish at the grocery store for no apparent reason.
Insomnia
Many family members experienced disturbed sleep and paranoia. They described
intense feelings of being watched. Other owners woke to find their cats staring at
them through the night.
Electronic Anomalies
Computer crashes and glitches may increase with the return of your cat. The “Geek
squad” reported an increase to the 4 th power of cell phones failing, power cords
splitting and light fixtures breaking. Cities with large populations of cats have
experienced unexplained surges through their entire power grids occurring during
times of feline disappearance and reappearance.
Paranormal Activity
More frightening, be aware of sudden bursts of activity, scientifically referred to as
freak-outs, displayed by your cat. This may present as sudden and explosive jumps,
running, or skidding through the home; hissing at unseen objects, and/or hair
standing on end and dancing on toe tips.
Be cautious, the government may want your cat.
If you have a problem…if no one else can help…and you can find us…maybe you can hire…”A” Street Animal Clinic.
Microchip Your Pet for a Safe and Speedy Recovery!

Lower Urinary Tract Disease

Original Drawing by Dr. John Bialasik, 2019

During seasonal and drastic weather changes, it is not uncommon to see an increase in urinary tract infections with cats and dogs. In an otherwise healthy individual with normal urinary tract anatomy and function, a bacterial infection is often the leading cause of urinary disease in dogs. In cats the initiating factor is often inflammation of the urinary bladder initiated by stressors.

 

The urinary tract is composed of the kidneys, ureters, the urinary bladder and urethra. The kidneys function to filter urine and moves urine through the ureter, a tube that carries urine to the urinary bladder. The urinary bladder holds urine and allows for excretion from the body through the urethra. When a pet is said to have a urinary tract infection it is often referring to an infection within the urinary bladder. With persistent infections of the bladder or left untreated these infections can progress to affect the kidneys.

 

Clinical signs suggestive of a urinary tract infection include the following:

  • Urinating frequently in multiple place or inappropriate places (outside the litter box)
  • Urinating small amounts at a time
  • Inability to hold urine
  • Urine that appears dark, discolored, blood tinged or foul smelling
  • Excessive licking of the genitalia

 

Other diseases and illnesses such as diabetes or kidney abnormalities, bladder stones or incontinence can present with similar signs. For this reason, it is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have your pet examined.

 

With male cats, abnormal urinary signs can be much more concerning and lead to a potential emergency. Male cats can develop a condition in which their urethra for excreting urine from the bladder becomes obstructed or “blocked.” Mucus, urinary crystals and even tiny bladder stones can collect in the narrow male cat urethra preventing urine flow. Unable to urinate, pressure builds in the bladder leading to damage to the bladder and critical, life-threatening electrolyte imbalances.

 

A male cat that is straining to urinate, vocalizing while urinating, or unable to pass urine is considered an emergency.

 

Mo’s Winter Safety Tips

Original drawing by Dr. John Bialasik, DVM; 2019

Wintertime is here…

 

The weather can change drastically through the next months, so, monitor it closely and make adjustments. If it is too cold for you, it’s likely to be too cold for your pets. When pets are left outdoors without appropriate protection, pets can freeze, suffer frostbite, become disoriented, lost, stolen or injured.

 

Mo has some important tips and reminders from the ASPCA to keep your pets warm and safe.

 

Prevent Itchy, Flaking Skin

When pets are going in and out of the home, from cold temperatures into the dry heat, their coats and skin can become dry and irritated. Keep your home humidified and dry your wet pets as soon as they come indoors.

 

Reduce Washing and Bathing

This is not the best time for baths. When necessary, be sure to completely dry them and limit the times this is done. Frequent baths can remove essential oils for protecting the skin. If your dog or cat requires frequent baths, ask about a moisturizing or non-rinsing shampoo.

 

Grooming

Remove clinging ice crystals from between paws. These can become irritating and painful.

 

Antifreeze (ethylene glycol)

This is still toxic. Be sure to clean up any spills and avoid leaving containers lying around.

 

Shelter

A cozy bed with a clean, dry and warm blanket is perfect. If outside, be sure there is shelter protecting from drafts, precipitation and the cold. Feeding a little bit more for outdoor pets can provide much-needed calories. Make sure there is plenty of drinking water available. Check the water frequently to make sure it is not frozen.

 

Dogs Off-leash

Dogs can lose their scent in the snow and easily become lost or disoriented. Make sure your pets’ id tag is current and if they have a microchip it is currently registered.

 

Ice Melts Caution

These are commonly made of different salts. The most common side effect seen when your pet ingests ice melts from treated snow or licking their paws is vomiting and diarrhea. How much they consume, size and health can lead to other concerns such as electrolyte imbalances.

  • Avoid your pet eating any snow treated with ice melt.
  • Wipe your pet’s paws when coming in from outside.
  • Paw wax or doggie booties can provide an excellent barrier to minimize risk to sensitive paws.
  • Keep ice melt packages out of paws reach

Holiday Safety Reminders

Safety Reminders this Holiday Season

(Original drawing by John Bialasik, DVM, 2018)

 

Mo here, and while I’m ecstatic about the awesome holiday tree and decorations that have been set up for me to destroy, I am reminded of some important safety lessons to avoid a CATastrophic holiday season.

 

The Holiday Tree

Secure it tightly so it doesn’t fall over. Your pet will be very curious about the new arrival and my want to explore each branch.

 

Tree Water

Cover the water dish for your tree with a skirt or towel to avoid pet drinking. Tree water may contain fertilizers that can be hazardous or toxic to your pet leading to diarrhea, nausea and stomach upset. The water can also become a great place for bacteria to culture and grow.

 

Ornaments

Place ornaments out of reach of pet paws. These can become a choking hazard if ingested and when broken can lead to injury or irritation.

 

Homemade Ornaments

Play dough and salt dough ornaments are an alluring and appetizing treat to your furry friends. These are heavily salted and when ingested can cause life-threatening electrolyte imbalances.

 

Tinsel

Simply put, toss it. This is very attractive to cats with its shiny appearance and tantalizing strings. If consumed though it can lead to severe vomiting and potential digestive obstruction requiring surgery.

 

Candles

Set these away from curious paws and whiskers.

 

Wires (electric lights)

Your electric lights can deliver a lethal shock if chewed on. Avoid these at pet level, and inspect regularly for loose or frayed wires. Batteries can also create corrosive burns to the digestive tract if chewed on or swallowed.

 

Presents

No peeking! These can be a threat to curious pets rummaging around under the tree. Be sure to keep all wrapped foods and treats up and away from your pets. Remember they can smell them and won’t wait to unwrap it!

 

More Holiday Tips: www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips

 

Are We There Yet?!

How much further…are we there yet…

 

 (original drawing by John Bialasik, DVM; 2018)

Hello again, it’s Mo here to talk to you about tips for traveling with your pet this Holiday Season.

 

Some pets may shiver in terror at the thought of being on the road and others insist on sharing your lap while hanging their heads out the window loving every moment. To say the least, pet travel can be an adventure. And whether you are traveling across town or just around the block advanced preparation and a tool kit of tips can help to make it a safer and more pleasant experience for everyone.

 

Check with your Veterinarian:

Make sure your pet is healthy and up to date with vaccinations before traveling. Address any health concerns that may be lingering. Get their prescription refilled and be current on flea, tick and heartworm prevention. Some pets just don’t handle travel well and medications to ease travel anxieties can be discussed at an appointment.

 

Know your Pet:

Training is essential for every pet. While it does not have to be extensive it helps if your pets comes to you when called. Travel with a leash, collar or harness. A tag identifying your pet and providing a contact number is advisable. Microchip identification can be discussed with your veterinarian. A current picture of your pet is also recommended to carry with you.

 

Pet Supplies:

Pack all your necessary supplies for your pet in one bag and keep it easily assessable. A few items recommended to pack are:

  • A supply of pet food, food bowl and bottled water
  • Dog treats and enriching toys
  • Prescribed medications, primary veterinary clinic and contact information and a brief medical history if your pet is being treated
  • A clean sheet and towel, favorite bed, plastic bags for clean-up, extra cat litter
  • Grooming supplies such as a brush, shampoo or wet wipes

 

Plan your Route:

Be sure to plan for rest stops and potty breaks to stretch the paws. Cat boxes can be placed in a carrier with a cat, but don’t forget extra litter if your trip is going to be long, or a plastic bag for used litter. Many motels are pet friendly, but may have a limited number of dog and cat friendly rooms, so making reservations can be key to a stress-free trip. Pack a picnic lunch or snacks for yourself. This way your pet companion and you can stretch your legs in a park while eating.