Category: Health

Fiber Facts

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…

College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies

by Jean Hofve, DVM Before last week, I had never heard of the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). But I am tremendously excited about this organization, and I think a lot of our readers will be interested to learn about it. CIVT is…

Pets in Pain–Don’t let them Suffer

We are honored to have a wonderful guest blogger today, Dr. Shelley Brown of Harmony Veterinary Center, Arvada, CO. Dr. Brown practices integrative veterinary medicine, including acupuncture, cold laser, and homotoxicology. She is a member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain…

Urinary Incontinence

One of the more unpleasant conditions that pets may develop is urinary incontinence. This means that involuntary passage or leakage of urine occurs. It’s a relatively common problem in dogs, but uncommon in cats. Usually, you’ll first notice a wet…

Can You Make Your Cat Sick?

This is a question many people would like to know more about! Animal disease transfer to people is called “zoonosis.” Humans transmitting diseases to their pets is called “reverse zoonosis.” How and why this happens is still poorly understood. But…

What Your Vet Must Tell You about Vaccines (but probably won’t)

Many thanks to our good friend Jan Rasmusen for the following video and information. Click here to browse her vast resources on vaccines and more. Please be sure to sign this petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/veterinarians-fully-inform-us-before-vaccinating-our-dogs-and-cats The Darker Side of Pet Vaccination: A Video…

AVMA vs Raw Food

The AVMA recently adopted a policy position against raw meat diets for pets. Their reasoning is wrong and their science is unfounded. Here is my reasoning on why AVMA (as well as the AAHA which adopted the same policy almost as…

Green Cleaning

Mercola.com has a very good article on “green” household cleaners–and why the ones you buy at the store (even those that claim to be “green” or that you get from the health food store) may actually be no safer for you…

Cat Litter Roundup & Review

Every now and then, I go through a kind of “Litter Dance,” in which I try out a variety of kitty litters on my gang of four. Fortunately they’re amenable to the changes, which allows for a thorough evaluation of…

Mad Cow Discovered in California

I’m in California this week (May 2012) visiting family…and there are so many interesting things happening here! But of course, the one that may most profoundly affect our pets is the discovery of a cow infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy…

Keeping Pets Safe this Spring

Most bulbs will cause irritation in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, causing drooling, vomiting, abdominal pain, or even respiratory or cardiac abnormalities. Lily plants are entirely toxic, especially to cats. Merely chewing a leaf or brushing up against a lily can be fatal.

Feline Hyperthyroidism Update

Discovery News reported this week that “In a new study that analyzed the blood of 62 domestic cats and 10 feral cats, researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that cats living inside homes had higher blood levels…

Newly Discovered Virus in China Linked to Feline Kidney Disease

Researchers in Hong Kong have discovered a new virus that they’re calling feline morbillivirus. It is related to the paramyxovirus that causes canine distemper; but in cats it appears to cause tubulointerstitial nephritis, an inflammation of the tissue between the kidney…

Overweight Pets

Dr. Karen Becker over at Mercola.com has written a fabulous article on  overweight pets and the completely wrong-headed approach being taken by the pet food industry to a problem that they themselves created. I agree with every word! Please take…

Play is Important for — Survival??

We have long advocated play therapy as a way to prevent–and solve–a host of feline behavior problems, as well as a part of indoor enrichment for your cat’s mental and physical health. Now there’s another reason–longevity! In a fascinating article,…

Feline Hyperesthesia

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…

Rabbit Fever

Both people and cats can get infected with Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever. People usually acquire the infection by handling dead rabbits (whether shot or died of natural causes); and cats contract it more directly by eating infected rabbits. Infected…

The “Greening” of Cats

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…

Cancer Prevention and Treatment

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…

Itch Relief Update

Dr. Patty Khuly’s blog this morning was terrific! She has personally been dealing with a very itchy skin eruption, probably what most of us would call hives or “heat rash.” I am totally sympathetic…last summer I developed a series of…

Spaying & Neutering Saves Lives

A very well-written article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer reveals that aggressive spay-neuter programs have dramatically decreased the killing of pets simply because they are unwanted. From a ghastly high of 20 million pets per year in the 1960s, and an improved but…

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…

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…

Feline Acne

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…

Feline Conjunctivitis

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…

Feline Diabetes Basics

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…

Flower Essences for Animals

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,…

Geriatric Cats

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…

Hairballs

There’s nothing quite like the shock 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…

How to Care for Your New Kitten

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 teeth. Kittens are great climbers, so think vertically!