Ask Ellen

/Ask Ellen

Can Essential Oils Harm My Cat? Hi, everybody! Welcome back to Coffee Talk with-- I'm Dr. Erica Barron, and this is Ellen Carozza, our head technician here at NOVA Cat Clinic. Well, Happy New Year! We haven't been-- It's a new year! --here in a while. We've been working very hard. We just haven't had a chance to chat with you, so sorry about that. But feel free to interrupt us at any time again. We are in Arlington, Virginia. So if we can help you in person, just let us know. Otherwise, we're going to have a very quick talk today about essential oils and other alternative treatments that you can get for your own cats at home, and what we think about them. So real fast, Ellen, do you like using essential oils yourself? Myself, I love the smell of scented soaps and candles and everything like that. But I had exotic pets in my home such as parrots, etc., and essential oils basically are a big no-no when it comes to using essential oils, because they're really sensitive to essential oils, depending upon is it an artificial essential oil, is it a natural essential oil, or is it like Teflon, all that other kind of stuff. Because they're-- Teflon is deadly. Deadly to birds. Deadly to birds. Don't use it. You will kill them like that. And they have super sensitive respiratory tracts. And so recently we got a message on our Facebook page asking us to discuss essential oils because apparently there's some story going around that some cat got really sick about essential oils, and what's our view on essential oils, etc. And well, a lot of it boils down to common sense. Yeah. So [...]

By | January 14th, 2018|Ask Ellen, Community|0 Comments

The Best of 2017 NOVA Cat Clinic Instagram

What a tremendous year it’s been for NOVA Cat Clinic. From the revitalization of our Instagram in the spring - currently orchestrated by our veterinary assistants Sara & Sophie (Sophie speaking, hello!) - donating HUNDREDS of pounds of food to the DC Humane Rescue Alliance over the summer, solidifying our Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation independent 501(c)3 in the fall, and moving to our new building on Cathedral Lane this winter we are extraordinarily proud of all that we have accomplished in 2017. Our kitten foundation, run by our very own mother of cats Ellen LVT (@thecatlvt), rescued and cared for 44 critical care kittens this year alone! For many of the kittens, Ellen achieved what can only be described as miracles. From differently-abled (paraplegic) Dory, Dakota aka Princess Poops (unable to control her bowel movements), Stevie the eyeless wonder, Remi the vampire kitten (neonate blood transfusion recipient), the several litters of c-section kittens that Ellen expertly helped adapt to life in their new world, and many more - every single life deserved a chance. We are so incredibly grateful to all those who donated to charity over the year, for the Amazing Acrocats who helped raise money while they were performing at NextStop Theater in Herndon, and to Melissa Lew (@mlewjewelry) for designing jewelry for our kitten foundation. To everyone who donated, no matter how small, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Every single penny makes a difference for the critical neonates in our care. With a fully functional 501(c)3, an expanded network of foster homes, and broadened connections with other local rescue organizations we are eager to help even more kittens in 2018. Over the year our doctors cared for cases [...]

Want To Help Orphaned Kitten? And Buy Some Holiday Gifts?

The Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation (CGMFF) with your help has saved 43 kittens this year.  Unfortunately every year, some kittens do not make it.  The average mortality rate is 20%.  The CGMFF's rate was 4%.  To learn more about the foundation and consider donating please click here. The Foundation has purchase an incubator which will help save more lives. If you would like to help the foundation continue its good work, please consider purchasing these beautiful handmade necklaces.  Melissa Lew is the artist and the necklaces are truly incredible. They can be yours for $27.  All of the money will go directly to the foundation. The purchase is not deductible according to IRS regulations. Shipping and handling is included. Your purchase will help the foundation.  The supply is limited so place your order today. Thank you so much for your support and generosity.

By | November 24th, 2017|Ask Ellen, Community|0 Comments

What Is IBD and How Is It Treated? Hi, everybody. Sorry for our hiatus. My name's Dr. Erica Barron, and this is Ellen Carozza, our head technician here at NOVA Cat Clinic in Arlington, Virginia. And today, feel free to pop in any questions wherever. But we're going to talk about inflammatory bowel disease in cats. In people, it's called inflammatory bowel syndrome, but we call it disease because it's a disease. So today, we're just going to go through the beginning of it, and we're going to go through how and why it happens, and we're also going to talk about symptoms of it and signs. So Ellen, I feel like we talk about poop a lot. We do a lot of stuff. We do a lot of fecal analysis in house, including stains and everything as well. We're always handling poop. It's true. And then we always talk to people about what you see in the box, so here we go doing that again. So why don't you start talking about the guts and just what the normal gut does, and then we'll talk about what happens when it gets diseased. Well, the difference between the feline patient, because they're true carnivores versus your omnivores patient, is you are always going to have different lengths of your intestine because cats have a very short intestinal tract. They also have different flora as well with their intestinal tract as well So anyway, what happens is IBD basically is this huge inflammatory process that can be caused by numerous things. And so when the cat usually is presented for poop issues, it's usually because the cat's been having chronic diarrhea for a long time, and your veterinarians have ruled all sorts of [...]

By | August 7th, 2017|Ask Ellen|0 Comments

Why Is My Cat Eating So Much And Losing Weight?

Why is my cat eating so much and losing weight? Dr Barron and Ellen will discuss one possible reason - feline hyperthyroidism Anyway, today we're going to talk to you about hyperthyroidism. Feel free to ask questions as they pop up. We have a special guest on the other side of the room who's going to read them to us so I don't have to squint. So, first things first, what is hyperthyroidism? Why did we call this metabolism overdrive? Well, unfortunately, when it comes to feline hyperthyroidism, the ongoing joke here in the hospital is like, that's the perfect diet, because basically it's because your metabolism is in overdrive, but that's not necessarily a good thing, because when your metabolism is in overdrive a lot of your other organs tend to get stressed. So, unfortunately-- it is a treatable condition, but a lot of times, by the time we see a hyperthyroid cat sometimes their symptoms are way far out, and the doctors need to be doing a little bit more treatment than what everybody would prefer. And so this brings back the reason why we like to see our older kitty cats twice a year so we can kind of keep track of the trends, and to find out how their metabolism is actually performing for them. Because one part of their lab work is a routine thyroid test to make sure that they are not starting to fall into this hyper metabolism trend. So, as Ellen said, this is sort of like it's a joke where it's like, "Oh, if I just need to lose a couple pounds, I could just take some thyroid hormone, and there you go," but it [...]

What Do You Do With Your Cat When You Are On Vacation? Dr Barron and Ellen will try to help you with your cat(s) when you go on vacation. "It's vacation time." What does that mean for you and your cats? So Ellen why don't you jump off and talk about cats and vacation and maybe what things you should think about before you go on vacation. And we can give you some tips on if you decide you want to take your cat with you on vacation. Right. Preparation is always the key before you decide to take your cat on vacation. Number one, does your hotel allow it? Do your family members allow it? Is your cat a good traveler, etc.? Because you have to think about the pet first, even though you may want your cat to travel with you. Your cat may want to have nothing to do with this kind of travel because it is super stressed. So if your cat is not the world's best traveler, and you're only traveling for a short period of time, perhaps they shouldn't go on vacation with you versus if you do have a cat that's wonderful in the car, easily adapts to any situation within moments then, yeah, that's probably the kind of cat that would love to go travel and hang out with you. Kind of like when you see the new Camping with Cats and The Adventure Cats, it's those ones, I love them. I love the camping with the cats' website. I think it's so cool. Side note here, if you're going to take your cat on a trip, you need to have it on flea prevention, period. Yeah. And have a microchip and have harness and all that other fun of stuff. And please make [...]

How Do You Keep My Cat Safe During Anesthesia?

We get asked this question all the time. Dr Barron and Ellen answered questions during one of their famous "Coffee Talks". You may want to catch one of these talks on Facebook Live on Wednesdays.  A transcript precedes the talk. Today we're going to show you, using this really cute stuffed animal, how we monitor cats under anesthesia. Because we always have questions about, "Oh, what do you actually do? Why is a dental so much more than when I have a dental when I go to the dentist?" Well, because they're under anesthesia. And anesthesia, it has a lot of risks which can be avoided or minimized if we do proper monitoring. So that's why we do monitoring. But Ellen, quick question. This is on every anesthesia-- everything I've ever done. What is the most important part of monitoring anesthesia? It's always a person. All of the tools tell you what's going on, but the person has to know if something's wrong. So that's part of the reason anesthesia's so expensive. Because we need so many people staring at the cat, and the machines, and the beeps. Right? And the machines only complement what we can do. Of course, our number one tool we always use under anesthesia is a stethoscope. But the pieces of equipment we're going to show you today actually help us determine if we're starting to have an anesthetic-adverse event earlier-- Which we need to work on. Okay. So let's start. So first, we sedate the cat. We give it an injection. Okay. Then sometimes they throw up. Okay. That's done [laughter]. We don't want them to, but sometimes it happens. Then we go ahead and we put in an [...]

What Happened to Winifred?

Winifred is one of the kittens the Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation (CGMFF) helped to save.  She was an extremely small kitten that required extra veterinary nursing care.  She is doing very well in her new home in Upstate New York. The kitten season will be upon us soon so please help Ellen and the CGMFF help save orphaned kittens.  We will be posting information about the at risk orphans as they arrive. Your donations go a long way to help them and they are tax deductible.  Click here to learn more. To see more about Winifred click here.

We Want To Hear From You

It has been a little while since we performed a  survey.  From that survey, we were able to make changes you requested. From the survey, we have added an extra doctor on Saturday increasing  our availability.  We have added more evening appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have started offering limited house calls in Arlington and Alexandria.  We are considering expanding into DC and Falls Church.  This service is only offered to current clients. We would be most pleased if you would take the time to fill out our survey.  In thanks for your time, you will be entered in a drawing to win $50 in products and/or services.  Surveys will need to be submitted prior to Jan 31, 2017 to be eligible for the prize. The responses and winner will be posted in February.  Please make sure and scroll to the end - there are 8 questions. Thank you for your consideration. Create your own user feedback survey