Cats - Health & Nutrition Tue, 26 Nov 2013 18:37:00 GMT Holiday Food Hazards for Pets Tue, 26 Nov 2013 18:37:00 GMT <p> Holidays often involve enjoyable family gatherings and LOTS of food.  But it's also a time with numerous potential hazards for pets.  Veterinarians are often presented with many health problems in animals after holidays.</p> <p> One of the most frequent problems is gastrointestinal upset resulting from feeding table food and most often from feeding the scraps from holiday meats (chicken or turkey skin, fat scraps from ham, etc.).  Many of these types of items contain high levels of fats and grease which will often trigger vomiting and/or diarrhea.  Even worse, feeding these types of foods may lead to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) which can potentially be life-threatening if not treated quickly.</p> <p> Another common problem involves animals that get into the garbage can and eat a variety of foods or trash items.  One of the common culprits is the "string cradle" that comes with many turkeys and is used to lift the cooked turkey out of the roasting pan.  This "cradle" is usually several pieces of string which are joined by plastic beads.  When the turkey is fully cooked, these strings are saturated in the turkey juices and are a "tasty morsel" for pets.  Unfortunately if eaten, the string can be stretched out through the intestines and require surgery for removal.</p> <p> Other trash items can include a variety of items that get covered with juices and gravy making them tasty but DEADLY.  Beware of pieces of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, bones, twist ties, corks from wine bottles and wire used to secure champagne corks.  Keep your trash in a secure container with a lid - not just in plastic trash bags and don't leave food items on the kitchen counter.</p> <p> If your pet has any health issues right after a holiday, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away.</p> Blog:4097d9ee-9734-448d-ab84-234c9be2a769Post:0a4158cd-2f59-4dae-8762-de54de547846 Obesity in Pets Thu, 29 Aug 2013 14:46:00 GMT <div class="pluck-publicBlogs-blogPost-title"> <span style="font-size:12px;">Prevention of illness is becoming more important among pet owners, and they aren’t just taking their pets into the veterinarian when they are sick. This is an excellent practice for pet owners to follow, however, there is one health issue that is often considered normal but unfortunately predisposes your pet to more serious diseases. An estimated 40% of the pet population can be classified as obese, and it is the most common nutritional problem encountered in veterinary medicine today. An animal is considered obese when it is 10-15% above its ideal weight. Obesity can lead to other health conditions such as arthritis, respiratory problems, heart disease, skin problems, heat intolerance, urinary problems, diabetes, a shorter lifespan and more</span><span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">.</span></div> <div class="pluck-publicBlogs-blogPost-description"> <p> <span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="font-size:12px;">How can you determine if your pet is overweight? When you run your fingers over your pet’s ribs you should be able to feel the ribs easily but not visually see them. When you look from above at your pet’s body shape, you should see a definite waistline just behind the ribs. If you are still unsure if your pet is overweight, ask your veterinarian to examine your pet. Your veterinarian will weigh your pet and determine its ideal weight.</span> </span></p> <p> <span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">If your pet is overweight, your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate diet and exercise plan for you to use with your pet. The weight loss is calculated so it occurs gradually over time. This is extremely important when dealing with cats because they are susceptible to a liver problem (hepatic lipidosis) if their food intake is decreased too rapidly. Make sure everyone involved with caring for the pet is aware of the strict food restriction so extra treats aren’t offered causing the whole plan to fail.  This doesn’t have to mean treats are not allowed. There are reduced calorie and/or low-fat treats available that can be calculated into your pet's reducing diet. There are even <a href=""><font color="#2266cc">supplements</font></a> that can help your dog lose weight easier. Last but not least, don’t forget more exercise.  This is an excellent chance for you <u><em>and</em></u> your pet to get in better shape together.</span></p> </div> <p>  </p> Blog:4097d9ee-9734-448d-ab84-234c9be2a769Post:ea1b3dfb-268f-47ce-bb8b-a70fa956df9e Proper Nutrition for Your Cat Fri, 19 Jul 2013 19:38:00 GMT <p> Cats should not eat dog food and dogs should not eat cat food (even though they like it better than their own). Cats are obligate carnivores - i.e. meat eaters, not grain eaters. They can easily convert meat into energy and the extra protein is not detrimental to healthy cats.</p> <p> In the past, I have used the one mouse concept as an example of a balanced meal for cats. It has the proper balance of nutrients necessary for a cat. Protein, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are all in a balanced form. Keep in mind, however, that a cat will normally eat the entire mouse, not just the meat.  It will eat the intestinal contents and thus consume a minimal amount of plant material with carbohydrates, fiber and some protein.  It will also eat some of the bone and thus receive minerals.</p> <p> When selecting a diet for your cat, read the label to see if it is for growth, maintenance or all life stages.  It should have meat protein as one of the first ingredients.  If it is manufactured in the U.S., make sure it states on the label that it meets the criteria for the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).</p> <p> Finally, consider feeding a food from a recognized and respected manufacturer of cat food.  These companies tend to research their diets and conduct feeding trials.  If you still have questions, talk to you veterinarian, especially if your cat has any special dietary needs.</p> Blog:4097d9ee-9734-448d-ab84-234c9be2a769Post:67dc6a7a-b23e-45bc-b7ae-d38420f556e5