Dr. Jeff Feinman
Dr. Jeff is devoted to teaching both pet owners and other veterinarians about homeopathy and optimal pet care. He and his wonderful wife (and practice manager) Amy live with Chi and Tigger their adopted Rex cats and Vanya their rescued Standard Poodle.
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In cardiomyopathy, the heart's function is compromised and often leads to an eventual state of heart failure.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is one of the most common and destructive of all cat viruses, but there are other serious cat viral diseases.
Canine heartworm disease [also called dirofilariasis (dir-oh-filla-RYE-uh-sis) is a serious and potentially fatal disease of dogs.
Pets that scratch excessively may be allergic to something. Some pets are affected at certain times of the year, while others have problems all year.
This is a term that is synonymous with the term "Gastric Dilatation with Volvulus." It is often called GDV. That means that a dog's stomach distends with air, twists and cuts off blood flow, to the point that the dog goes into shock and may die.
Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) is a widespread, potentially serious disease that can affect dogs, cats (less commonly), people, horses, cattle, birds, and wild animals.
Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus. All warm-blooded animals are susceptible. The disease is usually spread when an infected animal bites another animal or person. The bitten animal or person will not become infected, however, unless the saliva of the sick animal contains the rabies virus at the time of the bite. The bat, skunk raccoon, and fox are the most commonly infected wild animals. Dogs and cats are the most commonly infected domestic animals.
Because the signs of rabies vary, diagnosis is very difficult while the animal is alive. The only positive diagnosis is by laboratory examination of the brain.
Early in the disease, affected animals may show a slight change in behavior or temperament. As the disease progresses, the animal becomes restless and excitable, and may have a tendency to roam or eat unusual objects. The animal then may have trouble swallowing and may begin to drool excessively. Frequently the animal becomes vicious. Convulsions may occur and are usually fatal.
Some animals do not die in convulsions, but instead suffer paralysis of the lower jaw. Shortly after this, the paralysis spreads over the body and death occurs. This is called "dumb" rabies.
If a suspected rabid animal bites a person, the animal should be quarantined for 10 days. If the animal develops signs of rabies or dies, tissues must be sent to a laboratory for examination.
Since rabies is such a threat to people and other animals, affected animals are not treated. Euthanasia is mandatory.
Vaccination is the best means of rabies control. All pets should be vaccinated. Consult your veterinarian regarding the proper vaccination procedure for your pet.
Wild animals should not be kept as pets, nor vaccinated for rabies. There is currently no approved rabies vaccine available for wild animals, although an oral vaccine for raccoons will soon be available.
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The term "cystitis" literally means irritation of the urinary bladder. Prevention and treatment with diet is of utmost importance.
Adverse reactions to food are difficult to differentiate from "atopy" in the dog because presenting symptoms are typically identical for both conditions.
Feeding tubes save lives and are not used as often as they should be for anorexic patients.
Unfortunately, when most people hear the term "feeding tube", they tend to panic - feeling like this is the end of the road for their cat. However, feeding tubes should not necessarily be viewed as a doom and gloom 'last ditch effort' or as a 'heroic measure'.
I often hear people say "oh, I would never put my cat through that!" Unfortunately, these folks are not recognizing the tremendous value of feeding tubes to support ill patients while they heal from a temporary illness or injury. Most cats are not bothered by the tubes at all! The human is the one who is bothered by it as the cat just goes about its daily routine.
Anyone who has ever tried to syringe-feed an ill cat for very long recognizes the stress that is involved for both the cat and the human. Not only is it very time-consuming, but the critical issue is that it is often very difficult to meet the caloric and hydration (water) needs of the cat with this method.
Feeding tubes are not right for every situation and case selection requires thoughtful consideration - keeping the patient's best interest in mind - not the human's. For cats that are suffering from a chronic, terminal illness such as renal failure or cancer, it is my feeling that a feeding tube is not necessarily appropriate to use in these cases. It is a matter of personal choice to prolong the inevitable in our pets and caregivers need to think long and hard before they put a feeding tube in a patient with a terminal illness when euthanasia may be a much more humane and loving decision to make.