Tag Archives: cats

November 2017 Pet of the Month – “BEAR” Pessin

Calusa Veterinary Center would like to introduce our November 2017 “Pet of the Month”.

He is “BEAR” Pessin. 

Bear came to our family in 2009 just a few months after we had adopted three other rescue kitties. It was love at first sight for this tiny little fur ball, although he was a quite sick at the time. Excellent care from Dr. Krawitz made him healthy again, but he later suffered from serious urinary blockages, requiring special surgery. We jokingly refer to it as his sex-change surgery, and now Bear is our transgender cat. In spite of all the poking and prodding he undergoes to keep his urinary issues under control, Bear remains a sweet little guy, with not a mean bone in his body. He loves to play and cuddle with his buddies, both feline and human. He’s also smart. We have a guest room that we try to keep cat-free for friends and family who have allergies. Of course, this makes the room of great interest to all the cats, but only Bear has figured out how to open the door. We now have to keep that room locked all the time so he can’t break in.  

Congratulations to “BEAR” and The Pessin Family for being voted Calusa’s November 2017 Pet of the Month!

The J.M. Smucker Company Announces a Limited Voluntary Recall on Certain Lots of Canned Cat Food Due to Low Levels of Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Orrville, OH – The J.M. Smucker Company today announced a limited voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM, EverPetTM, and Special KittyTM canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1).

The issue was discovered by the Quality Assurance team during review of production records at the manufacturing facility. No illnesses related to this issue have been reported to date and the product is being recalled out of an abundance of caution.

Cats fed diets low in thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurological signs can develop, which include ventroflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these symptoms. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.

The affected product was distributed to a limited number of retail customers from December 20 through January 3, 2017.

The affected production includes the following:

Brand Product Description UPC Code Consumer Unit Lot Numbers Units per Case Selling Unit Size UPC Code on Case
9Lives Meaty Pate Chicken and Tuna 7910052238 6354803 12 13 oz 7910052228
9Lives Meaty Pate Seafood Platter 7910000402 6356803 24 5.5 oz 7910000402
9Lives Meaty Pate Seafood Platter 7910000367 6355803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910000327 6358803 24 5.5 oz 7910000327
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910000286 6358803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910052239 6355803 12 13 oz 7910052229
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910052239 6364803 12 13 oz 7910052229
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken and Seafood 7910000364 (793641) 6356803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken and Tuna 7910000324 6356803 24 5.5 oz 7910000324
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken Dinner 7910000410 6356803 24 5.5 oz 7910000410
9Lives Meaty Pate with Liver and Chicken 7910000312 (793121) 6355803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
9Lives Meaty Pate with Ocean Whitefish 7910000420 6358803 24 5.5 oz 7910000420
9Lives Seafood Poultry Variety Pack 7910053377 6307803 24 5.5 oz 7910053377
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken & Tuna 7910000366 6357803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
EverPet Mixed Grill Dinner 7910053114 6356803 12 13 oz 7910053114
Special Kitty Beef and Liver Dinner 8113112120 6355803 12 13 oz 8113112120
Special Kitty Classic Tuna Dinner 8113112157 6358803 12 13 oz 8113112157
Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner with printed wrap 8113109609 6355803 1 12 pk
13 oz each
Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner without printed wrap 8113112119 6356803 12 13 oz 8113112119
Special Kitty Super Supper 8113179041 6355803 12 13 oz 7910079041

No other products of The J.M. Smucker Company are affected by this recall.

Consumers who have cans of cat food from the impacted lots should stop feeding it to their cats and call us at 1-800-828-9980 Monday through Friday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST or contact us at consumer.relations@jmsmucker.com

The recall is being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


From the FDA: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm535382.htm


Head Injuries in Pets – By: Dr. Siddharth Ranade

What are head injuries?

As a Veterinarian whose practice predominantly covers emergency medicine and surgery, I frequently see head and neck trauma cases. Head injuries in our pets can occur from trauma to the skull, brain or associated structures from the simplest incidence such as hitting furniture from a height or while playing with other pets, falling out of an owners hands, to trauma in a hit by car incidence. Head injuries can also occur when pets bodies get hit causing the brain to wobble severely inside the skull. Regardless of the inciting cause, the brain tissue, its, nerves, its surrounding blood vasculature and cerebrospinal fluid containing structures are extremely delicate and are easily damaged. The brain is surrounded by layers of tissue (meninges) that contain cerebrospinal fluid which can help act as a buffer. At the same time the brain sits in a skull cavity that has a defined space which cannot expand beyond its limits. If the brain swelling is limited by the skull cavity space, the intracranial pressure increases causing further damage. Inflammation, bleeding and buildup of carbon dioxide inside the brain from any inciting cause will most likely lead to similar neurological problems. Other causes of brain injury may result from drowning, smoke inhalation, asphyxiation from tight collars, causing hypoxia, infections and benign or malignant masses either growing in the skull cavity or in and around the brain; or from metastasis.


What are the signs of head injury?

The initial signs of brain injury can extended from a pet having a wobbly gait, inattentive to stimulus, difficulty breathing, cortical blindness, unconsciousness, bleeding and seizures amongst others. The severity of the injury may have a correlation to the inciting cause which will then assist your veterinarian in a prognosis.


What kind of therapy would you expect from your veterinarian?

On presentation your veterinarian will most likely start oxygen therapy, keep the pets head elevated, place an intravenous catheter, do a physical exam to find problems that are either neurological, orthopedic, metabolic or other soft tissue injury related. If clinical signs of a head injury based on history, physical exam and clinical signs amongst other problems are noted, your veterinarian will then proceed to make a plan with you to help your pet with medical therapy that will most likely involve, further oxygen therapy, mannitol to reduce the intracranial pressure amongst other therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, hypertonic saline therapy, with medications such as gastric protectants, ant-acids, ant-emetics, anti-inflammatory dose of a steroid,  and antibiotics as deemed fit.




What is the duration of therapy?

After completing initial diagnostics and correlating the results with those on a clinical examination, the prognosis and duration of therapy will depend on the progress of clinical signs of the pet for the better or worse. Every hour to 6 hours of monitoring clinical signs and trends gives a better understanding of the progress and prognosis. Head trauma cases are generally hospitalized for 4 -7 days based on clinical improvement. After that serial exams every day or every other day will continue depending on your pet’s progress.


What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides 100% oxygen under a comfortable pressure to damaged tissue of the body such as brain cells, kidney cells, cardiac muscle cells. The tissues are nourished with oxygen which in turn helps reduce edema, inflammation caused from trauma, hypoxia, ischemia, infarction, and pathways of apoptosis and necrosis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has helped many loving pets that have head injury, brain, spinal cord and muscle trauma, renal, and myelopthisic disease amongst other problems, recover to live a comfortable and functional life.


What’s is the prognosis?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of head trauma injuries, the prognosis varies widely and is based on initial findings and the trend of clinical signs over days. Above and all, what helps our dearest furry family members heal early is a soft touch and tender loving care.

Animals & Anesthesia – By: Dr. Kristen Kline

Veterinarians are often confronted with pet owners who decline to have important surgical procedures performed on their pet due to fear of anesthesia.  This article will hopefully serve to allay some of those fears and provide a detailed explanation of what an average anesthetic veterinary procedure entails. 
Prior to scheduling an anesthetic procedure, your veterinarian will review your pet’s previous medical history and perform a pre-anesthetic physical examination to identify any potential anesthetic risk factors. Often pre-operative blood screens, x-rays, or electrocardiograms are recommended to ensure the pet’s essential body systems – heart, lung, liver and kidneys – are functioning properly. 
Once a pet is cleared for anesthesia you will be advised to withhold food and water from your pet for several hours prior to anesthesia.  This helps minimize the risk of vomiting or regurgitation during anesthesia which could result in aspiration of food material into the lungs.   Pre-anesthetic mediations are usually administered to relax and calm the pet before surgery, and also provide benefit post-operatively allowing for a smoother recovery from anesthesia.  Commonly used pre-anesthetic medications include diazepam (Valium) which relieves anxiety, and opioids such as butorphanol or hydromorphone that relieve pain and provide sedation as well.  An intravenous (IV) catheter is then placed into a vein usually in the front or hind leg to allow easy administration of anesthetic drugs and intra-operative fluids.  Administration of intravenous fluids during anesthesia helps maintain hydration and adequate blood pressure.
At this point the pet is ready for induction of anesthesia.  Animals that have any respiratory ailments or abnormalities are often administered oxygen for a few minutes before anesthetic induction to help make sure they do not suffer from low oxygen at any time.  Short-acting anesthetic drugs such as propofol or ketamine are administered intravenously to permit placement of an endotracheal (ET) tube into the windpipe, which then delivers oxygen and anesthetic gas to the lungs.  The most commonly used anesthetic gasses in veterinary medicine are isoflurane and sevoflurane.  Once the ET tube is in place the veterinarian is able to control the pet’s breathing and assist with breathing if necessary.  The tube also helps protect the airway from aspiration of stomach material during anesthesia. 
Veterinarians use a variety of equipment to monitor pets while they are anesthetized.  Pulse oximetry gives information about the pet’s blood oxygen level and heart rate.  Blood pressure measurement, electrocardiogram, and carbon dioxide exhalation are other important parameters that can be monitored as well.  A skilled veterinary nurse who monitors pulse quality, heart rate, anesthetic depth, and amount of anesthetic gas delivered is the most invaluable key to safe anesthesia. 
As the surgical procedure winds down, the anesthetic gas level is gradually reduced so the pet is able to wake smoothly.  Small procedures such as nail trims and ear cleaning are often performed during this time before the pet is fully awake.  Once the pet is able to swallow and sit up on its own the endotracheal tube is removed. 
Veterinarians strive to make every anesthetic procedure as safe as possible for your pet. If you ever have questions or fears about any anesthetic procedure please take the time to ask your veterinarian so they can explain it to you and help you make an informed decision.

What is Freeze Dried Dog Food? – By: Andrew Turkell, DVM, CVA, CCRT

Choosing a commercial kibble is very confusing and may not be all it is cracked up to be, and cooking from scratch for your canine simply doesn’t fit in with your schedule. So, what’s your next option for a safe and nutritious means of feeding your dog? The answer may just be freeze dried dog food. Although you’re not as likely to find this product on your local grocery store shelf or even in every big box specialty pet supplier, there are several brands available.
Freeze dried dog food is actually made from cooked fresh foods with nearly all of the water content removed through a special process. The result is a light and dry product that is packaged in air tight containers for future use.
Freeze dried food is (obviously) frozen, and then a process removes the moisture from the frozen material. Freezing the food before removing the moisture preserves more vitamins and minerals than a dehydrating process. Heat destroys many nutrients, so from a pet nutrition standpoint, reconstituted freeze dried food is as close to fresh as possible.
Freeze dried dog foods come in both cooked and raw formulas. In this regard, it has got to be the most convenient way of feeding your dog a raw diet. It’s obviously not going to be as natural as feeding your own raw diet or even a prepackaged raw diet but it’s the next best alternative.
Freeze dried dog rations remain viable for years as long the packaging is not damaged or opened. This is because all micro-organisms need water to survive, so the spoilage process goes into suspended animation. When you’re ready to feed your pet, all you have to do is open the package, add a little water to reconstitute the food and dinner is ready to be served.
Freeze Drying 101: How is it Made?
Water comes in three stages: solid, liquid and gas. The freeze drying process converts the moisture in the dog food directly into vapor, skipping the liquid stage altogether.
How does this happen? The answer is in the operation of the freeze drying machine.
1. First, the dog food is placed on shelves inside of the dryer. Then, the temperature inside of the unit is lowered to freeze the food. At this point the moisture is still present but the molecules have been isolated.
2. Next, the unit generates a small amount of heat while it simultaneously operates a vacuum pump to pull air pressure out of the chamber. This lack of pressure converts the moisture straight from liquid to gas that is then pulled out of the dog food in a gradual process that can take days to complete. The moisture vapor is collected and condensed on freezing coils to gauge when the sufficient moisture is removed from the food.
3. The final product is then packaged and sealed with an oxygen absorbing material as a final preventative measure against spoiling.
Why Not Just Dehydrate?
Dehydration may seem like a slightly simpler solution to removing the moisture from the dog food, however, using the freezing process prior to extracting the moisture preserves more of the nutritional content of the food. Virtually all of the proteins, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals remain intact, so your pet derives the most nutrition possible from his feed.
While freeze drying can suspend spoilage for years, there is still a very small amount of moisture left in the dog food, so eventually it will go bad. However, most of us are not going to purchase a year’s worth of dog food in advance, so spoilage really shouldn’t become an issue.
If you ever find you’ve kept a package around for a few years, simply give it the sniff test to see if it has turned rancid before you feed it to your pet.
Here are some advantages of the freeze dried diet:
1. More bioavailable nutrients, amino acids, and enzymes than commercial dry foods
2. Light weight – excellent for camping trips
3. Easy to store; takes up less room
4. Long shelf life
5. Highly palatable
6. Not subject to mold and spoilage
Freeze dried foods obviously have more nutrients intact than other kibbles because of nutrients being destroyed during processing, but when it comes to a raw diet this is a much more convenient/clean alternative with those raw nutrients still intact.
If you are considering transitioning your dog to a raw food diet, freeze dried foods are a good place to start. They are nutritionally complete and easy to add in incremental amounts. The foods come with feeding instructions, so there is no guesswork involved.  Busy schedules and limited space are often cause dog owners to opt for the convenience of bagged, commercial foods. Freeze dried foods require little preparation and require no space in your refrigerator or freezer.
A true BARF diet – raw meat and bones – is simply beyond the scope of daily dog feeding for many people. Freeze dried products that contain ground raw muscle meat, organ meats, and ground bones provide a similar nutritional profile without the mess. Freeze dried foods mimic the healthy diet of your dog’s wild ancestors, and it fits neatly into your kitchen cabinet.
Word of Wisdom: Always add some water to the food because although this process doesn’t the traditional dehydration process it still removes most moisture which is essential for dogs.

Fleas, a common parasite – By: Dr. Cindy Krane

By definition a parasite feeds on its host and causes harm to its host.  Fleas are the most common external parasite of cats and dogs.  They are tiny, dark brown, wingless, blood sucking insects.  They are a major nuisance to our pets and vectors of disease.
There are over 2000 different species of fleas, the peskiest of which is (Ctenocephalides felis) the cat flea.  Equipped with piercing mouth parts designed to suck blood from their victims, little spinney combed limbs to hold onto their victims, and legs so powerful can almost fly from victim to victim.  They are excellent athletes and can jump ~ 10 inches; equivalent to 200 times the body length or a long jumper in the Olympics jumping 1200 feet.
Fleas lead a very simple life with only two goals in mind.  The first is to eat and the second is to reproduce.  Their favorite restaurant and boudoir is your pet!   They have a simple 4 stage life cycle; adult, egg, larvae, and pupa. Once an adult flea finds its way onto your pet its mouthpart pierces through the skin, secretes saliva laden with anti-coagulants so the blood can flow freely from your pet into the flea.  Immediately after having a blood meal the female flea lays up to 40 tiny white eggs on your pets’ coat.  They eggs drop off of the pet and land up in the pets’ environment. When the egg drops off so does some of the “flea dirt “(flea dirt is a nice way of describing the fleas feces which is actually blood that was sucked from you pet then freshly excreted from the fleas digestive tract). When the eggs hatch into larvae the flea dirt (looks like flecks of pepper) along with dried dead skin serves as their food source. Larvae are little caterpillar like bugs that graze around your carpets, furniture and pets’ bedding feeding on flea dirt and dead skin.  The larvae molt a few times then spin a cocoon in which they develop into pupa. At this stage the flea can arrest / halt its development and lie dormant for months.  The cocoon is very resistant to insecticides and freezing temperatures and will protect they pupa until they feel safe and sense that the environment is favorable for hatching and for survival of adult fleas. Stimulated by vibrations, movement, warmth, humidity and CO2 levels the pupa emerge from their cocoon. The adult fleas can survive for 1-2 weeks before they need to locate a host (your pet) and start feeding (on your pets’ blood).  This completes the life cycle of the Ctenocephalides felis.   The fleas unique ability to prolong the cocoon phase until a suitable host explains why when people come back from vacation they find a flea infestation. People are under the false believe that the fleas came home from the kennel  with their pet but in reality the fleas were waiting patiently at home for a pet / person to return home and offer up a  fresh meal.
The parasitic relationship between the flea and the host exposes your pets and family members to a variety of disease and illness. They carry and act as a vector for viruses, parasites and bacteria. An infestation of fleas, especially on a young, thin, debilitated or elderly patient can result in severe, life threatening anemia. Tapeworms, dipylidium caninum, which are carried by fleas, live in the pets small intestines; compete for nutrition and causes perianal irritation.
Fleas carry zoonotic disease (diseases that are transmitted from animals to people). Fleas transmit an organism called   bartonella henselae to cats. Cats in turn transmit the organism to people  via a bite / scratch  causing  Cat Scratch Fever; and infectious disease characterized by high fevers and swollen painful lymph nodes.  Fleas carrying the organism yersinia pestis transmitted the bubonic plaque causing “black death” wiping out 25% of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages.
Additionally fleas cause a variety of skin ailments including flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), flea bite hypersensitivity (FBH), and hot spots. In cases of FAD/ FBH the fleas’ saliva contains histamine like compound that irritates the skin. They may be a genetic breed predilection as it is very common in atopic breeds. Most commonly affects adult cats/ dogs ~ 3-6 years of age living in warm, humid climates, without seasonal or sex predilection.   The pet develops an almost compulsive biting / corncob nibbling on its coat and skin concentrating on the back ½ of its body, back of the thighs, lower abdomen and inguinal region. The diagnosis is made by finding live fleas and / or flea dirt on the skin.  Tapeworm segments may be found on the rectum or in the stool or a blood test may help make the diagnosis definitive.
The intensity of the allergic reaction does not correlate with the number of fleas.  Many per owners are thus skeptical of this diagnosis because they can not visually appreciate a infestation of fleas. Further more many people are in denial that they beloved Fluffy who’s paws never touch the ground and who lives in there immaculate house could have parasites.
Treatment of FBH/FAD is centered around relieving inflammation.  Corticosteroids / antihistamines are prescribed to decrease the itching. Antibiotics may be indicated for secondary bacterial infections due to self trauma, over grooming and hot spot. This is symptomatic care and will bring relief to the pet but does not address the underlying problem; the flea itself.  Aggressive flea control must be implemented on multiple levels.
Fleas are highly adaptive and resistant to many of our insecticidal products.  Their life cycle must be challenged at multiple stages of development.  An integrated flea control to kill adult fleas AND prevent reproduction is essential. Adult fleas represent only 1-5% of the total flea population; they are just the tip of the iceberg.   Adulticides like Frontline top spot, PetArmour, and Advantage, target this portion of the population.
IGR insect growth regulators are of equal if not greater importance as they can break the cycle, arresting the development of eggs, larva and pupa into adult fleas.
Examples include Sentinel and Program, Biospot, Frontline Plus. The numerous products available both by prescription and OTC are beyond the scope of this article. It is important however to note that although most products are safe many are contraindicated in puppies less than 12 weeks of age, older, debilitated patients or  cats and kittens.
The carpeting must be vacuumed, the floors swept and mopped, and the bedding washed frequently to decrease the likelihood of re-infestation.  The rest of the house and yard can be treated by the home owner with foggers, premise spray, or inert substances like boric acid.  Alternatively you may want to employ a professional exterminator to use stronger chemicals and guarantee the outcome.  In any cause be sure your arsenal against fleas is multi-modal; they are resistant pests.