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Safe, Fun & Healthy Holidays for Feline Companions

Published December 21, 2012 in What's New |
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Here are great tips about having a healthy and safe cat-friendly holiday!

Tip 1
Remember that ribbons and tinsel are tempting toys for a curious feline. But if your cat swallows these objects, they can cause serious problems if they get “stuck” in the intestinal tract or wrapped around your cat’s tongue. Keep these types of decorations out of the reach of your cat.

Tip 2
If you put up a Christmas tree for the holidays, your cat may be tempted to taste the water at its base. Unfortunately, that same water may be stagnant or filled with fertilizers, preservatives, or other chemicals which are unsafe for your cat.

Tip 3
Many of the holiday plants that are popular this time of year are dangerous for our cats. Though poinsettias are generally over-rated in terms of their potential for toxicity, they can still cause mild intestinal upset for your cat. More importantly, holly can be very toxic, as can some types of mistletoe. In addition, lilies can be deadly for your cat and are often found in holiday flower arrangements. Do not leave these plants where your cat can chew on them.

Tip 4
Be careful about sharing your favorite holiday treats with your cat. Chocolate and many other types of foods can be dangerous.

Tip 5
Scented candles and potpourri are popular holiday decorations as well. Though they make our homes smell wonderful, they may be dangerous for curious cats. Even worse, an open flame can easily become a fire hazard if knocked over by your cat.

Tip 6
Many of the decorations we enjoy during the holidays are electric, and the cords can become a target for a playful cat. Biting into an electrical cord can pose an electrocution threat for your cat. Be cautious of dangling cords and place them where your cat cannot access them.

Tip 7
Be sure to spend a little extra time with your feline friend during the holidays. A little extra attention from you may help ease some of the tension of the holidays for your cat.

Tip 8
Make certain your cat has a place to retreat when company arrives if he feels the need. Your cat’s safe place should have a litter box, a food and water station, and a soft comfortable place to rest. It should be a private area where guests are not allowed.

Paying attention to small details can make a big difference in keeping your cat safe and healthy during the holidays, and will help both you and your cat weather the holiday season and start the new year on a happy note.

Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Published July 13, 2012 in Dr Peto Says, Monthly Care Tips, What's New |
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1. Evidence of Pain

Limping or other evidence of pain while your animal companion is walking, running, or jumping is mostly associated with arthritic issues or joint or muscle diseases, but it can also be a sign of cancer (especially cancer of the bone).

2. Changes in Bathroom Habits

Changes in your animal companion’s urinary or bowel habits – difficulty using the bathroom, frequent bathroom use, blood in urine or stool – these are all potential signs of cancer.

3. Lethargy or Depression

If you notice your animal companion is not acting like himself or herself – sleeping more, less playful, less willing to go on walks or to exercise – this can also be a sign of cancer. Once again, lethargy or depression is not a symptom confined to cancer, but an accumulation of any of these signs is reason enough to speak with your companion’s veterinarian.

4. Coughing or Difficulty Breathing

Coughing or abnormal breathing can be caused by heart disease, lung disease, and also cancer. Cancer can metastasize through the lungs and cause these symptoms.

5. Change in Appetite

Dogs and cats do not stop eating without a cause. While a lack of appetite does not automatically indicate cancer, it is still something to be discussed with your veterinarian. Oral tumours can also cause difficulty or pain when eating or swallowing.

6. Weight Loss

Cancer is among the list of diseases that can cause weight loss in your animal companion. If you notice sudden weight loss in your canine or feline companion (and it is not currently on a diet), along with other signs from this list, be sure to mention it to your veterinarian.

7. Non-Healing Wounds

If your animal companion has wounds or sores that are not healing, it could be a sign of infection, skin disease, or even cancer.

8. Abnormal Discharges

Blood, pus, vomitingdiarrhoea, or any other abnormal substance being discharged from any part of your animal companion’s body should be checked out by your veterinarian. In addition to that, if your canine or feline companion’s abdomen becomes bloated or distended it could be a sign of an accumulation of abnormal discharge within the body.

9. Abnormal Odors

Offensive odours from your animal companions mouth, ears, or any other part of the body, should be checked out. Oftentimes cancers of the mouth, nose, or anal regions can cause such foul odours.

10. Lumps and Bumps

Not all lumps and bumps on or under your animal companion’s skin will be cancerous, but there is no way to know for sure without getting your veterinarian involved – this is especially important if the lump is not resolving itself or is growing in size. A needle biopsy is commonly done and a veterinary pathologist can let you know if the cells are cancerous or not.

Selected from PetMD

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