Posts for: October, 2013
Every year on October 29th we pay an extra special tribute to our feline friends. The National Cat Day organization started this event in 2005 to celebrate cats and to encourage adoption in hopes to save countless feline lives.
Here are some interesting facts you may or may not know about cats:
-On average, cats spend 2/3 of every day sleeping. That means a nine-year-old cat has been awake for only three years of its life!
-Cats can see anything up to 120 feet away.
-The technical term for a cat’s hairball is a “bezoar.”
-A group of cats is called a “clowder.”
-Female cats tend to be right pawed, while male cats are more often left pawed. Interestingly, while 90% of humans are right handed, the remaining 10% of lefties also tend to be male.
-A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.
-Cats spend nearly one-third of their waking hours cleaning themselves.
-Most cats give birth to a litter of between one and nine kittens. The largest known litter ever produced was 19 kittens, of which 15 survived. (Which is more of a reason to spay and neuter your kitties!)
-The biggest wildcat today is the Siberian Tiger. It can be more than 12 feet (3.6 m) long (about the size of a small car) and weigh up to 700 pounds (317 kg).
-The smallest wildcat today is the Black-footed cat. The females are less than 20 inches (50 cm) long and can weigh as little as 2.5 lbs (1.2 kg).
-A cat usually has about 12 whiskers on each side of its face.
-All cats have claws, and all except the cheetah sheath them when at rest
-Cats have 32 muscles that control the outer ear (humans have only 6). A cat can independently rotate its ears 180 degrees.
-A cat’s nose pad is ridged with a unique pattern, just like the fingerprint of a human.
-Cats don’t have sweat glands over their bodies like humans do. Instead, they sweat only through their paws.
Cats continue to be one the most popular pets here in the US and across the world. If you are looking to add a feline member to your family, please adopt or rescue rather than purchase!
Frith-Macdonald, Candida. 2008. Encyclopedia of Cats. New York, NY: Parragon Books Ltd.
“Cat.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Accessed: July 20, 2010.
Viegas, Jennifer. “Female Cats Are Right-Pawed, Males Are Lefties.” Discovery News. July 23, 2009.
Every parent knows the rules for keeping their children safe during Halloween, but are you aware as a pet parent how to keep your furry family member safe during the holiday? Use these pet safety “treats” to protect your pets.
· Keep your pet away from anything they might eat. Everyone knows that chocolate is bad for your pet, but the xylitol in sugar free gum can be just as toxic. The danger doesn’t stop at candy – chewing on costumes, glow sticks, electric cords, decorations, and Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn, can cause gastrointestinal upset and potentially life-threatening blockage.
· Only use safe, non-toxic costumes for your pet that they like to wear. No, really, they have to like it. Don’t force your dog or cat to wear anything that can restrict their ability to see, hear, breathe, or move. Halloween is already a stressful time, and adding more stress with complicated costumes is not ideal. Always supervise your pet when wearing costumes.
· Keep your pet secure in a quiet environment. Noises such as doorbells, shouting, and loud music can be upsetting to animals and add excess anxiety, leading them to bark, chew, or even bite. With so many strangers coming to the door, your pet may be better off in a comfortable room or crate until things return to normal.
· Don’t leave your pets outside unsupervised. Pets can be a target to thieves and mean-spirited pranksters. Although reports of stolen pets, such as black cats, are usually exaggerated around Halloween, pets are an easy target in high-traffic neighborhoods visited by lots of strangers. Walk your pet on a leash or use a litter box to deter would-be thieves.
· Always make sure your pet has proper identification. Most importantly, pets can easily get spooked or over-excited by the commotion of Halloween and escape their homes. At the very minimum, make sure your pet has a pet ID tag updated with current information. The best defense against a lost pet is a microchip which can’t be removed by a cat or dog losing their collar.
Keeping an eye out for these simple safety steps can save an unnecessary trip to the vet. However, at Morena Pet Hospital we’re always ready to provide you with care should your pet need it! If you suspect your pet ingested a toxic substance, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435, and call us immediately about our emergency services.
Are you thinking about getting a new furry family member?
October is Adopt a Dog Month, so find your next pet at a rescue or a shelter.
Over 3 million dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the Unites States simply because people give up their pets and too few people adopt from shelters. Puppy Mills and irresponsible breeders add to the over population. Unfortunately, because of limited space in shelters, staff members must make difficult decisions to euthanize animals that have not been adopted. The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. By adopting from a private humane society or animal shelter, breed rescue group, or the local animal control agency, you'll help save the lives of two animals—the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because of space you helped free up.
Why should you adopt rather than purchase a pet?
1. You’ll save a dog’s life.
2. Your new pet typically comes with all medical treatment done already, are spayed/neutered, microchipped and fully vaccinated.
3. The cost of dog adoption is less than buying a pet.
What you should think about before adopting:
1. Are you honestly ready for the responsibility of a dog?
Aside from considering who will take the dog for walks and what you’re going to feed him, are you ready for training your new dog? How he will fit in to your day to day schedule? That emergency vet bill you weren’t expecting because he ate last night’s leftovers? Try to consider all aspects of your family’s lives and be sure you will be able to handle the known and unknown responsibilities that occur when being a pet owner.
2. Who will be the pet’s main caretaker?
It’s easy when you have a mom or dad that stays home during the day, to be able to take your new dog out on walks and feed him or her during the day. But if you don’t have this luxury, please think about who will be mainly responsible for caring for your pet. It’s great to start children out early with helping to take care of pets, but always have an adult backup so nothing is missed.
3. How much can we afford?
Emergency vet bills are one thing, but consider the different costs that incur with just owning a pet; the cost of food, leashes and collars, toys, grooming, beds, flea and heartworm prevention, vaccines, and your regular vet bills. Check out this link to see the average cost of owning a pet.
And remember, if you’re unsure if your family is ready for a pet, there are many shelters and rescue groups that are always in need of fosters!
Have you looked inside your pet’s mouth lately? It seems like an odd thing to do, but it’s a huge step towards proper pet healthcare.
Studies show that more than 85% of pets develop periodontal disease by the age of 3! Here at Morena Pet Hospital we know the importance of regular dental exams, where we assess the overall health of the teeth and gums of your furry friend. Problems such as plaque, gingivitis, broken or missing teeth, and masses in the mouth are all tell-tale signs of periodontal disease. Untreated dental issues may even cause further health complications, as the bacteria of the mouth is carried through the bloodstream which may lead to infection in the heart, liver, or kidneys.
But there is something that we can all do as pet owners. Having a dental prevention plan in place will help to prevent periodontal disease in our family pets.
-Schedule regular health and dental exams once or twice a year with your veterinarian
-Start a dental routine consisting of teeth brushing, specifically formulated dental treats and toys, and/or special dental sprays or additives to help keep periodontal disease away (See How to Brush your Pet's Teeth for a step-by-step guide to brushing your pet’s teeth at home)
-Check your pet’s teeth at home for discoloration, plaque and calculus build up, or any pain and/or tenderness when you touch your pet’s mouth and face
-Regularly scheduled anesthetic dental cleanings at your veterinarian may also be necessary to keep your pet’s dental care up to par
Dentals for Dogs and Cats FAQs
1. Does my pet need to be anesthetized to perform a dental cleaning?
To perform a proper dental prophylaxis a pet must be anesthetized. This allows for immobilization to clean below the gum line using an ultrasonic scaler and polisher, a more thorough exam of the pet’s mouth, gums, teeth and tongue, pain control, and protection of the airway and lungs of accidental aspiration of bacteria and dental debris.
2. My pet does not like his teeth being brushed, what can I do?
See our link *here* for a guide on how to introduce brushing to our pets.
3. How often should my pet get her teeth cleaned by a veterinarian?
There is no blanket answer for this question. It depends on the rate in which your pet’s accumulates plaque and tartar on her teeth. Many factors determine this, such as breed type, age, and whether or not you provide dental care at home (tooth brushing, dental treats, etc) The best way to see if your pet needs a cleaning is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to evaluate her dental health.
4. Is the anesthesia safe that you use for dentals?
We take every precaution to provide safe anesthetic procedures for all our patients. A pre-operative blood panel is required for all pets to qualify them for an anesthetic procedure. Also, other testing such as pre-operative EKGs or xrays may be necessary to ensure the pet’s health and safety. During the dental, the pet is carefully monitored by a veterinary technician/assistant and with similar monitoring devices as those used in human hospitals.
Dental care is a priority here at Morena Pet Hospital. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s dental health please don’t hesitate to call us. We are currently having our Fall Dental Special from now until the end of November where all associated medical services are 20% off. Have your pet’s dental health evaluated today!
Brooks, Wendy, DVM. Dental Home Care. The Pet Health Library
Peak, Michael, DVM. Caring for your pet’s teeth and gums. Veterinary Medicine, 2003