CAT HEALTH & MEDICINE

Dear Doctor: A cancer medicine for dogs but not cats

Last May my beloved 13-year-old cat was diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma and passed in August. A few months later our shelters newsletter told the story of a family whose dog had been diagnosed with the very same thing and, with a prognosis of 8 months, she actually lived 7 more years with the help of Piroxicam.

Acupuncture for What Ails Him?

Acupuncture treatment, by all accounts, has had significant effects on cats suffering from musculoskeletal pain and nausea as well as various side effects of chemotherapy. Tufts veterinary school graduate Karen Fine, DVM, who practices in Massachusetts, describes one cat who was over-grooming herself to the point that she had hair loss. But after a few acupuncture treatments, during which Dr. Fine inserted a number of thin needles in her skin and left them there for 20 minutes, she started licking less, and her hair started growing back.

USDA Ends Decades-Long Cat Experiment After Public Outcry

A decades-long U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) project costing $22 million and the lives of almost 3,000 kittens has ended thanks to public outcry. For 37 years, the government agency has been feeding parasite-laced cat meat bought from Asian meat markets to healthy laboratory cats here in the U.S. in order to research the specific parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. They have then been euthanizing the lab cats when they were no longer needed. The nonprofit watchdog group White Coat Waste Project exposed the experiment, and the USDA has announced its end.

Territorial Urine Marking

Have you noticed lines or small puddles of urine along your windowsills, or perhaps along a porch doors threshold? Does it happen more often as the weather warms? If so, your cat is probably marking his territory, letting other cats know the house is his, not theirs.

Helping Cats with Arthritis

As cats age, many will develop arthritis. In one study, it was determined that 90 percent of cats over the age of 12 show some radiographic signs of arthritis. However, young cats can suffer from this condition, as well.

Translating Cat Years to Human Years

Newsflash for cat lovers: You can forget that popular belief that you can determine your cats age in human years by simply multiplying his age by seven. A cat celebrating his first birthday is actually the equivalent of a person who is 15 years old, a 10-year-old cat is the equivalent of 56, and a 17-year-old cat is the equivalent of 84, according to the new Feline Life Stages Guidelines.

Dear Doctor: A decision to make after the euthanasia

My cat is dying of kidney disease; the time to put her down is not far off. This is my first cat. Can you tell me what they do with the body afterwards? Id kind of like to be involved in what happens to it.

Dear Doctor: My cat has a heart murmur

My veterinarian told me my kitten has a heart murmur. Does that mean he is going to have a lifetime of heart disease, with me shuttling him back and forth to the doctor?

FDA-Cleared Device May Aid in Pain Management

Imagine a medical device that hastens the healing process and provides relief from conditions ranging from osteoarthritis to itchy hot spots on the skin, often to the point that a lower dose of medication may be used. The Assisi Loop may be such a device.

Tricks for Getting Your Cat To Take Her Pills

As a last resort for getting their cat to take a pill, some owners will physically pry open their pets mouth with their fingers. The head of the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, thinks thats a bad idea.

Why Spay and Neuter is So Important

Besides curbing overpopulation, a spayed or neutered cat is a healthier and happier pet. Heres why.

Massage for What Ails Them

Massage therapy for cats can ease the pain and lack of mobility related to a number of conditions, says Lisa Ruthig, chair of the National Board of Certification for Animal Acupressure and Massage, and director of Animal Programs at the Bancroft School of Animal Massage in Worcester, Massachusetts. These include arthritis, post-operative pain, muscle strain, and even aggressiveness stemming from anxiety.