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10/7/16 Today we lost our beloved clinic cat Holly. She has been part of this clinic and our hearts for a long time. Many of you look forward to seeing her and petting her when you are here. We will miss her terribly, thank you for loving her with us!
2/3/16 It’s February! That not only means that winter is nearing its end but February is National Pet Dental Health Month! We offer financial incentives if you schedule your cat(s) and/or dog(s) for their dental cleanings all during February! Dental health is important for so many reasons most importantly that it extends our lives! We know you want us to be around as long as possible (and to not have gnarly breath when we kiss you or wake you up by “close talking” when it clearly past breakfast time but you just won’t get out of bed quick enough so we are forced to sit close to your face staring at your closed eyes willing you to get up & to the kitchen) so make sure we are as healthy as possible! Call us to schedule your pet’s dental cleaning for a quick & complimentary appointment for one of our doctors to check to see if your pet is in need of a cleaning. Brushy brushy!
12/16/15 Happy Holidays, it's me, Hollykins! Getting into the Holiday spirit. On that note, so do I! Here it goes (I wrote it myself and it applies to dogs too! I hope you all like it.)
No tinsel, no turkey, no candles for thee,
And don't let them climb up in that big Christmas tree!
Our snacks are for people and cause them distress
Tell your ol' Uncle Louie to "Give it a rest!"
They do not need popcorn or chocolate or nuts,
These things can cause problems and plug up their guts!
Mistletoe is so pretty and poinsettias, too,
But both make them nauseous, they're toxic-its true!
Be careful this season and keep a close eye,
And all will be healthy… now go have some pie!
10/7/15 Keeping cats indoors is the safest place for them to be. Outdoor cats, sadly, have shorter lives. Of course they are at risk for getting hit by cars or into fights with other animals, but they have other risks too! There are viral infections spread by not only physical contact (like a fight) but just from bodily fluids like sneezes! Outdoor cats are also at risk of eating something poisonous. So please, keep us inside unless we are outside with you on a leash!
8/31/15 Want to know why some of us cats don’t use our bowls to drink but instead dip our feet in it & lick the water off? Because we can! Some of us don’t like the shape or size of our water dishes because some of us don’t like our whiskers touching the sides of the bowl. Sometimes the level of our water dish is too low & we want it filled to the tippy top. Sometimes we just like to play with the water to create ripples which makes the water more interesting. And sometimes, we just like to play with it for no real reason at all besides to have something to do. Try putting different dishes around your house for us to choose from, we love variety!
8/13/15 Did you know that studies have shown that most cats eat about 15% more food in the winter! Making your cat works for his or her food is great year round but would really benefit them in the winter time. So start shopping now while things are on sale! Buy your cat a puzzle feeder!
7/16/15 Have you ever heard of Xylitol? Did you know that it is found in many products, not just gum! According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, xylitol is toxic to animals. In cats it can prompt a sudden release of insulin, resulting in low blood sugar, a condition known as hypoglycemia. Signs that your cat may have swallowed a product containing xylitol include a sudden lack of coordination, vomiting, lethargy and, eventually, seizures and possibly coma. Ultimately a cat that eats xylitol may end up with liver failure, resulting in death. So even though we may sometimes be finicky eaters, that doesn’t mean we may not come across this ingredient so please never give us people foods, vitamins, etc. unless you talk to our veterinarian 1st!
7/2/15 It isn’t just dogs that get scared from fireworks, some of us cats do too! Things that may help your cat would be to run fans, tvs or radios to help block out the noise. Leaving empty cardboard boxes for us to hide in around the house is good idea too! Wishing everyone a happy & safe July 4th! Kittens kisses – Holly
6/16/15 Did you know that we cats have over 20 muscles to control our ears? And we can move our ears 180 degrees! Yup, we’re amazing…..
5/22/15 Sorry I haven't written in a while. I go through spurts of having lots to say & spurts of having lots to sleep & dream about. Even though I have an awesome home here @ BFVC & lots of visitors I do get bored. In fact, most of us indoor cats get bored. This makes us prone to overeating & sometimes destructive behavior. Well, we call it redecorating but you people & your furniture! We need enrichment & mental stimulation. So to keep us busy & help with our weight, try feeding us out of puzzle feeders or food dispensing balls. I even enjoy having my food hidden around so I can hunt it! Call my people if you ever want advice on what toys or feeders are best for your cat. Trust me, these people have tried them all!
5/7/15 Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I go through spurts of having lots to say & spurts of having lots to sleep & dream about. Even though I have an awesome home here @ BFVC & lots of visitors I do get bored. In fact, most of us indoor cats get bored. This makes us prone to overeating & sometimes destructive behavior. Well, we call it redecorating but you people & your furniture! We need enrichment & mental stimulation. So to keep us busy & help with our weight, try feeding us out of puzzle feeders or food dispensing balls. I even enjoy having my food hidden around so I can hunt it! Call my people if you ever want advice on what toys or feeders are best for your cat. Trust me, these people have tried them all!
4/22/15 Hi everyone, its Holly! Did you know that its allergy season again? Lots of us furry friends suffer from allergies. If your cat is sneezing or has runny eyes, please keep track of it in a journal. That way you have information to give to your cat’s veterinarian so they can tell if he or she does have allergies, when they seem to bother them, etc. Please call my people here if you think your cat may be suffering from allergies.
4/9/15 Did you know that we cats are generally dehydrated? It is normal for us but I wasn’t sure if you people were aware of that. My people here bought me a stainless steel water fountain that I really enjoy. I like moving water & it makes me want to drink more. I’ve had it for years & heard its easy to clean. I also enjoy anyone else’s cup or mug that gets left unattended. So, if you want your cat to drink more (especially if he or she has kidney or urinary issues) try those tips!
4/1/15 I really hope I get an Easter basket this year! I love goodies! My wish list includes treats, a new brush & hopefully some catnip! What I don’t want in my basket is that decorative Easter grass! That stuff is too tempting to chew on & eat. Living here @ BFVC I know what that can do to a cat’s stomach so no thanks, too dangerous. Keep that stuff away from me! Also, no tulips please (unless it is your two lips that are kissing my head – that I will allow). Too tempting to chew on & they are toxic to us fine feline friends. Hoppy & safe Easter everyone!
3/18/15 Hello again humans. Tis I, Hollykins the Great. Did you know that we cats are excellent at hiding clues that we are sick or stressed? A lot of time people think they would know if we were sick or not feeling well but they really can’t tell. This is because our survival skills are ingrained into us so we don’t show weaknesses. This kept us safe from predators way back in the day before we got you people trained to let us live in your houses. It is important for your cat to be seen by the vet at least once a year. This is when issues are caught & can be treated! I know, I know, we cats are amazing & intriguing, but we are not always going to let you in on all of our secrets so call BFVC to schedule your cat’s exam!
3/11/15 Spring is finally here! I love it! Watching all the birds & little critters scurry around makes me so happy that sometimes I chatter with excitement! With spring come the creepy crawlers like mosquitoes, fleas & ticks. Even though I don’t go outside ever, I am still at risk of getting fleas & heartworm disease – no thanks! So my staff here @ BFVC applies Revolution to me once per month to keep me protected. I don’t want fleas or heartworm disease! Unfortunately for us cats, there is no treatment for heartworm disease. So have your people call my people to discuss what is best for your protection whether you go outside or not!
3/2/15 Holly here! Just wanted to let you people in on a cat secret… we lick you because we love you! When we lick our people it means we are very comfortable in your presence & we trust you. Cats lick each other as a form of social bonding. We lick each other sometimes in places that are difficult for ourselves to reach. Exchanging scents through grooming also increases the bond between a pair of cats. So, if your cat is licking you be thankful!
2/26/15 Hi again everyone! Hollykins here!! I, like most other cats, am not a big fan of change - unless it involves new kibble to my food dish! Change can be something as large as a move into a new home or having a new member added to our households (furry or otherwise). Or change can be something you may see as small like moving furniture or changing your routine. One way to help us feel safe is to offer us places to hide. Offering us an empty cardboard box is super helpful. We can go in the box to feel hidden & it comes in handy for those moments we feel the urge to leap out & surprise you! Cats, if you are ever stressed out tell your people to call my people. There are lots of things they can do for us to make us feel less anxious! Until next time....ME-ow!!
2/12/15 (Taken from our Facebook page for an update on Holly.) Hi everyone, its Holly the BFVC clinic cat. Everyone is so into this Facebook thing that I got kind of jealous…. I have things to say too! For instance, I love visitors! Whenever you are in the building please come & find me to give me loving. I am usually in the front office sleeping or in my window bed in the hallway by the drinking fountain sleeping. Hmm, I love to sleep! But I love visitors even more.
9/12/13 Hepatitis, unfortunately, is often chronic or recurrent. Last month I had a flare-up and became quite ill, not eating well for several days and becoming jaundiced. In the past, I have had elevated liver enzyme levels but my liver function was normal. This time, my liver started to fall behind in its duties, allowing toxins such as bile acids and bilirubin to build up in my system to make me ill.
The process of recycling red blood cells, and the hemoglobin inside those cells that transports oxygen throughout the body, produces a substance called bilirubin. The liver is supposed to process bilirubin. When the liver isn't working properly, bilirubin builds up in the bloodstream. It is a yellow substance, so as it circulates throughout the body it turns tissue yellowish - which is called yellow jaundice. You can see jaundice especially well if you look at the gums, the whites of the eyes or the ears. In animals with dark pigment in the mouth or ears this can be difficult to see in those areas so then we look at the eyes to see the color change. When we spin blood samples in the centrifuge to separate the blood cells from the serum, the serum will also look yellow, and even the urine can look a very dark yellow or orangish from jaundice. This is one of the hallmark signs of liver disease or hepatitis.
So, I was whisked off to Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists for a recheck liver ultrasound with my internist, Dr. Byl. (I had my belly shaved again, I hate that!) Luckily, I didn't have gall stones or a tumor and didn't need surgery, so I was put back on higher doses of my steroid medication and another round of antibiotics. I am going back to see Dr. Kluslow for acupuncture once a week and she gave me some Chinese herbal medication to try as well. With all these treatments, I was eating better within a few days and my recheck blood tests last week showed that my liver was working much better too.
Luckily, my BFVC family takes very good care of me, so I'm feeling better again now. I hope it lasts!
Hi everybody, it’s me again, Holly. Dr. Boss asked me to tell you about my current health issues. As you all know, I only have one front leg. In cats and dogs, about 60% of the body’s weight is carried by the front legs. Even though I am not a fat cat my remaining front leg is carrying a lot of weight, especially when I jump down from a chair or counter. I have my own little set of stairs in the office to help me get down from the counter where my food and bed are but I like to get up on other places too (I am a cat, after all).
The problem is that my carpal joint (the wrist in humans) is starting to break down. The tendons and ligaments running up the back of my leg are stressed and they are stretching and tearing. This causes my carpus to “hyperextend” so that it drops closer to the floor. Then the bones at the front of the joint start to compress and rub on each other, leading to arthritis and pain.
In order to help me to get around better and prevent further damage to the joint, Dr. Boss had a special splint custom made just for me! Of course, since I am a cat, I HATE IT! I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE MAKES ME WEAR THIS THING! I’m sorry but I’m too upset to write anymore, I have to go pout for a while…
This is a normal cat. When standing or sitting the carpus is straight up and down. The weight of the body is supported by the toes, not the wrist.
This is me. You can see how my carpus sags down and my weight is on the back of my foot instead of my toes.
This is Sybil. She is the other cat who lives here at Best Friends. (She lives in the back of the hospital and we are NOT friends.) Sybil has carpi (that’s the plural of carpus because it’s Latin, so you can see I am a smart cat) that have completely collapsed. She is on lots of pain medication and her legs are treated with our therapy laser every month but she is still pretty crippled and can’t walk or play very much. Dr. Boss is trying to keep me from getting as bad as her.
This is my splint, which I hate. It cost $600, so you know my BFVC family loves me – but I still hate it. I wish they had gotten me catnip instead.
This is me wearing my splint and looking cranky.
Holly will be doing some more blogging again soon. She was measured today for a special splint for her good front leg. The wrist joint (carpus) is becoming hyperextended.