Posts from June, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: What your diagnosis #15

demodex

This is a skin scrape from a 16 week old Pit bull that had hair loss on top of the head and the front limbs.  What’s your diagnosis?

I will post the answer in the comment section later in the week so be sure to come back to see if you were correct!

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments section. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

What you need to know about caring for cats of all ages

caring for cats

Proper socialization and exposure to new situations is important to prevent fears and anxieties in cats.  Dr. Coffin will discuss developmental periods and tips in caring for cats of all ages.[Tweet “Proper socialization and exposure to new situations is important to prevent fears and anxieties in cats.”]

NEONATAL:  (Birth-2 weeks)  Kitten’s diet is comprised entirely of milk.  They rely on their mother for stimulation to urinate and defecate.  Their eyes open and they begin walking when they are about 14 days old.  They are not able to regulate their own body temperature or groom themselves.  

What you should do when caring for cats in this age group:

  • Provide high quality nutrition for the queen.  Dr. Coffin recommends kitten food as it is higher in protein and calories for a lactating cat.
  • Minimal but gentle handling of the kittens
  • Provide warm and safe environment
  • If mother is not present, rub around the butt with warm, wet towels to stimulate eliminations. 

EARLY SOCIALIZATION:  (3-8 weeks)  Kittens begin to eat solid food and milk consumption slowly stops.  They develop control of their bladder and bowel function and will begin to use a litter box.  Guthrie vets stress that this is the critical period for social learning.  Eye color changes during this time frame and baby teeth begin to erupt.  Kittens are able to regulate their own body temperature and begin to groom themselves.

What you should do when caring for cats in this age group:

  • Provide high quality kitten food and fresh water daily
  • Frequent gentle handling and play with many people including men, women and children.  Expose to other cats, dogs and other species.  Reward appropriate friendly behavior to humans and other animals
  • Provide litter boxes with low sides for easy entry.  Use unscented litter and scoop twice daily.
  • Environmental enrichment:  toys, scratching post, cat towers.  Make the carrier a safe haven by leaving it out in the house with the door open.  Throw toys and treats inside the crate several times daily.  Gently handle face, feet and ears.  Begin training to harness and leash.
  • NEVER use hands and feet to play with kittens.  This teaches your kitten bad habits.  Always use toys.
  • Guthrie vet appointment for 1st set of vaccines.

LATE SOCIALIZATION:  (9-16 weeks)  At this age, kittens are continuing to learn social skills and their social play is at its peak.  They are vigorously exploring the environment and climbing.  Adult teeth begin to emerge and those sharp needle baby teeth are going away.

What you should do when caring for cats in this age group:

  • Continue social education.  Kittens that have not had adequate social experience during early socialization will require an extra effort to acquire good social skills.
  • Will need a larger litter box (smallest box length should be 1.5 times the cat’s body length).
  • Provide vertical space (climbing structures).  Continue with basic training.
  • Guthrie vet appointment for 2nd and 3rd set of vaccines

ADOLESCENCE:  (17 weeks – 1 year) Sexual maturity occurs during this time.  Cats in multi cat households learn their hierarchy.  Spraying may occur, especially if not spayed and neutered.

What you should do when caring for cats in this age group:

  • Start transition to high quality adult food at 6 –8 months of age.  Food puzzles and food toys are a great way to feed your cats.
  • Continue playing and reward friendly behavior
  • Reevaluate litter box size
  • Provide identification such as microchip, collar with tags, especially if the cat goes outside.
  • Guthrie vet appointment for neutering.

 

ADULT:  (1-6 years)  At this age, cat’s metabolic rate slows which can lead to weight gain if diet and exercise is not monitored.  A cat is socially mature at 2-3 years of age.  A cat’s personality is strongly affected by genetics and early social experiences.

What you should do when caring for cats in this age group:

  • Assess weight every 3 months and change feeding and exercise as necessary.
  • Continue to play with and reward friendly behavior
  • Reevaluate litter box size
  • Rotate toys for play, replace beds, litter boxes and other supplies as needed.
  • Guthrie vet appointment annually for vaccines and comprehensive examination.

SENIOR:  (7 years and older) Changes in appetite can occur during this time.  Cats become less active which can lead to less social interaction.

What you should do when caring for cats in this age group:

  • Monitor appetite and water intake
  • Continue social interaction even if lower activity level is needed
  • Extra grooming may be needed
  • Medical problems increase with age and can present as behavior changes.
  • Guthrie vet appointment for comprehensive exam every 6 months and annual vaccines.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. 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.

Overweight cats with real life weight loss stories #HillsPet

overweight cats

Overweight cats and dogs are achieving weight loss with Hill’s Metabolic Advanced Weight Solutions!  People all over the United States are seeing real results in the real world.  This week, I will be sharing Tammie Pankuch’s real life success story of Harley. [Tweet “Overweight cats and dogs are achieving weight loss with Hill’s Metabolic Advanced Weight Solutions!”]

Harley is a five-year old, female, half Siamese/ half Domestic Shorthair cat.  Before starting on Hill’s Metabolic Advanced Weight Solutions, Harley weighed 18.3 pounds. 

Tammie noticed about 3 months ago that Harley was playing less and she was having trouble keeping herself clean, especially in the hind end.  Although Tammie did not want to face that her overweight cat was having difficulties, she did the right thing and took Harley to her veterinarian for a comprehensive physical examination and nutritional consultation.  Her veterinarian confirmed Tammie’s fears that Harley was 8 pounds overweight.  The veterinarian recommend Hill’s Metabolic Advanced Weight Solutions for cats

Tammie’s veterinarian informed her that while eating Metabolic Advanced Weight Solution, an obese pet’s metabolism changes to act more like that of a lean pet.  It helps to speed up metabolism and to help your pet feel full and satisfied while burning fat at the same time.  The best news of all, 88% of pets in a veterinarian supervised in-house study lost weight.

It’s very important, especially in overweight cats, to gradually transition to the new food. 

 

Harley loved the taste of the new food and actually stopped eating her normal dry food the overweight catsday after they started her on the Hill’s Metabolic Advanced Weight Solutions.  Tammie and her husband were very surprised by how well she adapted to the new diet.  In fact, Tammie said it was “super easy” and she did not feel bad or that she was depriving Harley.  I’m happy to report that Harley is well on her way to a long, happy healthy life and has already lost 2.3 pounds since starting on the diet.

overweight cats

You can find more information that I have written about this diet and other success stories:

 

I would love to here your real life stories and you can share them with Hill’s on Facebook!  Trust me, seeing is believing!

This post is sponsored by Hill’s and the Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Food, but Dr. Anna only shares information she feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. 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.

Wordless Wednesday: AAHA

AAHA Accredited infographic (1)

This is an infographic I made on a recent study of pet owners about AAHA-accredited practices.  Is your veterinary clinic AAHA-accredited?  Use this locator tool to find an AAHA-accredited practice near you.  We are champions of excellent care.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them here. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Amazing new aid in flea and tick prevention #Seresto collar

flea and tick prevention

Flea and tick prevention is an important part of keeping your dog and cat healthy.  These pesky critters cause disease that can kill your pet.  Guthrie Pet Hospital announces Seresto collar, a new flea and tick prevention that is now available by Bayer.

With the warmer weather, Dr. Coffin and the staff at Guthrie Pet Hospital are seeing a rise in the number of flea and tick related illnesses in dogs and cats.  There are many options for flea and tick prevention, but first, Dr. Coffin wants you to know about the health risks they can bring to your pets.

Health problems caused by fleas and ticks:

  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Anemia
  • Intestinal parasites – tapeworms
  • Flea and tick transmitted diseases – blood parasites

Many of these health problems can be life threatening.  There are so many options available today for flea and tick prevention ranging from shampoos, dips, collars, topical applications and oral medication.  Dr. Coffin says that there is a great, new product that is very effective for flea and tick prevention. [Tweet “The Seresto collar contains ingredients that veterinarians and pet hospitals have been recommending for years.”]

The Seresto collar contains ingredients that veterinarians and pet hospitals have been recommending for years.  Seresto provides a sustained release technology that delivers the performance you would expect from a topical treatment in an easy-to-use collar that is effective against fleas and ticks for 8 months! 

flea and tick prevention

Here are some great reasons Dr. Coffin recommends using the Seresto collar versus other flea and tick prevention:

  • Kills fleas for 8 months flea and tick prevention
  • Kills and repels ticks for 8 months – if the tick doesn’t bite your pet, they can’t transmit the diseases!
  • Odorless
  • Water proof
  • Non greasy
  • Easy to use
  • Don’t have to remember monthly application – continuous supply of the active ingredient is released in low concentrations to ensure reliable 8 month protection
  • Available in 3 sizes – small dogs, large dogs and even safe for cats!

Veterinarians in Guthrie recommend applying this easy to use collar now and it will last you the entire flea and tick season!

This post is sponsored by Bayer / Seresto and the Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Seresto product, but Dr. Anna only shares information she feels is relevant to our readers. Bayer / Seresto is not responsible for the content of this article.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comment section. 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.

June is adopt a cat month! Read this checklist and get prepared.

adopt a cat

June is American Humane Association’s Adopt A Cat Month and ASPCS’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.  Read over this checklist from Guthrie Pet Hospital and get prepared before you adopt a cat.[Tweet “Read over this checklist from Guthrie Pet Hospital and get prepared before you adopt a cat.”]

Did you know that cats are the most popular pet in the United States?  10 million Americans have at least one cat in their household.  Here in Guthrie, Oklahoma kitten season has arrived which means there are lots of cute little kittens and adorable cats that need forever homes.  The team at Guthrie Pet Hospital recommends you think ahead and have a plan before you adopt a cat.

1.  Adopt a cat or a kitten?:  Kittens are much more active and will require more attention than a mature cat.  Dr. Coffin says that all cats need mental stimulation, which can be achieved through interactive toys.  They need exercise and social interaction which can be achieved through playing with a human or another cat or dog.  In fact, adopting two kittens can alleviate most of these issues. 

2.  Personality:  Every cat’s personality is different but certain features can help you predict things about their personality.  For instance, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active.  The staff of Guthrie Pet Hospital recommends you research cat personalities for the breed that you are interested in adopting.  The Cat Fancier’s Association has an excellent breed characteristic and personality chart with pictures.  Dr. Coffin believes that male cats are typically more affectionate than female cats.

3.  Food and water:  Dr. Coffin recommends feeding a combination of canned and dry foods.  She prefers that you feed diets without any colored dyes in the kibble, as some cats can’t tolerate the dye.  Cats are very finicky about their water and prefer fresh, running water.  A pet water fountain will encourage your cat to drink.

4.   Litter box:  The litter box should be at least 1 1/2 times the length of the cat.  It’s very important to scoop the box daily and thoroughly clean once a week.  Provide covered and uncovered boxes in different locations.  The team at Guthrie Pet Hospital offers this general rule of thumb on how many litter boxes you should have in your house:  Number of cats in the house plus 1 (So if you have 2 cats, you should have 3 litter boxes).

5. Veterinarian:  Look for American Animal Hospital Association or AAHA accredited hospitals before you adopt a cat. They voluntarily have their hospital evaluated by a consultant who makes sure they meet or exceed the association’s high veterinary hospital standards.  Guthrie Pet Hospital has been an AAHA accredited hospital since 2003!  Accredited members do this to demonstrate their commitment to providing quality pet care.  Search for one in your area.

The American Feline Practitioners has developed a program where veterinary clinics are now becoming Cat Friendly Practices. This means that they have made changes to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment, such as feline-only waiting areas and examination rooms. Their staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat.  Guthrie Pet Hospital has been a Certified Cat Friendly Practice since 2012!  Search for one in your area.

6.  Budget:  When you adopt a cat, it’s important to be financially responsible for that pet.  There are costs associated with owning any pet, and it’s important to make sure that you can be financially responsible for more than just food and love for each pet.  Cats should be taken to your veterinarian in Guthrie, Oklahoma at least once a year for an annual exam.

7.  Supplies:  Toys, scratching post, bed, grooming tools are just a few basic items recommend for cats of every age.

8.  Cat-proof your home:  Cats are agile and can jump on kitchen cabinets so it’s important to keep food picked up and stored securely.  Leaving food out will only encourage the cat to continue to jump up on the cabinets.  Check out these common home pet poisons.

9.  Introductions:  It can take 2-4 weeks from the time you adopt a cat for it to become accustomed to it’s new home.  Dr. Coffin recommends confining them to a single room in the house which has their food, water, litter box and other supplies.   Once the cat seems relaxed and adjusted then you can slowly start allowing supervised outings.  If you have other pets, let them sniff each other from opposite sides of the door.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them here. 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.

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