Is Cat Scratch Fever Real?

A cat uses it paw to scratch.

By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance, a cat insurance agency.

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and I can’t help but remember rock musician Ted Nugent screaming about Cat Scratch Fever, but it’s actually a real disease. It is classified as a zoonotic disease, because it can be transmitted from animals (in this case, cats) to people.

Cat Scratch Fever is not commonly seen in healthy adult humans, and is more commonly seen in children and adults with poorly functioning immune systems. In people, this disease can cause intermittent fevers, swollen lymph nodes, abcesses, and more rarely eye, joint or neurological complications. The organism responsible is a bacteria, called Bartonella.Read More…

3 Questions to Ask Before Your Cat Has a Dental Procedure

A cat smiles, showing her healthy teeth.

By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance, a cat health insurance agency.

Here are three questions you should ask your veterinarian before your cat undergoes a dental procedure.

1. Why does my cat need a dental procedure?
Your veterinarian should be able to show you your cat’s teeth, including tartar, gingivitis or visible feline resorptive lesions. Not every problem will be obvious with your cat awake, but unless your cat has a serious “cattititude”, you should be able to see why a dental procedure is needed. By the way, a majority of cats already have at least the beginnings of dental disease by three years of age. You may already have a suspicion, based on your cat’s bad breath, red gums or difficulty chewing. Left unattended, dental disease can lead to more serious problems, including heart, kidney or liver disease, due to bacteria from your cat’s mouth entering and traveling in his or her bloodstream to these vital organs. Looking for dental disease is an important reason why an annual preventative wellness exam is so important. Indoor cats get dental disease too!

2. Is my cat healthy enough for a dental procedure?
While most cats can safely undergo the general anesthesia required for a thorough oral exam, intra-oral dental radiographs (x-rays), subgingival scaling, cleaning, polishing and any necessary extractions that go into a complete dental procedure, your veterinarian needs to perform a complete physical exam, and ideally, pre-anesthetic laboratory tests, to ensure that he or she has all the information necessary to select an appropriate anesthetic protocol. Pain management also has to be considered.Read More…

Cat Breed Guide: Japanese Bobtail

A Japanese Bobtail cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Japanese Bobtail

Weight:  6-9 lb

Points of conformation:  Small foreign type body with triangular head, long straight nose and large ears.  Fine boned long legs with good muscling.  Short bobbed tail is the breed’s distinct characteristic and is generally 3 inches long and can be kinked or corkscrew.

Coat: Single, short to medium length coat is silky and lays flat.  Long haired variety exists as well.  Both have minimal undercoat.

Color: Traditionally tri-colored red, black and white.

Grooming needs: Low grooming requirements and low shedding.  Long haired variety needs more grooming, but has a low matting tendency.

Origin: Japan.

Behavior Traits: Quiet and intelligent.

Is a Japanese Bobtail cat right for You?Read More…

Take Your Pet to Work Day

Every day is “Take Your Pet to Work Day” at Pets Best Pet Health Insurance. Meet some of our furry family members who have helped Pets Best to become a three time “Best Places to Work” winner, and customer rated 9.4 out of 10. Since 2005 we’ve been taking care of our customers’ pets with the same love we give our own. Learn more about Pets Best Pet Health Insurance at www.petsbest.com.

1 year rating on petinsurancereview.com as of May 20, 2015

 

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A Guide to Making Your Office Pet-Friendly

Office dogs of Pets Best Pet Insurance, Ziggy and Maddie share a conference room chair.

Pets in the workplace positively impact your employees’ morale and work productivity. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, companies who welcome pets in their offices see a decrease in employee stress levels and less absenteeism from work. Employees are also more willing to put in extra hours because they don’t have to worry about rushing home to feed and walk their pets.

Pets break the ice between your employees from different departments and help them build a strong rapport. A pet-friendly office gives your employees peace of mind that their pets are safe and cared for throughout the work day. With their happy faces and wagging tails, employees can’t help but smile when they’re around pets. Not to mention, animals bring a sense of fun and humor into the office environment.

With the right steps in place, a pet-friendly office policy isn’t difficult to create. At Pets Best Pet Health Insurance, we welcome all pets and not just dogs. While dogs are the majority of the pets you’ll see in our office, we do have the occasional cat, kittens, and even ducks. The suggested tips below can also be implemented on a permanent basis or on special days such as “Take Your Pet to the Office.” Before creating a policy, check with your building owner/landlord to make sure it’s okay to have animals inside your office building. Due to health codes, and insurance restrictions there are some buildings that don’t allow animals (except for service animals).

Whether you have two or 200 employees, Pets Best encourages your company to create clear, consistent guidelines. Remember that it’s important to always keep the safety of your employees and their pets in mind.

1. Owners must be responsible for their pets at all times.

Owners must be responsible for their pets and watch them throughout the work day. If they need to step briefly away from their workspace, employees must safely contain their pets within their cubicle/office or have a co-worker supervise the animals. When owners are walking around with their pets, they should also keep them leashed.
Owners are responsible for taking their pets outside for bathroom breaks and need to clean up after them. Failure to clean up after pets can cause real issues with landlords and other building occupants. Give your employees flexibility so they can take their pets outside for quick breaks throughout the day.

2. Animals must act appropriately in an office environment.
In order to maintain a safe and harmonious environment, pets must act appropriately and cannot adversely affect office operations or disturb employees. They must be social and friendly, and cannot display aggressive behaviors towards employees and other animals. Animals need to be well-trained and cannot chew, bite or scratch furniture, etc.
Create safe areas for pets (i.e. inside employees’ cubicles or offices) so they feel comfortable. Use child-proof safety gates so pets are contained within one area.
Ask employees to bring in their pet’s favorite bed, blanket, toys, and water and food dishes so animals feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.
Read More…

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