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January 2020

Full Issue (PDF)

January 2020 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

 

Feature

Can Probiotics Settle Your Cat’s Sensitive Tummy?

It is very easy to find probiotics marketed for cats with claims they can maintain or improve digestive health. The “good” bacteria they contain are supposed to keep things on an even keel and prevent or ameliorate diarrhea and other gastrointestinal ills. But finding the right product is easier said than done.   More...

How Cats Defy Physics When Landing On Their Feet

You fall out of a 19th-story window, and the word “splat” is in your very near future. A cat falls 19 stories, and she glides earthward to live another day. It really happened several years ago when a white fluff ball named Sugar dropped out of her owner’s high-rise window and walked away to enjoy her eight remaining lives with only some minor bruising on her lungs but no broken bones, no lacerations, no anything. What is it that makes cats nimble enough to be able to land safely, even from great heights?   More...

An Old Age Home for Cats — Until They Are Re-AdoptedSubscribers Only

Understandably, people looking to adopt a cat often want a younger one. They hope to have their pet for as many years as possible, and they want to be able to form a special bond. That leaves many older cats in shelters, and from there they often get sent to be euthanized because the shelters just don’t have enough room.   More...

You Should Check Not Just Weight But Also Muscle MassSubscribers Only

You know you should be assessing your cat’s body condition score to make sure she isn’t too heavy. But what about her muscle condition score? Cats with undue muscle loss, either because of a chronic disease or simply the aging process — or both — are often weaker than they should be and may have a decreased ability to recover from illness or surgery.   More...

If the Cancer Surgeon Got Clean Margins, Why Did the Tumor Grow Back?Subscribers Only

You sit anxiously in the waiting room while your cat undergoes surgery to remove a cancerous mass. Finally, the doctor comes out in his scrubs and tells you he was able to excise the malignant tumor and that he believes he got it all. Relieved but not yet “out of the woods,” you wait for the pathology report. Sure enough, it confirms the surgeon’s belief that he excised the cancer in its entirety. There are clean margins. Why, then, does the tumor grow back in the exact same spot some months later?   More...

Comparing Veterinary PracticesSubscribers Only

There is no database in veterinary medicine that lets people compare records for how well different practices do with regard to health outcomes. The only resource is word of mouth — anecdotes from people you know who share their own experiences at local veterinary offices.   More...

“No-Kill” Versus “Kill” SheltersSubscribers Only

Mother Theresa once famously said that she would happily participate in a peace rally but would not attend an anti-war rally. Why not? She no doubt understood intuitively that you’re much more likely to effect the change you seek by promoting what you want than by railing against what you don’t want.   More...

Nail Trimming 101Subscribers Only

Regularly trimming your cat’s nails isn’t just important for your furniture, or for you when the cat comes to knead on your lap. It also reduces the chance of a broken claw and ensuing pain if the cat’s nail gets caught in something like plush carpet or a soft piece of wood.   More...

Ask the Doctor

Dear Doctor: Cat Scratch Fever

My cat scratched me on my arm, and a few days later I developed a bump there. But then I went on to develop a fever and also felt very tired. I went to the doctor, who said I had cat scratch fever and that it would resolve on its own. Does that sound right?   More...

Dear Doctor: Pushing back on the diagnosis

My beloved cat, Tigger, has died of cancer at the age of 19½, and his death has left me feeling somewhat guilty. He enjoyed going outdoors, and I would follow him around the yard to make sure he was okay.   More...