Tagged with " flowers"

Boycott Mother’s Day!

May 12, 2013 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Personal Opinion

This weekend is one of the most sacred holidays in the world – Mother’s Day. Everyone has a mother, and most of us celebrate all the things they’ve done to help us become the people we are. We shop for the card with just the right sentiment, order her favorite flowers, select the age and taste-appropriate candy of cocoa bean origin (milk chocolate is my own mother’s self-admitted favorite food!), or perhaps celebrate her memory with a visit to her resting place. It’s a great time for the free-enterprise economy, too. Florists are busier than accountants in April, and Hallmark heralds May as a month with highest single category sales (greeting cards) than any other month including Christmas (verification withheld to make my point).

So why would we even consider boycotting Mother’s Day? Well, if you’re a cat, since you don’t really care about cards or flowers (though both seem tasty to some cats with intestinal problems), it’s all about the numbers. And while owned pet cats outnumber dogs as pets in the US- 74 million to 70 million according to the American Veterinary Medical Association- there are many cats without homes that are brought to shelters across the country. And more keep coming. There are untold millions of community cats which may or may not be owned or cared for- including being spayed or neutered. Therein lies the problem- left to their own devices, like most other species, cats will reproduce again and again! That may sound shocking to some, and when environmental conditions are favorable, unspayed female cats can have three litters a year! Let’s say those “intact” females have an average of 4 kittens/ litter- that would be twelve more cats from just one in twelve months! If only financial institutions could have such feline fecundity with our funds…

While many shelters are able to find homes for all their healthy adoptable cats, nationwide the numbers don’t balance. Thankfully, many feral cat colonies are cared for by dedicated people who’ve had them spayed and neutered so the colony population stays stable (and healthier!) But in countless communities, because there’s an oversupply and not enough demand (some people have not yet experienced the fun of owning a cat), the all-too-often sad result is that many cats are euthanized.

If you’re a cat, would you rather go home to a family that feeds you, plays with you, cleans your bathrooms and takes you to the veterinarian at least once a year for a checkup, or live “on the streets” like a homeless person, foraging through trash cans and hoping that the soup kitchen is open? That’s why cats boycott Mother’s Day- there’s just no reason to honor having more feline families!

This Sunday I’ll be with my mother! I’ve already sent two Mother’s Day cards and her roses arrived yesterday. I’d still like to get her one more “sweet” gift, though, and I have the perfect one in mind. We’ll take a drive out to the county animal control and check out the cats up for adoption. There’s a good chance we’ll find a beautiful brown tabby with its signature cocoa-colored “M” on her forehead. Maybe I can persuade my mother to call her Lady Godiva…

Dr Jane Brunt

Dr. Jane Brunt, founder of Cat Hospital at Towson (CHAT), is the pioneer of feline exclusive practice in Maryland. She received her DVM from Kansas State University (go, Cats!), and since 1984 has advocated the necessity of an outstanding facility and staff dedicated to practicing the highest quality of cats only care and medicine at CHAT.

She is a Past-President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association. In 1997, Dr. Brunt was named one of Baltimore’s “Top Vets” and featured on the cover of Baltimore Magazine, and in 1998 she served as Chair of the Host Committee for the AVMA Annual Convention in Baltimore (attended by a record 8,000 veterinary professionals and supporters), receiving several awards and accolades. A national advisor on feline medicine, she is also an active supporter of local, state, and national feline organizations, especially of the new generation of veterinary professionals.

Building on her clinical cat commitments and organizational passions, she serves as the Executive Director of CATalyst Council, a not-for-profit coalition of organizations and individuals committed to changing the way society cares for cats, “Promoting the Power of Purr…” across veterinary, sheltering, and public/civic communities. She owns a wayward standard poodle named Luka and three hilarious, keyboard-keen cats- Paddy, Freddie and CAT Stanley!

Cat Hospital at Towson
6701 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212

Phone: (410) 377-7900
Email: cathospital@catdoc.com

Website: http://www.catdoc.com/
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Flowers and Fleas

Jul 27, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

As I was reading a story in the life style magazine of the paper, I came across an ad proclaiming the virtues of “natural” flea repellents. Having just been inundated by a ton of cats with fleas the week before, I was inspired to write about fleas, flea products and to help dispel a myth or two. I’d had some clients who had been using an herbal flea collar that did nothing and made the cat smell like a volatile oils factory.  Poor kitty was still crawling with fleas.

Now I’ve gone through acupuncture training and some herb courses, and know that there are some things in that arena that can be very helpful and work well for a variety of medical conditions. But I also know that just because something says “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s safe or effective. Most herbal flea products contain things like cedar oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, and other things that say “natural pyrethrin”. They can have a very strong smell that can last for days. That can be tough for an animal that is as sensitive to smells as cats are. Volatile oils can aggravate breathing problems; this is especially true of cedar oil. Stay away from these products if your cat has a history of breathing problems. Clove oil is toxic to cats. Skin reactions are common with all these products, especially if they are not pure. Oils are sometimes absorbed through the skin and peppermint oil can go deep. People who ingest peppermint oil on a regular basis might get changes in their liver enzymes.

When it comes to parasite control, we live in a wonderful age. The products that come from the vet for flea control have a very high margin of safety. They can contain not only safe flea products but also a heartworm preventative that helps with intestinal parasite control. Our pet cats have the dubious honor of surpassing dogs in the incidence of intestinal parasites and positive heartworm tests. All this because dog owners are so good at using  their heartworm preventative and cat owners aren’t. And yes, those products can be smelly too, but usually just for a few hours. And yes, again, there will be the rare skin reaction. But the important thing is that they work great and have a well documented safety margin. They keep your family safe too. Those black specks of flea dirt have been shown to carry the bacteria that gives people, especially children, cat scratch disease. Control the fleas and you control the risk. Same for roundworms. They can get into people too.

Treating fleas requires a multi-modal approach. You need to treat the adult fleas on the animal, but also any eggs that they lay. If the problem is bad enough, you may need to treat for eggs that are in the house. Adult fleas aren’t the problem in your house, the eggs are. You treat them differently. Control the egg production and you control the problem.  It can take 6 – 8 weeks before you can be sure that you’ve got the problem licked. That’s because you have to wait long enough to be sure no new fleas are hatching out. Talk to your vet about what’s going to work the best for you. And if you can use one product that can help with fleas, heartworm and intestinal parasites, do it.

Keep in mind that Mother Nature has some very potent plants and just because they’re hers, doesn’t mean that they are the safest things. So be careful what you put on your cat and whose advice you listen to.

Dr Eliza Sundahl

Dr. Eliza Sundahl completed her veterinary studies at Kansas State University in 1978 after graduating from Boston University. She has spent a great deal of her professional life promoting feline medicine and continues to do so. She has held many positions in The American Association of Feline Practitioners, including 2 years as president. She was involved in establishing board certification in feline medicine through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and worked with that organization for many years to help veterinarians through the certification process.

Dr. Sundahl started at the KC Cat Clinic in 1978 and became owner in 1979. She has been happily working with the wonderful clients and patients at the clinic ever since. She feels like she has the best job in the world. She shares the clinic with Boo and Simon and her home with Babycat, Ferrous, Boo (another one), and Angelo.

Kansas City Cat Clinic
7107 Main St.
Kansas City, MO 64114

Phone: 816-361-4888
Email: kccatclinic@gmail.com

Website: http://www.kccatclinic.com/
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