Posts from October, 2013

Domestic cat – it’s origins and history.

The domestic cat

Today is National Cat Day!  In honor of them, I will discuss the origins of the domestic cat.

The first archaeological records of the domestic cat dates back 10,000 years ago to Cyrus where a cat was found buried with a human.  In fact, it’s been proven from genetic research that all cats descended from the Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris, which literally means “cat of the woods.”

Many researchers believe that the domestic cat actually domesticated itself about 12,000 years ago when the first agricultural societies began to establish themselves in the Middle East Fertile Crescent.   When humans began to settle down and began to grow and store crops, mice became a problem and cats just wondered onto the scene and into our homes.

In ancient Egypt, cats were revered by the gods and as gods.  Killing at cat in ancient Egypt was often a death sentence to the offender.  Interestingly, a cemetery was found in Beni-Hassan brimming with 300,000 cat mummies.

Unfortunately, cats became associated with witches in the Middle Ages and were often viewed as demons.  This lead to the killing of many cats in an attempt to ward off evil.  Many scientist feel that this may have been what precipitated and perpetuated The Plague.  Finally, in the 1600s the public image of cats began to change and now domestic cats are the most popular house pets in the United States with almost 75 million as household pets.

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients as family. Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

Pet winter survival tips prepare yourself now!

Pet winter survial tips

Winter Weather Preparedness Week is October 20th through November 9th.  Use these pet winter survival tips to prepare your pet for this winter.

For 2013–2014, Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a winter that will experience below average temperatures for about two-thirds of the nation and higher precipitation for many parts of the country.  Pets become acclimated to temperatures just as we do, so it is important to take pet winter survival precautions to keep your pet warm and safe.

Outside pets tend to have less problems acclimating to weather because temperatures gradually change over time. However, if your pet is use to the indoors it can take up to two weeks to acclimate your pet to cold weather. Huskies and Malamutes (Artic breeds) are specifically bred to withstand colder temperatures. In generally, larger animals can withstand colder temperatures for longer periods of time, while very young and very old animals are more vulnerable to the cold. Health conditions can also compromise your pet’s ability to regulate its own body temperature.  Here is a list of survival tips for your pet winter survival:Pet winter survival tips

1.  Shelter:  No matter where your pet stays, it’s important to make sure they have a warm shelter that protects them from the wind and rain. 

2.  Clothing:  Many pets are not suited for cooler weather and will be more comfortable with a warm weather coat.  Coats are available in all sizes and thicknesses. 

3.  Hiding spots:  During the winter, your pet winter survival is based on being resourceful.  Cats are especially resourceful critters and will curl up in many things including fire places, clothes dryers and especially car engines, so make sure to know where your pet is at all times and honk your horn or make noise before starting your car.

4.  Fresh water:  It’s always important to keep a fresh supply of clean water available at all times. Pets that don’t have access to fresh, unfrozen water are more likely to drink from puddles and gutters which can be contaminated with antifreeze, oil and other harmful chemicals.

5.  Paw protection:  Be sure to check your pet’s paws for frozen ice, salt and other chemicals which can cause discomfort, and if eaten cause stomach irritation.  Booties can help minimize exposure to all these elements but it can take some time for pets to get use to wearing these.

6.  Monitor for signs of arthritis: Older pets are more prone to arthritis which typically worsens with colder weather.  Snow and ice can also make walking more difficult and cause your pet to slip and fall.  Signs of arthritis include limping, slow to get up and move around,  difficulty jumping or difficulty climbing stairs.  See your veterinarian as there are many options to help alleviate these signs of pain.

Unfortunately, I do see several cases of hypothermia (below normal body temperature) every year. Some of the symptoms include shivering, lethargy, weakness, decreased heart rate, decreased breathing, and unresponsive to stimulus. Pets exhibiting these symptoms need to be seen by a veterinarian immediately. You can start to warm your pet by using a warm blanket or towel that has been heating in the dryer, warm water bottles, heating blankets or socks filled with rice and heated in the microwave. These objects may need to be wrapped so that they do not cause skin burns.   Your pet winter survival is up to you so get out while the weather is nice and be prepared!

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients as family. Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

Vet in Guthrie concludes journey with preventative medicines.

Vet in Guthrie recommends preventative medication.

Keep your pet healthy all year long with these preventative medications prescribed by a vet in Guthrie.

This is the eighth and final part of a Guthrie vet wants to take you on a journey.  The history, physical exam, lab work, and vaccines have been given and it’s just about time to step out of the clinic and head back home.   Before you leave, vets in Guthrie will want you to protect your pet against internal and external parasites by purchasing medication.  Many of these parasites can also be transmitted to people states a vet in Guthrie.  Continue…

Guthrie vet clinic lets the cat out of the bag!

Guthrie vet clinic lets cat out of bag about vaccines

Guthrie vet clinic spills the beans and tells all about cat vaccines.  What are they and which ones do you need?

This is the seventh part of a Guthrie vet wants to take you on a journeyEver wonder what all those initials (DHLPP, FVRCP) meant at the Guthrie vet clinic when you go to get your pet vaccinated? Well, it’s quite simple; each letter stands for a disease that is contained within the vaccine. This week a Guthrie vet clinic will talk about cat vaccines. The annual vaccines for your cat are FVRCP, also commonly called feline distemper,  leukemia and Rabies. Here is what they each stand for:

1.  FVR stands for feline viral rhinotracheitis:  Rhinotracheitis is caused by a virus transmitted through the air.  Clinical signs include fever, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and eye discharge.

2.  C stands for Calicivirus and Chlamydia.  Calicivirus  is transmitted in saliva. It is a very hardy virus which is easily transmitted.  Clinical signs include fever, anorexia, oral ulcers, and clear nasal discharge.   Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted in saliva. Clinical signs include squinting, congestion, weepy eyes, sneezing, and a clear nasal discharge.

3.  P stand for Panleukopenia:  Panleukopenia also known as  feline distemper is caused by a virus that is shed in body secretions. Clinical signs include decreased white blood cells count, high fever, anorexia, vomiting, green gooey diarrhea, and dehydration. This infection is most common in young kittens and is an often a fatal disease even in adult cats with no prior exposure.

4.  Leukemia:  Feline leukemia is a virus that suppresses the cat’s immune system. It can eventually cause leukemia, lymphoma, decreased red blood cell count, or reproductive disorders.  Symptoms include chronic mouth and gum infections, skin and ear infections, chronic respiratory disease, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and dehydration.  Feline leukemia is transmitted through blood or saliva primarily through cat bites.  It can also be passed from mothers to kittens in utero. The virus does not survive long outside a host and is easily killed by drying or cleaning.  Guthrie vet clinics only recommend this vaccine if your cat goes outside or is exposed to other cats that go outside.

5.  Rabies: Rabies is 100% fatal disease and is caused by a virus. The virus is only transmitted from the bite of another animal that is infected with the rabies virus. Symptoms can include sudden death, drastic changes in behavior and neurological symptoms. This disease is also contagious to humans and is 100% fatal.  

Don’t let your cat out of the bag and get sick from these preventable diseases.  Call your Guthrie vet clinic for an appointment today.

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you’d like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook,

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients as family. Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but our very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

Photo by:  Andrea Schaffer

Guthrie vets reveals … Vaccines!

Guthrie vets Dharma with vaccine tags

Over their lifetime your pet is exposed to deadly infectious diseases.   Guthrie vets discuss vaccines you need for your pet’s protection and why you should get them.

This is the fifth part of a Guthrie vet wants to take you on a journey.  You have finally arrived for what you actually came for.. the vaccines.  Hopefully, by now you have realized that every step in this process is just as important, if not more important, than the actual vaccines.   I will divide this section into three parts.  The first part will discuss why vaccines are necessary, the second part will discuss dog vaccines and the third part will discuss cat vaccines. 

Puppies and kittens get protection from many different diseases from their mother’s first milk, also known as colostrum. These antibodies stay present in the puppy’s bloodstream until they are 8-16 weeks of age.  Once these maternal antibodies start to decrease a series of vaccines will need to be given to stimulate your pet’s immune system.  Vaccine schedules can vary from vet to vet, but most veterinarians recommend a series of three vaccinations one month apart for all puppies and kittens.  Guthrie vets recommend vaccinating at 8, 12, and 16 weeks and then once yearly.

Guthrie vets also recommend your pet has a comprehensive physical exam prior to giving the vaccines.  A sick animals can not properly respond to the vaccine and it would be a waste of your money.  If your pet is already showing symptoms the vaccine will not help your pet get better or recover from the disease.  Average cost of the distemper vaccine and an exam is around $45.  The cost of the vaccine is very low compared to the cost of treatment which could run $500-$1000.  There is no cure for many of the diseases.  Treatment usually involves intravenous fluids, support care and treatment of symptoms until the animal gets better.  Many times, even with proper care, pets die from these preventable diseases. 

Many people are concerned about vaccine reactions and the possibility of the vaccines causing auto immune disease.  No specific dog or cat breed is prone to vaccine reactions.  A recent article published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Association revealed a two year study that administered 3,439,576 doses of vaccine to 1,226,159 dogs.  Only 0.38% of over one million dogs had any type of vaccine reaction!  This proves that the risk of getting the disease is much higher than the chance of your pet having a reaction.  Call Guthrie vets today to schedule your pet’s vaccine appointment.

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you’d like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook,

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients as family. Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but our very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

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