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Archives: Cats

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Raw food recall…with a twist

Posted in Cats, Dogs
I don’t usually write about recalls of raw pet foods because… well, finding Salmonella, E. coli or Listeria in raw meat is far from surprising (although certainly concerning). However, the recent recall of Stella & Chewy’s products because of Listeria contamination is noteworthy. Why? Because their food is treated with high pressure pasteurization (HPP). This… Continue Reading

A near fatal dog lick?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases
I like to write about interesting papers that appear in the medical literature. A problem with that is that it’s often weird cases that get published.  So, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Regardless, reports of rare things still provide some insight, as long as people don’t over-react (which, unfortunately, is often the case).… Continue Reading

Antibiotics in animals: ACVIM consensus statement

Posted in Cats
Every year, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) commissions "consensus statements" on specific topics. They’re developed by an expert panel, put up for review by ACVIM members (board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists), and published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Hot off the (electronic) press is the 2015 ACVIM Consensus Statement… Continue Reading

Cats and peritoneal dialysis

Posted in Cats
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll note the recurring theme of "every animal (and person) is carrying multiple microbes that can harm you, given the right circumstances. Fortunately, the right circumstances don’t usually occur." There are situations in which those risks increase, and understanding cost-benefit is a key aspect of disease prevention. Sometimes pet factors… Continue Reading

Rabies exposure in a shelter, again

Posted in Cats
As I mentioned a few days ago, eliminating the risk of rabies in animal shelters is pretty much impossible. Another shelter-associated rabies exposure situation highlights the problems. A cat at the Washington Area Humane Society was recently diagnosed with rabies, resulting in three people receiving post-exposure prophylaxis (i.e. rabies antibodies and a series of rabies… Continue Reading

Cat hoarding and rabies

Posted in Cats
Over 50 cats have been euthanized in Delaware, US, after rabies was diagnosed in one 4-week-old kitten. The cats were mainly indoor cats owned by one person – a pretty classical case of cat hoarding. All were in very poor condition. There were vaccination records for 15 of them, but there was no way to… Continue Reading

Casual cat causality

Posted in Cats
The credit (or blame) for the alliteration goes to colleague and frequent blog material supplier Dr. Stephen Page. It relates to an article in the prestigious medical journal Lancet (Kagihara et al. 2014) entitled “A fatal pasteurella empyema.” The article describes the case of a 60-year-old man from Honolulu who was admitted to hospital in… Continue Reading

Vet clinic infections…who should pay?

Posted in Cats
The following question was posed to Dr. Patty Khuly in an article she writes for the Miami Herald. "Our cats had to go to the vet hospital last week to have their teeth cleaned. The procedures went very well and, as predicted, both were back to normal that evening. Unfortunately, two days later they both… Continue Reading

Cystic fibrosis and pet ownership

Posted in Cats
Two recent papers have raised concerns about cats in households with cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. People with CF are at high risk for a range of complications because of their condition and the treatments that are required. Some complications can be life-threatening, so there’s lots of research into factors associated with disease in people with… Continue Reading

Rabies confusion and clarification: Ontario

Posted in Cats
Following the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (rather mind-boggling) abandonment of the rabies response portfolio, there’s been a scramble by provinces to figure out what to do. The CFIA will still perform testing, but will not have any role in sample collection, sample shipping or investigation. I’m not sure what most provinces are doing (and based on… Continue Reading

Rabies three ways

Posted in Cats
Not many days go by when I don’t get a few calls about rabies. Here are a couple from yesterday that highlight some important issues. An indoor cat tangled with a bat. The bat’s no longer around to test so this is considered a potential rabies exposure (bats being important rabies vectors, and catching and… Continue Reading

Another preventable rabies death

Posted in Cats
A recent rabies death in a Russian man highlights multiple screw-ups that led to the man’s death. A 50-year-old man in Smolino Kovvrosko, Russia was bitten by his cat at the end of February. Problem #1. The cat was presumably not vaccinated against rabies. Vaccination is not 100% protective but it’s pretty likely this was… Continue Reading

Cat attack pins family in bedroom

Posted in Cats
Actually, the title of this post should be “Obese cat attacks family after being booted in the rear as a disciplinary measure. Family freaks out but wants to keep cat.” Oh, where to start.  1) A 22 lb cat is obese and there are obviously animal care issues. 2) Kicking a cat in the rear… Continue Reading

Cat bite infections (and dumb headlines)

Posted in Cats
It’s a scary sounding headline: “Cat Bites Pose Risk Of Infection As 1 In 3 Patients Bitten Hospitalized; Teeth Inject Bacteria Into Joints, Tissue” and it cites a research article from the Mayo Clinic in the Journal of Hand Surgery (Babovic et al 2014). Cat bites are nasty. The mouth of any cat harbours thousands… Continue Reading

“Angels’ eyes”…and this is a good idea because…?

Posted in Cats
Antibiotic resistance is a big deal. Lots of people and animals die because of it every year. It costs the healthcare systems (human and veterinary) tremendous amounts of money and it’s not getting better. It’s been clear for years that we have to do a better job of using antibiotics responsibly, in both animals and… Continue Reading

More spillover flu cases…2 cats in Canada

Posted in Cats
A few news articles have reported infection of two cats with the H1N1 flu virus. These are the first feline cases reported in Canada, but similar cases have been reported elsewhere, so it’s reasonable to assume that there have been previous undiagnosed feline cases in Canada. Nevertheless, it’s useful information. Unfortunately, the new reports are… Continue Reading

From the archives…How do you disinfect a cat?

Posted in Cats
Here’s another one of my favourites from the archive (largely because it didn’t happen to me) that was worth re-posting (original post date 11-Oct-2009). I was talking with a colleague the other day and somehow norovirus came up. He explained how once, his wife had viral gastroenteritis and ended up vomiting on their cat. Weirdly… Continue Reading

From the archives…Why should I vaccinate Fluffy, he’s an indoor cat? (aka Why I’m glad I vaccinated Finnegan, my indoor cat)

Posted in Cats
Over the past few years, I’ve written a lot of posts on this blog. Hopefully the odd one’s been interesting and/or informative, and in the spirit of recycling (not laziness!) I’m going to re-post some that I thought were memorable or of particular interest. The first one is actually the second post ever on this site… Continue Reading

Rabies exposure…the good and bad

Posted in Cats
A rabies exposure incident in New Jersey provides another example of some common good and bad points that come up in these situations. Fifteen people from four families, along with a veterinarian, are receiving post-exposure treatment after contact with a rabid kitten. In the all-too-familiar scenario, a kitten was found in a cat colony outside… Continue Reading

HIV and pets

Posted in Cats
A little knowledge can be a bad thing. We see that with zoonotic diseases. Awareness is great. However, a little bit of awareness can be a problem if it’s enough make people paranoid but not enough to help them understand the real risks. This can lead to excessive and illogical responses (often ending with "…get… Continue Reading

Cat hoarding and E. coli

Posted in Cats
Cat hoarding has been in the news in the Toronto area a few times lately. Multiple incidents of serious cat hoarding have been identified in the past month, involving large numbers of cats being kept in horrible conditions. It’s not hard to see how cat hoarding can create infectious disease challenges. I can’t see how… Continue Reading

Cowpox from a cat? Not as strange as it seems.

Posted in Cats
Cowpox is a disease with a misleading name. It would be reasonable to assume that cowpox comes from cows. It doesn’t. (Just like monkeypox doesn’t come from monkeys.) Cowpox is a viral infection and the natural reservoirs are actually rodents. Humans, cats and cows are amongst the more common "accidental hosts" – species that get… Continue Reading

Is flushable cat litter a public health hazard?

Posted in Cats
I had an interesting question today about the cat-associated parasite Toxoplasma gondii. It can cause serious infection in people that ingest it, particularly in immunocompromised individuals and pregnant women, but disease is rare. Since cats can pass one form of the parasite in their feces, the question was whether using flushable kitty litter is a… Continue Reading