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Medication Safety for Pets

Did you know that medications are among the leading causes of poisoning in pets each year? Whether it’s prescription drugs, over-the-counter pills, or even supplements, the way we store these items can make a huge difference in keeping our pets safe. Just like curious toddlers, our pets can get into places we’d never expect, so make sure all medications are securely stored in a locked cabinet. Remember, what’s safe for humans can be harmful to pets, so keep all medications clearly labeled and separate. If you suspect your pet has ingested any medication, seek veterinary care immediately.  

Winter Pet Safety

Pug in an orange jacket out in the snow.
When the temperature drops, our pets rely on us more than ever to help them navigate the challenges of winter. Here are some tips to ensure your pets stay warm, healthy, and happy during the cold months:

Weight Management for Cats

Overweight cat sitting in kitchen
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 60% of cats are overweight or obese. In animals, fat starts to accumulate around internal organs before it’s visible from the outside. That means by the time you notice your cat is gaining weight, her health may already be negatively affected. A 10-pound cat only needs about 200 calories a day. Being overweight or obese doesn’t just affect how your cat looks, it also increases her risk for many health problems including: Cancer Decreased lifespan Heart disease Bladder stones Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance Osteoarthritis If your cat does become overweight or obese, talk with your veterinarian about ways to get your cat back to a healthy weight. This could include a change in diet or starting an exercise program. Your veterinarian can help you to find a solution that works for you and your cat.

Urethral Obstruction in Cats

A cat sitting next to a litter box.
Urethral obstructions occur when the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the body from the bladder) is blocked. These blockages can be caused by plugs (a buildup of protein, cells, or minerals from the bladder), urinary stones, and/or inflammation. While both male and female cats can develop a urethral obstruction, it is most often seen in males because of their longer and narrower urethra. Urethral obstructions are a life-threatening emergency. If the blockage lasts too long and urine is unable to exit the body, the buildup can damage the kidneys and cause the bladder to rupture.

Cancer in Pets – An Overview

Dog resting on the floor.
When cells or tissues in the body begin to grow abnormally and uncontrollably, this is called neoplasia. A tumor, or a swelling of the part of the body, is a created as a result of uncontrolled cell growth. Tumors can be either benign or malignant. A benign tumor is not invasive, meaning the rapidly growing cells are localized to one area and do not invade the rest of the body. However, malignant tumors are made up of cells that spread throughout the body (metastasize) and harm other tissues, most commonly the lung and lymph nodes. The term “cancer” specifically refers to malignant tumors which spread and grow rapidly throughout other areas of the body. Cancer is not one disease, but hundreds. Cancer can be grouped into three main categories: Carcinomas – carcinomas are formed by epithelial cells, which are the cells that cover the inside and outside surfaces of the body. Tumors of the anal gland, mammary gland, and bladder are types of carcinomas in dogs and cats. Hematopoetic tumors – blood cancer, or hematopoetic tumors, include mast cell tumors, leukemia and lymphoma. At the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, lymphoma is a common cancer treated in both dogs and cats. Lymphoma in Dogs Lymphoma in Cats Sarcomas – sarcomas are tumors formed by cells from bone and soft tissues, including muscle, fat, blood vessels, lymph vessels, and fibrous tissue (such as tendons and ligaments). Examples of sarcomas in dogs include soft tissue sarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma.