November 2009 Newsletter
Welcome to the second edition of our monthly newsletter. Each month, our newsletter is packed with articles, tips and news from Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center. We'd love to hear your feedback and comments regarding this newsletter and the new service, PetSite portals. Have you logged into your cat's personal web page? Try it! You'll be able to access your cats' vaccine records anytime, order refills of medications or special diets, request appointments, receive birthday cards for your cat and more! Check it out today.
The doctors and team at Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal customers and our beloved feline friends. We know that you have a choice to take your feline family to any veterinary hospital and we are honored that you choose us as your pets care provider. This time of year reminds us to "Give Thanks" to you!
Our hospital will be closed Thursday, November 26th. **If your cat will need a refill of medications or a special diet during the holidays, please plan ahead as deliveries to our hospital may be delayed. Thank you!
Pass On The Gravy, Please!
November has arrived and with it comes the smell of fresh-baked bread, hot apple cider and pumpkin pie! This time of year stirs memories of good friends and family gathered around the table, enjoying the holiday feast. Shouldn’t you share some of the tasty spread with your beloved cat or dog? It’s tough to resist the urge to give thanks with your dear pet but you may be alarmed to know that one of the busiest days in the veterinary emergency clinic is the day after Thanksgiving when pets arrive with belly aches, vomiting and diarrhea after ingesting scraps, treats and leftovers. Here are a few things to keep in mind this year.
Your cat knows something special is cooking and she lets you know she's interested -- just listen to her begging cries! How can you resist slipping your pet a little something special: a big piece of turkey skin, a bone to crunch, and giblets with gravy? Resist! No one's saying kitty shouldn't enjoy a special holiday meal, too, but limiting the kind and amount of special holiday fare will ensure that it is a treat -- not a trouble. What else should you avoid?
While a little bit of cooked meat -- beef or poultry -- won't hurt and would be appreciated, steer clear of the fatty parts and the poultry skin, which also harbors fat. Foods too rich, too fatty or too spicy -- or anything your cat's not accustomed to -- can trigger a bout of intestinal upset. For some animals, the treat can trigger a serious inflammation of the pancreas or intestine, and that means a life-threatening illness.
Poultry bones may seem like the perfect gift for the cat that has everything, but even the largest turkey bones are prone to splintering, sending shards through the animal's intestines. Should one pierce through the lining, the result can be deadly peritonitis. Beef and pork bones don't tend to splint as much but, bone marrow is very high in fat and can overload and inflame the pancreas.
Chocolate goodies left out in a bowl are very hazardous. Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that causes hyperactivity, nervousness, increased heart rate, vomiting and diarrhea and even death. Dark chocolate contains more theobromine than milk chocolate but even small amounts can be toxic as some pets seem to be more sensitive than others. Keep the sweets out of kitty's paws.
Next month, we’ll talk about other holiday hazards like tinsel, ornaments and electrical cords.
Planning Holiday Travels
Holidays often mean travel time! Whether you go by road, rail, air or sea you’ll have to make arrangements for your cat. Should you plan to go with or without your feline companion, you will want to consider the following.
Health Considerations – Even if you are not taking your cat along, you will want to ensure the health of your pet before you leave. Scheduling a general health exam a few weeks before your trip will give you peace of mind and perhaps catch little problems before they become big ones. If your feline takes medication or is on a special diet, be sure to stock up on plenty of supplies in advance. Holiday hours may make last minute requests impossible and you may not be able to get what you need while out of the area!
Vaccines – Extra stress can leave kitty vulnerable to disease. Boarding facilities and airlines will require proof of vaccinations so be sure you have them done at least two weeks ahead of time for maximum protection. Did you know that you have 24/7 access to your cat’s vaccine records online and that you can print them from home? Log into PetSites (there is a link on the left of this page) and see what else is on your cat’s personal web page!
Microchips – There’s nothing worse than the thought of your cat being lost while you are traveling. Accidents can happen with airlines, boarding facilities and even pet sitters in your home. Consider the permanent identification alternative! Microchips can be implanted at any age and your pet does not need anesthesia. You’ll find comfort knowing your cat will more likely be returned home with a microchip.
Flying - If your plans involve kitty in flight, you will want to call the airline and be prepared. Some airlines require a health certificate from your veterinarian which must be acquired within 10 days of the flight. Other airlines require certain carrier specifications and some only require proof of vaccination. The veterinarians at Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center do not recommend allowing any pet to ride in the cargo area of an airplane due to the unpredictability of the temperature and pressure of this area. Most airlines will allow small pets as carry-on into the cabin and this is much more comfortable for you and kitty.
Tranquilizers – Regardless of how you choose to travel with your pet, you may be wondering about tranquilizers. Generally, the veterinarians at Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center do not recommend tranquilizers which may have severe side effects in some cats. In some cases, medications that give a sedative effect can be used but this should be discussed with your veterinarian before any medication is given.
Boarding – Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center offers Deluxe Town Homes for the cat that wishes to stay in luxury. Each Town Home can accommodate up to two residents and features lobby or outdoor views, four-poster bed with fleece mattress, five levels for stretching out and private litter area. Our team can administer medications as well. You will feel confident knowing your cat is residing in comfort and under the care of your veterinarian. Holidays are booking fast! Please call now for reservations.
Pet Sitters –Shy or nervous cats may be more comfortable in their own environment. Sometimes the best choice for you and your cat is to hire a pet sitter to provide care in your home. Pet sitters may be available to visit your pet several times per day, administer medications and transport your cat to the veterinarian should the need arise. If you hire a pet sitter, be sure to leave very detailed instructions regarding care and medications. Be sure the pet sitter knows where to take your cat if he or she needs to see the veterinarian and be clear how much money you will authorize to be spent. It is a good idea to also call the veterinary hospital with this information so that care can be given in your absence. If you would like a referral to a pet sitter, call Cheshire Cat and we can assist you!
If you have other travel questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Enjoy your trip!
Every month we praise our team with Cheshire Smiles awards in recognition of their hard work. Would you like to make a commendation? We’d love to hear from you!
Our clients and their pets are our top priority here at Cheshire Cat Feline Health Center. Our team members strive to make your visit comfortable and provide your pet with quality care and love.
If you would like to comment on the service you received or if you had a particularly good experience with one or more of our team members, we’d like to know. Please email the hospital manager, Diane, at email@example.com and tell your story. She will present team members with Cheshire Smiles award certificates at our next team meeting.
Please, give a Cheshire Smile today!
Coming up in the December Newsletter:
Microchipping - The Gift That Saves!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!