Stow Kent Animal Hospital
4559 Kent Road Kent, OH 44240 330-673-0049

Portage Animal Clinic
4148 Ohio 43 Kent, OH 44240
330-673-7387

Cat Allergies…No laughing Matter

gabriel-stow-kent-animal-hospital-portage-animal-clinic-blog2Gabriel

Hello, Gabriel here, I am Floyd’s brother and he said that I could write to you all about an important topic that affects many animals. I am a 2 year old Siamese mix kitty that loves to snuggle with people. I wanted to talk to you a bit about allergies. I suffer from allergies myself and I would love to help inform others so that they can help their feline family members gain some relief from allergies.

It is summer and I love to look out the window. I love those fascinating fuzzies that fly through the air, I love when the windows are open and I can feel the breeze. However this time of the year itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and coughing gets the best of me! My veterinarian diagnosed me with allergies.

Being an allergic cat is not fun. I have several types of allergies and this constantly makes me feel horrible. Did you know that cats can be allergic to all of the same environmental things that people can be allergic too? This includes grass, pollen, dust, dust mite, trees, etc. Pets can have these environmental allergies, food allergies or both. Even though I am strictly indoors I am still allergic to things that are outside. Mom always picks goopies from my eyes and nose. I hate when she does that. I squirm a lot to try and make it hard so maybe she will stop. My mom keeps me regulated with medication for my allergies but she says that if it gets worse then I will have to go to a dermatologist (yes, they have dermatologists for pets too). There they can give me injections to find everything that I am allergic to. Then depending on what they find they can help me by giving me allergy injections or more medications to help me through my toughest allergy times. Sometimes my allergies are so bad and I get so itchy that I have an asthma attack. When I have an asthma attack my mom always has to give me a steroid to take down the inflammation. An asthma attack is so scary; it’s so hard to breathe. I always need my mommy when this happens. She holds me and helps me to calm down and then gives me my medication to help me to feel better.

I also have food allergies, one would think that these are easier to manage but that is not always the case. Mom put me on a food allergy trail and found out what part of the diets that I was allergic too and now she can feed me things that I am not allergic too. My brothers get to eat in the kitchen and they get a different food than I do. They get chicken food and I have to eat beef food. Mom has to put me in the bedroom or the bathroom when she feeds me to keep me from eating some of my sibling’s food. When I get out I try to eat their food because it is so delicious. However, when I eat their food, even just a small bite, I get itchy on my feet and my eyes get really red. That is why it is so important for pets on an allergy diet to only get the diet that their veterinarian recommends and nothing else! I’m lucky I have her to look out for me. She even gives me special allergy treats. Food allergies are so hard to treat because I can never have anything other than MY food and treats. However when my diet is managed appropriately then it helps me to feel better.

If your cat sneezes, wheezes, coughs, itches, or has drainage from the nose and/or eyes then it is likely that they could have allergies. So if you think that you have a cat with any kind of allergy symptoms, bring them into the office so we can help them to feel better. You doctor can talk to you about the many options available to help treat your cat for allergies. Don’t forget that allergies can also affect our dog friends, many of the same symptoms apply to them as well.

Thank you for listening to my story,

Gabriel the Cat, Stow Kent Animal Hospital & Portage Animal Clinic

Outdoor Kitties Beware

william-white-face

That cat’s encroaching on my turf again. He’s giving me that evil eye, I know what he’s up to. He thinks he can just come into my yard and mark my tree or poop in my flower garden and get away with it! The hairs rise on the back of my neck, I let out a hiss and growl, but he persists. I lunge to the left and swat to the right, I feel the pain as he sinks his teeth into my arm, I retaliate with a bite to his cheek. Once the brawl ends, I limp home to clean my wounds.

The next morning I slowly wake, my body still aching, my wounds are swollen and painful. Mom takes me to the vet where the doctor tends to my wounds, administers some antibiotics, and takes a blood sample to test for disease. While I lay there curled upon the exam table, I hear the vet tell mom that I have contracted the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or “kitty AIDS.” What? How could this happen? I thought I was vaccinated? How long do I have to live?

It’s been 2 years since that dreadful night, and I’ve been steadily growing ill and very frail. The doctor tells mom that my FIV has turned into full blown AIDS, I don’t have much time left on this earth. As mom tearfully struggles to decide if it’s time to end my suffering, I can’t help but wonder if they would have let me go outside if they knew it could lead to this.

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and FIV are the two most deadly viruses spread among cats that go outdoors. These viruses are shed in the saliva of infected cats and spread through various means. FeLV is typically thought of as the “friendly cat” disease. It is typically spread when cats co-groom each other and share food or water dishes. FIV is called the “fighting cat” disease, as it is typically spread through bite wounds. These diseases are not transmissible to humans, however they do cause disease in cats that is usually fatal.

There are many ways to help minimize the risk of your cat contracting these viruses. Cats that are known to be infected with FeLV or FIV should never be allowed outside as they will continue to spread the virus to other unsuspecting cats. If you own a cat that goes outside, please talk to your veterinarian about ways to keep your cat protected in the future.

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Until next time, Harry and William with the help of Dr. Eric Brooks

For more information about FeLV and FIV, check out the following links to Cornell University’s feline health center:

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fiv.html http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/felv.html

The Monster in the SKy

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Summer is here and many are celebrating, but for some dogs similar to Annie, summer is not always a celebration. Storms and fireworks are a stressful time for many dogs.

Note: more pets go missing on the 4th of July than any other holiday. This means that the 5th is the busiest day for animal shelters. So try to avoid taking pets to fireworks shows with you. You don’t want to leave your pet outside unattended. They may try to run away during the fireworks. It would be a good idea to bring them inside. It is important to have proper identification on your pet at all times so if they go missing you have a greater chance of being reunited with you. You may also want to consider microchipping your pet so that you may be reunited faster.

This is Annie and I am afraid of thunderstorms. I used to climb on my parent’s lap, hide, and wake them up in the middle of the night. But now I am a Thunder Dog! I wear my Thundershirt during stressful

situations and now the storms don’t scare me. I can even relax and sleep in my own bed during storms if I have my Thundershirt on. Below we have listed many tips to help make these times less stressful for other dogs, too.

Thundershirts can be purchased at Stow Kent Animal Hospital and Portage Animal Clinic. They come with a 45 day money back guarantee. They can help with many types of anxiety. The idea is similar to swaddling a baby or to a weighed vest on an autistic child. It applies pressure to a variety of different pressure points in order to make pets feel more secure. We have seen great success and it has helped many dogs become more confident.

There are some important points to make sure the shirt is effective. The first point is to make sure you get the correct size shirt and apply it to fit very snug. If you need guidance feel free to bring your pet in to the hospital and the staff can help you purchase the correct one. Then wear the shirt for some happy times as well as the scary times so your pet doesn’t’ associate the shirt with scary events. Applying it only during stressful events can make us more anxious because we know that something scary is going to happen. The last point is to make sure that you pay close attention to your dog’s behavior; sometimes it does not eliminate all anxious behaviors but it may provide some relief for your pet. In order to help gauge how the Thundershirt works, assign your pet a number between 1 and 10 based on how nervous he/she is without the shirt. Once your pet has been wearing the shirt for a while, reassess the situation. Is he/she any less nervous? What would his/her number be now? If it provides any relief you should continue to use the shirt.

If you need additional relief consider using D.A.P in addition to the Thundershirt or by itself some dogs respond well to this product. D.A.P is dog appeasing pheromone which is comforting to a dog. It is a pheromone that the mom would release when nursing puppies and therefore that provides comfort to a pet during these stressful times. They make D.A.P collars that pets can wear; otherwise it comes in a spray or a diffuser.

If the Thundershirt does not work or you need additional relief, then your pet may need anxiety medications. Some people think it’s normal that their pet is terrified or think they just need to deal with the storm. But in reality not every dog is afraid of storms and fireworks and it is not fair for a dog to be anxious during these times. Think about the last time you were so afraid of something that you were shaking or wanted to hide. Some pets will get so nervous that they may pose a threat to themselves, especially if they are home alone during this time. Pets may try to escape or self-injure. So if your pet is anxious consider talking to your doctor about options that fit your pet and your lifestyle.

Don’t forget that cats can also be afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks. They do have Thundershirts available for cats and they make a Feliway which is the equivalent to D.A.P but is used in cats. If you have any questions or concerns about either dogs or cats contact your veterinarian.

I hope these tips are helpful to you and your family!

Until next time,

Annie the Lab and Dr. Marietti

For more information please visit: http://www.thundershirt.com/thundershirt.aspx?utm_expid=16997785-6&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thundershirt.com%2FProduct%2FThundershirt.aspx%3Fitem_guid%3Dad60b946-f758-45e2-a589-331dda09637e

Stow Kent Animal Hospital

Mon. – Thurs. 7am to 9:30pm
Fri. & Sat. 7am to 6pm
Sun. Closed
Call for emergency instruction
Sundays and after hours.

Portage Animal Clinic

Mon. – Thurs. 8am to 7pm
Fri. & Sat. 8am to 6pm
Sun. Closed
Call for emergency instruction
Sundays and after hours.