Monday, February 25, 2008

Pulling for Nollie

Nollie has had a great ten years of life with his dedicated owner. In that time, though, he has had a few close calls. And right now he is not feeling his usual fun and sweet self, so we are hoping not to uncover a third chapter in Nollie’s medical history.

Five years ago I removed a large, aggressive skin tumor known as a Mast Cell Tumor from Nollie’s side. We made it through that episode only to be faced with yet another kind cancer a few years later. This time, Nollie had systemic lymphosarcoma, and when he came in for evaluation he seemed in dire trouble.

He had tumors thoughout his entire body, and effusion (cancerous fluid) in his chest so severe that he could barely breathe. Despite long odds that he would even live a few more weeks, his dedicated owner chose chemotherapy over certain death.

And we are so glad she did. Nollie miraculously went into complete remission, and the cancer never returned. The odds for that outcome were minuscule, but luck seems to be on his side.

Nollie came in last week, for not being the usual full of life, fun loving, and beautiful guy of norm. We are in the process of a full workup, and have some concerns, but no definitive answers. We are all pulling for Nollie!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Toby is one big cat. At 28 pounds, he is far bigger than some of our canine patients. Maine Coons like Toby can grow large, but he is a giant even among his breed. Of the thousands of felines that come to Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, he might be the biggest.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Puppy Power!!

What a sweet, well adjusted puppy! But a great new addition to your home often won’t happen with just luck. It is always important to do your homework. Learn about the breed, pick a good breeder, and get your pack ready for the newbie. A little work now means years of enjoyment later!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sponge Free!

Quin was back today looking great. And he has been "sponge free" since we removed a sponge in early January. See the post on January 10th if you want details. Could noninvasive endoscopic removal of foreign material be a Golden Retriever's best friend?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cool Cat

Some cats are just plain cool, like Ozzie. Even when he has an embarrassing problem like constipation, Ozzie is still one cool dude. Maybe he knows that constipation is very common in cats, though exceedingly rare in dogs.
There are a few medical conditions that cause it in cats, but often times we don’t know why. It may relate to diet and hydration in some cats. Felines have evolved as a desert animal, so some cats may just simply not drink enough.
Either way, Ozzie is not concerned and strutted out of Vet Associates today as cool, calm, and collected as when he arrived this morning!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Porky Means Diabetes

Porky is a cat who is perfectly named. His owners adopted him at 21 pounds, and he remained a big cat for years. Yesterday he came into Veterinary Associates because he was drinking and urinating in excess, and only weighed 14 pounds. He had lost 7 pounds in under six months.

We quickly determined that Porky had diabetes, and was in a crisis called diabetic ketoacidosis, a life threatening condition. Even though he had been eating and drinking in excess, his body was essentially starving. Insulin is like a key, and it opens the cells to receive nutrients in the form of glucose. Porky's body had stopped making insulin, and this starvation was producing an acidodic metabolism that can quickly kill a cat.

Luckily with aggressive treatment Porky made a quick recovery. He is a really sweet cat. Now he will require insulin injections twice daily for life, in addition to special diets and care.

Felines do not well when overweight or obese. One in four hundred overweight cats will develop diabetes; that is a very high number. Signs include excessive thirst and urinations, as well as weight loss.

The key is to keep a cat at a healthy weight, which dramatically lowers the risk. Being strict carnivores, cats are one of the few species of animals that just eat meat. They are not physiologically equipped to be overweight. Likely you have never seen an overweight wild cat. From lions, leopards, cheetahs, to even feral cats, wild cats are not fat!

So do your best to keep your cat fit. Luckily for Porky he has dedicated kitty cat owners who will do the best for him. He went home today feeling much better. Bye Porky!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Early Morning Groove...

Max, our Blue and Gold Macaw, likes to dance next to her radio in the early morning. Most clients see Max in her glass atrium during the day. But she likes to get out in the morning before we open the doors to get some exercise, often with a little dancing.

Parrots like macaws need a lot of care and attention; well more than the average dog or cat. That is one reason why they don't always make the best pets. They take a lot of care and knowledge to live a long and healthy life.

Lucky for Max, she gets a lot of care and attention from our staff. And she enjoys the interactions with our clients. Shirley, our senior client care representative, takes great care of Max. She comes in early every day to get Max out for her daily romps around the waiting room. Shirley makes sure Max has a varied diet, including balanced parrot foods as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. She even has her weekly brie cheese!

Shirley even comes in on Sunday to make sure Max gets her daily exercise and diet. She is one dedicated bird lover. And that is what it takes to keep a parrot like Max happy and healthy. Next time you are in please make sure to say hello to Max. She might even say hello back!