One of the more common and potentially frustrating reasons that our clients bring their cats to see us at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is trouble in the litter box.
While not all urinary problems are created equal, they all do result in significant stress for both feline and caretaker. Urinary issues in cats may not be anyone’s favorite, but you can rest easy knowing that our expert staff has your back should you ever encounter them.Continue…
Just because the warm months are behind us doesn’t mean your pet no longer needs regular grooming. In fact, winter grooming is essential this time of year. All the forced-air heat and inclement weather can cause dryness to the skin and dullness in your pet’s coat – not to mention all the mud and rain that comes with the winter months!
Keeping your pet in tiptop shape is what we aim to do at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital. Keep reading to learn more top tips for your pet’s winter grooming needs.Continue…
Cats are so amazing and capable of hiding when they are having trouble that they often get the short end of the stick when it comes to proactive care. One area that many of our feline patients need our help in is the department of dental care.
The staff at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital sees quite a bit of dental disease in all of our four-legged patients. In cats, not only is periodontal disease a big issue, but there is also another beast to contend with. Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions, not so fondly also referred to as FORLs, affect a large number of our cat patients and are something all cat owners should understand.
Understanding Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions
The term feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions is quite the mouthful, and they can be for our cat patients as well. We don’t really understand at this time what causes some cats to be affected by this disease process, but over half of our cat patients over the age of six have them.
FORLs are essentially holes that form in the tooth as a result of the activity of the odontoblasts within the tooth itself. These holes typically form near the gum line and are analogous to the cavities that people suffer, however they have nothing to do with plaque buildup.
We do know that FORLs affect cats tremendously. These sinister little holes can be exquisitely painful. Exposure of the tooth’s pulp cavity can also result in infection. If the hole becomes extensive enough, the crown of the tooth can even break off, leaving roots under the gum line that may result in problems.
Not all cats let us know that they are suffering from FORLs. It is a good idea to make an appointment for us to examine your pet, though, if you notice that your cat is:
- Pawing at the mouth
- Reluctant to allow you to look at the teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Hesitant to eat
- Having bad breath
Fighting the Good Fight
Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions can be frustrating for cat owners as well as veterinarians because we don’t really understand at this time how to prevent or stop them. What we can, do, however, is be proactive about looking for them and aggressive when we find them.
Routine oral examinations are an important part of wellness care for any pet, but especially cats. Frequent anesthetized oral evaluations and dental radiographs are important for us to find these painful lesions early. Many times in the early stages it is impossible to identify these without dental x-ray.
Diagnosis And Treatment
When we find FORLs, the exact type of lesion is identified in order to decide how to best proceed. Class I and II FORLs tend to be early in the course of the disease and may be treated with cleaning and/or enamel restoration techniques.
Class III lesions enter the pulp cavity, while Class IV lesions involve broken roots retained under the gum line. These types of FORLs typically require tooth extraction as they are quite painful. Many cats who suffer from FORL lesions will have all or most of the teeth affected at some point. Although most of these pets lose lots of teeth, they are perfectly functional (and much more comfortable) without them.
Until science and veterinary medicine understand more about this disease process, it remains important for us to work as a team to be sure that our cats are happy and pain free. By bringing your pet in to see us for wellness visits and allowing routine oral examinations as recommended, you can do your part in battling FORLs.
As a pet owner, you’re familiar with your pet’s unique personality traits. Through their body language and vocalizations, it’s easy to tell when they’re happy, annoyed, excited, angry, fearful, curious, etc. In fact, many of these communication styles can seem almost human-like.
The way a pet expresses themselves can be extremely nuanced, such as in the case of pet facial expressions. What do they mean, and how can they help us gain a better understanding of what our furry family members are trying to tell us?Continue…
In veterinary medicine there are some diseases and problems that rear their ugly heads more often than others. When it comes to the feline species, it seems that the kidney is the Achilles tendon of the cat. Many, if not most, cats will have trouble with the kidneys as they age.
At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital we feel that it is important for our feline-loving pet parents to understand what kidney disease in cats looks like and how it can affect their feline friend. Continue…
Does your cat like to squeeze into the fruit bowl when no one’s watching? Do they twitch all through their body during sleep? And what’s their take on cardboard boxes? We could keep going with the oddball questions, but chances are, you’ve either asked them yourself already – or you’ve got some similarly confusing cat behaviors happening at home. While most feline antics are perfectly normal, sometimes curious behaviors signal problems on the horizon.
But What Does It All Mean?
The following cat behaviors are not only common, they’re 100% normal. As such, we appreciate these amusing (if not sometimes partially aggravating) actions: Continue…
If you have a dog, you’ve probably heard about heartworm. Most dog owners are familiar with this threat to their dog’s health, and many know that heartworm prevention is important for dogs. But what about cats?
Heartworm in cats is a growing concern in the veterinary community, but many cat owners don’t know that heartworm is a real threat to their cat’s life. In fact, studies show that less than 5% of cat owners use heartworm prevention in comparison to 50% of dog owners.
There’s really no better time than August to think about your pet’s hydration needs. In other parts of the calendar year, they just seem to get what they need without too many worries. But these last few weeks of high heat and humidity can cause serious problems for animals. A hydrated pet is a healthy one, and we’ve got some tips and tricks to make it happen.
The Benefits of Water
A hydrated pet is at lower risk of developing a urinary tract infection, and they also have a healthier and more consistent internal body temperature. Water is cooling, maintains high energy levels, and flushes toxins from the body.
Do you know how much water your pet drinks every day? Or, one step further would be to know how much should they be drinking for maximum hydration. On average, the general rule is that for every 10 pounds of body weight, one cup of water is needed per day. If you spend a few days noticing that your 60 pound dog drinks less than 6 cups every day, it’s time to try out some new methods. Continue…
Parasites tend to be unpleasant things, and with summer upon us, it may seem like they’re everywhere, just waiting to latch on to your pet! What’s more, seasonal activities, like barbecuing or hiking, can expose your pet to parasites.
Most of us are already familiar with fleas and ticks, but did you know there are other parasites that can also be problematic for your pet? Let’s go beyond the basics to learn more about preventing parasites in pets.
Internal Parasites in Pets
Have you ever wondered why we want to examine your pet’s poop every year? It’s to check for evidence (eggs) of intestinal parasites. Many of these are common in pets, and some are even zoonotic (can be transmitted to humans). Here are some of the most common types of parasites in pets: Continue…
Dogs are pack animals who thrive within a close network of people. Cats, on the other hand, crave independence (and a fairly large space bubble). While you try anything and everything to show you love your cat, he or she might offer up a head bump or a long eye blink for filling the food bowl or cleaning the litter box. But how else can you make your cat go gaga over you?