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Newsletter

The veterinarians and staff at Cats & Critters are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

Back Problems In Dogs

An animal that has trouble going up or down the stairs, can't jump up on the furniture, and / or seems to be in constant pain may have a back problem

Disk problems are the most common back problems in dogs. The disk functions as a shock absorber between the vertebrae, commonly known as the bones of the back.

When these disks are injured or degenerate, they put pressure on the nerves, creating a "pinched nerve." Aside from a pinched nerve, the injury can interfere with nerve impulses that are sent down the spinal cord. Without a complete functioning nervous system, advanced cases can cause a wobbly gait, leading to paralysis in the hind limbs.

Dogs with short legs and long bodies are most affected by disk problems. Commonly affected breeds include dachshunds and basset hounds.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound


Dachshund

Dachshund


Early detection is very important in the treatment of back problems. As soon as a problem is noticed, strict rest is recommended. Unlike humans, dogs don't lie on their backs and certainly don't do very well in traction. Strict rest, and particularly no jumping, is best for the animal.

In more pronounced cases, your veterinarian may recommend surgery in order to remove the affected disk. Back surgery is generally pretty expensive and there are risks that go with it. Back surgery is generally performed by a surgeon / specialist at a referral veterinary hospital.

The earlier the surgical procedure is done, the higher its success rate. Back injuries in dogs are like spinal cord injuries in people. Once paralysis sets in, the success rate declines rapidly, and some veterinarians elect not to take their patients to surgery.

Early detection and a veterinary examination are essential for quick recovery from a back injury. Depending upon the severity of the injury, most dogs recover quite well with medication, rest and lots of TLC. Dogs that have more complicated injuries may be candidates for more complicated back surgery.

VIDEO: Winter Holiday Dangers for Pets

We all enjoy the festive nature of the holidays. But, did you know that the delicious food we love and the sparkling decorations could be a danger to our pets? Many holiday traditions, such as tinsel on the tree or mistletoe, have led to pets needing emergency medical treatment. Some foods can cause illnesses in our dogs and cats as well. Wintertime can indeed be hazardous to our pets! Watch this video to learn more.

 

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ASPCA Revises Stance on Pets as Gifts


ASPCA Revises Stance on Pets as Gifts


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has advocated against giving pets as gifts for decades, but a new survey has caused them to change their tune. According to a telephone survey conducted by the ASPCA, 96 percent of pet owners who got their pet as a gift – whether it was a surprise or not – either increased or didn’t impact their attachment to the animal. Of those owners, 86 percent still remained in the home, which is the same rate as pets obtained in other ways.

While some shelter owners remain skeptical, others have ramped up holiday adoptions in response to the new information. While in the past, many shelters would close around Christmas, this year many plan to remain open and some will even deliver pets to homes on Christmas day.

World’s Oldest Penguin Returns To Colorado Zoo After Successful Radiation Therapy

A 40-year old African penguin is returning home a southern Colorado zoo after undergoing treatment for skin cancer. Tess, who resides at the Pueblo Zoo, is the oldest penguin of her kind, according to officials at the zoo. She was treated for sarcoma at the Colorado State University veterinary hospital in early December. After two weeks of isolation, she was welcomed home to the zoo, where she was reunited with her mate, Mongo, and the rest of her friends in the habitat.



African penguins rarely live past 20 years, and experts at the Pueblo Zoo say that the breed has declined 90 percent in the last 100 years. “Some people would ask, ‘why are you putting all of these resources into an individual animal?’ But, if this individual animal can tell a story that helps globally with the African penguin, then it’s all worth it,” said Dr. Matthew Johnston, a veterinarian at Colorado State University. “If we can make people aware of these endangered species, with awareness comes action, and with action comes change. And, ultimately, we help.”

Tennessee Man Leaves Mansion to Cats


Tennessee Man Leaves Mansion to Cats


A man in Tennessee has left his 4,000 square foot mansion and $250,000 savings to his two cats, Frisco and Jack. Leon Sheppard Sr., who was president of the local United Food and Commercial Workers Union, passed away last year. In addition to his worldly possessions, the cats must also remain cared for in his Memphis home.

Sheppard has five children, but they won’t see any of his fortune until the eldest cat, Frisco, passes away. Jack, the younger feline, may be moved out of the house, but Sheppard’s will stipulates that he must also remain cared for. While Sheppard’s family did not comment on the will, neighbors confirmed that Sheppard, unsurprisingly, was very fond of his cats.

Pet Stores Pulling All Chinese-Made Treats After Thousands Of Pets Fall Ill

Petco has pulled all dog and cat treats manufactured in China from its shelves. The treats are believed to be the cause of illness and death among pet dogs in the U.S., although the FDA has yet to conclusively prove a link between the treats and their effects.

Although Petco has not carried dog or cat foods manufactured in China for several years, it carried the treats through 2014. Last year, the company announced they were phasing out the treats. PetSmart has already pledged to stop carrying the treats by the spring of 2015.


Poison Jerky Treats


The FDA has received over 5000 complaints from pet owners who say the treats, which are mainly sold as jerky or raw hide, sickened their pet. However, after testing thousands of samples, they have been unable to determine the cause.

In a statement, Petco CEO Jim Myers said the move was a response to customer concerns. “We know some pet parents are wary of dog and cat treats made in China, especially Chicken Jerky products, and we’ve heard their concerns,” he said.

According to market research firm IBISWorld, Petco and PetSmart control more than half of the pet market in the United States. Analysts say smaller chains and family-owned stores will likely follow suit.

Only Five Northern White Rhinos Remain In The Entire World

The northern white rhinoceros is closer than ever to extinction now that Angalifu, a 44 year old male white rhino at the San Diego Zoo, has passed away from old age. After Angalifu, there are only five northern white rhinos remaining, including Nola, a female also living at the San Diego Zoo, with whom Angalifu was unable to breed.

The other remaining northern white rhinos include Najin and Fatu, two females in Kenya; Sudan, a male also living in Kenya and the last remaining male of the species; and an elderly female in the Czech Republic.



“Angalifu’s death is a tremendous loss to all of us,” said park curator Randy Rieches, “not only because he was well beloved here at the park but also because his death brings this wonderful species one step closer to extinction.”

The San Diego Zoo preserved some of Angalifu’s testicular tissue and sperm in hopes that the species may survive through artificial breeding methods.