Monthly Archives: December 2011

Meet our cute clinic cats, Tux, Oreo and Puss Cat

The clinic cats, Tux (right), Oreo (left), and Puss Cat (not pictured) have all come to us in different ways. We have had many clinic cats over the years but they are our most interesting trio. They mostly enjoy lounging around and soaking up all of the attention they can. Tux on the other hand, spends his days visiting clients and their pets. You might see us chasing him throughout the clinic and removing him from your exam room on our busier days.

Cute patient … “Buzzy Mittens” Stern

Buzzy, is a medical boarder here at the clinic. While his parents are on vacation, Buzzy stays with us so we can keep a close eye on his blood sugar levels. During his visits, his favorite activities include playing in his swimming pool, drinking out of the tub and sleeping in his house. During our down times, he enjoys wandering the clinic and visiting the staff. Buzzy even helped our staff decorate for the holidays this year.

The truth about poinsettias

Poinsettias are generally quite safe, despite rumors to the contrary. The rumors are traced to the 1918 report of a child’s death involving a plant erroneously identified as a poinsettia. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, vomiting with loss of appetite and energy can occur after a pet ingests poinsettia, but these effects are mild and resolve on their own.  The same signs, along with diarrhea, have been reported after ingestion of Christmas cactus and holly. Again, signs are generally mild and resolve without specific treatment. The toxicity of mistletoe, a parasitic vine, is influenced by the plant on which it is growing. Serious poisonings, which are infrequent, are characterized by vomiting and decreased energy. If your pet eats any of these plants and then vomits, restrict access to food and water for a couple of hours to quiet the stomach. If signs persist, call us at 610-488-0166. – Dr. Pickett

Keep Your Cats Safe At Christmas

Keeping Your Cats Safe During The Holiday

Inquisitive cats that like to explore have a favorite season, and it’s upon us now. To protect your cats from themselves over the holidays, keep these pointers in mind as you decorate.

Secure the Christmas tree to the wall with heavy cord to thwart cats who like to climb. If your cats bat at ornaments along the bottom of the tree, hang glass and other breakables high, and secure low-hanging ornaments with green pipe cleaners instead of hooks.

Cover the Christmas tree stand so your cats can’t drink the water, which sometimes upsets feline stomachs.

Don’t bring tinsel into the house, and don’t leave ribbon lying around, even if it’s attached to a package. Cats are attracted to tinsel, ribbon and yarn, which can cause life-threatening intestinal damage if it’s eaten.

Candle flames, hot wax and potpourri liquid pose additional risks, so light candles and use potpourri warmers only when you’re there to supervise your cats.

Keep your kittens away from mistletoe, poinsettias, holly and Christmas cactus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, diminished appetite and lethargy if ingested.

Use common sense with light cords and other potential holiday hazards. If it’s not safe for a child, it’s not safe for inquisitive cats.

– Dr. Pickett

Remember Old Yeller?

Remember Old Yeller? I remember crying like a baby when I saw it. And that was last week.

Well that story has hit home for local families over the years since we started our clinic. A barn cat located between Bernville and Strausstown bit two family members. A year ago a stray cat bit my friend’s dog. A couple months ago a stray cat he was feeding on his porch bit one of our clients. The scary thing is that when we submitted these cats for testing they tested positive for Rabies. There were many other exposures of people and pets over the years to various positive animals. So far in 2011 cats have been the most common tested rabid critters with skunks, raccoons, & foxes rounding out the list. My Cletus was trying to play with a skunk on our early morning walk a couple weeks ago.

Scientists are making some strides in the extremely difficult task of eradicating the disease in wildlife but exposure to domestic animals is something that is much easier to avoid. Vaccination is the key to eliminate the risk for most humans. Vaccinations are available for dogs, cats, livestock & some exotic pets. We do not recommend that anyone (who is not a rehabilitator) own any wildlife pets.

Pennsylvania state law requires all dogs and cats over 12 weeks to be vaccinated for Rabies. The first vaccine a pet receives, or a vaccine given at less than a year of age, must be boosted in 1 year. After that, boosters are determined by the license of the vaccine.

Remember that Rabies can look like anything, not just the classic mad foaming at the mouth. The animal may also be dull and docile or exhibit a wide range of neurologic signs. Therefore, always avoid close contact with wildlife and be wary of unknown domestic animals especially if acting abnormal. Also make sure your pets are kept up to date with their vaccinations and strays are examined and vaccinated as soon as possible. Don’t let this deadly disease or state mandated quarantines or fines be part of your life.

– Dr. Stephan