Posts from December, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, Why Do You Make My Cat Pee?

Feline cystitis

I believe that stress is a major factor in feline cystitis and I certainly see an increase of these cases around the holidays. Feline cystitis is the most common form of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).  Feline cystitis is due to inflammation of the bladder from an unknown cause.

Diseases of the lower urinary tract account for almost 10% of feline visits to the veterinarian.  Male and female cats appear to be affected equally but it is more prevalent in overweight, indoor cats.  The first occurrence usually occurs between the age of 2 and 6 and unfortunately, 50% of these cats will experience reoccurring episodes.  Feline cystitis accounts for 66% of cats diagnosed with FLUTD.

Symptoms of feline cystitis and other causes of FLUTD include straining to urinate, difficulty urinating, bloody urine, and increased urination.  I believe that stress is a major factor in feline cystitis and I certainly see an increase of these cases around the holidays. Boarding, traveling, visitors or new family member in the home, change of weather, and inter cat aggression are the most common stressors for cats that develop this syndrome.

Diagnosis of feline cystitis is made by ruling out all other causes of feline lower urinary tract disease.  Other causes of FLUTD include urinary tract infection, urinary bladder stones, urethral obstruction, and tumor of the bladder.  Cats with feline cystitis have sterile urine, which means that no bacteria has been grown from the urine sample.  Since their urine is sterile, these cats do not need antibiotics.  In fact, clinical signs of feline cystitis typically resolve within a few days without any treatment.  However, this is a painful condition and I recommend and prescribe pain medication to help these cats.  It’s debatable if diagnostic workup is even needed in young cats that present for the first time with these symptoms.    Further diagnostic testing is definitely recommended if symptoms  do not resolve in 3 to 5 days or a cat develops multiple episodes.

Environmental enrichment has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms and the reoccurrence of feline cystitis.    Litter box cleanliness is one of the most important aspects, but litter box size, shape, and open versus hooded also can affect a cat’s willingness to use the litter box.  Human contact with the cat such as petting, grooming, feeding and playing games that simulate hunting behavior will also help reduce stress in your cat.  It is important to make sure that food, water and access to litter boxes is available in multiple areas of the home, especially in multi cat households.  Prescription diets from Science Diet, Purina, Iams and Royal Canin are also available to help decrease reoccurrence of feline cystitis or other causes of feline lower urinary tract disease.

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 at Guthrie Pet Hospital 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. 

Hip dysplasia: What is it and treatment options

hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is abnormal growth of the hip that occurs during a puppy’s growing phase..

This week’s article is the answer to Wednesday’s blog post titled what’s your diagnosis. If you missed it, I would recommend you go back and take a look at the x-ray.  Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition which is more prominent in large breed dogs, especially German Shepherds, Saint Bernards, Labradors Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.

The hip is a ball and socket joint composed of the femur, which is the ball, and a portion of the pelvis called the acetabulum, which is the socket. The head of the femur and the acetabulum are coated with a smooth cartilage which allows the hip joint to move without friction. With hip dysplasia, the socket is flattened and the ball does not fit well, allowing for joint laxity. The body tries to fix this joint laxity and this is what leads to arthritis.

Puppies with severe hip dysplasia can develop symptoms as early as 6-18 months of age. However, most dogs do not exhibit signs until they are much older and severe arthritis and bone remodeling has occurred. Most of these dogs do not cry out in pain. Symptoms are typically decreased activity level, difficulty getting up and down and difficulty jumping up.

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition and breeding is not recommended in any dog that has had a history of hip dysplasia in their pedigree. Nutrition can also play a large role in the development of hip dysplasia. A large breed puppy that grows too fast is prone to developing hip dysplasia. I recommend feeding a large breed diet, as it contains less calories and decreased amounts of calcium and phosphorous for bone development.

There are several different options for treating hip dysplasia. Many animals with hip dysplasia can be medically managed using pain medication and glucosamine supplements. Unfortunately, dogs will need these medications for the rest of their lives. If detected early enough, there is a surgical procedure that can be performed in young animals called Triple pelvic osteotomy or TPO. This procedure can prevent the dog from developing hip dysplasia and secondary arthritis, but early detection is very important. For older dogs that have already developed arthritis, hip replacement is the surgical treatment of choice. Another procedure that can be performed is called femoral head and neck osteotomy or FHO.

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 at Guthrie Pet Hospital 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. 

Meet the pack! Sweet Bonana

Sweet Bonana

I’m Dr. Anna but to my fur babies and my friends,  I’m just mom and sweet bonana!  Siri and a few other choice friends are allowed to  call me Dr. Sugar Nuts Bitch.  Here are a few things about my personal life you may not know.

What’s your favorite non-animal related book?  The Stand and many other horror/thriller books.

What’s your favorite non-animal related movie? The conjuring

What’s your favorite non-animal related food? Desserts especially apple dumplings

Who’s your favorite actor? Chris Hemsworthclip_image002

What’s one thing you have to do every day? Wake up

What makes you feel fabulous? Helping others

What do you wish you were more skilled at? Marketing

What’s your favorite holiday? Christmas

Favorite meal? Beef tenderloin with mushroom gravy

What do you like to do in your free time? Read

What one word would people who know you use to describe you? Motivated/Driven

If your pets could talk, what one word would THEY use to describe you? Push over

What is one thing you’ve done that you’re most proud of? AAHA accreditation and Certified Cat Friendly Practice

How is your pet most like you? Naturally Grey hair.

What can your body do for you that makes you most proud? Diagnose and treat animals

If you could change one thing about your life what would it be? I would like to play a musical instrument.

Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy? Spending time with my dogs, my job and drinking with friends.

What’s one thing you could do to be more kind to yourself? Stop listening to the inner negative voices and just do it!

What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart? Destroying things, Unconditional love and their cuteness.

If you didn’t have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have? More dogs (most likely bird dogs), Devon or Cornish Rex, Savannah cat

Wordless Wednesday… What’s your diagnosis #2?

Petey VD Pelvis

This is a hip x-ray from a 10 year old Dalmatian mix with chronic history of lameness and difficulty getting up. 

Below is a comparison so that you can see what normal looks like.

Hip comparison

The abnormal view is a magnification of the right hip in the 1st x-ray.  The hand is pointing at the hip joint.

What’s your diagnosis?  What are the treatment options?

Come back Sunday to discover the answers to these questions and more about this common disease!

If your pet has excessive drinking and urinating seek a vet!

Excessive drinking and urinating

Excessive drinking and urinating could be a sign that your pet has a serious and possibly life threatening illness.

It’s important to pay attention to the amount of water your pet drinks on a daily basis.  How frequently do you fill the bowl or how far has the water level dropped in one day.    Noticing the water level change or filling the water bowl more frequently is a sign that your pet may be drinking more than normal.   

Excessive drinking and urinating

Normal water intake:  Dogs require 1 ounce/ pound of body weight each day.  Cats require a less water than dogs, typically  0.5 ounce/ pound of body weight each day. 

Excessive water intake: Anything over  1.5 ounces / pound of body weight. 

So, the first thing that needs to be done is to determine if your pet is drinking an excessive amount of water.  To do this you will need to separate your pet from all other pets in the family for a 24 hour period.  Measure how much water you put into the bowl at the beginning of this experiment and write down any time you add water to the bowl.  At the end of the 24 hours subtract how much is in the bowl and calculate how much your pet has drunk. 

Naturally, excessive drinking is followed by excessive urination.  Which means your pet may be asking to go out more than normal or having accidents in the house.  Once you have determined that your pet is excessively drinking and urinating,  it is very important to take your pet to your local veterinarian because most causes of excessive drinking and urinating are caused by medical conditions.  It is rare for these symptoms to be caused from a behavior problem.

There are many medical conditions that can cause signs of excessive drinking and urinating.  The most common medical conditions that I see that can cause these signs is diabetes mellitus and kidney disease.  However, there are many other medical problems that can cause excessive drinking and urination.  Other conditions that may cause these symptoms includes infected uterus, over active thyroid gland, some medication (especially steroids), liver disease, and diabetes insipidus (which is rare).  Behavioral cases of excessive drinking and urinating are more commonly seen in puppies. 

The only way to diagnose these diseases is by doing blood work and checking your pet’s urine.  The sooner the problem is detected the better chance you have of treating or slowing down the progression of the disease.

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 at Guthrie Pet Hospital 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. 

 

Meet the pack! Jade

Jade

Meet Jade AKA superstar Jadé and occasionally referred to by her country name Jadene.  She is the middle sister but does not get blamed for everything!

In fact, Jade is one of the most well behaved and chilled dogs that we have ever owned.  She is 7 years old and is a bit on the shy side.  Even as a puppy she was very calm and did not get into a lot of trouble.  Her only down fall is she is a chow hound and loves to counter surf. 

When she was a few months old, my then eldest dog, Guthrie, got into a fight with her and bit her on the head.  He latched on and would not let go.  Luckily I was home and finally broke up the fight.  Jade developed a scar over her right eye from that bite.  The hair in that area is white and spells the letter G.   (See picture)Jade with G

Guthrie has been gone for about five years now and even though it’s not one of my favorite memories of him, every time I see that scar I think of him.  I also believe that this may be why she is so shy.  She prefers to sit in her own chair by herself.  She does seek our attention but it has to be on her terms.  After Guthrie passed away, we adopted a little stray dog and it was so fun watching her come out of her shell and start to play.   Jade and Dharma, the youngest, love to play and hang outside together.

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 at Guthrie Pet Hospital 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. 

12 Christmas pet poison and dangers!

Pet Christmas poison

With the holiday season quickly approaching, we are all busy decorating, cooking, and gathering gifts that could be dangerous to your pet.  It’s important to be aware of potential poison and dangers and keep them up and away from your pets. Continue…

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