Summer News : 5 Steps for Battling Fleas

Warm sun. A nice breeze blowing. Ah the sites and smells of summer! Unfortunately summer is flea season (yikes!) even for indoor kitties, which is why we've compiled a list of 5 Steps for Battling Fleas.

Specials for July:

We have partnered with Elanco to bring you a discount on Cheristin,  our favorite flea control! Buy a 6 pack, and get 2 free tubes free! 

"A cat can purr its way out of anything."      - Donna McCrohan

1. Indoor Cats Get Fleas Too!

This year we've noticed a lot of our beloved indoor cats getting fleas! Fleas are sneaky little buggers, and they are tiny enough to fit through screens and cracks in your apartment. Also, fleas sometimes hitch a ride on our clothing to sneak inside. So if you haven't already, now is the time to start your kitty on a monthly preventative.

2. Beware of Generic Flea Medications

Many of the generic flea medications at Costco, WalMart etc... use older techniques for flea control. Unfortunately, many flea populations have developed resistance to these once powerful products. Others use pesticides that aren't the safest for cats. We have used Revolution and Cheristan for years, and found the safe and effective on our own cats.

3. Fleas Reproduce and Spread Like Crazy!

It's important to handle a flea problem the second you notice it! Fleas multiply at an alarming rate, and the fleas you see on your cat represent only about 5-10% of the fleas in the environment. Best way to tackle the problem? We'll help with the kitty, you handle the house! Drop off your kitty in the morning for a Premium Flea Treatment, then spend the day cleaning the house (what fun!) 1. Run the bedding/curtains/towels through a wash and dryer cycle 2. Vacuum carpets and couches - a cheap flea collar can be placed in the vacuum cleaner's bag / container to take care of any eggs that might be sucked up! 3. Mop down wood floors.  We also recommend purchasing a treatment or premise spray to get all the nooks and crannies.

4. Flea Cause More Than Discomfort

Flea can also cause skin allergies, tapeworms (intestinal parasites passed to your kitty through flea larvae) and anemia (because fleas feed off your cat's blood supply it's possible, if the flea infestation is severe enough, for your cat to become anemic).

5. Become a Flea Detective.

Is your kitty scratching? Scratching is the most obvious sign your kitty may have fleas, but you can also look for flea dirt, which is actually dried blood discarded from the flea - flea poop essentially (yeah we went there). It usually looks like black pepper and can be found in your kitty's coat or on a couch or blanket. Another tool, used by the most advanced flea detectives, is a flea comb, which is much finer than a regular brush. Even the most inconspicuous flea won't stand a chance.  

* Our 3 Step Premium Flea Treatment includes a Capstar to kill live fleas, an All-Natural Oatmeal Bath to clean up, and a Cheristan application (a month long preventative)

Top 7 Most Effective Cat Supplements

We’re excited pet supplements are becoming more popular! In addition to feeding a well-balanced diet, pet supplements can help ease joint pain, support a healthy coat, regulate the digestive system, and decrease cognitive dysfunction.

But be careful about which supplements you’re going to try. The pet supplement market is not tightly regulated, and with so many supplements on the market and many delivery formats (soft chews, pastes, gravies, powders) it’s important to know what’s helpful, what’s harmful and what’s a waste of money. Check out our list of top 7 most effective supplements to see which ones to try!

Omega-3 – Fish Oil

Fish oil can be used to decreases inflammation, ease joint pain, support a shiny coat, decrease shedding and help with brain function.

What You Need To Know:

  • Introduce fish oil slowly. Too much omega-3 won’t be toxic but it can result in some unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea.
  • Fish oil dosage is based on your cat’s weight. The recommended amount is between 20-50mg combined EPA and DHA per pound.
  • You should see results within 2 weeks if consistently giving fish oil.
  • If your cat develops fishy breath you can lower the dose to reduce the unpleasantness.
  • Before starting your cat on fish oil discuss the decision with one of our doctors. There are certain situations were fish oil should not be given.

Delivery Format:
Capsule or liquid. If you cat is okay taking pills you can give the fish oil in the capsule. Otherwise, you can use a clean safety pin or knife to open the capsule and poor the contents into your cat’s food. 

Flaxseed Oil – A Fish Oil Alternative

Flax Seed Oil is a great alternative to fish oil and is another source of Omega 3 for your cat. It promotes a healthy skin and coat and can help relieve mild allergies and arthritis.

What You Need To Know:

  • Flax seed oil should be refrigerated to prevent rancidity. Read the packaging and make sure you’re storing it correctly.
  • Too much flax seed is not toxic, but may cause side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, gas or bloating.

Delivery Format:
Capsule or ground flax seed (both of which can be added to food) 

Probiotics – The Friendly Bacteria

There’s a delicate balance of good microbes in your cat’s guts. And stress (whether from illness or environment) can throw your cat’s digestive environment out of whack. Probiotics can help increase good bacteria and restore balance. Probiotics help with IBS, chronic diarrhea, gas, and vomiting. They also strengthen the immune system and can be especially useful for senior cats who may have difficulty retaining nutrients.

What You Need To Know:

  • Cats have their own unique strains of bacteria in the body, therefore giving your cat human probiotics is not an option.
  • Probiotics can be given as part of a daily routine or added during times of stress (boarding, traveling, moving).

Delivery Format:
Powder, liquid or chews

Our Favorite Brand:
Forti-Flora – small packets of powder you can easily sprinkle into your cat’s food. 

Glucosamine & Chondroitin – For Healthy Cartilage and Joints

Glucosamine and Chrondroitin are truly amazing supplements used to help relieve and heal joint pain. Both substances are naturally produced in your cat’s body, but as your cat ages or if there is joint damage, your cat’s body may not be able keep up with the demand.

What You Need To Know:

  • Not all Glucosamine and Chrondroitin supplements are equal and the most expensive product is not always the best. See below for products we recommend.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin work to slow the degeneration process, therefore most cats that begin these supplements will be on them for the rest for their lives.

Delivery Formats:
Powder, Liquid, or Chews

Our Favorite Brands:
Cosequin and Dasuquin

Lysine – Relieving Feline Herpes

Lysine is an extremely effect dietary supplement for reducing, relieving and lessening the severity and number of flare ups caused from feline herpes. Feline herpes is a lifelong disease which causes upper respiratory flare ups in cats, including runny eyes and nose and congested breathing.

What You Need To Know:

  • It’s over the counter. And your kitty will be much happier. Some of our clients have told us their cat hasn’t had a flare up since.

Delivery Formats:
Chewables, Paste, Powder

Our Favorite Brand:
Vetroquinol – they make treats, a powder formula and a paste

Multivitamins – To Boost the Immune System

Multivitamins are usually short term supplements to boost the immune system. They are recommended for cats who have gone through a surgery or illness.

What You Need To Know:

  • Most well-balanced cat foods have all the essential vitamins your kitty needs.
  • Before starting you cat on a multivitamin talk with one of our doctors. There are certain situation where additional vitamins should not be given.

Delivery Format:
Tablets or Liquid

Our Favorite Brand:
Liqui-tinic

Nutri-Cal – An Energy Supplement

Nutri-Cal high calorie dietary supplement used to provide nutrition to cats who are finicky eaters or who have become uninterested in their food. It is especially helpful for senior cats, cats suffering from illness or cats recovering from surgery. It can also provide your kitty with extra energy. Yipee!

What You Need To Know:

  • This supplement is a great option to help your kitty get nutrients, but keep in mind, an aversion to food or even a slight decrease in appetite may indicate something more serious is going on. If your cats stops enjoying his or her regular food, please bring your kitty in for a check-up!
  • Nutri-cal is designed to be delicious. Many cats enjoy the taste of the gel and will readily lick it from your fingers or right out of the tube.
  • If your kitty is nervous about trying new things you can get them interested by dabbing a tiny bit onto their nose. In the process of cleaning it off they’ll get a taste of it and hopefully realize how delicious it is!

Delivery Format:
Gel

Our Favorite Brand:
Vetoquinol NutriCal

Are Annual/Bi-Annual Wellness Exams Important?

The short answer is YES! Regularly vaccinating your cats is very important to protect them from disease. However, if you are vaccinating yearly without a wellness exam, you are doing them a huge disservice.

Since our pets can’t vocalize how they are feeling, or when something is wrong, they greatly benefit from a doctor’s exam. These exams allow us to catch health concerns before they become serious illnesses. Too often we see patients with severe conditions that could have been prevented, or managed, if they had been caught earlier. During a wellness exam the doctor will take a thorough medical history, as well as discuss diet, and any behavioral issues.

During the physical the doctor will check:

  • Vital signs (temperature, respiration, weight)
  • Eyes, ears, mouth and nose
  • Heart and lungs
  • Skin and coat condition
  • Palpation of the abdomen for abnormalities
  • Condition of the joints, muscles and lymph nodes

Your cat’s annual visit may also include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • X-rays
  • Fecal testing
  • Blood pressure testing
  • Vaccines

Remember that our cats age much faster than we do, and their health can change dramatically over the course of just a year or less. Do your part to help your furry kids live longer and healthier lives with annual wellness exams!