The Best of Both Worlds: Build a Catio, Watch Your Cat Blossom

catioOver 3 billion birds and 20 billion small animals are killed each year by cats, a statistic that has earned domestic felines the number one slot among other predators. Sure, cats are tasked with hunting for mice around the world, but if you’re not really interested in the blue-ribbon prize, Fluffy may enjoy life as a house cat.

There are obvious benefits to keeping your cat indoors. Protecting him or her from other predators, vehicles, and parasites are some of the biggest motivators toward wellness. However, if your cat shows a keen interest in the outdoors, it may be time to build a catio.

Everyone Benefits

Designing and/or constructing a safe outdoor space for your cat to enjoy the sunshine, breeze, and surrounding wildlife is a thoughtful gift. But your cat won’t be the only one who benefits. A catio will naturally boost your cat’s health and happiness, and it ensures the safety of other animals. Likewise, many neighbors will also appreciate your dedication to keeping the community space pristine.

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posted in:  The Cats Meow

Excuse Me, Ma’am, but Your Cat Is Glowing…  All About Radioactive Iodine Treatment

Hyperthyroidism is a commonly diagnosed condition in our feline friends. Many owners choose daily medications to control this condition, but there is another option that does not involve such an ongoing commitment.

Radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroid cats may sound a little comic book-esque, but it is often an excellent choice for our patients at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital.

All About Hyperthyroidism

The endocrine system is primarily responsible for hormone production and regulation. The thyroid gland is an essential part of this system, residing in the cervical region where it produces thyroid hormone. This hormone is essential for the proper functioning of metabolism.

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Lurking in the Bushes: Outdoor Gastrointestinal Dangers for Pets

Outdoor Gastrointestinal Dangers for PetsIt finally seems like the weather is changing and spring is here. With the warmer, sunnier weather, you and your pet are probably spending more time outdoors. While getting a little extra sun is great for us all, mentally and physically, it is important for us to be aware of potentially dangerous situations for our frolicking furry friends.

In particular, outdoor gastrointestinal dangers for pets can be worrisome. While you may be focused on grilling the perfect hamburger, Fido can get himself into a situation that could result in you cleaning your carpets later (or worse). Learn which worrisome obstacles you need to steer clear of this spring.

Pesky Parasites

The great outdoors is fraught with many inhabitants, some that we love and others that we could do without. Pets who venture outside are at higher risk of exposure to many parasitic organisms, and precautions should be taken.

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The Itch You Just Can’t Scratch: Answers to your Burning Questions About Pet Dermatology

Pets with skin trouble are among some of our most frequent flyers here at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital. Itchy, red, scaly, stinky, bald; we see it all. Because pet dermatology problems are so common, questions about them are also common. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about your pet’s skin and what happens when it goes awry.

Skin Problems

Skin is the largest organ of the body, and so it is only natural that it has its fair share of trouble.

The skin is made up of the outer epidermis, dermis, and the underlying subcutis. The epidermis is the most frequently affected portion of the skin when it comes to pet dermatology, containing hair follicles and the sebaceous oil glands. The skin functions as a very important part of your pet’s immune system and provides protection from the elements, helps maintain body temperature and hydration, and stores several important nutrients.

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Keeping the Beat: Why Pet Heart Health is Instrumental

Each and every organ in the body is important, each having an essential role in form and function. It is not fair to pick favorites, but if we had to, the vets at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital would rank the heart up at the top of our list. Pet heart health is essential when it comes to caring for your four-legged friends.

The Importance of Pet Heart Health

No bones about it, the heart is central to your pet’s overall health. The heart is the center of the cardiovascular system, pumping blood to every vital organ and tissue in the body. Blood carries oxygen to the cells, providing energy for function. Without the heart, the muscles, the kidneys, and even the brain would not be able to work properly.

When the heart isn’t functioning at top capacity, consequences can be devastating. In most situations, heart problems lead to the heart not being able to propel blood forward as efficiently as normal, resulting the in the accumulation of fluid in the lung tissues and/or abdomen. This is called congestive heart failure.

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Friends ‘Til the End: Exploring the Human-Animal Bond

For many of us, some of our fondest memories as children were connected to time spent with pets. Whether jumping in a mud puddle with Spot at our side, or curling up with Mittens after a long day at school, animals share a space in nostalgia and in our adult lives. They are considered family and are cared for in the way we would care for any loved one – two- or four-legged.

For centuries, mankind has been fascinated by other animals, including domesticating many of them as partners in our evolutionary success. But what is the human-animal bond? And is there any science behind it? Continue…

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posted in:  You & Your Pet

Pet Weight Loss: Battling the Bulge

When it comes to your pet’s weight, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that obesity increases your pet’s odds of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and a variety of other health conditions that can severely impact quality of life.

The good news is that pet owners have more options than ever to help pets maintain a healthy weight and potentially add years to their lives.

Is My Pet Overweight?

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 58% of cats and 54% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. Many pet owners are so used to the sight of chubby pets that it can be hard to determine whether or not pet weight loss should be a priority.

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Puppy as a Present? Things to Consider Before Giving a Pet as a Gift

 

While it may seem Scrooge-ish to say “no” to a new puppy request from a child, many parents make the mistake of giving in. A few months later, that out-of-control adolescent dog seems less desirable, and the child is no longer that enthusiastic about daily chores and the like.

Each year, well-intentioned people make the mistake of giving a pet as a gift, causing thousands of animals to be surrendered to shelters because of poor planning. This is not to say that pets should never be presents. However, there are many things to consider before bringing a cat, dog, or other animal into someone’s life. Continue…

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Save a Life: Tips for Avoiding Pet Pancreatitis This Holiday Season

Dog is satisfied with the service in own restaurantWe all have foods we want to (or should) avoid, but the holidays make it really, really hard. Savory meats, sweet treats, and buttery goodness abound during the last few weeks of the year, and your pet isn’t immune to all the temptation. Indulgences are just plain difficult to ignore, but we hope the dangers of pet pancreatitis are enough to keep you saying “paws off” to certain dishes.

A Functioning Pancreas

The pancreas doesn’t get much credit – until it’s under attack. The truth is, a healthy, functioning pancreas completes two critical jobs. Primarily, it produces insulin, an integral part of blood glucose regulation. Second, the pancreas makes enzymes that aid in food digestion. Normally, these enzymes are secure inside pancreatic cells until released into the small intestine to do their job. They help breakdown proteins, carbohydrates, and fats so your pet’s body has energy.

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Hearing the Issues of Pet Ear Care

dog ears.Your pet’s ears are an important part of their existence. They allow them to hear the surrounding environment. They can alert to danger. They help your pet get oriented. They also help with balance and coordination.

Taking good care of your pet’s ears is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. Read on to learn about pet ear care and what you can do to protect one of your pet’s most vital senses.

Getting to Know You

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posted in:  Pet Care