At the request of Paws Place Animal Sanctuary, I wrote an article for their newsletter regarding feline nutrition. Because it is such an important topic, and something we try to teach our clients daily, I am going to post this on our website here. Hopefully it will start a conversation and get you thinking about healthy dietary options for your cats.
I have not used this blog as often as I wished and I will try to do better in the future. That may be wishful thinking with the full force of spring upon us (finally!) which is usually our busiest season. But look for more things on our website in the future including YouTube video directions for routine pet care as well as physical therapy techniques. You can receive email alerts when we post new blog messages by subscribing using the links to the left of this posting. A blog is also supposed to be interactive so if you want to give feedback or ask questions about what we post, we welcome it.
There was an article in Star Tribune on Tuesday titled “Portly pets vying to be the biggest loser”. It was about an Internet contest sponsored by Blue Pearl specialty hospitals encouraging pet weight loss. It estimates 53% of all dogs and 55% of all cats are overweight, which I think is very conservative estimate. Obesity in animals is rampant as it is with people. One study showed overweight animals will have 50% more health problems and their lives will be 2 years shorter on average as their leaner counterparts. Pets depend on us, their guardians, to keep them healthy. We control how many calories they take in and how much exercise they get a day. As veterinarians, it is our job to teach you how to provide the best care for your pets so feeding guidelines are a big part of this. All food companies recommend too much food! I recommend reducing the manufacturer’s daily recommendations by 1/3 as a starting point. I am happy to see any information or contests that help promote obesity awareness and a healthier lifestyle for our animals. Our scales are open for weigh-ins whenever we are open for business and we would be happy to tailor a weight loss program for your pet if it is needed. Remember, they depend on you to give them the best life possible. Don’t let those beguiling eyes talk you into more treats. Tough love is just that. Tough!
Real nice article in the Star Tribune today about a man who questions whether he is too old for a puppy. We hear that a lot from people. Here is one man’s answer: Story
Bob and Adrienne found a new home this week!
For those of you who do not know them:
Bob was found as a stray cat back in July by a Plymouth Heights client that was not able to keep him. He adjusted very well to his new life in the clinic. If he was not sleeping he was after you for food and attention. He has been a very playful cat and explored every inch of the clinic, especially all the very high places.
Adrienne was brought in for an infected wound when Dr Fleming was in Red Lake for a spay/neuter clinic in August. Since they did not have the ability to care for her continued veterinary needs in Red Lake, Dr Fleming brought her home with him. She is continuing to improve, but still has a wound that we are working on getting to heal.
They were both adopted together by a very caring Plymouth Heights client that recently lost both of her beloved cats in a short time frame. So far she reports them settling in very well. They explored the house and any open drawers together like true friends.
Bob and Adrienne will be missed at the clinic by all. Except for maybe Hank, our elderly permanent feline resident, who was mostly indifferent or annoyed by the young intruders.
We wish them and their new pet parent the best for many years to come.
We have had lots of fun today seeing clients pets and dressing up a few of our own today. Spiderman got the chance to meet Spidercat Bob today. Gypsy came in with lovely Halloween collar and Dr. Fleming and Practice Manager Sara also joined in the fun!
Its Halloween…Time for the Plymouth Heights cats to get dressed up.
The cats are putting on their costumes.
And showing off
Spider Cat Bob
Remember to have a happy and safe Halloween. No candy for your furry freinds so keep it out of reach. Chocolate can be toxic to cats and dogs and other treats can have their own negative side effects.
Make sure you have pet treats for all the four legged trick-or-treaters.
Happy Halloween from all of us at Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital
Last week we took two afternoons to train and certify 19 of our staff members in human CPR and the use of our recently acquired automated external defibrillator (AED) unit. John Fineberg, of CPR-Twin Cities, did an excellent job conducting the 4 hour Red Cross training sessions. As things change often in the CPR field, we realize the importance of staying up to date with the latest life saving techniques. John’s hands on training really improved our skills and helped us feel confident we can respond quickly in an emergency if ever needed. We definitely recommend him for anyone else looking to improve their CPR skills.
Now we feel we are as ready to help any humans in the clinic if an emergency arises as we are their pets!
Quick action turns a scary situation for one cute little guy into a happy ending…
On Monday September 24th little Russel’s quick puppy reflexes gulped down a large hunk of meat. His doggie daddy would have never guessed his little 2.4lb, 8 week old Shih Tzu mix could reach, much less swallow such a large piece. He rushed him here to Plymouth Heights Pet hospital and Dr. Stephensen and our
team went to work as her small patient was choking and blue.
X-rays showed a large obstruction in little Russel’s esophagus. Russel was sedated and Dr. Stephensen worked quickly to remove a very large piece of meat from a very small throat. His gum color and breathing improved instantly and there were cheers and tears form the staff working with him.
His loving family/guardians Kaylee and Dumansani gave him TLC and helped him with his recovery after such a traumatic event. Russel is loved and cherished by his family and has a large fan club at the clinic.
Here at the clinic, our lives are touched everyday by our caring clients and the amazing animals that can be so fragile, yet impact those around them so deeply.
A new FDA warning has come out warning consumers about the potential dangers of chicken jerky treats. There have been 360 confirmed canine deaths and one feline death attributed to them. The article infers that the chicken treats primarily come from China but they have not identified specifically what is causing the problem yet so cannot prove for certain the connection. I recommend you read the whole article here. We have been advocating avoiding Chinese meat treats and rawhides for some time and this just confirms that recommendation. Most of these pet jerky products do come from China and that’s not always on the package. Call the company to be sure where the meat source is coming from if you are not sure. Remember you get what you pay for. The cheaper the treat, the more likely the ingredients come from China.
Just back from Austin, Texas, where my daughter and her family moved a week ago. Hot and humid down there. And this is the fall! Back here in Minnesota, it’s in the 70s and the weather couldn’t be nicer. Cool air, multi-colored trees , honeycrisp apples, football. What more could you ask for? St Kitts asked me to teach again this fall but there is no way I would miss my favorite season in Minnesota. Here is our clinic backyard view:
How lucky are we? Fall is a time of harvest, of gathering and reflection on the bounty of life. Appreciate and enjoy the blessings of this season. Get outside and walk your dog! You’ll both be better for it.