Local veterinarian pleads with public to stop feeding stray cats
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A local vet is pleading with the public to stop feeding stray cats. He says while you think you are being kind, you are actually causing a whole host of problems for our pet population.
Dr. Iyampillai Arun and his staff at Summit Boulevard Animal Hospital in West Palm Beach rescued an abandoned litter outside their offices.
Dr. Iyampillai Arun: We normally have 2 to 3 at a time. Ten is too many.
They will spay and neuter the kittens, vaccinate them, and care for them until they can find them a good home. But this situation has left Dr. Arun very frustrated, and believe it or not, his frustration is aimed at people who feed stray animals.
Dr. Iyampillai Arun: People feel that just throwing some food is the most humane way of taking care of animals.
He says if you're going to feed these animals, then please get them fixed and vaccinated. He says they carry diseases and parasites that are not only affecting the stray population -- but also people's pets.
Dr. Iyampillai Arun: Pan leukepenia started in Miami and now we have a few cases in West Palm Beach. I urge everyone who is feeding a stray animal to neuter them and also vaccinate them.
If you would like to adopt one of these cats call Summit Boulevard Animal Hospital, 561-439-7900.
Dr. I. Arun says older pets need to be examined routinely to see how well their organs are functioning.
Everyone wants to keep their pets as long as possible without unnecessary suffering or illness. We know that it is much less costly to detect problems early rather than wait and treat an illness that becomes more advanced later on. Older pet exams and profiles are beneficial for all pets older than 7 years.
At advanced age, comprehensive health screening blood tests to assess how well organs are functioning and to diagnose disorders such as diabetes, bacterial and viral infections, anemia and thyroid problems are a must
Urinalysis is a valuable index for kidney function and systemic diseases.
Intestinal parasite exam will detect parasites.
Chest X-rays can detect early tumor, size and shape of organs, including reduction in size, and accumulation of fluids etc.
Electrocardiogram can assess heart function.
Finally, the entire health status of your pet and any needed future precautions, such as diet changes etc., should be discussed by the veterinarian at length.
Keeping your pet healthy is your responsibility. Preventing disease is the most important investment you can make for your pet's life.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Keep Chocolate Treats away from Dogs, Cats The Palm Beach Post, Thursday, December 14, 2000
Chocolate poisoning is more common during the holidays when chocolate candies and foods are readily available. Chocolate is highly palatable and available in most homes during the holidays.
But the methylzanthine alkaloids present in chocolate cause poisoning and can be deadly. It's predominantly a hazard to dogs, especially puppies and young dogs, but it's also toxic to cats.
These alkaloids cause constriction of the blood vessels to the brain; heart and muscle con- fractions; central nervous system stimulation; vomiting; diarrhea and seizures.
Different chocolate products have different levels of methylzanthine and so cause different degrees of poisoning. These are the methylxanthine levels of the most common chocolate products.
Products (mg. per ounce) Cacao bean 400 - 1,500 Baking chocolate 450 Semi-sweet chocolate 260 Milk chocolate 60 Hot chocolate 12 White chocolate 1
The minimum lethal dose ranges from 100-200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. A pound of milk chocolate or four ounces of baking chocolate could be deadly to a 16 pound dog.
Early signs of poisoning to look for include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination, stiffness, excitement and seizures.
Symptoms of advanced poisoning include low body temper- attire, rigidity 61 muscles, rapid heart beat, low blood pressure, weakness, heart failure, coma and death.
To prevent poisoning, keep all chocolate out of reach of pets. In case of poisoning, call your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will probably tell you to induce vomiting if your pet is not having seizures. This is usually done by giving the pet hydrogen peroxide. Give your pet 2 milliliters per pound of body weight.
One teaspoon contains 5 milliliters. One tablespoon contains 15 milliliters. For example, if your pet weighs 20 pounds, you will give him about a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Using a syringe (both hydrogen peroxide and an oral syringe should be part of your pet emergency kit) may be the easiest way to administer the peroxide. Remember that your pet will begin vomiting so be ready with old towels!
If your pet is having seizures or is unconscious, you'll need to transport your pet to the emergency clinic where the veterinarian will use a stomach wash, IV fluids and medications to treat the effects of the poison.
We strongly recommend that you take preventative measures to protect your pet during the holidays. Put that chocolate away!
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