Friday, November 29, 2013

Curious about petting a cat?

Thank you Dr. Sarah of Life's Abundance Cat Food and from the November 2013 blog entry:
Courtesy of Life's Abundance:

GREAT video on cats - where they loved to be pet
how to tell if they are getting too sensitive
great for children !


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Moving with a Cat, Tips for you and Kitty?

AWESOME article by Dr. Jane of the Life's Abundance Newsletter for October 2013.

We posted on our other blog as well but we will include it here as well for those looking for information on their kitties.


Moving to a new residence can be a nerve-wracking event for everyone involved. With the average American moving 11-14 times, that’s a lot of trips to ‘Stressville’. Between sorting through your possessions, packing up boxes, traveling to the new location, switching utilities and all of the other steps that go into a move, it’s easy to become frazzled at the mere prospect of all that work.

Coordinating all of these elements can prove challenging even for folks with a knack for organization. Moving with a companion animal adds an extra layer of complexity. Whatever stress you experience on moving day goes double for companion animals, who have no idea what to expect from the commotion of a move. But, with some strategic planning and a little bit of elbow grease, you can make the transition easier on yourself and your companion animals.

GENERAL TIPS

 Make sure your dog or cat wears ID tags at all times, because the likelihood of pet kids becoming separated from their people goes up dramatically during a move. If you maintain registry with a national microchip agency, be sure to update your contact information. Once you’ve moved, call your veterinary office to update your address and phone number. Did you know that a rabies tag includes the contact information for your vet’s office? It’s a built-in safeguard if your pet kid ever becomes lost, so make certain your veterinarian has your most up-to-date contact information. Call your local animal regulatory office and/or homeowner’s association to learn of any rules or legislation regarding companion animals in your new neighborhood.

CATS REQUIRE MORE FORETHOUGHT

 Relocating cats can prove a bit more complicated. Cats not only bond to their people but they bond to their territory as well. As many outdoor cats are free-roaming, it can be difficult to get them to stick around long enough to establish a new territory. There are many stories of cats ending up back at their old addresses after a short-distance move, and other heartbreaking stories of cats being lost forever after a long-distance move. To keep your cat safe before, during and after a move, confinement to a secure space is required. Before the move, keep your kitty in an empty, climate-controlled room. The room should include a litterbox, bedding, food, water, toys and a scratching post (clawing is a fantastic stress reliever).

Post a sign on the door, letting movers know the room has been cleared and that it should remain closed at all times. When transporting him to your new home, I strongly advise using a portable crate. If your cat is apprehensive about car travel, only going for rides to see the veterinarian, lightly spray the carrier with a feline-hormone spray that reduces stress. Put something inside the kennel that reminds them of home, such as a favorite toy or a pillowcase that smells like you. Even if you are staying at a hotel, you should not let your cat out of the carrier - even if your kitty complains, it’s necessary to keep your cat safe, as frightened cats are likely to dart.

Keep the carrier partially covered with a towel or sheet so it feels like a den. Once you’ve reached your destination, set aside a room (such as a bedroom or bathroom) to serve as a transition area. This simple step will help your kitty become acclimated to your new home. In these instances, the best medicine is time … giving your cat the personal space to settle in. Visit occasionally while you unpack, providing food, water and treats. If there’s a window, consider setting up a perch, which will give your kitty a view to his new world. Do not let your cat out until the movers are gone, the furniture is arranged and you can keep an eye on your furry friend as he explores the rest of the home. If you would prefer not to confine your cat to a safe room, consider boarding your cat during the move.

For his protection, staying at an extended-care spa or a vet’s office offers a comfortable, caring solution (also good for dogs, too). If you’ve ever considered training an outdoor cat to become an indoor-only cat, moving is a great opportunity to do just that! Short distance moves within the same neighborhood can actually prove more problematic for cats than moving to a completely new area. If your kitty knows he’s near his marked territory, he might drive you bonkers trying to convince you to let him out. In a new neighborhood, however, your cat has no established turf, so he should be less likely to prowl-yowl. If you still want to allow your cat outdoors but have concerns for his health and safety, consider investing in a harness and leash.

DOGS ARE FAIRLY EASY

Moving a family dog is pretty simple. Keep your dog on a leash, buckle his car harness and drive him to his new digs. If your new place features a fenced yard, show him the locations of his food, water, bedding and kennel [if your dog spends part of his day outdoors]. The new sights and smells will likely keep them occupied for hours. If there’s any anxiety, consider using a calming herbal supplement. Aside from canines with compulsive disorders, most adapt to new routines relatively quickly.

  I hope that you’ll find these tips helpful, and wish you and your pet kids a safe move and a future of happiness in your new home.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.  Dr. Jane Bicks

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Recall of certain Iams and Eukanuba

P&G Voluntarily Recalls Limited Quantity of Dry Pet Food Due to Possible Health Risk

FDA official page for this recall. click here

Product labels

Contact
Consumer:
800-208-0172

Media:
Jason Taylor
513-622-1111

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 14, 2013 - The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has voluntarily recalled specific lots of dry pet food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. These lots were distributed in the United States and represent roughly one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of annual production. No Salmonella-related illnesses have been reported to date in association with these product lots.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
This issue is limited to the specific dry pet food lot codes listed below. This affects roughly one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of total annual production. The affected product was distributed to select retailers across the United States. These products were made during a 10 day window at a single manufacturing site. P&G’s routine testing determined that some products made during this timeframe have the potential for Salmonella contamination. As a precautionary measure, P&G is recalling the potentially impacted products made during this timeframe. No other dry dog food, dry cat food, dog or cat canned wet food, biscuits/treats or supplements are affected by this announcement.
P&G is retrieving these products as a precautionary measure. Consumers who purchased a product listed below should stop using the product and discard it and contact P&G toll-free at 800-208-0172 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST), or via website at www.iams.com or www.eukanuba.com. Media Contact: Jason Taylor 513-622-1111.
Products affected by this announcement:
EUKANUBA DRY DOG FOODS
DescriptionSizeLot CodeUPC CodeBest-by Date
Eukanuba Dog Food Base Large Breed Mature Adult15 LB31874177190142701566Nov14
30 LB31874177190142703096Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Base Maintenance Mature Adult30 LB319541771901414930814Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Base Maintenance Puppy16.5 LB31884177190140422347Nov14
33 LB31884177190146094687Nov14
5 LB31884177190140398527Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Base Small Breed Adult16 LB31904177190140105169Nov14
4 LB31904177190140397229Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Base Small Breed Puppy16 LB319441771901401050913Nov14
4 LB31874177190140396786Nov14
40 LB31874177190140110706Nov14
319441771901401107013Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Breed Specific Boxer Adult36 LB319441771901401958813Nov14
319541771901401958814Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Breed Specific Chihuahua Adult4 LB31884177190146070377Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Breed Specific Labrador Retriever Adult36 LB319541771901401956414Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Premium Performance 30/20 Adult33 LB31884177190146094757Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Professional Feeding Bag Small Breed Puppy44 LB31874177190141131946Nov14
Eukanuba Dog Food Weight Control Large Breed Adult30 LB31894177190142693038Nov14
319241771901426930311Nov14
IAMS DRY DOG FOODS
DescriptionSizeLot CodeUPC CodeBest-by Date
Iams Dog Food Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult13.3 LB31884177190146120177Nov14
31904177190146120179Nov14
319241771901461201711Nov14
319341771901461201712Nov14
319441771901461201713Nov14
2.9 LB319441771901470016513Nov14
25.7 LB31884177190147006467Nov14
31894177190147006468Nov14
31904177190147006469Nov14
319141771901470064610Nov14
319341771901470064612Nov14
5 LB31904177190146126359Nov14
319141771901461263510Nov14
Iams Dog Food Healthy Naturals Weight Control Adult13.3 LB31894177190146120248Nov14
Iams Dog Food Premium Protection Chicken Adult12.1 LB31894177190146113628Nov14
Iams Dog Food ProActive Health Large Breed Mature Adult30 LB31884177190146113317Nov14
Iams Dog Food ProActive Health Large Breed Senior Plus13.3 LB319341771901461200012Nov14
26.2 LB319341771901470061512Nov14
Iams Dog Food ProActive Health Large Chunks Adult15 LB319441771901461081513Nov14
Iams Dog Food ProActive Health Small Breed Adult13.3 LB31874177190146109906Nov14
31894177190146109908Nov14
319241771901461099011Nov14
3.1 LB31874177190147001106Nov14
31894177190147001108Nov14
5 LB31874177190146120556Nov14
31894177190146120558Nov14
319241771901461205511Nov14
Iams Dog Food ProActive Health Small Breed Puppy5 LB31904177190147009439Nov14
IAMS DRY CAT FOODS
DescriptionSizeLot CodeUPC CodeBest-by Date
Iams Cat Food Healthy Naturals Chicken Adult16 LB31874177190146118816Nov14
319441771901461188113Nov14
5 LB31874177190146126976Nov14
319441771901461269713Nov14
Iams Cat Food Healthy Naturals Weight Control Adult5 LB31894177190146127038Nov14
Iams Cat Food ProActive Health Chicken Adult10.8 LB31864177190146120865Nov14
31904177190146120869Nov14
319141771901461208610Nov14
319241771901461208611Nov14
319441771901461208613Nov14
17.4 LB31864177190146118365Nov14
31864177190146118365Nov14
319141771901461183610Nov14
319241771901461183611Nov14
319441771901461183613Nov14
3.2 LB31904177190146126599Nov14
319241771901461265911Nov14
319341771901461265912Nov14
319441771901461265913Nov14
5.7 LB31864177190146124995Nov14
319141771901461249910Nov14
319241771901461249911Nov14
319441771901461249913Nov14
6.3 LB319441771901461162113Nov14
Iams Cat Food ProActive Health Chicken Kitten17.4 LB31904177190146118679Nov14
3.2 LB31904177190146126289Nov14
319541771901461262814Nov14
5.7 LB31904177190146125059Nov14
31904177190146125059Nov14
319541771901461250514Nov14
Iams Cat Food ProActive Health Digestive Care Adult16 LB31904177190146119049Nov14
319541771901461190414Nov14
3 LB31904177190147002029Nov14
319541771901470020214Nov14
5 LB31904177190146124519Nov14
319541771901461245114Nov14
Iams Cat Food ProActive Health Hairball Adult16 LB31874177190146119116Nov14
319541771901461191114Nov14
3.1 LB31884177190147002197Nov14
319141771901470021910Nov14
319541771901470021914Nov14
5 LB31874177190146124206Nov14
31884177190146124207Nov14
319141771901461242010Nov14
319341771901461242012Nov14
319541771901461242014Nov14
9.8 LB31894177190146121618Nov14
319141771901461216110Nov14
Iams Cat Food ProActive Health Hairball Mature Adult5 LB319541771901461260414Nov14
Iams Cat Food ProActive Health Weight Control & Hairball Adult16 LB31884177190146121477Nov14
319141771901461214710Nov14
319241771901461214711Nov14
319341771901461214712Nov14
319441771901461214713Nov14
2.9 LB319141771901470024010Nov14
319241771901470024011Nov14
319341771901470024012Nov14
319441771901470024013Nov14
319541771901470025714Nov14
5 LB31884177190146127897Nov14
319141771901461278910Nov14
319241771901461278911Nov14
319341771901461278912Nov14
319541771901461278914Nov14
5.5 LB319241771901461165211Nov14
9.8 LB31884177190146121307Nov14
319141771901461213010Nov14
319241771901461213011Nov14
319341771901461213012Nov14
319441771901461213013Nov14
Iams Cat Food ProActive Health Weight Control Adult16 LB31874177190146121786Nov14
319341771901461217812Nov14
5 LB31874177190146126806Nov14
319341771901461268012Nov14
9.8 LB31874177190146121236Nov14
Iams Cat Food Professional Feeding Bag Chicken Adult33 LB319141771901410545810Nov14
319441771901410545813Nov14

About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves approximately 4.8 billion people around the world with its brands. The Company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Ace®, Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Duracell®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Fusion®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Iams®, Lenor®, Mach3®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, Prestobarba®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, Wella® and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Asthma in Cats

Cat asthma by Dr. Jane Bicks of Life's Abundance Pet Food and the July 2013 Blog:

People often ask me if cats can get asthma. Unfortunately, the answer is a definite, “Yes”. The signs of feline asthma can come on quite suddenly and can constitute a medical emergency, so let’s review this condition in some detail.

Just like in humans, the airways in cats with asthma become restricted and inflamed. Mucus forms in the respiratory tract and the airway walls spasm. This can lead to wheezing, coughing, tiredness and difficulty breathing. Some cats can also vomit or lose their appetite. A cat having an asthma attack may sit with his head extended and breathe with an open mouth. Open mouth breathing is abnormal in cats. If you see this, consider it a sign of emergency and contact your veterinarian immediately.

So far as we can tell, any cat has the potential to develop asthma. The underlying cause remains unknown, though some veterinarians suspect allergies are involved. The signs of asthma can mimic those of other respiratory diseases, such as feline heartworm disease, bronchitis, pneumonia or heart disease, so it is important to get your cat checked out as soon as possible if he or she develops clinical signs. Also be aware that your veterinarian may run a couple of basic tests as well as chest X-rays to rule out other conditions, as asthma can be difficult to diagnose. An X-ray of an asthmatic cat may show an abnormal pattern in the lungs, but only if in the throes of an attack.

As in humans, there is no known cure for feline asthma. Treatment focuses on treating and preventing asthma attacks. Medications, such as steroids and bronchodilators, are used to make breathing easier by reducing inflammation and opening up the airways. Severe asthma attacks are considered a medical emergency. If the attack is severe, your cat may be hospitalized and given oxygen to help him breathe and reduce stress, because just like in humans, panic can worsen the attack.

As a holistic veterinarian, I’d like to see more use of alternative remedies, like homeopathy, herbs and specific nutrients. It is my personal feeling that asthma can be best managed with both traditional and holistic medicines. Some herbs are known to have anti-inflammatory properties which can help to support healthy lung tissues. I encourage pet parents to work closely with their regular vets and find holistic vets to use for valuable second opinions and non-traditional insights.

Since many veterinarians believe that there is an allergic component to asthma, try to remove inhalant allergies from the home through use of a HEPA filter and air purifiers. Consider using lidless litter pans and low-dust litter, along with minimizing your cat’s exposure to dust, aerosols, smoke, or other airborne irritants. Do everything you can to help your cat be calm if he is experiencing difficulty breathing. Many times, just by staying calm, an asthmatic flare-up can pass. However, if you notice open mouth breathing or if your cat’s lips, tongue, or gums are turning bluish, call your veterinarian immediately.

Managing asthma in cats requires a strong partnership with at least one veterinarian you trust. With proper care, many asthmatic cats live long, happy lives. If you notice any of the above signs in your cat, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
Dr. Jane Bicks

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cats should not be fed these people foods

This video is courtesy of Life's Abundance: From the May 2013 Newsletter:
 Thank you Dr. Sarah for going over 5 People Foods not to feed to your cats:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lump on your pet

Dr. Jane, from the Life's Abundance March 2013 Newsletter regarding lumps on your pet:

"Skin problems rank high among the most common reasons that pets go to the veterinarian. Chief complaints include unexplained lumps and bumps that develop on the surface of the skin, under the skin, or even inside the mouth. The good news is that most of the time these swellings are simply benign (non-cancerous) growths. However, it is imperative to have any suspicious growths examined by your vet since they could lead to a more serious condition that may require treatment. There are a few things that you can do at home if you spot a ‘bumpy lumpy’ on your pet. You should immediately inspect your companion to see if there are multiple bumps or just one. Your pet could be acting fine, the lumps not sensitive to the touch but they can still be serious. The size of a lump is not an indication of its severity.

If your pet is acting normally, the lump does not appear painful, and it's not accompanied by a bad odor, then you probably aren't facing a dire emergency. Benign growths can include fluid-filled cysts, fatty tumors, warts, skin tags and histiocytomas. Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to diagnose the malady at home. Simply schedule a vet appointment and find out what’s going on. On the other hand, if you do notice a change in your pet’s behavior then this should be an immediate red flag. Other red flags include fatigue, food avoidance, or inexplicable limping. Symptoms of an infected lump may include red swelling, foul odor coming from the lump, and obvious pain or tenderness associated with the area. Bumps that appear overnight could be due to an abscess, an infection in a wound. Of course, the ‘worst case scenario’ for many is that a bump will prove to be a cancerous tumor. If left unchecked, malignant tumors can grow and spread to other parts of the body. It probably bears repeating … if there’s any question about what’s going on with your dog or cat, take them to the vet for testing.

When you bring your pet in to see your vet, he or she will ask you some questions regarding when you first noticed the lump or swelling, whether you've noticed any changes in its appearance, and more. These questions are necessary for your vet to start narrowing down the possible causes and treatments needed. Don’t be alarmed if your vet uses the terms mass, tumor, or growth when referring to any bumps. These are simply medical terms used to describe any swellings and does not automatically mean a cancerous diagnosis. Additionally, your vet will likely perform a physical examination from head to tail. This exam is critical for the assessment of your pet’s health state, and to determine whether there are multiple lumps present (i.e., any that you might've missed in your home exam). The look and feel of a bump can give your vet a lot of insight towards what could be wrong. Further testing may be needed to successfully establish the source of the trouble. After the physical exam, your vet will either offer some immediate treatment options if nothing serious is going on, or ask for permission to conduct further diagnostic testing.

A simple test, known as cytology (Greek for ‘the study of cells’) of the lump, may be initially recommended. During this test, a needle is inserted into the bump or swelling, and cells are extracted. The sample will be studied under a microscope for further analysis. The only problem with cytology is that the results can provide only a limited amount of information. If this procedure does not provide a sufficient explanation for the problem, your vet may recommend a biopsy. There are two types of biopsies: incisional and excisional. With an incisional biopsy, a small amount of the lump is sampled and sent out for analysis. An excisional biopsy requires the removal of the entire mass or swelling, also sent out for analysis. Your pet may need local anesthesia or general sedation before a biopsy is performed, dependent upon the size and location of the mass, as well as the behavioral temperament of your companion.

 Ultimately, treatment options will depend on the results of the lump’s analysis. Your vet may determine that the lump or swelling is only cosmetic and poses no threat to your pet kid’s health. In this case, you will want to keep a close eye on the area and notify your vet of any changes. If the diagnosis is more serious, your veterinarian will discuss all available treatment options to address, and hopefully heal, whatever is going on. If you remember nothing else, the take-away here is that your greatest resource in diagnosing and treating any skin problem is your vet.

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals."

Dr. Jane Bicks

Monday, March 11, 2013

Recall: Some Cat Food Diamond

Premium Edge, Diamond Naturals and 4health Dry Cat Food Formulas Voluntarily Recalled Due to Possibility of Low Levels of Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Please visit the FDA page for this recall below:
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm343084.htm?source=govdelivery

Contact:
Consumer:
888-965-6131

Media:
877-274-7391
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 10, 2013 - COLUMBIA, S.C. - Diamond Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling limited production codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula dry cat food, Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula dry cat food, Premium Edge Kitten Formula dry cat food, Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula dry cat food and 4health All Life Stages Cat Formula dry cat food. Tests conducted by the company indicated the products might have a low level of thiamine (Vitamin B1). There have been no complaints regarding thiamine levels, or any other health issues, related to these products. In association with this voluntary recall, Diamond Pet Foods has tested all other Diamond brands for thiamine deficiency to ensure the safety of the cat food it manufactures. No other product manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods is involved in this voluntary recall.
Only product with the following Best By dates and Production Codes are included in the voluntary recall. Further distribution of these affected production codes has occurred through online sales. It is best to check the production code to determine if the product has been recalled or not.
Product Size Production Codes Best By States
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula 18 lb. bags NGF0703 10-Jul-2013 Massachusetts
Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat Formula 6 lb. bags NGF0802 15-Aug-2013,
16-Aug-2013
Florida, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula 6 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGS0101 03-Jan-2014,
04-Jan-2014
Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma
Premium Edge Senior Cat Hairball Management Formula 6 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGS0702 10-Jul-2013 Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Premium Edge Kitten Formula 6 oz. samples,
6 lb. and 18 lb. bags
MKT0901 26-Sept-2013
29-Sept-2013
30-Sept-2013
02-Oct-2013
Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia
Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula 6 oz. samples and 6 lb. bags MKT0901 30-Sept-2013 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina
4health All Life Stages Cat Formula 5 lb. and
18 lb. bags
NGF0802 14-Aug-2013,
18-Aug-2013
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia








"At Diamond Pet Foods, we have a process where we continuously test our products, and this process allowed us to find the undesired levels of thiamine in some of our cat formulas. Our food safety protocols are designed to provide safe food on a daily basis," says Michele Evans, Ph.D., Diamond Pet Foods Executive Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance. "In the event an error occurs, we have the data to quickly alert pet owners, giving them the confidence they demand of a pet food manufacturer."
Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact the Pet Food Information Center at 1­888­ 965 ­6131, Sunday through Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST. Consumers also may visit Website -

http://www.petfoodinformationcenter.com for additional information.
Cats fed product with the previously listed Production Codes and Best By dates exclusively for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats in maintaining normal nervous system function. Symptoms of thiamine deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurological signs can develop, which may include ventriflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, falling, circling and seizures. Pet owners should contact their veterinarians immediately if a cat is displaying any of these signs. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency typically is reversible.

Monday, March 4, 2013

New bag of Life's Abundance!

This is one of my favorite videos and I am glad I got to video tape them - too cute!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Feline FeLV and FIV

Feline FeLV and FIV by Dr. Jane from the Life's Abundance February 2013 Newsletter:


"The great thing about cats is that they are superb at being independent and social companions. Most cats enjoy spending time outside playing with other felines. As a pet parent, it is very important that you are aware of some possible dangers associated with having your cat freely roaming outdoors. Since the 1960’s, Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) have been spreading amongst the feline population worldwide.

While these two diseases are preventable, they are contagious and potentially fatal if they are not detected early enough. The good news is that vaccines are available to decrease the chances that your feline will catch FeLV or FIV. FeLV is commonly referred to as the ‘friendly cat disease’ since it’s transferred via saliva. Your cat can catch FeLV through sharing water bowls or even grooming an infected cat. On the other hand, FIV is transmitted through bite wounds and cat fights. Since males tend to be more involved in territorial fighting they are at an even higher risk of catching FIV. It is imperative to note that these viruses cannot be passed on to humans, dogs or other pets.

 Feline immunodeficiency virus closely resembles HIV in humans. The virus attacks your cat’s immune system and may not show any signs until several years later. Another sinister aspect of FIV is that the symptoms can mimic other common illnesses, making it even harder to detect. FeLV is somewhat different in its plan of attack. Feline leukemia virus goes after your cat’s genetic coding. This maneuver allows the virus to continue to reproduce infected cells at an alarming rate. Some cats are able to eliminate the infection before becoming sick. Other cats will carry and spread the disease despite never getting sick themselves. This virus can hide in bone marrow until it eventually surfaces in the form of many general symptoms. There are several warning signs associated with FeLV and FIV; however, not every infected cat will exhibit the same red flags. Your cat may initially develop a fever or become suddenly and extremely fatigued, important indicators that something may be wrong. Other chronic issues include respiratory infections, dental and gum infections, bone marrow issues and certain cancers. Also, if your kitty starts losing weight, having chronic diarrhea, or develops chronic infections of the skin and eyes, make an appointment to see your vet immediately. Your vet will perform a SNAP test to accurately determine if your cat is infected with FeLV or FIV. The test is quick and requires only a small blood sample.

 FIV is predominantly diagnosed through this blood sample alone. A bone marrow sample, in addition to the initial blood sample, may be required to successfully determine a positive FeLV result. Since FeLV and FIV are so complex, re-testing may be necessary. For example, if a kitten’s mother is infected with FIV or FeLV, the kitten may test positive at a young age. However, over time, their immune systems may be able to fight and overcome the infection, eventually resulting in a disease-free kitty. In contrast, if the FeLV virus is in the early stages and has not fully developed, it may not show up in the initial results. Later tests, further into the virus’ progression, will ultimately lead to a clear diagnostic result. Early detection, treatment, and proper nutrition are essential for your cat to live as long and comfortably as possible. If your feline does test positive for FeLV or FIV, then they will require premium nutritional support since their bodies will be stressed and weakened from the virus. Make sure that the food you feed provides an optimal balance of vitamins, proteins, and antioxidants, to give your feline the best chance at maintaining strength and general well being. In cases like these, pet parents should strongly consider augmenting meals with nutritional supplements to further boost health and vitality.

If your cat tests positive for FeLV or FIV, I recommend that they make the transition to strictly indoor living. When immune systems are compromised, going outdoors could increase their risk for catching other viruses, parasites, or infections. Your cat will also be in harm’s way if they sustain any wounds from cat fighting or other traumatic events. Resulting injuries may not heal properly and might even become infected. You should isolate any infected cats or kittens from other cats to avoid further contamination. It is essential to test any new cats or kittens that you may be bringing home for FeLV and FIV. As a feline pet parent it is great to provide your cat with the independence that they crave. However, you should pay close attention to any changes in the overall health or physical appearance of your outdoor cat. Early detection could be the key to saving your cat’s life.

 Thank you so much for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals."
Dr. Jane Bicks