Cat Birth Defect Often Heals Itself

Hello. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys, from the Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. Today I’ll be answering your question from the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.

This question is from Cassy. She says “I have a cat who had a herniated belly button as a baby but as an adult does not seem to have it anymore. He’s a year old now and it’s still growing with no signs of problems; but I always worry if it’ll show back up”.

Cassy is referring to an umbilical hernia which is where a kitten is born with an umbilical opening that doesn’t close.

The most important thing is to make sure that this is checked by your veterinarian, because if there’s still one there, it can pose a threat to the cat.

If the opening is large enough, what can happen is that some of the abdominal contents can slip through that hole and cause problems. Usually it’s just some fat that slips through, but sometimes you could have a loop of an intestine that can slip through and actually get twisted and that’s very serious for the kitty cat.

So for larger hernias there’s a fairly simple surgical procedure to correct that and that surgery typically done at the time of the spay or the neuter. If the hernia is small, and none of the abdominal contents are able to slip through, sometimes they don’t have to be corrected.

In little kittens, as they advance into adulthood, sometimes those hernias can spontaneously close on their own. That sounds like maybe what has happened in the case of Cassy’s cat.Read More…

What if My Pet is Allergic to Anesthetic?

Hi. My name is Dr. Mark and I’m filming for Pets Best Insurance, answering some Facebook questions for you guys at Broadway Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho.

This question comes from Vera. She asks: “If your pet is allergic to anesthetic, what other options are there if a surgical procedure is needed?”

Vera, that’s a good question because a lot of people have concerns about using anesthetic. The reality is, most of the advanced surgical procedures require anesthetic to humanely be performed. There’s really no substitute to really knock out that pain sensation and have them knowing what’s going on.

But to elaborate on that just a little bit, anesthetic reactions in and of themselves are typically fairly rare. It would be even more rare for an animal to have a reaction to every anesthetic agent out there.

So, if your pet had an unfavorable reaction to a particular class of anesthetics, it would be good to talk to the veterinarian who’s going to perform the surgery, let him know what the anesthetic agent is that you’re concerned about, and a different protocol can usually be devised that doesn’t include that anesthetic agent, and therefore maybe give you a more favorable outcome.

If an animal has a particular condition that would predispose them to having anesthetic complications, for example, a heart problem, again, there’s enough technology with these anesthetic agents right now that we can devise plans that make things as safe as possible for your pet.

If you have any other questions, post them to the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page, and we’ll see if we can answer them for you.

Six Dangerous Items Dogs Chew

Dangerous items dogs can chew that can lead to needing pet insurance.Chewing is a natural action for dogs. It helps keep their teeth clean and gums healthy. Chewing also seems to provide a satisfying activity for dogs that calms them and helps in relieving boredom. But chewing the wrong objects can be harmful and result in a fractured tooth, lacerated gum, constipation or blockage of the intestinal tract. All of which can result in a large vet bill.

The following items may seem innocent, but they should not be provided (or available) to your dog for chewing:

1. Ice

Many dogs come running to the sound of the refrigerator ice machine hoping to snag a fallen icy treat. But chewing on ice wears down tooth enamel (the protective cover for teeth). Ice is even more dangerous for small dogs, as chewing on a piece of ice can fracture a tooth.

2. Sticks and Wood

Many dog owners utilize sticks as a fetching toy when outside on walks and at the park. The danger though is that the dog begins to use sticks as toys and many dogs will begin chewing on the stick. Wood splinters easily when chewed on and shards can jam into the dog’s mouth causing an infection. Also if pieces of wood are swallowed, it can cause intestinal blockage.

Read More…

Top 7 Tips for Apartment Living with Dogs

Choose the right sized dog breed for your apartment.The housing downturn made renting instead of owning a popular choice for many Americans. Many families have turned to smaller spaces to save money.  And in terms of roommates, one of the most agreeable cohabitants can be of the canine variety – they don’t steal your groceries or borrow your clothes, and they can be a constant source of companionship and unconditional love! Living in an apartment is possible with a dog, given a little foresight and planning. Here are some considerations when downsizing with your pooch, or adopting a dog into your current apartment situation.

1. Be realistic     

There are some breeds and temperaments of dogs that are not well-suited to apartment life. Dogs that are very high energy, such as a Labrador or Border collie, may really struggle being confined to a small space.  Often the frustration of being cooped up and bored translates into destructive behaviors like chewing.

Especially large breeds won’t fit well in tiny spaces, either. Take an honest look at your main living areas and map out space for a kennel, dog bed, food dishes and toys. You may discover you’ll be better off with a 20-lb. mutt than the Chesapeake Bay retriever you’ve always wanted.Read More…

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