What to Know About Traveling With Pets

A dog belted into the back seat

It is an amazing feeling when it comes time to hit the road and explore the world. Perhaps the only thing that could make that sensation better would be to share it with a good friend. Whether that friend has four or two legs, Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital won’t judge. 

If you do choose to have a pet accompany you on your travels, though, there is some preparation involved. Much like children, traveling with pets involves some planning and forethought to ensure an ultimate experience. 


Common Behavioral Problems in Pets

A dog sitting amongst torn-up tissues

It’s common to overlook some odd behaviors because we love our pets so much. However, because many behavioral problems in pets are caused by their physical, emotional, or mental states, it is necessary to address them. An understanding of an animal’s needs can go a long way toward their overall health and wellness, and we’re here to help. 


Cat Hairballs: Are They Normal or Signals That Something’s Not Right? 

A white, brown, and black cat on the floor near a hairball

Ah, cats…They win our hearts with their adorable antics and cuddliness. While it can be challenging to narrow down the most appealing feline behaviors, it’s unlikely that their ability to hack up sticky, yellowed, elongated balls of fur would top the list. Instead, it’s something that most cat owners simply grin and bear as though cat hairballs were entirely normal. 

The truth is, hairballs aren’t always “normal”.


Beyond The Scratching Post: Indoor Cat Enrichment

A white kitten in a house

It’s no secret that cats have many endearing, and sometimes quirky, behaviors. The more you look into feline behavior, the more you start to realize that we have tiny, predatory lions living with us. They thrive by being able to express their natural instincts to hunt, ambush, and survey their territory. 

However, indoor-only cats sometimes don’t have as many opportunities to practice these instincts. Being confined to an indoor life doesn’t have to mean a life of boredom, though. We have some great ideas for indoor cat enrichment to enhance your cat’s life.


Understanding Kidney Disease in Cats

Kidney disease in cats must be treated by a veterinarian.Cats are amazing creatures. When it comes down to sheer biology, they are really just small tigers who hang out in our homes!

Despite their insistence otherwise, though, cats are not invincible. They can be injured, succumb to toxin exposure, and grow old just like the rest of us. As cats age they are prone to several conditions that affect their health and well-being.

At Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital we feel that it is important that our feline loving clientele know what these problems are and how they can help their pets. Kidney disease in cats is one of the most diagnosed issues affecting our patients of the feline persuasion, and knowing what to watch for and how to help your pet is the key to their continued health and well being. Continue…

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 Cat's Meow

Barton Heights is officially a certified Cat Friendly Practice!

Barton Heights is officially a certified Cat Friendly Practice!

We can’t be more excited about achieving official status by the AAFP, American Association of Feline Practitioners, as a cat friendly practice. In doing so, Barton Heights is the only veterinary hospital within a 40 mile radius uniquely qualified to provide exemplary care for your cat.

What is a cat friendly practice?

If you don’t know what it means to be a certified cat friendly practice, let us tell you. Certification as a cat friendly practice means that we have made changes to our hospital to better accommodate feline patients. It means that our veterinarians and staff have been trained in gentle handling techniques for cats. It means that we are able to provide the highest level of medical and preventative care for our feline patients while offering you, the cat owner, education and information on the unique health and environmental needs of cats.

Why is it important?

Despite the fact that cats are now the most popular pet in the United States, statistically they receive less regular veterinary care than their canine counterparts. Many cat owners cite the difficulty and stress associated with bringing their cat to the veterinarian as the main reason for avoiding veterinary visits.

Our receptionists and staff are available to help you overcome some of the difficulties with getting your cat to the veterinarian. We have many tips and techniques to offer in making the transportation to the hospital as free from stress for you and your cat as possible. Take advantage of our private “Feline Only” waiting area. This is a portion of our lobby set aside exclusively for our feline patients to provide a quiet and safe place away from the noise and sight of dogs.  Our goal is to provide as smooth and stress free of a veterinary visit as possible for your cat.

Another reason cats do not often receive regular veterinary care is the perception that they do not need it. Cats instinctually hide illness and often appear healthy despite underlying illness or pain. We are committed to providing both preventative and medical and surgical care for all of our feline patients. Regular annual and semi-annual examinations are crucial to detecting early signs of illness in your cat. Let us help you provide the care your cat deserves.

Find more information on the Cat Friendly Practice certification process and what it means for you and your cat.

For more information on what it means to be a certified Cat Friendly practice as well as tips on cat care, visit the AAFP website at www.catvets.com and click on the Cat Friendly Practice tab. Or, give us a call. We are happy to talk with you about the high level of care we can provide for your special feline.

posted in:  The Cat's Meow

Laser Surgery and Therapy

Laser Surgery and Therapy

When you hear someone mention a laser, you think about science fiction and some mad scientist experimenting with light. Lasers have become very beneficial in their role in veterinary medicine, and not all lasers are the same. Lasers are a light beam that will perform different tasks depending on the frequency of the light. The two types of lasers we use are for cutting in surgery and healing for therapy. Both of these lasers are used routinely on our surgeries to help reduce pain and promote a quicker recovery.

Laser Surgery

Laser surgery is recognized in human and veterinary medicine for its benefits to both patient and surgeon. The type of surgical laser we use at Barton Heights is a carbon dioxide laser. The main benefits offered are reduced pain, reduced bleeding, reduced swelling, reduced infection, and a quicker recovery.Reduced Pain
The CO2 laser beam seals nerve endings as it cuts through tissue. This reduces the amount of pain the patient feels during and after surgery.

Reduced Bleeding

The CO2 laser beam cauterizes and seals small blood vessels as it cuts. This laser energy achieves hemostasis and provides the surgeon with a bloodless surgical field in most procedures.Reduced Swelling
There is no physical contact between the laser and the surgical region, eliminating the tearing and bruising of tissue associated with traditional surgical methods. Lymphatic vessels are also sealed.

Reduced Infection

Laser energy acts as an antibacterial agent by producing high temperatures, effectively eliminating microorganisms.Quicker Recovery
As a result, all of the above laser surgery provides the benefit your clients will appreciate the most: a quicker recovery for their pet.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy involves using a Class IV B cold laser beam that emits positive energy to aid the body in the healing process. This treatment has no side effects and is affordable. Laser therapy helps in 4 ways:

1. Manages pain
2. Reduces inflammation
3. Increases mobility
4. Helps speed recovery
Due to the benefits of the laser, we are recommending the laser to be used immediately after surgery, for arthritis, sprains and strains, ear infections, bladder problems, and joint pain. Our physical rehabilitation department has been using the laser for arthritis and physical rehabilitation and has been having great success. Pain medications have been lowered or even eliminated in some cases reducing the side effect potential of the pain medicine. If you have further questions about the laser and how it can help your pet, please call us at 570-424-6773.

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Cat Friendly Practice

Cat Friendly Practice:

Some of you may have noticed a change in our lobby area, so we wanted to give you an update on why the changes are occurring. We have become a certified cat friendly practice. We have always loved and provided great care for our feline friends, but we have undergone special training and protocols to make your cat’s visit to the vet a better experience. There are currently only 9 certified cat friendly practices in Pennsylvania and the closest is 55 miles away (near Philadelphia).
The first noticeable change is the lobby. We have created a separate cat waiting area. This area is away from dogs so the stress level of your cat is minimized. We have also designated certain exam rooms as cat rooms. In these cat rooms we have placed Feliway diffusers which emit pheromones that help to relax the cats. We have also designated a cat treatment area where no dogs are allowed (so no dog smells), and it is a quiet place to work with cats which in turn reduces their stress level.
We have also placed curtains in the cages for hospitalized cats to give them a “quiet area” and a place to hide. If we can keep the stress and anxiety levels to a minimum it will be a better experience for the cat which will lead to better care and quicker recoveries from illness.
I want to thank our hard working staff that took on this project to get certified. Dr Greenleaf has been the driving force to develop the protocols and provide the necessary training. She has also coordinated a team to help her with this. Her team members that have been performing a fantastic job are Angelique, Michelle, and Christine. Thank you all for caring about our felines to improve their care.