Sign Up for Cat Talk
Get the latest health and behavior news and
advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

July 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

July 2018 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

 

Editor's Note

Pets are Good Medicine

Over the years, I’ve volunteered at a number of animal shelters. Sure, the locations and people varied, as did the type of facility. But the one thing that was consistent — and consistently upset me the most — was the presence of cats relinquished because their elderly owners needed to move into a long-term care facility of some sort.   More...

Feature

Long-Term Care for Elders and Pets

Lunch service is over and Mr. M collects some leftovers to share with his companion, Sissy. He does this every day, after each meal, because Sissy can’t come to the dining room. Mr. M takes care of Sissy, and they enjoy their daily walks together. Through these activities, Sissy also helps Mr. M to feel happy and loved. Mr. M and Sissy — a plump black Chihuahua mix — both reside at Pine Grove Nursing Center deep in the heart of the east Texas piney woods in Center, TX.   More...

Pets Even Allowed in Some Hospitals and Hospice

Evidence of health benefits of pets is strong, plentiful and consistent based on many studies. People of all ages — children, adults and seniors — bond with their pet companions and reap the health benefits. As a result of continuing research, pets are becoming active participants in patients’ treatment plans. Some people have such a strong bond with their pets that they forego medical treatment, refuse hospitalization or shorten a hospital stay because they do not want to be away from their pets.   More...

How Acupuncture Can Help Our PetsSubscribers Only

The art of traditional acupuncture traces back several thousand years to ancient China, and is one branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The other three branches are herbal medicine, food therapy and Tui-Na (medical massage). Although the ancient Chinese used veterinary acupuncture to treat animals, these were primarily valuable livestock such as oxen or the Emperor’s horses — not dogs and cats.   More...

Upper Respiratory Infections in CatsSubscribers Only

Your four-year-old cat Elton seems to be in perfect health. But about twice a year, he comes down with what appears to be a bad cold, complete with sneezing, coughing, lethargy, nasal congestion and watery eyes. These upper respiratory signs persist for a week or 10 days and then suddenly disappear, much to your relief. But then, five or six months later, the very same symptoms will pay a return visit, linger for a week or two, and repeat their vanishing act — a frustrating cycle that is bound to recur until you seek out proper veterinary guidance and treatment.   More...

An Update on AnesthesiaSubscribers Only

The risk of death for cats under anesthesia used to be one to two deaths in 100 patients, says Lois Wetmore, DVM, an assistant professor of anesthesia and pain management at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “Now we’re down to about one death in 1,000,” Dr. Wetmore says. “We’re headed in the right direction.”   More...

The Other Opioid CrisisSubscribers Only

While opioids are destroying people’s lives and the lives of their family members throughout all strata of society — rich, poor, urban, suburban, rural — they are also in short supply in hospitals around the country. This is true both for hospitals that serve people and those that serve their pets. Reports are coming in that in some hospitals, elective surgeries for people — gall bladder removal, hernia repair — are being postponed, while some people in post-operative recovery are said to be receiving less potent medication than they need.   More...

Ground-Breaking Research

Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers from the University of Sydney have found a previously undiscovered hepadnavirus in an immunocompromised cat, and subsequently in banked feline blood samples. The research team published their results today in the journal Viruses.   More...

Ask the Doctor

Dear Doctor: Falls and concussions

We live in a rural community, and have a couple of indoor-only cats, in addition to a few barn cats out back (we tried to bring them inside when they were kittens, but they were very unhappy with that lifestyle).   More...

Dear Doctor: The health of stray kittens

I trapped two stray kittens last year and had them treated for ringworm. They were neutered and given two rounds of kitten vaccinations. They also had bad breath so my veterinarian cleaned their teeth and needed to extract some teeth. She informed me that one cat’s dental problems had migrated into the root.   More...

Dear Doctor: What does bunting mean?

My son recently adopted an adult cat from a shelter, and I notice that “Tigger” likes to rub his cheeks repeatedly on the legs of the furniture. In fact, he started to do the same thing to my face when I was petting him on the couch!   More...