Cats can be great at hiding illness and pain from us–but their people often are tuned into subtle changes that let them know that something is not right. Sometimes they can’t really tell us specific concerns, but they know that behavioral changes are there. Their cat may be more lethargic, he may not be eating or drinking the way it used to, or she is not socializing with her folks. Sometimes this gets referred to as ADR (ain’t doing right)–a collection of small signs that are alarming the astute pet owner.
S0-what can you do? First on the list is a thorough exam by your veterinarian–please make sure you tell us all of the symptoms and concerns you see-even if they seem relatively unimportant. This will help the vet in making his or her assessment and diagnosis. In addition to the exam, your vet may recommend diagnostic testing such as lab work and x-rays to get a full picture of what may be impacting your cat.
What are some of the causes for ADR? These can vary by age, but we often find links to several different causes. Some cats may be experiencing oral disease which limits their ability to eat and causes pain. While it is rarer, cats can also develop tumors in the mouth and nasal cavities which can cause ADR symptoms. Chronic kidney disease is often seen, particularly with older cats. Chronic kidney disease is a serious long term illness, but your vet can help you manage it most successfully when it is caught in the early stages–this is part of the reason that we recommend regular preventive care visits with your cats. There are many options in your vet’s toolbox to aid in the detection and management of chronic kidney disease.
Degenerative joint disease can also cause chronic pain for your cat that may cause this vague and non specific symptoms. There are some therapeutic options to help your cat–but like with kidney disease, the sooner this is diagnosed and managed, the better. Sometimes endocrine system diseases underlie ADR symptoms. Hyperthyroidism and diabetes mellitus are two endocrine diseases that can impact your kitty, and there are others that your vet may diagnose as well.
Many of these diseases can be managed effectively even if they can’t be cured to provide your cat with a good quality of life. Again, the key is often early diagnosis and treatment for the most successful outcomes–so please make sure to see your vet when you notice that your kitty is just not doing right….
The grass is getting greener, the flowers are blooming–and many of us are sneezing our brains out! Our pets can suffer from allergies just like us—and it can be wretched for them. Our critters may be sneezing, have lovely snogs from their noses, ears, and eyes, have hair loss and hot spot sores, and drive themselves (and us) crazy with scratching.
So how can we help? First wipe your pet’s paws off with a cool moist towel when they come in from outdoors to remove environmental allergens. Limit wearing your own outdoor shoes around the house as well. Frequent vacuuming and dusting, as well as washing your pet’s bedding, will cut down on mites and household dust. Be sure to use a detergent that is free of dyes and perfumes as some pets are quite sensitive. Keep toys clean, and place plush toys in the freezer for several hours to kill mites. Regular bathing with hypoallergenic shampoos can be helpful.
Call us if the scratching persists or if your pet develops any respiratory symptoms or open sores. We can help you understand the specific triggers for your pet’s distress, and make a plan to help. We can manage symptoms with topical creams and sprays, special shampoos, dietary changes, or prescription medications, and help you find the best solutions for you and your pet.
It’s a pet owners nightmare–a guest leaves a door open and your dog bolts out. The kids run outside, and suddenly you can’t find your cat. A contractor is working in the house and leaves the backyard gate open–dogs are on the run. What can you do to help get your pet back?
First–take a current picture of your pet right now with your phone or camera so you have a photo to share.
Call your local animal control officer right away and notify them–they will need your contact information if your pet is spotted or picked up.
Use the power of social media–let us know–www.facebook.com/capitalvets–and we will post it out to the local organizations who help find missing pets. Steve Caparizzo’s Pet Connection, Lost Pets of the Hudson Valley, and 518LostPets are all great resources. Ask your friends to share widely and ask for help searching if it is appropriate–some pets are spooked by searchers so you will have to know what would be most helpful for your pet.
Let any local veterinarians, shelters, and groomers close to where your pet went missing know you are looking. People will often bring pets they find into one of these locations because they can’t take the pet into their home.
If your pet is not microchipped, consider having it done–and keep your information up to date. Microchips have been crucial to reuniting folks with their pets in many situations. Veterinarians, shelters, and animal control officers will gladly scan any found pet for a microchip.
We hope you will never have to look for a lost pet–but it happens to many people because of simple accidents such as a gate or door accidentally left open. We will be happy to help.