EMERGENCY CARE

The Other Opioid Crisis

While opioids are destroying peoples 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.

An Update on Anesthesia

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 were down to about one death in 1,000, Dr. Wetmore says. Were headed in the right direction.

Dear Doctor: Issue of a Chronic Weeping Eye

I have a cat that has a problem with a weeping eye (at the nose), a condition she has had for several years. Now, the iris is gradually turning orange, starting at the nose, and the eye is starting to squint slightly. This seems to be getting worse.

Dear Doctor: What is Brittle Bone Disease?

A friend recently adopted a young kitten from a local humane society, and soon after, the kitten was diagnosed with brittle bone disease. Neither of us had ever heard of this, and now it makes me worry about adopting a new kitten.

The Real Danger of FLUTD

It is very common in veterinary practices - especially feline-only practices - for clients to present a cat with the problem of straining to urinate. Typically, the straining is often accompanied by other signs, such as urinating more frequently, urinating very small amounts, and doing it in inappropriate places, i.e. places other than the litter box.

The Benefits of Urinalysis

Luckily, your 10-year-old cat Jenny has never had a sick day in her life. Nevertheless, youve dutifully made a point of taking her to the veterinarian for a routine physical exam once a year to make sure shes up to date on her vaccinations and is not harboring some systemic disorder that could eventually prove difficult to manage.

An Important Test for Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a very common cause of illness in cats, especially older cats. Previous studies estimated that one in three cats are likely to develop kidney disease during their lifetime.

An FIP Breakthrough?

Thanks to a clinical trial partly funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, there is an important veterinary breakthrough: Cats with FIP went into remission following treatment with a specific antiviral drug.

What is Cryptococcosis?

Earlier in the year, I received a phone call from a cat owner seeking a second opinion. Their four-year-old male orange tabby, Teddy, has always been a bit of a troublemaker, knocking things off counters, chasing imaginary mice and leaving no houseplant un-nibbled. Over the last few weeks, however, Teddy had been battling a stubborn upper respiratory infection (URI), and it was only getting worse, despite treatment.

What Constitutes An Emergency?

Cats are masters at hiding pain and illness, which can make it difficult for their owners to recognize that something is amiss. However, owners should become concerned when they observe persistent subtle changes in their cats behavior such as eating less, sleeping or hiding more than usual or reduced interest in playing or socializing.

Tackling the Challenge of Mats

To better understand mats in cats, lets briefly recap shedding. Seasonal shedding - with the two biggest shedding times of the year occurring in the spring and fall - correlates with the amount of sunlight during the day. However, indoor cats shed year round due to the constant artificial light in our homes; so instead of two heavy bouts of shedding, indoor cats experience continual light shedding. And it is the sloughing of dead hair that contributes to the baneful matting in a cats fur.

A Labor of Love

The shelter Im affiliated with has had an excess of newborn, orphaned and sickly kittens this year, so foster homes are currently scarce. I have a spare bedroom in my home, so I decided to make myself available for this worthwhile cause.