Just in time for Valentine's Day, the second book in the Coated With Fur series will be published! The world launch of Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love is February 11th, 2014 at 7:00 pm. We will celebrate at the wonderful Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona. Be the first to hear Dr. Nelson speak and get a signed copy of this new book. Please save the date for a fun evening celebrating animals and the immense love they bring to our lives.
Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat's Love continues the celebration of the human-animal bond. Share with Kris profound joy as she saves a Chihuahua and delivers Ashley’s puppies. Laugh as she attempts several times to collect a semen sample from a shy Doberman. Fall in love with a white cat named Snowflake and meet Lilah the friendly German shepherd. Let your heart be moved when a blind cat helps Adam overcome a physical limitation. Through it all, embrace the unconditional love that exists when we open ourselves to the wonders of the human-animal bond.
The first step in examining a pet is to obtain a thorough medical history. This is where a little preparation can really help your veterinarian diagnose medical problems in your pets. It might also lower your costs by preventing unnecessary tests. This is what I like to see people bring to a routine office visit:
1) Copy of ingredient list from all foods and treats.
2) List of all medications and/or supplements
3) Copy of medical records from other clinics including x-rays.
4) List of allergies or abnormal reactions to foods, drugs, cleaning products, etc.
5) Timeline of abnormal behaviors that includes: when and where the problem started, has it improved or worsened, observed triggers and environmental changes
6) Video of the abnormal behavior- As the saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." I love camera phones because it allows people to video their pet's abnormal behavior. It is much easier to spot lameness when a dog is running in their backyard versus walking on a leash in the clinic. Beside orthopedic problems, video has helped me diagnose reverse sneezing, behavior problems, seizures, asthma, allergic reactions and differentiate between regurgitation and vomiting.
Melanosis is a condition found in the iris of cats. Pigment containing cells called melanocytes proliferate causing black spots to appear. They look like freckles. If the melanocytes continue to grow, the form larger lesions called nevi. If multiple nevi form, the condition is called melanosis. If the disease does not progress any further, the cat will be fine although the color of it’s iris will look different. Unfortunately, melanosis can convert from benign to malignant requiring immediate enucleation of the affected eye to save the cat. The problem with melanosis is detecting when the condition is changing from benign to metastatic without being able to take a biopsy sample.
Many people confuse melanosis with another pigmented syndrome called lentigo simplex. The color orange in cats is the result of a genetic mutation on the X chromosome from black/brown to orange. As orange cats age, the genetic mutation will sometimes mutate back to its original black/brown color causing pigmented spots. The reverse mutation occurs most commonly on the ears, eyelids, nose and lips of orange cats. Males and females are both affected.
October 29th is National Cat Day, a day to celebrate all things feline. Contrary to popular belief, cats do not sleep all day. They cycle through times of play, eat, grooming and sleep. My cats seem to repeat this cycle twice each day with sleep periods that run approximately 6 hours in the younger cats.
Interacting with a cat after a long day at work is a great way to lessen stress. Studies performed by Dr. Karen Allen demonstrated that people who live with pets enjoy lower heart rates and blood pressure than people who live without pets.
This National Cat Day will always hold a special place in my heart. Tonight I received the copy of Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat's Love back from the editor. She loved it so I look forward to the final steps in advance of publication.