I saw a case last week that served as a strong reminder of how rambunctious and mischievous kittens can be, and therefore, how important cat insurance really is. Kittens get into everything, and they can quickly get themselves into trouble if you don’t kitten-proof your home. Like the old adage says, curiosity can kill a cat, or at least make her very sick!
A cute little 5-month-old female kitten named Pearl presented to me because she had been vomiting for a week. She had been seen at another veterinary clinic five days earlier for vaccinations, but unfortunately the vomiting was not thoroughly addressed by the doctor.
At times, pets can be very expressive with their body language. A tail wag that moves the whole hind end easily translates feelings of happiness and joy. Conversely, dogs and cats can also communicate when they aren’t feeling well, but often the clues are more subtle. As a pet owner, being aware of behaviors that can indicate an illness are an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Because accidents and illnesses can strike at anytime, I always recommend pet insurance to my clients. Here are nine subtle clues that might indicate it is time to call the veterinarian:
Nearly 30 years ago, famous TV dog Lassie was issued the first pet insurance policy by Dr. Jack Stephens. Dr. Stephens, who is considered the founder of the pet health insurance industry in North America, founded Pets Best Insurance in 2005.
“When I started Pets Best Insurance, I wanted to make pet insurance even better and more predictable for pet owners than it was. Pets Best Insurance and pet insurance as a whole continue to grow,” says Dr. Jack Stephens.
The pet health insurance industry has changed dramatically from its beginnings of insuring celebrity pets like Lassie. Now, many pet owners consider their dogs and cats to be members of their family and want to offer them protection from accidents and illnesses.
According to USA TODAY*, the adoption rate of pet insurance by pet owners is growing, though the number of dogs and cats insured in the U.S. is only about 1%, compared to around 20% of the pets in the U.K.
There’s a new field emerging in veterinary medicine and it’s making a big difference in pet health, including how pets move and function— as well as age.
Physical rehabilitation therapy, or rehab therapy, uses specially designed equipment, exercises, and techniques to help dogs and cats regain physical abilities lost to illness, injury, surgery, or age. (Sound like physical therapy for humans? Basically, it is. But because, in some states, the term “physical therapy” can only be used in reference to humans, most veterinary specialists refer to animal physical therapy as “rehab therapy.”)
How It Works
The goal of pet rehabilitation therapy is to help dogs and cats of all ages learn to move better, function better, and feel better. But the ways that rehab therapists accomplish that goal vary based on each pets’ unique needs and diagnosis.
As a veterinarian, I am constantly faced with challenges that require creative thinking and adaptability. And I know better than most that bizarre accidents and illnesses can strike at anytime– which is why I’m a huge proponent of pet insurance. I’ve often been faced with circumstances that just can’t be made up… Here is my top 3 list of the most unexpected cases I’ve encountered to date:
1) Howling House Call
As a very recent graduate, I received a call from a very frantic elderly owner claiming that her 3-year -old Jack Russell Terrier was unable to move and was screaming in pain in her backyard. Ms. Barton requested a house call visit to assess her beloved pet and provide pain relief. Needless to say, as a new graduate, my mind was racing with a list of at least twenty different possibilities ranging from dog spinal injuries to dog seizures. To be prepared, I packed medications and supplies for all 20 possibilities. When I arrived at her home, the first thing I heard upon exiting my vehicle was a horrendous shrieking sound. It was unlike anything I’d heard before, high pitched and constant, it almost gave me the chills. Ms. Barton came rushing out of her home, panicked, and led me to the backyard. Sure enough, her pet was head down on her back deck, wailing. Upon examination I was able to not only quickly diagnose, but treat her companion as well.