Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Dog Breed Guide: Australian Cattle Dog

An Australian Cattle Dog with pet insurance from Pets Best.

About the Australian Cattle Dog

Height (to base of neck): female 17 – 19″, male 18 – 20″

Weight:  35 – 45 lb

Color: Blue, or red, mottle and speckled are accepted.

Origin: Native Australian Dingo crossed with the Highland Collie from Scotland

Coat: Weather resistant, hard, straight double coat, with dense and short undercoat.

Life Expectancy: 12 – 13 years

Energy level: High

Exercise needs: High

Breed Nicknames: Cattle Dog, Heeler, Blue Heeler, Queen’s Heeler

Is an Australian Cattle Dog the Right Dog Breed for You?Read More…

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

1 year rating on as of May 20, 2015


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