Health

Animal Pain

July 20, 2014
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Animal Pain

That animals suffer pain that needs to be treated is, believe it or not, still not completely accepted by veterinarians. In fact, not so long ago, veterinarians deliberately withheld painkillers from animals post-surgery, on the misguided philosophy that “the pain will keep them quiet so they don’t hurt themselves.” Even when veterinary organizations do acknowledge pain, they...
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2014 Pet Food and Supplement Issues & Recalls

April 10, 2014
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Welcome to the 2014 log of pet food and treat recalls and problems (click here for the 2013 list). Check back here any time for updates, which sometimes occur daily but almost certainly every week. Click on links for specific product details. New items will be added to the TOP of the list. Click here to...
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Food Allergies in Cats

November 19, 2013
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Cats often develop “food allergies” or “food intolerances” to ingredients found in commercial cat food. The top allergens are: chicken, fish and corn (very common cat food ingredients), beef (often referred to as “meat by-products” or “meat and bone meal” on pet food labels), wheat, and dairy products. However, an...
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Feline Obesity

November 18, 2013
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Feline Obesity

By Jean Hofve, DVM Obesity is a serious problem for our feline friends. Many serious health problems can result from obesity, such as arthritis, liver disease, heart failure, and renal disease. Prevention is key here: don’t allow your cat to become overweight in the first place. Pay  attention to your kitten’s growth to make...
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Posted in Health, Nutrition | 13 Comments »

Fiber Facts

November 18, 2013
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By Dr. Jean Hofve Recently there has been renewed interest in fiber as a pet food ingredient. One pet food manufacturer published an article on the Internet condemning beet pulp in pet food as unhealthy if not downright dangerous, while others are touting the benefits of the latest fiber source, pecan shells. There is...
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Posted in Health, Nutrition | 4 Comments »

Holiday Safety Tips

October 31, 2011
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The holidays can be a stressful and even dangerous time for small furry critters like our cats. Normal routines are upset, visitors come and go, and tempting smells may be coming from the kitchen! The Christmas tree is the first item of great interest on your cat’s Santa list. Many cats find it irresistibly...
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Holiday Safety for Cats and Dogs

October 31, 2011
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The holidays can be a stressful and even dangerous time for small furry critters like our cats. Normal routines are upset, visitors come and go, and tempting smells may be coming from the kitchen! The Christmas tree is the first item of great interest on your cat’s Santa list. Many cats find it irresistibly...
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Feline Hyperesthesia

September 26, 2011
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Cats have many unique characteristics that make for some interesting health challenges, but one of the strangest is “Ripple Skin Syndrome,” or “Itchy Twitchy syndrome” (technically called “feline hyperesthesia”). This condition starts as a rippling of the cat’s skin on its back, from the shoulders to the tail; the cat may turn and lick...
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Immune System Health and Anti-Aging

September 10, 2011
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Many feline diseases are caused by chronic inflammation. This is particularly true of the degenerative diseases of aging, such as arthritis, kidney disease, and even cancer. Such inflammation not only kills cells directly, but also deposits toxic inflammatory by-products and other “sludge” in the extracellular matrix that surrounds the cells. This toxic build-up reduces the...
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The “Greening” of Cats

September 10, 2011
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Here are a few good ways  to make living with a cat “greener” (that is, more “environmentally friendly”) by exercising some discretion in how you shop. Buy earth-friendly cat products. Such products are made from recycled or recyclable materials, minimally packaged, and sustainably harvested and produced. Buying “green” pet products,  supports their manufacturers with...
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Cancer Prevention and Treatment

August 18, 2011
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Cancer: pet guardians fear this diagnosis above all others; not only because the conventional treatments are so perilous, but also because, despite treatment, it is most often fatal. More than half of dogs over the age of 10 will die of cancer, and the incidence of cancer in cats and younger animals is growing rapidly....
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Don’t Vaccinate Your Adult Cat for Distemper

June 24, 2011
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Annual boosters for feline distemper (panleukopenia) may be a significant factor in cats' development of kidney disease later in life. Avoid this unnecessary and dangerous vaccine for your cat!
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Heartworm now found “in all 50 states”

June 1, 2011
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According to the American Heartworm Society (AHS), its “every-three-years survey, which tracks heartworm incidence from data supplied by more than 5,000 veterinary clinics, has documented cases in every state.” [Note: this may, and probably does, mean that two or three cases, but not necessarily more, have been reported by these drug-pushing clinics, which represent...
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Heartworm in Cats

May 1, 2011
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Heartworm in Cats

By Jean Hofve, DVM In a seemingly diabolical plot, veterinarians and pharmaceutical companies have teamed up in a marketing campaign to frighten guardians into giving year-round heartworm preventatives to their cats. They say they’re doing this to improve protection for individual pets, but the facts say they have other motives. With few exceptions, heartworms...
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Constipated Cats

March 1, 2011
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Constipated Cats

A surprising number of cats have problems with constipation (abnormal accumulation of feces and difficulty defecating), and similar but more serious conditions such as obstipation (complete obstruction of the colon by feces) and megacolon (damaged nerves and muscles in the colon causing an inability to defecate). Constipation is uncomfortable, even painful. Constipated cats may...
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Posted in Health | 154 Comments »

Cats, Sickness, Stress, and the Environment

January 13, 2011
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A fascinating study out of The Ohio State University was just published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2011;238:67–73). Here’s part of OSU’s press release about it: EVEN HEALTHY CATS ACT SICK WHEN THEIR ROUTINE IS DISRUPTED COLUMBUS, Ohio – A cat regularly vomiting hairballs or...
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Posted in Health | 8 Comments »

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

December 2, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common feline problem. With the word “bowel” as part of the name, you might think that the main symptom would be diarrhea. However, vomiting is an even more common symptom and often the only symptom in cats. Vomiting associated with IBD tends to be...
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Feline Acne

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM It’s not just for teenagers anymore – cats can get acne too! You may see your cat rubbing his chin against the furniture or other corners more than usual. You might notice little black specks around your cat’s lips or chin (especially in a cat with a light-colored face), or...
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Feline Conjunctivitis

November 18, 2010
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Many cats have chronic problems with conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye membranes). Often, the problem comes and goes. The eyes may be red, swollen, watery, crusty, or goopy. Causes include infection, congenital defects (small or absent tear ducts), facial conformation (Persian features), and scarring from previous infections. Unlike humans, allergies are almost never involved....
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Feline Diabetes Basics

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Has your cat been diagnosed with diabetes? Are you looking for the most accurate and up-to-date information on this condition in cats? Are you interested in alternative treatments? Do you want to know how to prevent the disease from developing? The following information is excerpted from “Feline Diabetes,” a special...
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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM FIP is a particularly nasty disease—one that causes great confusion and distress. The name itself is misleading; the only absolutely true point about the name is the “feline,” since it is not especially infectious, nor is it always peritonitis (inflammation in the abdominal cavity). Unfortunately, the disease is virtually 100%...
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Fish Oil and Hyperthyroidism — Is There a Link?

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM A reader recently quoted part of one of our newsletters in an email, and (in addition to the subject of her email, which was our warning about alpha lipoic acid) expressed concern about Omega-3 fatty acids and their potential association with high iodine levels and feline thyroid disease. She was...
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Flower Essences for Animals

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Flower essences (remedies) are specially prepared extracts of the flowering parts of certain plants. They work through energy fields to heal stress and disease from the inside. Flower essences were first developed by Dr. Edward Bach, an English physician who gave up his busy practice to study and prepare the...
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Posted in Behavior, Health | 2 Comments »

Geriatric Cats

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Just like humans, cats are prone to a number of medical problems as they get older. With diet, supplements, and extra care, many of these conditions can be prevented, delayed, or managed, to give your cat a good quality of life in her older years. Arthritis A recent study found...
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Giardia Natural Treatment Protocol

November 18, 2010
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This is a protocol that I heard about many years ago for getting rid of Giardia, and have used many times successfully (and safely) in cats and dogs.  This protocol utilizes digestive enzymes on an empty stomach. With no food in the system, the digestive enzymes go to work on anything else that might...
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Hairballs

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM There’s nothing quite like the glorious feeling of stepping out of your warm bed onto a cold, squishy, slimy hairball! Perhaps we should feel flattered that our beloved feline companion has left a piece of herself as a special gift for us, but frankly, most of us would rather bond...
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How to Care for Your New Kitten

November 18, 2010
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Kittens, like all animal babies, need special care. It is important to provide lots of love and, as well as more practical items like toys, a litter box, and an adequate scratching pad or post. Be sure to kitten-proof your house, removing small or delicate items to prevent damage by curious little paws and...
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How to Keep Your Cat Pest-Free

November 18, 2010
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Are you… •    Using oral or topical flea & tick preparations or collars? •    Dosing your pet with heartworm medication? •    Using ant, roach or other pesticides inside or outside your home? •    Letting your cat roam on chemically treated lawns? •    Using weed-killers or insecticides on your indoor or outdoor plants? All of...
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Hyperthyroidism

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM A serious disease called “feline hyperthyroidism” has risen to epidemic proportions since the first cases were diagnosed in 1979. It is a worldwide phenomenon, though worse in the U.S. than other countries. Hyperthyroidism (hyper = too much, thyroid = a hormone-making gland), is seen mostly in older cats age 10...
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Posted in Health | 17 Comments »

Indoors or Outdoors?

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Are you thinking about allowing your cat to go outside without restriction? To make the right decision, you need to know the facts. The average lifespan of an indoor cat is 15-18 years. For a cat allowed outdoors, the average life is only 2-5 years. There are many dangers that...
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Posted in Behavior, Health | 19 Comments »

Introduction to Homeopathy

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Homeopathy is a system of medical treatment developed in the late 1800s by a German physician and chemist, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. His system follows the theory that “like cures like” proposed by Aristotle. For example, the substance Ipecac in large doses will cause nausea, salivation, and violent vomiting in a...
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Kidney Disease in Cats

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Kidney disease, in the form of Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), also called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), is a common problem in older cats. I have seen natural kidney failure in cats as young as 4 years, but it occurs far more frequently in much older cats. However, due to the...
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Posted in Health | 46 Comments »

Living with FIV

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a “new” cat disease; it was first discovered in domestic cats around 1975. Since then it has been found that many big cats (more than 80% of Serengeti lions, for instance) also harbor this virus. In big cats, the disease seems to be benign and...
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Mad Cow Disease and Your Pets

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM In December 23, 2003, the first official U.S. case of “mad cow disease” (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or BSE) was reported in the news; a second followed shortly thereafter. However, astute researchers and even the pet food industry acknowledge that a BSE-like disease has been present in the U.S. for many...
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Microchips and Cancer

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Recently there have been a couple of articles circulating on the Internet about the “dangers” of microchips and the potential for cancer. There are several things you need to know to assess this information: 1. The strain of mice used in these experiments are bred to be especially susceptible to...
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Milk Thistle – A Wonder Herb?

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a flowering plant in the Aster family. A native of Europe, it has been used since the time of the Roman emperors as a liver tonic. Milk thistle is one of very few traditionally used herbs that has been widely accepted by conventional science to...
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Outdoor Safety for Cats

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM As you probably know, we recommend against letting cats roam freely outdoors. There are just too many dangers to make it worth the risk. However, we also recognize that the great outdoors is a wonderful place to be if you’re a kitty. It’s full of interesting sights and smells, and...
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Pet Cancer — a “Smoking” Gun?

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Many studies have shown that second-hand (environmental) smoke is a health hazard to humans, much less research has been done in animals. However, there are a few studies that shed light on the association between pets, disease, and living with a smoker. Cats who live with a smoker have a...
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Poisonous and Dangerous Plants

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM Aconite (Monkshood, Wolfsbane) Agaricus Mushrooms Aloe 1 Amanita Mushrooms Amaryllis Avocado (leaves, seeds) Azalea Baneberry Black Walnut Bleeding Heart Bouncing Bet (Soapwort) Bulbs (Lily, Daffodil, Tulip, Iris, Hyacinth, Amaryllis, Cyclamen, etc.) Caladium Catnip 2 Castor Bean (seeds) Celandine Cherries (Black Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Choke Cherry, Pin Cherry) Christmas Rose Clovers...
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Preventing Vaccine Adverse Effects

November 18, 2010
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By Jean Hofve, DVM For our pets, the rabies vaccine is a legal requirement. There are similar requirements for a variety of vaccines for children entering school, and there is concern that vaccination against “swine flu” may soon become mandatory for all U.S. residents. Here are suggestions on how to prevent the potentially deadly...
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