Blog Posts by vetstreet.com

  • 7 Foods to NEVER Feed Your Cat

    By Arden Moore

    iStockPhotoAlthough it can be irksome for owners, being branded finicky could ultimately be a boon for cats - especially when it comes to ingesting potentially dangerous foods.

    "The main drivers of palatability for cats are protein and fat content, with moisture and texture being important too," says Dr. Sally Perea, DVM, DACVN, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist at P&G Pet Care in Ohio.

    Related: 6 Human Foods Dangerous For Dogs & Other Pets

    Some "people food" is safe for cats in small amounts, but certain items - like raw fish and eggs - are definitely hazardous. Dr. Perea lists the top seven no-no foods for kitties:

    Feline Food Offender #1: Raw Fish

    "Human-grade sushi is generally safe for people, but it can cause gastrointestinal upset in cats," says Dr. Perea. "There is thiaminase in raw fish that could break down an essential B vitamin called thiamine in cats. Thiamine deficiency can cause neurological problems - and even lead to convulsions."

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  • Famous Internet Cats Unite to Help Shelter Cats

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Friskies / YouTube -- Grumpy Cat and his famous feline friends star in Some of the Internet's most famous felines make appearances in a new holiday video with a cause. Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow, Oskar the Blind Cat, Nala Cat and Hamilton the Hipster Cat star in a new music video for Friskies called "Hard to Be a Cat at Christmas."

    The video shows footage of the cats lamxperts/grumpy-cat-is-so-over-being-an-internet-memeenting over presents, and wishing for some of that holiday meal - or at the very least, some wet food.

    For every view of the video up to 500,000 views, Friskies will donate one can of wet food to shelter and rescue groups across the country. Grumpy Cat, as you may recall, is a spokescat for Friskies. - Read it from the Los Angeles Times and watch the video at YouTube

    More From Vetstreet.com:

    * Most Popular Kitten Names of 2013
    * 10 Cheetah Cubs Born in Virginia

    * 10 Great Holiday Gifts for Your Cat
    * Why Does My Cat... Lick Me?


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  • 10 Cheetah Cubs Born in Virginia

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    This cub is one of 10 baby cheetahs born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va. Two Cheetahs Give Birth The animal care team at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia is seeing spots this month with a cheetah baby boom. First-time mom Miti gave birth to seven cubs on Nov. 12. Although one sadly didn't make it, five females and one male survived. Two weeks later, experienced mom Ally had a litter of four cubs at SCBI, which is affiliated with the National Zoo. Although the animal care team hasn't yet been able to fully examine the younger cubs and determine their gender, they say all of the little arrivals are doing well. The The animal care team at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Virginia is seeing spots this month with a cheetah baby boom.


    First-time mom Miti gave birth to seven cubs on Nov. 12. Although one sadly didn't make it, five females and one male survived. Two weeks later, experienced mom Ally had a litter of four cubs at SCBI, which is affiliated with the National Zoo.


    Pictures: Three Cheetah Cubs Provide Triple the Cuteness

    Although the animal care team hasn't yet been able to fully examine the younger cubs and determine their gender, they say all of the little arrivals are doing well. The staff is tracking how the moms and babies are doing via closed-circuit web cams in their enclosures. - Read it and see photos from the National Zoo

    More From Vetstreet.com:

    * Most Popular Kitten Names of 2013
    * Are Animal Attractions a Bad Thing?

    * 10 Common Cat Myths Decoded
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  • Most Popular Kitten Names of 2013

    By Kristen Seymour

    ThinkstockLast week we released our list of the most popular puppy names of 2013, but, of course, we identify as neither dog nor cat people (seriously, do not ask us to choose sides!), so we now present to you the most popular kitten names of 2013.

    Just like with the top kitten names of 2011 and top kitten names of 2012, we examined Vetstreet's database of 425,000 names of kittens born this year to find the monikers that appeared most often. Many of the trends of the last couple of years are holding true, but watch out: There are a number of names moving up and down the list this year, including a new No. 1 name for male kittens!

    See Also: 10 Least-Trendy Kitten Names

    vetstreet.com


    Top 10 Female Kitten Names

    For the seventh year in a row, Bella is sitting pretty at No. 1. But we have a new No. 2: Lucy, which has been in and out of that spot, holding it for six out of the last 11 years.

    Kitty, which was No. 1 from 2000 to 2006, fell a spot to No. 3, and Chloe also dropped a place, going

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  • Common Home Items that Stress Out Cats & Dogs

    By Dr. Ernie Ward

    AlamyWe live in a world chock-full of arresting - and often overwhelming - sights, smells and sounds. But while you can block all that background static with state-of-the-art Bose headphones, your pets have no choice but to soak it all in.

    From noise emitted by fluorescent light bulbs to overpowering air fresheners, there are many things that may seem innocuous to us - but can negatively affect your dog or cat's stress levels.

    See Also: 10 Dangerous Indoor Plants for Your Pets

    Here's a look at some common sensory pet stressors.

    Pet Sensory Offender #1: Noise Pollution

    First, some background: Humans hear in the range of about 20-25,000Hz, while dogs fall in the 67-45,000Hz zone and cats in the range of 45-64,000Hz. Our voices come in at about the 300-3,000Hz range, so what this means is that there are lots of shrill sounds that can really bug your dog or cat.

    Excessive or loud noises can create what is known as acoustic stress, which affects felines, in particular, since

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  • Do Dogs Need Coats or Sweaters? Only 3 Types Do

    By Dr. Marty Becker

    iStockphotoQ. How do I know if my dog needs a sweater or coat this winter?

    A. I feel safe in saying that if you have a healthy, young Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute who's acclimated to the cold and has the glorious coat common in the Northern breeds, you likely won't have to invest in canine clothing for walks in the snow. In general, there are three kinds of dogs who benefit from the insulation provided by a sweater or coat, as well as the protection afforded by life as a pampered house pet:

    • Small dogs
    • Dogs who are elderly, chronically ill or both
    • Greyhounds, Whippets and dogs of a similar thin body type, especially those with short fur

    See Also: Most Popular Dog Names of 2013

    What these dogs have in common is that they have a more difficult time generating and retaining enough body heat on their own. For these dogs, a little help keeping dry and warm is always a good thing. Though protection from the elements is the biggest reason to put clothes on dogs headed

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  • My Pet Has Bad Breath. What is Causing It?

    iStockphotoSimple chronic halitosis. Whether we're talking humans or pets, bad breath is a big deal. It's a stinky problem, but take heart. In most cases there's a lot you can do to keep bad breath at bay.

    See Also: Dog Dental Care -- 5 Steps Every Pet Owner Should Take


    Causes

    There are a variety of causes for bad breath in pets, these include:

    1. Periodontal disease. It's by far the most common cause of bad breath in pets. Studies show that after the age of 3 years, 80 percent of dogs and cats will have signs of periodontal disease. The cause of the offensive odor in these cases is the bacteria that coalesce as plaque and cause irritating gingivitis. As plaque matures and periodontal disease progresses, more destructive bacteria come into play. Periodontal disease is a painful condition that can lead to tooth loss and damage to organs like the heart and kidneys.

    2. Teething. Kittens and puppies often have ick breath when they are teething. Kittens, especially, seem prone to the

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  • Kitten Rescued from 39-Foot Pipe

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    IFAW -- Eight-week-old Rapunzel was pulled from a 39-foot deep sewage pipe in Mexico.It was late at night when a woman named Cryss returned to her home in Mexico from vacation and heard the distinctive cries of a kitten. She couldn't see anything in the dark, but when she still heard the crying in the morning, she realized that the kitten had fallen 39 feet down a PVC pipe in her neighbor's backyard, into an underground sewage system.

    Cryss called Erika Flores, a veterinarian with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and together with two other rescuers and three police officers, they used a whole roll of duct tape to connect 12 broomsticks together to try to reach the kitten. Each time the kitty grabbed hold of the device, though, she fell back down the long, narrow pipe.

    It was a retired fisherman who lived across the street who ultimately saved the exhausted cat. He modified a fishing net and tied a cable to the broomstick, and after two tries, the 8-week-old kitten was finally pulled to freedom. The group aptly named the kitty

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  • Pet Food Labels: What Low Fat, Organic and Natural Really Mean

    By Dr. Ann Hohenhaus

    ThinkstockHow much does a label matter? This isn't a new question; in Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's heroine famously questions the importance of a name: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

    See Also: 10 Human Foods to NOT Give Your Cat or Dog

    In other words, a label is just a label and has nothing to do with the essential value of the thing it names. I would advise pet owners to think similarly about the names of certain products that they buy: Labels such as "natural," "organic" and "low fat" may not only be misleading but even incorrect.

    Every pet owner strives to make the best possible choices in order to promote lifelong health and well-being for his favorite fur person. For many owners, this means opting for natural products, organic foods and low-calorie diets. But sometimes those words can be almost meaningless. Savvy consumers should know the definitions of these words when attached to the products they

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  • 9 Ways Your Pet's Life is Improving Thanks to Amazing Advances in Vet Medicine

    oBy Dr. Marty Becker

    Wees the Australian Shepherd exercises on an underwater treadmill.When I look back over my 33 years in veterinary medicine, I am stunned at the changes I have witnessed. Just in the past 10 to 20 years, we veterinarians have seen advances in every area of medicine and new ways of caring for animals that I never dreamed of when I was in veterinary school. Here are the ones that I think have had the greatest impact on our ability to give pets the best care possible.

    (photo credit: Robert Seeberg/ Alamy, vetstreet.com)


    See Also: 50 Most Popular Pet Names of 2013


    You've Come a Long Way, Baby

    1. Pain management. When I first began practicing veterinary medicine, a commonly held belief was that animals didn't experience pain in the same way humans did. It was even thought that pain relief would get in the way of their recovery after surgery: If they felt good enough to move around, they might become active too soon and tear their stitches. Now we know that animals heal more quickly when they're not in pain, and we have

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