Protect Your Kitties From Lilies

Did you know lilies can be dangerous to cats?

As Easter and Mother’s Day holidays approach, it is important to prevent exposure to common lilies as they can be poisonous and fatal to cats.

Easter Lily
Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum)
Stargazer lily
Stargazer lily (Lilium ‘Stargazer’-a hybrid)
Tiger lily
Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum or lancifolium)

The most dangerous and potentially fatal lilies for cats are those in the genus Lilium and Hemerocallis. These are very popular often found in cut-flower bouquets or potted sold during the Easter holiday. It is critical to not bring these flowers in your home if you have cats. Ingesting petals, leaves, pollen or even drinking the water from the vase can be poisonous. Below is a list of common lilies which link to the Pet Poison Helpline for more information.

What happens if my cat ingests a lily?

Continue reading “Protect Your Kitties From Lilies”

An Update on the Canine Influenza

You may have heard about outbreaks of “dog flu” affecting pets across the country. This highly contagious and, for some dogs, potentially serious respiratory infection is caused by canine influenza virus (CIV) H3N2 or H3N8. Chances are, if your dog is exposed to CIV, he or she may become infected. Dogs that are frequently in contact with other dogs may be at high risk of infection with CIV H3N2 or H3N8. This includes dogs that are boarded, enrolled in day care, often visit the local dog park, or even have contact with dogs while visiting the veterinary clinic. If you have a puppy, elderly or pregnant dog or a dog that is immunocompromised, you should take extra precautions. The good news is that our office now has a vaccine known as Vanguard® CIV H3N2/H3N8 which is available to help prevent disease associated with both types of CIV to provide maximum protection.
Please call our office to discuss your dog’s risk for CIV. This is particularly important if you plan to board your dog in the near future or regularly send him or her to a grooming or daycare facility. We’ll answer all your questions about dog flu and help you decide whether vaccination is right for your pet. You can also visit Dogflufacts.com for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dog flu?

  • Dog flu is a contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by two specific Type A canine influenza viruses (CIVs): H3N2 and H3N8.

I’ve been hearing a lot about a new strain of dog flu. What does that mean? Continue reading “An Update on the Canine Influenza”

Treatment of Arthritis in Dogs and Cats with Adequan

Arthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a very common problem in dogs and cats, particularly as they get older.  Symptoms may include lameness, decreased activity level, having difficulty with stairs, discomfort when getting up and lying down, and sometimes temperament (behavior) changes due to chronic discomfort.

The most common treatment of arthritis in dogs is non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl and Metacam. These are similar to ibuprofen (Advil) for people, but much better tolerated and approved for use in dogs. They act by reducing inflammation and thereby pain in the affected joints. And while these drugs have revolutionized the treatment of arthritis in dogs, when used long term they do require monitoring with blood tests and can potentially cause side effects.

In cats there are no approved non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for long term use. Metacam has been used in cats in low doses long term and can be safe, but the label warnings discourage vets from using it this way. So there are not a lot of options in cats to treat arthritis.  Buprenorphine is sometimes used but this is a powerful opioid and probably not appropriate for long term use.

Adequan is an injectable drug that contains polysulfated glycosaminoglycan. Most people are familiar with glucosamine tablets for joint support.  Adequan can be thought of as a more effective injectable version of that nutritional supplement.  And while Adequan is currently only approved for use in horses and dogs, it has been used in cats for chronic arthritis and a form of bladder inflammation called idiopathic cystitis.

How does Adequan work? Like non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Adequan relieves pain by reducing joint inflammation. But in addition to this, Adequan stimulates the production of joint fluid and cartilage so it may actually help to repair damaged joints.

Adequan is administered as a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection twice weekly for 4 weeks. If the response is positive then the frequency is reduced to as little as once a month.

Because of the frequency of the injections, at Eastlake Veterinary Hospital we train the client how to give the injections at home. Recently, my wife Maren and I decided to treat our Pomeranian Chia for her knee arthritis, and chose Adequan because she has a sensitive stomach which could be exacerbated by non steroidal drugs. Since Maren was planning an extended stay in Italy for business reasons, she would have to learn to give the injections herself. She was extremely apprehensive but we worked on it before she left, and yesterday Maren reported from Florence that Chia is symptom free and she feels Adequan is a miracle drug.

Carl Anderson DVM
Eastlake Veterinary Hospital

Canine Atopic Dermatitis Therapeutic

Canine atopic dermatitis is a very common allergic skin disease in dogs. In fact, some dermatologists estimate that up to one third of the dog population is affected. The primary symptom of atopic dermatitis is itching which can result in hair loss and skin infections and reduced quality of life. Like hay fever, atopy is triggered by seasonal pollen and other airborne allergens.

Canine Atopic Dermatitis Therapeutic (CADI) is a new therapy introduced by Zoetis that helps reduce the itching in atopic dogs. It is a monthly antibody injection that mimics the dog’s immune system to help neutralize the main cause of itching in this population of dogs.

In a study of CADI it was found to reduce itching within one day after a single injection, control itching for a full month, and improve skin condition caused by atopic dermatitis.

I recently treated Tess, my 10 year old German Shepherd with chronic atopic dermatitis, and the response has been amazing. She has not been this itch-free and this comfortable in years.

Carl D. Anderson, DVM