Winter in our region can be quite unpredictable. Sometimes we experience extremely cold temperatures, as we did this past week; while at other times during our winter months, we can have temperatures in the 50s or 60s. It is extremely important to be aware of the rapid and harsh weather changes, as they affect animals too.
The life of a mixed-animal veterinarian—a veterinarian that sees just about all animals—is always full of unforeseen adventures and meetings with amazing people. This past month has been nothing short of stellar, and just the past week summarizes the month perfectly.
Picture your beloved dog running in the yard with its favorite toy and suddenly, it takes a turn and gives out a yelp. Alternatively, picture your four-legged friend taking a jump off the couch when the doorbell rings and giving out a yelp.
Lyme disease is not a novel topic to all those that live in our region. This year is showing to be a very aggressive tick-infestation season. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), so far this year, one out of three dogs tested for Lyme disease is positive.
Does your dog have protruding piece of pink/red tissue in the corner of his or her eye? Does this piece of tissue change in size? Your dog may have a “cherry eye!” Many mammals, including dogs, have an extra or third eyelid located inside the lower eyelid. This piece of tissue is also referred to as the nictitating membrane.
I am often asked, do cats mourn? It is difficult to assess what those mournful eyes mean, since our feline friends cannot tell us what they are feeling. However, astute pet parents can interpret their pets’ emotions based on their behavior.
Several years ago, I wrote an article about cancers of the spleen, hemangiosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant vascular tumor that occurs in veins and large organs such as the spleen, heart and liver. In many cases patients with this cancer may not show any symptoms indicating they are not feeling well.
Ownerless cats may look the same, but there is a difference between a stray and feral cat. A feral cat is one that is born and raised in the wild with little or no human contact. A stray cat is one that has been abandoned or left from home and became lost. A stray cat is homeless but has already been habituated to humans.
There is no question that when cats scratch objects or even people it is not pleasant. But scratching is a normal behavior for cats and serves many purposes. Scratching serves to shorten and condition the claws, and more importantly, cats scratch to mark their territory.