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Does My Indoor Only Cat Need To Be On Heartworm Preventative? – Update

As with everything in medicine and science, new data becomes available and recommendations evolve.  The need for heartworm and parasite prevention has become even more apparent.  Even "indoor-only" cats need to be protected With permission Dr Cathy Lund - City Kitty Providence, RI All cats need to be on preventive.  Heartworm disease is very challenging to diagnose pre-mortem in cats.  Furthermore there is no effective treatment for cats. Mosquitoes are everywhere and can become active in weather as cold as 40F (4.5C).  A new development is that it has been recognized that cats DO get Lyme Disease.  Ticks are especially hard to repeal and kill for cats.  Many of the anti-tick products are toxic to cats. Fortunately as early as April, there will be Revolution Plus.  This product is the same as Revolution but it now has a Sarolaner.  This is in the  isoxazoline class of drugs which kills ticks. To learn more about Revolution Plus click here This class of drug can be an issue for cats that have seizures.  It is not recommended for them. Click here for more information about heartworm disease. With Permission Dr Cathy Lund - City Kitty Providence, RI Prevention for your cat is easy.  Not only does this protect your cat, it protects your family.   My "indoor-only" cat is on Revolution. I could not imagine not having him protected.

By | February 16th, 2019|Pet Safety|0 Comments

Are Cannabis Products Safe And Effective For My Cat?

Are Cannabis Products Safe And Effective For My Cat? With the changing marijuana state laws, we are getting many questions related to the use of cannibal products.  Hopefully we can provide you with some answers. The first new change is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears ready to approve the first drug made using Cannabis.  To learn more from the Washington Post please click here. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has Cannabis currently registered as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. There are 5 categories.  Schedule 1 means that it is highly addictive and has no medical use.  Heroin and cocaine are in this category.  As a Schedule 1 substance no research is allowed since it has no medical use. If the FDA approves the new drug, there is talk that Cannabis' schedule status may change to Schedule 2 or 3 in the next 90 days.  The ability to do controlled studies should be very helpful to see where these products have potential in medical usage. In the Washington, DC area each jurisdiction has differing laws.  In Virginia, use of cannabis is illegal.  In Maryland, cannabis is allowed for medical use.  Finally in the District of Colombia, recreational use of cannabis is legal. We get many questions about use cannabis products for cats.  These products do not contain the active ingredient Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  The products are like many other supplements.  The FDA does not regulate them.  No studies have been performed. Given these parameters, we cannot endorse their usage.  We do not know if there is actual product in the supplement.  We also cannot be sure if it is safe.  This puts them in the same category as all other supplements.  FDA does not regulate [...]

My Cat Is Hyperthyroid. What Do I Do?

Our very own clinic cat, Emme had started acting strange in the last few months. She has been ravenously hunger, yet lost weight. She is not thin, but for her she is on the light side. She has been grooming excessively. Her behavior has become quirky over the last few months. We decided that it was a good time to examine her and take some blood. On her physical exam, it was noted that she had a very small heart murmur. She also had lost a pound since her last examination in December. The blood revealed that she had a T4 level of 4.3 (0.8-4.0 normal). Her thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was <0.03 (0.0-0.3 normal). Given these results, we determined that she was hyperthyroid. Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disease of cats. It is estimated that 10% of all cats become hyperthyroid. Fortunately, the disease is curable or controllable. There are 2 cure choices and 2 control ones. For control there is a medication call methimazole or a low iodine diet called y/d Since Emme is only 10 years old and the rest of her blood work was with in normal limits, we decided on cure. The 2 cure choices are nuclear medicine, iodine (I-131) or surgery. Currently nuclear medicine is considered the gold standard. Surgery has more risk since it involves anesthesia. In the past, we used to do a trial with the medication, methimazole for 2 weeks then consider the I-131 treatment. Studies have shown that the trial does not help with predicting the outcome. So Monday, June 18, 2018 was Emme’s big day. We had cameras so you were able to watch her from outside and inside the cage . We [...]

By | June 18th, 2018|Pet Safety|0 Comments

Feline Calicivirus- Just How Important Is that FVRCP Vaccine Series For My Kitten?

Calicivirus is a commonly spread upper respiratory infection (URI) in cats seen in shelters, crowded rescue/breeder environments and even in feral cat colonies. Fortunately, it is preventable with the FVRCP vaccination. Calicivirus is highly contagious to the unvaccinated cat no matter what age which is why it is considered a CORE vaccine by the AAFP and the AVMA. Let’s breakdown the FVRCP vaccine and show what it protects against. FV (Feline Viral), R (Rhinotracheitis), C (Calicivirus), P (Panelukopenia.) In the neonate and pediatric patient all 3 can be deadly.  All 3 can infect cats by direct exposure (including sneezing), contaminated bedding, food/water bowls and by the human caretaker who fails to practice proper hygiene while working with multiple cats.  Stress plays a great role in URI in cats in the crowded shelter setting. Calicivirus in particular is a URI that can be mild and subclinical or present “Virulent Systemic” that can cause painful mouth and throat ulcerations that can prevent the kitten from eating causing further detrimental effects on the body from malnourishment.  Not only the mouth, but the nasal passages and eyes can ulcerate as well.  In kittens, they commonly develop pneumonia from secondary bacterial infections or even aspiration of food due to the inability to properly eat.  Some kittens even have joint pain associated with the disease. It is recommended that kittens start their FVRCP series at 6-8 weeks of age with boosters every 3 weeks until 16 week of age.  Adult cats dependent on age and risk of exposure should get booster vaccines yearly or every 3 years by the recommendation of their veterinarian. With the pediatric patient it is important to remember that they need to be examined by a veterinarian [...]

By | April 18th, 2018|Pet Safety|0 Comments

Does My Cat Need Heartworm Protection? – Update

Spring is around the corner and so are mosquitoes.  These pest can infect your cat with heartworms.  Click here to see more information about heartworm disease Take heart that there are easy methods to prevent and protect you furry friends from this disease.  Revolution is an all in one product that will protect your cat from other parasites (fleas, ticks, and internal parasites). Zoetis has a rebate program that will help you provide great health care for your cat. The video will show you how to get enrolled.  

By | April 3rd, 2018|Pet Safety|0 Comments

Can I Walk My Cat On A Leash?

As the days get longer and warmer, we all want to be outside.  We do get asked if cats can go out on a leash. The answer is yes, but it is best to practice indoors.  Harnesses are better than collars since they are harder to escape.  Most cats will get use to having a harness on their bodies. People do act like they have never seen a cat when they see one on a leash. As with most things cat, the cat walks you not the other way around. We have video of us putting on a leash on my cat.  The second video is from Buzz Feed and is pretty humorous. All right folks. Let's see. Here we are. We're going to show you how to put a harness on a cat. This is Patrick-- Hi. --and Bart. So Bart is a really good guy. Quickly put this on around his torso All right, Buddy Boy. Bart is Mr. Tolerant. He is very tolerant. So you might have a little bit more difficulty at home with your feline. And you might let them get used to it. Just takes a little while. Usually most cats will acclimate to it, then you can take them outside and walk them on a leash, and everyone will look at you like you got three eyes. And that's putting a harness on a cat. See you later. Take care.    

By | March 29th, 2018|Pet Safety|0 Comments

Cats And Lilies Do Not Mix

Spring is around the corner.  All of us here at NOVA Cat Clinic want to make sure that your cat is safe during the spring holiday season. We try to bring awareness that Lilies are EXTREMELY toxic to cats. If you have a cat, do NOT have any lilies in you house.  Even the pollen is toxic.  We will have links to previous years post for further information. All parts of the lily plant are dangerous, including the flowers, stamens, stems, leaves and roots – even the pollen. If a cat gets pollen on its coat and then grooms, it could still cause fatal illness. Cats that get pollen on themselves should be thoroughly bathed as soon as possible. Most of the time we figure out that our cat has eaten lilies when we find a piece on the floor. Sometimes it is in a pile of vomit. When it comes to lilies, it is imperative that you seek emergency medical treatment for your cat as soon as possible to ensure proper and effective treatment. In approximately 2-4 days after ingestion of the plant, your cat may begin to show signs of kidney failure. If enough toxin is absorbed to cause acute kidney failure, then the likelihood that your cat will respond to treatment is poor. A cat affected by lily intoxication will initially show signs of an upset stomach, vomiting, a lack of interest in food, and lethargy. These initial signs may appear within 2-12 hours of ingestion and may disappear after 12 hours. The cat may improve briefly or appear to act normal before the condition progresses to serious acute renal failure within 48 to 72 hours. Once a cat’s kidneys have been damaged to the point [...]

How Do I Understand Cat Food Labels? Or Getting That Summer Body In The Winter

Today I’m going to discuss general nutrition - what to look for on the bag, what all that mumbo jumbo even means, and food puzzles! If you have an overweight cat or two at home we have plenty of room in Team FatCat bootcamp! Just contact the clinic and we’ll get you in touch with one of our assistants who specialize in feline nutrition (Sophie speaking, hello!) Reading the Bag – What to Look For When selecting a pet food, there is nothing more critical than an AAFCO statement. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has conducted a lot of research and they are the organization that maintains the standards for complete and balanced nutrition for our pets. All commercially sold pet foods should have an AAFCO statement that confirms they maintain the nutritional requirements our pets need – if they do not provide an AAFCO statement, drop that bag like it’s hot!   Ok, so it’s AAFCO approved, what does that even mean? Unlike humans, who have to delicately construct our diets from different foods in all the categories of the food pyramid, our pets depend on their food to provide all the nutrients they need in the proportions that they need them in. Pet food companies can meet the standards set by AAFCO in one of two ways: feeding trials or formulations. If a company has conducted a feeding trial, they have physically feed their product to animals and studied how they respond. A feeding trial AAFCO statement will state “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that ___ provides complete and balanced nutrition for __ of __ cats.” Alternatively, pet food companies can simply formulate their foods to meet AAFCO [...]

Does Your Cat Have Allergies? Hi everybody, welcome back. I'm Dr. Erica Barron, and I'm here in NOVA Cat Clinic in Arlington, Virginia. I know I usually have Ellen with me, but Ellen has pneumonia, and she has no voice. So it would not do you any good. But we had a couple of requests just for us to talk about feline allergies. So I was going to talk to you just for a couple of minutes about that. So feel free to ask any questions. If you're online or if you want us to talk about something else about your cat, we're happy to answer questions. But remember we're very good at saying, "Ah, we're not sure you might want to go to the vet to check that out." So real fast, feline allergies don't necessarily look like human allergies or dog allergies because they're not dogs and they're not humans. One of the things that I often see with feline allergies is sometimes they'll start to sniffle just like people, but a lot of times they start having some debris in their ears, or you'll notice some excoriations around their ears, or scratching around their ears. And sometimes they have pinpoint dermatitis. It almost looks like blackheads. It can happen in their chins. Sometimes, it happens in their ventral abdomen or their lower abdomen. And sometimes, it happens in their feet. Once in a while, when it happens in their feet, I always worry if they're having a contact dermatitis or something to their litter. That's not common, but it's something to think about. So those are the things that you usually see.  It can get so severe that they get secondary asthma, and they can get [...]

By | February 12th, 2018|Pet Safety, Wellness|0 Comments

Do Your Cats Fight After Veterinary Visits? Hi, everybody. Happy Tuesday. We're back with Coffee Talk. My name is Dr. Erica Barron, and this is Ellen Carozza, our head LVT here at NOVA Cat Clinic. And today we're going to talk to you all about sibling issues or roommate issues because they're not always actually . Especially coming back from the vet's office, and one of them leaves the house, which is a major stressor, comes here, and then returns home. And then suddenly, your two cats aren't getting along anymore. Well, what do we do? Yeah, they smell different because remember, cats really care about the way things smell way more than we do. So we have to be careful when they start to smell different because they're like, "I don't know if I recognize you. You smell different." It's hard. It's hard. So one of my tricks - it doesn't work for everybody, but works for some people - is when you get home, you put a dab of vanilla extract on their heads and on the base of their tails. And then I feel like it resets a lot of them, and then they don't have this issue. I usually recommend that if you do have any type of sibling issues or roommate issues, or whatever you want to call your two cats, or three cats, or four cats, that when you bring one home and it hasn't been around everybody for a bit, then keep him in a separate room for a little bit just to kind of let him cool off. Maybe they didn't like it when they gave us blood today. Maybe they need to take five minutes and think about it and just calm [...]