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Educational Articles

Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions, or 'twitching', of the heart muscle, confined to the atria, or the top chambers. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in cats occur secondary to heart disease.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stand united in their position that feeding raw food to cats is potentially dangerous to both the cat and to you. In the most recent study conducted, nearly 25% of the raw food samples tested positive for harmful bacteria, including Salmonella ssp. and Listeria monocytogenes.

  • Azodyl is a nutritional supplement that may decrease azotemia, a condition in which there is too much nitrogen—in the form of urea, creatinine, and other waste products—in the blood. Azotemia occurs in both dogs and cats that have chronic kidney disease (CKD). In theory, Azodyl works by adding nitrogen-consuming bacteria into the intestines. Azodyl should be considered an adjunct (secondary) treatment for CKD.

  • Weight-conscious people are familiar with BMI (Body Mass Index) as a yardstick to identify ideal weight. There is a way to measure the body condition of our furry friends, too. The pet version of BMI is called BCS (Body Condition Score) which is a quantitative yet subjective method for evaluating body fat.

  • Breeding, pregnancy, and birthing in cats may seem simple, but can have complications. Cats can have multiple litters in a year. It is important to know when your cat may be expecting to give birth so that you can be available to provide assistance if necessary. It is important to know what signs indicate that your cat may be experiencing difficulties delivering the kittens and know when veterinary attention is needed.

  • Your interaction with your new kitten begins on the ride home. Cats should always be transported in some kind of carrier in the car. By teaching your kitten to ride in a confined location you are providing safety as well as starting a routine that you can maintain for future car rides.

  • Teaching your cat to accept the brushing of its teeth will take some training, but will be relatively easy once he is accustomed to the process. Daily brushing is most beneficial and will help to establish a routine for your pet.

  • Pet owners may not realize that caffeine can be harmful to their pets. They also may not know that many foods and drinks in their cupboards contain caffeine. This particular chemical boost can be toxic for them.

  • While cannabis use is not new, its use for recreational purposes is more recent. As with any other medication, the increased accessibility to the drug has led to an increase in accidental exposure in pets. A small amount of cannabis is all it takes to cause toxicity in pets. Many of the clinical effects of intoxication are neurological. Pets become wobbly and uncoordinated. They may be hyperactive, disoriented, and very vocal. Their pupils dilate giving them a wild-eyed appearance and they may drool excessively or vomit. They may also exhibit urinary incontinence. In severe cases tremors, seizures, and coma can result. Activated charcoal may be administered every 6-8 hours to neutralize the toxin. Enemas are also used to reduce toxin absorption from the GI tract. Medications and supportive care to regulate the pet's heart rate, respiration, and body temperature are used if needed. Since the pet may be lethargic with no desire to eat or drink, IV fluids can prevent dehydration and maintain organ function. Anti-anxiety medications can minimize agitation.

  • Modern vaccines are extremely effective and safe. However, it is common for many pets to experience mild side effects following vaccination, similar to those that humans experience. Other less common but more serious side effects can occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. These reactions are considered medical emergencies, and you should seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your pet is having a more serious reaction.