Author Archives: Hadley Rush

Pet insurance for older dogs: Get it while they’re young

An old dog sits with an elderly woman.Think of having pet insurance for older dogs as a necessity — but get it while they’re puppies or young adults and you’ll have affordable care for them their whole lives.

Dog health care declines as dogs age and the cost for their health care increases. Pet insurance allows pet owners to take advantage of the advancements in veterinary medicine that allow for the diagnoses of diseases early on.

Many veterinarians are recommending blood screenings as part of a dog’s annual check-up. These blood screenings give veterinarians baseline information on your dog. They can then compare the following year’s results to the previous year’s results and note any changes. These blood screenings allow your veterinarian to detect diseases early. The screenings can note changes in your pet’s vital organs before they start showing symptoms of the disease. The blood work results can detect illnesses that include diabetes, kidney disease and hormonal disorders. If diseases are caught early, they can then be treated before any permanent damage occurs to the pet. Diagnosing diseases early on can add additional time to the life of your pet.

In addition to diseases, older dogs are more prone to dental issues. Older dogs have a higher occurrence of gum disease and require more frequent dental cleanings to keep their teeth healthy. A dental cleaning’s cost can add up with the addition of dental extractions, pain medication and antibiotics. Insurance for dogs makes preventative care affordable for owners and allows them to provide the best care they can for their aging dog.

Cat health care: Kitten bottle feeding

A tiny kitten drinks from a bottle.

Feeding kittens may need to be done as a supplement when a mother cat does not feed her kittens adequately. Bottle feeding kittens is usually needed when kittens have become orphaned or when the mother cat rejected a kitten. Kittens need to be bottle-fed for the first four weeks of life. Similar to human babies, newborn kittens need to be fed around the clock to ensure proper cat health care.

It’s important to feed kittens formula that is specially formulated for kittens. Kitten milk replacement can be found at your local pet store. The most common kitten milk replacement is KMR. When feeding newborn kittens, it is best to use a bottle made for kittens. These can be found in the store near the kitten milk replacement. The milk replacement comes in a liquid or powder form. The powdered form is mixed with water to make a liquid for feeding. The powder formulation is usually cheaper than the liquid formula. If you have to feed more than one kitten the powder formulation is a better choice. The water that is going to be mixed with the powder should be boiled and cooled before mixing with the powder.

Kittens should be fed every 2 to 3 hours. For newborn kittens, start with feeding the kitten 2 ounces and increase the amount as they grow. Refer to the milk replacement packaging for a feeding guide. Once a kitten reaches 4 weeks, it can be introduced to wet kitten food mixed with the kitten milk replacement. Once the kittens are able to eat the kitten food, and pet health is stable, wean kittens from the milk replacement.

Prevent Leukemia/Lymphosarcoma in Cats

Posted by: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
A veterinarian exams a sick cat.
A major pet health concern in cats is Lymphosarcoma– which is the most common type of feline cancer. Lymphosarcoma is often caused by the feline leukemia virus (FeLV). According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, approximately 2% to 3% of all cats are infected with FeLV. Reduce your cat’s risk of getting lymphosarcomas by eliminating his risk of getting feline leukemia and vaccinating him if he is at risk.

Kittens under 4 months of age are more susceptible to the feline leukemia virus than older cats. Cat health care may be at risk if the cat lives outdoors. Cats that are at risk to exposure to feline leukemia should be vaccinated to lessen their chance of contracting the virus. It is not recommended to vaccinate cats that have no risk of exposure. The number-one way to prevent cats from getting feline leukemia is to eliminate their risk of getting the virus by keeping them indoors.

Cat leukemia symptoms can include loss of appetite, slow weight loss, unhealthy looking coat, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, inflammation of the mouth and gums. Cats with feline leukemia are more prone to infections of the skin, bladder and upper respiratory tract. In addition, cats can have eye conditions from the disease.

Feline leukemia is transmitted via cat to cat contact. The virus is spread through saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces and milk from cats infected with the virus. The most common way feline leukemia is transmitted is by an infected cat biting another cat. Kittens can also be infected with the virus from their infected mother while they are in utero or when they nurse the mother.

Cat health care: Diabetes diagnosis and treatment

A cat is tended to by a veterinarian.
Diabetes is a disease that affects pet health in approximately one in 400 cats. Cats that have diabetes can live a fairly normal life if the disease is diagnosed early and the cat receives daily treatment to control the disease. Cat health insurance can help cover the expenses that comes with having a diabetic cat.

The most common cat illness symptom associated with diabetes is increased urination. This symptom may not be obvious to some owners, as it can be hard to detect an increase in urination in homes that have multiple cats using the same litter box.

Other pet health symptoms of diabetes may include increased thirst, weight loss, lethargy and decreased appetite. These cat health symptoms are similar to symptoms that are seen in other common cat diseases. Once your cat exhibits changes in behavior or any unusual symptoms, she should be taken in to be checked by a veterinarian.

Diabetes is diagnosed via bloodwork and urinalysis. Cats with diabetes will exhibit high levels of glucose in their blood and glucose in their urine. Once a diagnosis of diabetes is made, the veterinarian will usually start the cat on insulin injections.

When cats begin on insulin they will have a glucose curve done. A glucose curve tracks the glucose level of the cat over several hours. The cat will be dropped off at the vet for the day. The cat’s glucose level will be checked first thing after they are dropped off. The cat will then be fed and given its morning insulin dose.

The cat’s blood will then be drawn at increments throughout the day to monitor its glucose level. The curve of the glucose levels will help the veterinarian determine if further cat health care will be needed– such as adjusting dosage levels. The cat will need to come in periodically to have the glucose curve done to make sure that no adjustments need to me made to the insulin dose.

Cat health care concern: Flea allergies

A cat scratches a flea bite.

Allergies are a common condition that affect cat health care. There are five main allergies in cats, and one of the highest-occurring allergies in cats is an allergic reaction to fleas.

A flea allergy is not an allergy to the actual flea, but an allergy to the saliva of the flea. The allergic reaction occurs when the flea injects its saliva into the cat through a bite. Flea control is essential in the cat pet care of cats with a flea allergy.

Once a flea-allergic cat is bitten by a flea, the allergic reaction begins. Cats will often lick, scratch and chew themselves to try and alleviate the irritation caused by the bite. The result of the consistent licking and scratching can cause hair loss, and if the irritation to the skin continues the cat can often develop other cat health care issues such as skin infection.

Treatment of the flea allergy will consist of keeping the cat on a flea preventative to keep fleas from biting him. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if the cat has a skin infection due to biting and scratching the skin. The house will also need to be treated for fleas to reduce the chance of the cat getting bitten by fleas in the future. If the cat goes outdoors, then the yard should be treated as well.

Having a cat with flea allergies is an ongoing battle. The cat’s allergies will usually be worse in the warmer months when there are more fleas present. Flea preventative should be a part of the health care for cats, both those with and without flea allergies, to prevent tapeworm infections and other conditions caused by fleas.

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