Educational Articles

Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Halloween can be fun for the whole family including pets but it can also be a scary or dangerous time for pets. Costumes, candy, and noises can cause multiple problems such as stress, poisoning, and anxiety that may cause them to run away or react aggressively. Keep them in mind when planning your holiday and talk to your veterinarian if you need help with anxiety issues.

  • Many pets are sensitive to being restrained for grooming. With slow progress and highly positive rewards, your pet may learn that these are enjoyable activities.

  • This handout outlines the various health registries in existence that strive to improve the health of dogs and cats. Included in this list are the Canine Health Information Center, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Companion Animal Eye Registry, Animal Registry of Certified Health, and the Cat Phenotype and Health Information Registry. Also discussed are canine breed-specific registries, along with the National Pet Microchip Registration.

  • Senior cats need extra care and monitoring to ensure they are enjoying a good quality of life. As cats age, many chronic diseases can develop that can be managed quite well if they are diagnosed and treated early. The best care is achieved through a cooperative relationship between the pet owner and veterinary team.

  • It is estimated that 90% of cats over age 10 are affected by osteoarthritis, making it the most common chronic disease cats face. It is important to develop a plan with your veterinarian to help your cat maintain a good quality of life despite her arthritis. Arthritis management plans include weight loss, exercise, medications, diet, supplements, and modification of the home environment to ease your cat’s daily activities.

  • While the holidays add excitement to the winter months, we cannot forget about indoor and outdoor toxins frequently seen at this time of year. Keeping your pets healthy and safe will help keep the holidays stress free.

  • An increase in your pet’s breathing rate while resting quietly or sleeping is an early clinical sign that your pet may be developing heart failure and needs to see your veterinarian. In general, all normal dogs and cats have a breathing rate of between 15-30 breaths per minute when they are resting. Resting breathing rates that are consistently greater than 30 breaths per minute are increased and considered abnormal. One breath is counted when the chest has moved in and out once. Typically, your veterinarian will have you count the breathing rate once per day for a week while you are learning and then will set up a schedule depending on your pet’s heart health status.

  • Hospice is supportive care provided to individuals in the final phases of terminal disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice care, by definition and as practiced, recognizes that death is a part of life and focuses on maximizing the quality of life for the patient during whatever time remains. The veterinarian coordinates and oversees medical procedures, medication prescription and delivery, and comfort care, but the day-to-day hospice care happens in the home. With planning, forethought, and honest communication, it is possible to provide a dying pet with very reasonable and acceptable quality of life as the end of life approaches.

  • Open, honest, and direct communication with your pet's veterinarian and members of the veterinary healthcare team throughout your pet's life lays the necessary foundation for effective communication as the end of life approaches. As soon as a life-limiting disease is diagnosed, it is time to open a dialogue about treatment options and how the approaching end of life will be handled. Delivery of hospice care is as individual as the pet and the family. Applying hospice and palliative care principles to our pets as they approach the end of their lives can be an emotionally rich and satisfying experience.

  • Many people think that because cats are finicky eaters they are poisoned less often than dogs. However, with their curiosity and fastidious grooming, intoxication is, unfortunately, not uncommon. Several factors predispose cats to becoming ill once they have been exposed to even a small amount of a poisonous substance.