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Monday, October 15, 2012

Household toxins - cats

I was reading an interesting article, here are some highlights.

NSAIDs top the lists, these are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like acetominopphen and aspirin.  Some anti-depressants seem to attract cats also.  The cat doesn't handle these drugs well, and all ingestions are considered toxic.  Treatment is aimed at removing the offending stubstance and diluting it in the blood with fluids.   Sometimes a specific anti-toxin is available (n-acetylcysteine for acetominophen), but charcoal may be the only thing available.  Kidney and liver damage and failure are the usual outcome, but many do well for years after if they are caught early enough and treated aggressively.

I already talked about plants and a link to APHIS, but lilies are on the worst plants ever list.  The flowers can drop petals and they are just as toxic as the leaves, stamen, etc.  True lilies are the culprits, while Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies cause less severe issues.  Assume all lilies are toxic and get rid of it or lock it away from touch and chew.  Again treatment is aimed at detoxifying and diluting, hospital stays are mandatory.

Bug toxicants (either for the yard and house or dogs) claim the next spot.  The usual detoxify and dilute are used here, but we add WASH IT OFF.  Most insecticides are on the surface (even the flea and tick stuff for dogs), so they can be decreased just by washing the cat with a safe detergent.  Getting the cat into your ER vet is still necessary for all the other treatments.

Surface chemicals - this includes anything you use to clean that the cat can touch (feet, hair), lick, spill, or inhale.  If they can get it into or on them, they can react to it.  Depending on the chemical (bleach, cleaners, perfumes, etc) the signs can be local (mouth burn) to systemic (vomiting, kidney failure) and will require the above detoxify and dilute again.  The best way to keep chemicals away from a cat is to keep the door closed when using them, letting them dry completely before allowing access, and keeping the SEALED bottles put away.

Everything else that cats can ingest, spill on themselves, or come in contact with may be a toxin or allergen.  The more odd it is, the more likely it will cause harm.  Even "safe" items for dogs and humans can intoxicate your cat.  A list is available at most vet sites (CSU, Cornell, MSU, AVDC, etc) of toxins and other interesting things cat owners should know.  I prefer the vet school sites because their stuff has been checked and rechecked.  The other more commercial sites have some misinformation in them that can lead to more problems.  Just google vet school owner info to find good links.

Thanks for reading, and keepp your kitties safe.

Interesting cat books, ramblings.

Okay, I admit I'm into books, and found a lot of great cat books over the years.  Recently, my kids have been into the Warrior's series, and I've snuck a read too.  The "cat who" series was and is great, and I still love  all the little stocking stuffer books I get.  However, on the serious side most books have been dry.  Recently I read cat Vs cat by Oan Johnson-Bennett, and it was interesting.  Also, naughty no more! by Marilyn Krieger.  One that was recommended, and I haven't read yet, is The veterinarian's guide to your cat's symptoms by Michael Garvey DVM.  Will have to find that oneand read it.

In the past Acupressure for cats and Tellington touch for pets were good reads that my cats enjoyed as well.  I suspect if they knew how to read they'd be dropping those under my feet as reminders all the time.

A series I've been trying to re-find is about telepathic cats and their companions.  One set was in space and the other on a planet.  Unfortunately, this hasn't been enough to find either set yet.

Recently attended a continuing education conference and received some recommendations, so will post those in the future if I find any worthwhile additions.

Out of area vaccine clinics

My normal vaccine clinics are in Golden and Denver, but I've had a few calls from small towns outside the Denver area.  If you are in a small town without a good source of small animal vaccination, I'm willing to bring my clinic for a few days to your town. 
If interested in this option, just give me a call.  Obviously, I'd need some contact numbers and names of people to find out how to legally do this in your town.
Thanks, Dr C

Monday, May 7, 2012

feline nutritional allergies

Feline nutritional allergies aren't that uncommon, that's the nice way of saying they're out there, but very hard to diagnose and treat.  Basically, I find that any overgrooming or odd skin changes cat can be allergies, but can also include kitties that vomit, wheeze, or have soft stools.  Obviously, other disease process cause these exact same symptoms, so working up labwork including blood, urine, and stool will be necessary to rule out other sources of the symptoms.   The treatment for food allergies is to "food trial" on a novel protein food (read none of the proteins kitty has eaten previously may be in this food) or a hydrolyzed diet (read the proteins have been cut down to small pieces the cats immune system isn't supposed to read.  There are very few truly novel protein foods out there, most having in common at least soy(see below).  To this end some try niche diets (a diet made by a company for your cat), or cook for them ( a hard to balance proposition).  I recommend the hydrolyzed diet as the easiest of these approaches.
A niche diet is for your pet, it is literally the first one to eat it. It balances on paper, but most niche companies don’t do animal feeding trials to measure actual nutrition performance. A few organic brands have gone through animal feeding trials for some of their formulas, but most have been presumed balanced based solely on book values. When choosing any food, look at the food’s AAFCO statement for these words: animal feeding tests substantiate this food is complete and balanced. If the words animal feeding tests are missing, the tests haven’t been done.
When feeding your kitty who may have a food allergy, be patient. If you are able to find a true novel protein diet, it may take up to eight weeks to see a convincing response. One study in Europe showed that it may take as many as three consecutive diet trials to catch 95% of food allergic patients!
It is difficult to find a truly novel protein for cats because ordinary cat foods contain so many similar flavors and ingredients. Duck, for instance, often cross reacts with turkey and chicken. Beef often cross reacts with venison, bison, etc. Add to that the difficulty that many OTC formulas that say "soy free" or "grain free" have been shown to have significant enough levels of these ingredients to aggravate a truly allergic cat. It’s not so much they’re “sneaking it in” as there is inadvertent contamination. Feed mills are dusty places and it’s easy to have cross contamination of production lots.   The dog food market has a few that use kangaroo or rabbit and pass the" no soy… really, for real… no soy" tests. However, those diets just aren’t there for cats, and dog food doesn't have the essential amino acids required to keep kitties healthy.  There are a very few over the counter diets that have proteins limited to salmon, chicken, duck, and venison and also live up to their “no soy” claims. Again, realize that none of those proteins are completely novel for all cats.  
For pet owners who really want to be sure they are using a novel protein that has no contaminants and they want to avoid commercial manufacturers, could try the web site They sell supplements that make a homemade diet complete and balanced (at least on paper). It was designed by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. You basically can make your own diet out of your own protein source and their supplement will make it balanced. They also have some free recipes using human supplements, but I think the custom formulas are better for cats (this is a niche site).
Before commiting to any of the "food trials" understand that NOTHING else can sneak in, even a tiny morsel of chick in a poultry-allergic feline will result in a failed trial.  The symptoms are fast to appear, and slow to disappear.
For dogs the trials are slightly easier as they do have some good options, including the hydrolyzed formulas that cats have.
If you have questions, please give me a call.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Nuevo Espanol para DAVMS, a link

The newsletter for DAVMS new pet owners now has a translation available.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New site found

I've added a new site in May.  The old Arvada site is not feasible, and nothing close-by was either.  So I'm sorry but the closest of my 2 old sites (Colorado Ranch Market or Golden Mill) will continue for that area.  As always I'm available for mobile at 303-279-2322.
The new site is at the Gilpin Recreation center.  This is 17 miles up Golden Gate Canyon Rd, in the Exhibit hall barn.  I will be there May 20 12-4p, and May 21 4:30p-8p.
                               June 10 12-4p, and June 11 4:30-8p.  Their community flea market is June 8,9 9a-4p.
                               July 22 12-4p, and July 23 4-8p.
                               Aug 19 9a-4p in the County Fair, and Aug 20 4-8p.
I will be deciding after this if this site will continue in winter on the same schedule or at all.  I'd like to continue if able, but only have 2 wheel drive, so will play it by ear.
I'm also looking at another site, but no details at this time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

64th and Simms (Super Tee's) ending

Due to new sign restrictions and other Arvada rules that went into effect this year, these vaccine clinics will no longer happen here.  I'll be trying to find somewhere close but not within the new rule structure.  The owner of Super Tee's was going to be fined for me helping people, go figure.  Anyhow, sorry to disappoint anyone, but I'll also put this in the yourhub if  I'm able.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The basics for spring.

HAPPY EASTER!!!!   Beware the lilies, candy, and fake grass.  They are either toxic, cause GI trauma, or just plain bad.  Don't forget to "child"-proof your pet during the holidays and activities.  Keep the rich food handouts to a minimum also, as these can cause the dread pancreatitis.  I usually invest in some new chew toys for the dogs to keep them busy during the egg hunts (yes they re-hide them multiple times) and other festivities.

Due to the wonderful weather, the musquitoes are early in my territory, so I've already started my dogs on their heartworm preventive.  Look around, if yours are out also, get the going.  The test is a single drop and done on dogs greater than 6 months old, the puppies under 6 months can just start on the preventive this year and worry about testing next year.  ( This is due to the life-cycle of the heartworm and the 6 month lag time between infection and positive test results.)

Don't forget to brush those teeth, doggy enzymatic toothpaste is still the best for all our pets, avoid anything with xylitol (the diabetic artificial sweetener is toxic to pets) and fluoride (they swallow it and mess up their bones).

Regular yearly vaccines (rabies and DAPP for most, though water dogs need lepto) keep the viruses away, but don't forget all the cool parasites they can pick up.  Colorado is slightly limited, but that doesn't mean we don't have roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, giardia, and etc in our environs.  If your pet hunts or visits moist areas where wildlife have been, they are at risk.  Also, use the tick repellants if you're planning on camping with the pets.  If you board them, don't forget the bordetella vaccine.  The influenza vaccine is available at some select locations, but I still don't have it at this time, ask me about it if you're interested.

Now that it's warmer, the plants are blooming, and so are allergies.  Allergies are additive, so the comfortable winter dog may suddenly scratch everywhere when the pollen rises.  Remember to dry out the ears after swimming, and just wipe them out with dry cotton (not cotton tip applicators) to check for smell and discharge.  Decreasing the symptoms of allergies, can make the whole dog more comfortable even when not completely controlled.  Cleaning the ears and keeping them dry, using hypoallergenic doggy shampoo for baths to soothe (yes there are also medicated ones), starting an antihistamine (ask before you try ANY, some aren't good for our pets), avoiding high pollen areas, double rinsing the bedding and decreasing the allergens tracked in from outside, filtering the inhalant allergens out of the air, etc are all great strategies for helping your pet feel better during this trying time.  If you have more pressing needs, don't forget to make an appointment and we can talk, or test, and treat.

Not forgetting the kitties, if they just can't keep their tootsies inside the house, institute door routines, add a micro-chip, and make sure they're current on their vaccines.  Having up-to-date pictures for emergencies doesn't hurt either, just in case all your best plans fail and they escape.  If you already have a chip in, recheck that all the information is correct on the websites.  Contact me for more info on that.  also, with the bugs and spiders active, some inquisitive minds and paws chase and capture not-so-nice critters.  Reactions can happen, rinse, call the vet, and watch for anything abnormal if no toxins were available.  If in doubt, testing may give you peace of mind if a toxin could have been found (outside, for instance).

That seems to be all the high points of questions at this time of year, so send more if you have them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The newer vaccine clinics

 Sorry I've been away for so long, doesn't seem like time flew that fast.  The future clinics are as follows - CRM is Colorado Ranch Market at I-70 & Pecos  (North east corner)
64th and Simms is at Super Tees on the corner above the stoplight  (North west side)
Golden Mill is the upper parking lot on 10th and Ford in downtown Golden.  (upper parking lot)

 CRM  -  Apr 1 Sun 12-3p, Apr 2 Mon 12-4.
Apr 8 EASTER!!!
64th  -  Apr 15 Sun 12-3p,  Mon Apr 16,  12-4p.  Cancelled after this.
Golden - Apr 22, 3-6p,  Apr 23, 1-5p.        NEW TIMES!!!!
CRM - Apr 29, 12-3p, Apr 30, 2-6p.

I'm trying some new times to see if it helps anyone get in and do the vaccines or heartworm testing for spring.  Let me know if you hate or love it in an e-mail to
These dates and times do have some changes sometimes, but not often.  Call 303-279-2322 if you have any questions, or may run a little late.