If a male cat is straining to urinate, get him to the veterinarian immediately.

No Time to Lose

You know that if your cat starts eating less or keeping to herself more, something might be amiss and you should schedule a doctor’s visit. But there are other signals that your pet may well be in the throes of a life-or-death emergency and needs to see the veterinarian now. Here’s a rundown. Straining to […]
Even a mild heart murmur should be investigated.

How Serious is the Heart Murmur?

Your vet tells you on each wellness visit that he detects a slight heart murmur when he listens to your cat’s heart beat with a stethoscope. There’s a whooshing sound that shouldn’t be there. He always recommends that you might want to follow up with further diagnostics but doesn’t press. And because he uses the […]
Recipe for grave danger: cat + lily.

A Cat’s Three Major Poison Threats

On average, a cat is brought to the emergency room at Tufts’s Foster Hospital for Small Animals at least every other day as a result of having swallowed something poisonous. So reports Tufts emergency and critical care veterinarian and Catnip editorial advisory board member Elizabeth Rozanski, DVM. “Some days,” Dr. Rozanski says, “we’ll treat three […]

Cancer Warning Signs

One in five cats ends up diagnosed with cancer, often in his geriatric years. Moreover, cancer in cats is three to four times more likely to be malignant as cancer in dogs. That could mean the tumor can metastasize (spread) to other tissues and ravage the body more aggressively. The good news: treatments have improved, […]

Gentle Into That Good Night

Your cat’s heart disease has progressed to the point that there are no more medicines to try, no higher dosages to give, no more...

Should Your Cat Need Blood

In human medicine, anyone can receive blood donated by someone who is type O. Type O’s are known as universal donors; people with other...

Cancer After a Rabies Vaccine?

Periodic rabies vaccinations are the law in most states, yet some people are nervous about getting a rabies shot for their pet because they...
Cat injury

Common Cat Injuries — and How to Avoid Them

There’s a significant silver lining to the injuries that land many cats in emergency rooms. In many cases, the accidents that threaten our pets’...

Dear Doctor: Pushing back on the diagnosis

My beloved cat, Tigger, has died of cancer at the age of 19, 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.

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

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 surgeons 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?

Detecting and Treating Arthritis

Cats are wily about concealing their pain. It comes from a genetically encoded instinct for self-protection, never wanting to let potential predators know they may be vulnerable. But if your cat has arthritis, there are frequently telltale signs.

Laser Therapy to Reduce Pain?

Laser therapy to mitigate pain is very commonly found in veterinary practices these days. Some pet health insurers have even started reimbursing for laser treatments aimed at treating pain. Lasers are thought to work by reducing inflammation, relaxing muscle tissue, promoting wound healing, treating musculoskeletal problems, minimizing post-operative complications, and mediating other pain-causing problems.