Hamilton Veterinary\y Hospital
The holidays are a time of joy, time with family and friends and exchanging good tidings. The last thing that you want is for this to be a time spent in the emergency room with your pet. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the holidays and keep your pet safe.
High fat foods, such as ham, gravy, butter and desserts, may cause inflammation of your dog’s pancreas. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover.
Keep foods securely sealed and enclosed in a high space or the refrigerator. Secure the lid on the trash can to avoid garbage raiding.
Bones: chewing on bones, particularly turkey bones, can cause splintering. Once swallowed, the splintered bones can cause trauma to the intestinal tract, requiring surgery. Ham bones, while they tend to not splinter, are hard and can fracture teeth when your dog chews on them.
Onions and onion powder: in large enough quantities can cause a sudden onset of anemia.
Foreign objects: such as string (used to tie the turkey), skewers, plastic bags and turkey poppers. Your pet does not have self restraint or the common sense to avoid these objects that drip of meat juices.
Toxins: Mistletoe and holly are toxic plants. Caution with snow globes as they contain toxic antifreeze, which is highly toxic to pets.
- Secure the tree to avoid the tree falling onto your pet if they decide to climb.
- Ornaments should be kept on higher branches to avoid breaking, eating and destruction.
- Tinsel should not be used as pets love to play with it and if eaten, can cause serious injury to the intestinal tract and require surgery to repair.
- If you put chemicals in the water of your tree, cover the bowl so your pet does not drink from it.
- Sweep up pine needles to avoid health problems.
Maintain routines: With all of the people in the house, some pets may become nervous with the change in routine. Provide your pet with a retreat space to unwind from it all. Be sure to keep normal routines especially exercise for your pet.
Watch that door: If you expect a large number of people in your home, be sure to watch the door to make sure that there are no unexpected escapes.
People are not the only ones with a love for chocolate. Pets like chocolate too. Chocolate toxicity is most common around holidays when chocolate can be found at every turn. Unfortunately, dogs do not show any restraint with how much they consume. Chocolate is also toxic to cats, but they often do not eat enough of this delicacy to cause toxicity.
Chocolate contains a group of chemicals known as methylxanthines; most specifically, theobromine and caffeine. Dogs and cats cannot tolerate the higher levels of these compounds like people can. Different types of chocolate have varying amounts of these toxic compounds:
Milk chocolate>Semi-Sweet (Bittersweet) Chocolate>Cocoa Bean Mulch>Baking Chocolate>Cocoa powder White chocolate contains insignificant amounts of the toxic compounds, and is therefore rarely toxic.
Symptoms of chocolate toxicity depend on:
type of chocolate eaten,
- how much was eaten
Mild toxicity: vomiting, diarrhea
Moderate toxicity: vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity and a racing heart rate
Severe toxicity: seizures and death
Chocolate ingestion is considered an emergency. If you think that your pet has eaten chocolate, call the veterinary clinic immediately for recommendations. Time is of the essence.
Since chocolate containing foods often contain butter or milk, the high fat content can cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) in dogs. Pancreatitis causes intense abdominal pain and vomiting and requires hospitalization to recover.
To keep your pet healthy and out of the emergency room, be sure to always store chocolate containing items in a tightly sealed container far out of reach from your pet.
If your pet exhibits any of these warning signs call us immediately at for advice.
Your friends at,
Hamilton Veterinary Hospital
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4 tips for bringing your cat to the veterinarian.
We know it can be tough to wrangle your cat for a trip to the veterinarian’s office. Many cats dislike the cat carrier as well as riding in the car, so heading in for an annual checkup can sometimes
be a stressful proposition. Follow these four tips when you head to your next veterinary
appointment to reduce your cat’s stress and make for a calmer car ride.
From your veterinarian
1. Make the carrier your cat’s second home.
Cat carriers are typically associated with many unpleasant things. Many cat owners keep the carrier in a closet or in the garage, so the cat hasn’t rubbed on it or slept inside it. Cats who haven’t transferred their scent to the carrier, therefore, see it as a foreign object. So give your cat time to mark the carrier with facial rubbing—she’ll feel like it belongs to her, and you may find it easier to place her inside. If you have room, make the carrier a part of your family room furniture. That means leaving it out all the time with the door open. Place a soft towel inside to make it a little more cozy. Pretty soon, your cat won’t think twice about entering the carrier.
2. Turn the carrier into a meal center. Put part of your cat’s daily food in the carrier
to help your cat associate something good with the carrier. Even better: Use a bit of especially yummy food, like canned food or even a little tuna. Or try tossing your cat’s favorite treat in the carrier when she wants to be left alone. This will reward her for seeking solitude in the carrier and continue to reinforce the notion that the carrier isn’t so bad after all.
Information courtesy of Dr. Sally J. Foote, Okaw Veterinary Clinic, Tuscola, Ill.
3. Try a different kind of carrier.
If you have an emergency and don’t have time to let your cat adjust to the carrier, try using a pillowcase as a carrier. With the cat on your lap, slip the pillowcase over her body, head first. Knot the top of the case and support the bottom when holding your cat. Alternately, you can use any type of item your cat likes to nap in—two laundry baskets connected together could also work. These items aren’t a trigger for fear like your standard carrier might be.
4. Consider using a synthetic product. Using a product that contains a feline facial
pheromone can help calm cats during stressful events. These products can be sprayed on blankets, towels, or bandanas before you head to the veterinarian. Many cats become less agitated when their owners use these sprays, so purchasing one could make your life easier when it’s time to take your cat for a car ride.
Regular wellness exams are crucial for keeping your cat happy and healthy. Use these tips the next time you head to your veterinarian to make it much easier on both you and your cat.
Here is a little info that you may not know about your indoor cats. If you would like to download the handout click here.
We offer a free sample of Feliway wipe to be applied to your pet carrier when training your cat to a carrier. To obtain a free sample just stop by our hospital and one of our staff will be happy to assist you.
Training your cat to a carrier.
Making your cat carrier cat friendly.
Going for a ride.
Use this simple, staggered training program to ensure your cat's trips in the car are as relaxing and happy as possible. By starting out slowly and gradually increasing the time your cat spends in the car, you'll reduce the risk of surprise and nurture a calm travel experience for your cat.
Bad Breath in Cats
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by a variety of health problems. Don’t worry, your cat’s breath isn’t supposed to smell minty fresh-but if there’s an extremely strong, fetid odor, there could be an underlying medical problem.
What Could Be Causing My Cat's Bad Breath?
Most often, bad breath is caused by a build-up of odor-producing bacteria in your pet’s mouth. This can be a result of dental or gum disease; certain cats, in fact, may be especially prone to plaque and tartar. Diet and dermatological issues can also be contributing factors. However, persistent bad breath can also indicate more serious medical problems such as abnormalities in the mouth, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys. In all cases, halitosis is a red flag that should be investigated.
How Can I Determine the Cause of My Cat's Bad Breath?
Your veterinarian is the best person to pinpoint the cause. A physical examination may reveal the cause of your cat’s problem. If not, further tests will likely be recommended. Be ready to answer questions about your cat’s diet, oral hygiene, exercise habits and general attitude and behavior.
When Is It Time to See the Vet?
The following symptoms will require veterinary attention:
- Excessive brownish tartar on your cat’s teeth, especially when accompanied by drooling, difficulty eating and red, inflamed gums, could indicate serious dental or gum disease.
- Unusually sweet or fruity breath could indicate diabetes, particularly if your cat has been drinking and urinating more frequently than usual.
- Breath that smells like urine can be a sign of kidney disease.
- An unusually foul odor accompanied by vomiting, lack of appetite, and yellow-tinged corneas and/or gums could signal a liver problem.
- Pawing at the mouth
How Is Bad Breath Treated?
Treatment depends on your vet’s diagnosis. If plaque is the culprit, your cat might require a professional cleaning. If the cause is gastrointestinal or an abnormality in your pet’s liver, kidneys or lungs, please consult your vet about steps you should take.
How Can I Prevent My Cat From Having Bad Breath
Many people assume that bad breath in cats, especially at a certain age, is a “given”-but that’s not the case. In fact, being proactive about your pet’s oral health will not only make your life together more pleasant, it’s smart preventive medicine:
- Bring your pet in for regular checkups to make sure he has no underlying medical issues that may cause halitosis.
- Make sure your vet monitors and tracks the state of your cat’s teeth and breath.
- Brush your cat’s teeth frequently-every day is ideal. (Please be sure to use toothpaste formulated for cats as human toothpaste can upset your pet’s stomach.)
- Discuss home-use oral health products with your veterinarian to see if there’s a type he or she recommends.
- Talk to your vet about feeding a diet that will help to prevent dental disease. Some feel that the abrasive action caused by chewing hard kibble can slow down the formation of plaque.
What Happens If I Ignore My Cat's Bad Breath
If left untreated, gum disease and excessive tartar-both causes of bad breath-can lead to infection and tooth loss.
Planning a safe holiday for your cat.
When it comes to the holidays, there are so many things to be careful of — not gaining 10 lbs. on cookies, not getting yourself into debt just to buy some presents — and of course keeping your pets healthy, happy and safe. Here are some helpful tips from your friends at Hill's Pet Nutrition on how you can do just that .
Guests may cramp your cat's style, so keep her favorite place free from the holiday hubbub so she can relax.
Keep poisonous and dangerous plants away. Plants like mistletoe and poinsettia are poisonous, and ingested pine needles can cause digestive tract blockage. Keep your pet away from these plants and you just might save yourself a trip to the emergency vet.
Decorate safely. There are a variety of decorations that can cause problems for your cat. Ribbons and tinsel are frequently implicated in veterinary emergency rooms. Light cords, when chewed or frayed, can cause severe burns or electrocution. Prevent these disasters by keeping decorations out of reach or locked in an inaccessible room.
Make holiday trips safe and prepare for them well in advance. Take special precautions when traveling with your pet no matter how you choose to travel. Several days before departing, consult with your veterinarian about how to properly prepare for a trip.
Table scraps aren't pet snacks. Many holiday foods are loaded with fat and sodium and can cause stomach upset. Chicken bones can easily get stuck in the digestive tract and other foods like chocolate or onions can be poisonous. In short, people food is meant for people. Stay disciplined in keeping your cat on the right Science Diet® cat food formula for optimal health.
Because chocolate can cause illness and even death in cats, it should be avoided completely. Chocolate contains theobromine, a potent cardiovascular and central nervous system stimulant that is eliminated very slowly in cats.
If your cat experiences occasional stomach upset, consider Science Diet® Sensitive Stomach for adult cats.
A holiday recipe for a healthy homemade cat treat. Take Science Diet® canned cat food and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook in the microwave for approximately two-and-a-half to three minutes. In a conventional oven, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Use dry Science Diet® cat food by grinding it into flour using a blender, then add water until it is the consistency of dough. Make into cookie shapes and bake on a cookie sheet for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Let your cat watch you make them to build anticipation.
About PROGRAM® 6 Month Injectable
PROGRAM® (lufenuron) 6 Month Injectable For Cats
The fleas on your cat are in the adult stage. An adult female flea, living on a pet, can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. But PROGRAM® (lufenuron) 6 Month Injectable for Cats prevents flea eggs and larvae from developing. This breaks the flea life cycle at its base, and effectively controls the flea population.
How PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats Works
PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats is a remarkable product that provides an entire 6 months of flea control. Just two doses protect your cat all year long. PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats contains lufenuron, an insect development inhibitor that prevents the development of immature stages of the flea.
Over one million doses of PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats have been administered. It has undergone testing and is held to high FDA standards (NADA #141-105, Approved by FDA), so you know it's safe for your cat. The following side effects may occur in treated cats: injection site reactions, gastrointestinal, inactivity, loss of appetite. Click HERE for full product information.
PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats works like birth control for fleas by preventing eggs from developing. It provides extremely effective flea protection. In a university study, from day 14 through the rest of the 6 months, PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats demonstrated 97.7% effectiveness. What's more, PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats cannot fall off like a collar or be groomed off by your cat like liquid-drop flea control products.
How to Use
Flea populations are more prevalent in the spring when cold temperatures turn warmer, making it a more hospitable climate for parasites. You are more apt to encounter fleas in warm, humid areas. However, because weather patterns are always variable and unpredictable, it is important to use PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats all year round. Research shows that 100% of pet owners who use PROGRAM 6 Month Injectable for Cats year round are satisfied. Just two injections a year from from us.
Caring for Senior Cats (Age 7 and Older)
For senior cats ages seven and older, routine blood work and a thorough physical exam will help your veterinarian detect health issues in their early stages. Dental disease, kidney problems, and thyroid problems are just a few of the senior feline health issues your veterinarian will be screening for.
How to Enhance Your Pet's Environment: By Joel D. Ray, DVM
Our pets sometimes exhibit "normal" behaviors that we find objectionable. For example, cats may scratch furniture or eat plants because there is nothing else to scratch or eat. In these cases, providing a scratching post/mat
or cat grass/nip may do the trick. However, not all behavior issues are straightforward and easily resolved. Many
behavioral problems, such as canine separation anxiety (that may manifest as destructive behavior when owners are
away), can be complex and require comprehensive treatment plans, including medication. Any behavioral issue
should be thoroughly discussed with and diagnosed by your veterinarian—especially aggressive behavior—before
implementing the following suggestions. Click on title to open link.