Thunderstorm Phobia in Pets
Many pets are truly terrified of thunderstorms. There are some steps pet owners can take to help their furry friends cope with storms. Finding what works best for your pet may take some trial and error. We can help make a plan for your pet – here are the basic steps we use.
- Find a spot in your house for your pet to stay during the storm that ideally has no windows – like a closet or bathroom. It is great if your pet has chosen their own safe place. Be sure your pet has access to the safe place even if you are not home.
- Turn on the radio or TV to help mask the storm noise. There is special music called Through a Dog’s Ear and Through a Cat’s Ear designed to calm pets that is available online as a download or CD.
- Sit calmly with your pet and let him know you aren’t afraid of the storm – anxiety is contagious!
Treating Feline Obesity through Proper Diet
Did you know that up to 60% of American cats are overweight? This is amazing because many cats only get the food and exercise their owner’s provide. How can 60% of pet owners get feeding cats wrong?
Many of us really overestimate how much a cat needs to eat in a day. The average adult cat only needs between 230 and 250 calories. This is a small can of Fancy Feast plus ¼ cup of some grain-free dry cat foods fed in multiple small meals a day. Compare this to filling a bowl with an unlimited supply of dry cat food and letting your cat eat as much as he wants. If he eats a cup of high-calorie dry cat food per day, that alone can be 600 calories - over twice what he should eat!
Calorie content varies widely from one food to another. Your Earlysville Animal Hospital veterinarian can help you figure out how much your cat needs to eat per day.
Nutraceuticals for Pets
We use nutraceutical supplements to improve your pet's health. Benefits include improving the health of joints, skin, liver, the digestive tract, and memory.
Nutraceuticals are not classified as foods or drugs and because of that are not regulated by any government agency including the FDA (the food and drug administration). Most of the 15,000 supplement manufacturers in the United States never test their product for safety, quality, effectiveness or even to confirm that ingredients listed on the label are really in the product.
In September 2016, Consumer Reports once again examined 15 common nutraceutical ingredients that are available in stores and online and found that they all had health risks and none of the ingredients tested offered health benefits.
We have searched for years for quality supplements for our patients and have found a source that meets all our criteria!
What Is the Best Age to Spay or Neuter Your Pet?
For decades, the veterinary community has recommended spaying or neutering all dogs and cats that were not going to be used for breeding between 4 and 6 months of age. But we have discovered there are many factors that influence the best age to spay or neuter your pet.
Four to six months of age is still a good recommendation for cats. It is also still a good recommendation for many dogs for population control. Most dogs do not have heat cycles until they are at least 6 months old (though exceptions do exist!).
Fifty percent of the puppies and kittens born in the United States are from unplanned litters - many whose owners planned to have them spayed or neutered but their pet became pregnant first! There are 4 million unwanted dogs and cats in shelters in the United States each year, so population control is still a great goal.
Spay and neuter surgeries on 4 to 6 month old animals take less time than the same surgery on a more mature pet and have fewer complications like bleeding. Young pets recover much quicker than older pets.
Feline Tooth Resorption
Tooth resorption is a condition that affects 20-60 percent of cats where portions of one or many teeth are destroyed. Other names for this disease include Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLs) or Cervical Line Lesion.
A cat's tooth is made up of the portion above the gum line called the crown and the portion in the bone called the root. In each tooth, there is a sensitive pulp chamber surrounded by a bony substance called dentin.
With tooth resorption, the dentin erodes either in the root, the crown, or both of one or more teeth. When the crown has tooth resorption the tooth is painful. When the disease is advanced, the crown can break off and that is very painful.
No one knows the cause of tooth resorption. There have been many theories, but none have been proven.
Cats are masters at hiding disease. You may not have any clues that your cat has multiple painful teeth with tooth resorptions. They may still be eating well and acting very normal.