Tag Archives: cat

Why Is my Cat Vocal at Night?

cat-familyIs your cat especially vocal at night? This is a common problem and it can be extremely annoying while you’re trying to sleep. Cats are nocturnal animals and they are most active at night. If the cat’s noise becomes a constant issue, you should consult with your veterinarian to figure out why the cat is making so much noise.

It’s important to consult with veterinarian because a common cause of vocalization is a physical problem. Your veterinarian can give the cat a complete exam to ensure that the animal is not sick or experiencing a painful problem. Problems like high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism can contribute to vocalization.

If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, it is much more likely to be vocal at night and sometimes during the day. A female cat in heat will yowl loudly because it is ready to mate. Your veterinarian will encourage you to spay or neuter your cat. This not only helps with vocalization. It also reduces the already overcrowded pet problem.

Your cat may vocalize because it wants your attention. The best way to handle this is to take some time each day to spend time with your cat. The animal’s attention needs will be met and this can reduce vocalization. Even though cats appear highly independent, they become attached to their owners and need interaction.

Your veterinarian will suggest that you look for environmental causes of the yowling if the issue isn’t physical. Have you moved recently? Cats experience stress when they are in a new environment. Veterinarians at Pharr Road animal hospital often recommend restricting the cat to a small area such as one room until the cat has had time to adjust its new home. Sometimes, the cat vocalizes because it is bored. If so, you may need to look for ways to keep your cat entertained so that you can get some sleep. Look for creative ideas such as technology. There are tablet apps that can entertain cats. Some work because they encourage the cat’s natural instincts to chase small items. There are digital fishbowls that can keep cats busy as well. You can find a wide range of free and low-cost apps to prevent boredom.

Do Pets Have Allergies?

pet allergiesDoes your pet sneeze? Does your dog chew his feet? Does he rub his face or constantly lick his groin? Is your cat wheezing? These are all signs of pet allergies, which can make animals very uncomfortable. If you are concerned, you should consult with your veterinarian. Allergies are frustrating but they can be treated successfully in most cases.

Allergies can lead to serious problems for pets. Some animals begin scratching their skin so hard that they develop sores and welts which are vulnerable to infection. Dogs get recurring ear infections. Cats may have scabs on their faces. Hair loss is another symptom of chronic allergies.

Pet owners aren’t always familiar with the signs of allergies which can vary depending on the type of animal. Some cats make frequent noises that sound like they have hairballs. This can actually be wheezing that is allergy-related asthma. A veterinarian can x-ray the cat’s lungs and determine if the animal has asthma, which can be easily treated. Your cat will be much more comfortable if the asthma is addressed.

What are pets typically allergic to? Often, they are sensitive to the same things as humans. They can have reactions to foods, grass, pollen, trees and medications. Fleas often trigger allergic reactions in animals. Your veterinarian will ask you detailed questions about your pet’s behavior and the substances the animal is exposed to.

Your veterinarian will recommend a variety of treatments based on the source of the allergen. If it’s food-based, you will need to change the pet’s diet. You may need to experiment with a few foods to find one that your pet both likes and tolerates. Your veterinarian may recommend changes in flea repellents and household cleaners. The animal may additional special treatment for seasonal allergies.

If your pet has a severe allergy, your veterinarian may prescribe an epi-pen. This is a treatment that is used on humans with severe allergies. When your pet is exposed to a bug bite, chemical or other serious allergen, you will need to inject the animal with the epi-pen. This will reduce the severity of the reaction until you can reach an emergency veterinarian.

Is a Stray Cat Healthy Enough to Adopt?

stray pet adoptionThere are millions of stray cats in the United States and the number grows all of the time. Many sympathetic people find stray cats and consider adopting them. These animals can be good pets in some cases. Many were previously pets that were abandoned by irresponsible owners. Others are lost. It’s not unusual for a stray cat to adopt a friendly family and begin visiting the home regularly. If you are in this situation and find yourself getting attached to the cat, you should take some steps to make sure the animal is healthy enough for adoption.

Before adopting a stray cat, you should have its health evaluated by a veterinarian. Pet health is a serious issue because a sick animal could expose your family and other pets to serious illnesses. You should take the animal to a veterinarian for a pet health evaluation immediately.

The veterinarian will examine the animal and try to determine what kind of background the stray cat has. Was the cat previously a domestic pet? The veterinarian will examine the cat for a microchip so that it can be reunited with its owner if possible. Next, the doctor will check to see if the cat has been spayed or neutered. Veterinarians strongly recommend these operations to help reduce the stray animal population.

One of the most important factors in pet health is vaccination. Your veterinarian will probably recommend a course of vaccinations to protect the animal’s future health. When it comes to stray cats, doctors often want to do a series of tests to make sure the animal doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions. These may include Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), feline diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and melanoma. You may still choose to adopt a cat with one of these issues but it’s important to understand the implications of these diseases. FIV is ultimately fatal although cats can lead comfortably for many years with the disease. FIV is contagious to other cats so you will want to check before you introduce a stray to your home. Other pet health conditions require medications and monitoring to keep the animal in good shape. A thorough evaluation will help you decide if the cat is a good match for your home.

Addressing Pet Obesity

Veterinarians and pet advocates have become more concerned with pet obesity in recent years. There have been many public awareness campaigns to address the issue. Why is pet obesity such a concern? Just like in humans, weight issues can lead to a variety of health problems. Obese pets do not tend to live as long and they have reduced quality of life. They can develop heart disease and respiratory problems. Weight can create or advance arthritis. Excessive weight is also linked to a higher injury risk. It’s clear that your pet’s weight is an important part of its overall health.

pet obesityYour pet’s diet is an important part of weight management. Often, pet obesity becomes a problem because owners over feed their animals. It’s easy to do this with the best of intentions. Owners want to please their pets and sneak them snacks to show their love. Many pets beg for food regularly and if the strategy works, they will get in the habit of begging on a regular basis.

As pets age, their nutritional needs change. Older, less active cats and dogs do not have the same caloric needs that puppies and kittens have. If you have pets at different stages of life, they should not eat the same foods. It’s important that your pet’s diet is tailored to its age and activity level.

Exercise an important part of preventing pet obesity. All animals need daily exercise. You should take your dog for walks or give it an opportunity to run in the yard. If your dog is lethargic, you will need to interact with the animal to get it to move more often. Play games with the dog to get it to move more often. You’ll quickly see a difference.

It’s important to work with your veterinarian to deal with pet obesity issues. Your veterinarian can help you understand the full range of issues that contribute to pet obesity. These can include overfeeding, arthritis, age, lack of exercise, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer. Before you attempt to treat pet obesity on your own, make an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she will do a full examination so you will have a full picture of your pet’s health. Then, you can formulate an effective weight management strategy.


Treating Your Pet’s Problem Skin

tuckerDoes your pet have problem skin? It’s not unusual for cats and dogs to have chronic skin infections. There are veterinarians that have special training in pet dermatology. These doctors can help you address your pet’s problem skin so that your dog or cat is healthy and happy.

There are a number of root problems that can cause problem skin. If you notice your animal scratching or chewing on his or her skin, this is often caused by pet dermatology problem. Strong odors and chronic dandruff can also be the result of problem skin issues. Your pet may be miserable because of these constant irritations. If animals constantly scratch or bite their skin, they can make the problem worse. Excessive scratching can lead to hair loss. In some cases, they can break the skin which leads to infection.

Consult a veterinarian with pet dermatology experience immediately. Don’t try to treat your dog with over-the-counter medications that you find in pet stores. You could give the animal the wrong dosage, which can make the pet ill or the irritation worse. Also, your pet could have an underlying condition that is causing the pet dermatology issue. Your pet may have other problems related to allergies such as asthma which also need treatment. A veterinarian can identify the source of the problem and identify the best treatment options.

Your veterinarian can perform skin allergy tests on your pet to identify potential allergens. You may need to change shampoos or adjust the animal’s diet to eliminate irritants. Some dogs and cats need allergy shots to control their problem skin issues; others need a dietary change. It’s common for animals to have a flea allergy which mean you’ll need to treat fleas aggressively.

Animals can develop pet dermatology problems that are not related to allergies – like ear infections from swimming. There are many common animal skin conditions that cause problem skin such as mange, dandruff, hair loss, yeast infections, bacterial infections and ringworm. These conditions can’t be treated at home and aren’t likely to resolve themselves without help from a vet with extensive knowledge of pet dermatology. You should seek treatment right away or the condition may worsen. Your pet could be miserable from these issues and could get even sicker. A pet dermatology expert can identify a treatment plan and help your pet get back to being healthy and happy.

What Should You Do If Your Pet’s Skin Seems Irritated?

CharlieYour beloved family pet is scratching (all the time) or you’ve noticed red bumps on him, what do you do? You should seek care from a veterinarian that has experience in pet dermatology. Why? Pets can develop a number of conditions that are could be extremely irritating. A pet skin problem can also be more than just an annoying itch or bump. It could be a sign of something more serious.

You should not ignore a skin sore or other problem skin on a cat or dogs. Pet dermatology is an important, but often neglected part of an animal’s health. A vet with a pet dermatology background treats more than just skin. The doctor will also treat your pet’s nails, hair and ears. Pet dermatology can help improve the quality of your pet’s life in a number of ways.

Allergies are a common source of skin irritation. The animal could be allergic to fleas, food, shampoos, grass or chemicals. Some allergens are airborne like dust, bird feathers or pesticides. These allergens can cause serious skin irritations. The animal may react by scratching vigorously which can cause sores and bleeding. In time, this can lead to an infection. If you notice your cat or dog scratching more than usual, call a veterinarian who has a strong background in pet dermatology. The veterinarian will help you identify the source of the problem and take steps to treat it.

Some animals need allergy shots or medication to reduce skin irritation. Other times, they need topical medications. If an infection has set in, your pet will need antibiotics to cure the infection and prevent it from spreading. Your veterinarian can help you learn more about your pet’s problems and what you can do to help. You may need to apply medication on a regular basis. Some allergies require that the animal avoids irritants like fleas or grains.

If you notice bumps or sore spots on your pet’s skin, it is critical to contact your veterinarian immediately. Bumps and sores can be a treatable if they are caught early. The bump may be caused by a harmless cyst. A sore spot may merely be an infection. Pet bumps can also be tumors. If these are treated early by an experienced vet, it can save your pet’s life. Don’t ignore problem skin because it can be a sign of a life-threatening issue.

Responsible Pet care: Professional Teeth Cleaning for Dogs and Cats

dental care for catsYour dog or cat’s teeth need to be brushed daily in order for your pet to have good dental health.  A veterinarian can provide you with tooth paste and a tooth brush specifically designed for cleaning your pet’s teeth.  The tooth paste will be available in flavors preferred by your dog or cat – such as poultry flavor.  If you begin brushing while your pet is still quite young, he will find it acceptable and will allow you to do it daily.

However, you may be a very busy person and just do not have the time to do this cleaning on a daily basis.  If you do not clean your pet’s teeth yourself, your pet will probably need a professional dental treatment every year.  This type of treatment involves anesthesia, making it so your dog or cat is “asleep” during the procedure.  Your pet is put under while the vet takes x-rays, does an exam, performs the teeth cleaning much like the one you get at your dentist, and then polishes up the teeth.

There are indicators that your pet is in need of a professional cleaning.  They are:

  • Bad breath
  • Tartar and plaque that are visible on the teeth
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Pet’s failure to eat
  • Drooling

If left untreated, the 80 percent of bacteria that live in the plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth will eventually travel through his entire body, possibly causing infection to his heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, joints and intestinal system.  Additionally, the gums and the bone below the gum line will be damaged.

There are four stages of dental disease that lead up to this worst-case scenario.

  1. First, the dog or cat develops Gingivitis.  This is evident when the gums are redder than usual, particularly around the gum line.
  2. The next stage is Early Periodontitis where the gums remain red and irritated and begin to swell.
  3. The third stage is Moderate Periodontitis where the gums are still red and swollen and begin to detach from the teeth.
  4. The fourth and final stage is Advanced Periodontitis, where the gums and bones are destroyed, teeth loosen, and bacteria spread throughout the body.

If you want to avoid the condition of your pet’s teeth advancing to any of these four stages, either brush the pet’s teeth daily or take him in for a professional cleaning as often as your veterinarian says is necessary.  In the long run, the procedures will pay off for you, since your dog and cat will be pain-free and have unobjectionable breath, and you will not have to worry about further health problems that poor dental health can contribute too.