Your pet never misses their monthly pedicure.
Although you might already opt to make spa-day a couples event for you and your pet, with PAH’s new buy 5 get 1 free monthly punch card, you might as well let this habit-of-love continue. Even if you don’t go all out on your pet’s spa-day it is important to have their nails trimmed or filed regularly to keep the nails from becoming over grown. An overgrown nail can get caught and torn, or curl and grow back into the pad of their paw, both causing your pet lots of pain.
You dress to match when going to the vet
PAH clients you know who you are! We see pets all the time, who have collars that match their pet-siblings, holiday outfits, or shirts that say “mommy’s favorite.” Although starting to dress adult pets can be difficult, young puppies and kittens will generally take to being dressed up. If your pet does hate wearing clothing, fashionable collars and leashes are a great option as well.
You pet has their own Facebook page
Ok, we get that it seemed like a really good idea when you first made their page, and what pet-obsessed parent wouldn’t want to share thousands of photos of their pet. Now that they have more fans and friends than you, and they are regularly featured on our PAH Facebook page, it’s time to realize that their online, celebrity status means you are truly an obsessed pet-parent.
Your celebrate your pet’s birthday PAH style (with all their friends)
A definite way to know you are obsessed with your pet is to throw them a birthday party with all of their favorite friends. The PAH staff is notorious for taking part in patient birthday parties. We love to celebrate with our patients and their families. If you also throw parties for your pet, be sure to check out Dr. Halsey and Nellie’s blog posts for great pet-food and treat recipes!
Your dog surfs better than you do
San Diego natives, you know all about this. It is not unusual to see or hear about a pet surfing at any of the popular beaches in the area. The great thing about dogs that surf is they are getting a lot of fantastic exercise! Being the pet obsessed parent you know you are, be sure to get your pet exercising regularly. This will help to keep them healthy and extend their life. This can either be surfing, playing with a laser light pointer, or whatever activity you and your pet-best like to do. Just make sure you two have a lot of fun doing it!
Although Nellie doesn’t quite understand that her new human-sibling is not quite old enough to go to school, she wanted to celebrate back to school big this year. So she and Dr. Halsey made a back to school carrot cake to celebrate.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ natural peanut butter
¼ vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1 cup shredded carrots
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Mix all dry ingredients together
- Add all the wet ingredients (egg, peanut butter, honey, oil)
- Add carrots and mix until thoroughly combined (Nellie tip: do not add raisins or nuts as these can be very dangerous to your pet!)
- Pour into greased pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool. Once cool frost with a thin layer of unsweetened cream cheese.
We talk a lot about the importance of bringing your cat into the hospital regularly and the reason for this is that cats are really good at hiding symptoms of many illnesses. Although there are many illness and ailments that cats can hide, one that they can’t help but show symptoms from is hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is usually diagnosed in middle age to older cats, and is rarely ever seen in young cats or kittens. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an over active thyroid gland, which is located in their neck, producing larger than normal amounts of hormones. The excess hormones cause their metabolism to work harder and faster than it should. Although an overactive thyroid gland can be caused by a cancerous tumor (thyroid adenocarcinoma), there are many cases of over active thyroid without reason or diagnosable cause.
Hyperthyroidism has an effect on all organs in the body and rapidly causes secondary illnesses. Therefore it is very important to bring your cat in to the hospital before the over active thyroid has a chance to do any damage.
Thankfully, in most cases, cats respond very well to treatment for hyperthyroidism and go on to live many happy years with their family. The key is detecting and treating early!
Signs and Symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Excessive eating and/or thirst
- Excessive vocalization
- Rapid heart rate
- They may stop their regular grooming
- Restlessness and pacing (unless the hyperthyroidism is advanced in which case they may become lethargic)
- Both male and female cats can have hyperthyroidism, and all breeds can be affected.
What to do:
Any time you are seeing the above signs, call your doctor. The longer you wait, the more damage done to your cat’s body as a result of the disease.
Your doctor will likely recommend a thorough exam and blood work. Sometimes enlarged thyroid glands can be felt in the neck; however, hyperthyroidism is best diagnosed with a blood test. The blood testing will help the doctor determine how severe the problem is and also help determine if there is damage to other organs in the body. After treatment is started, serial blood testing will help the doctor carefully regulate your cat’s medication dosing.
There are three main options for hyperthyroidism treatment:
This option requires daily pill administration, but can allow for adjustments in the amounts of medication based on how your cat’s body responds. This is also the most cost effective and readily available option.
A second option is to remove the thyroid glands all together. This obviously has the benefit of being curative, as opposed to long-term management through medication. Many patients will need to be medicated for a couple weeks prior to surgery to make sure they will be safe under anesthesia. The surgery can be risky however, and there may be a need for continued medication even with surgery.
The third option is by far the most “cool” in terms of awesome-medical technology, but also the most expensive. In a brief nutshell, by injecting radioactive iodine into your cat, the bad cells in the overactive gland can be stopped without harming your cat in any other way. Although it can be a cure, some cats will continue to have thyroid issues and require long-term medication to manage the glands.