Important News on Cat Oral Health Care

With February being National Dental Month, the main topic at South Town Animal Hospital is dental care and prevention.  We are confident that many pet owners today understand the importance of oral care and how greatly it affects the overall health of their pets.  However, there can be incidences where the severity of dental disease is not as obvious to a pet owner, particularly when it comes to our feline friends.  This may be due to the fact that it is very difficult to brush a cat’s teeth. Also, it is not typical that feline pet owners are making proactive oral health care appointments. The best medicine we can provide at South Town Animal Hospital is to help your pet(s) avoid dental disease through prevention and routine checkups. Did you know that cats have a higher likelihood of developing oral health issues earlier in life than dogs do? Well, read on to find out more about important information regarding feline dental issues.

  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease is no joke.  Cats can start to develop this condition at three years of age and at times even younger if they are genetically predisposed to it. Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that causes gum damage and inflammation which results in weakening the bones in the jawline.  The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup over time. Considering cats are not big chewers and that daily oral hygiene was unlikely, plaque buildup happened rapidly causing this very painful disease.
  • Stomatitis – Stomatitis is an immune mediated reaction from a plaque build up on the teeth, causing severe pain, redness, and inflammation of the oral cavity.  This excruciating condition can lead to many issues compromising the quality of a cat’s life, including the inability to continue to eat. Other symptoms include drooling, hiding, growling at food, decreased grooming and weight loss.  Stomatitis is common in immunocompromised cats, such as felines with FIV or Felv, but this disease can even be found in healthy cats as well.
  • Tooth Resorption – Feline tooth resorption or resorption lesions is another very common dental condition that we see in cats.  This condition is where the body essentially erodes the hard part of the tooth from the inside out. Eventually this condition left untreated leads to exposing the pulp and root of the tooth.  Tooth resorption often can go unnoticed at the initial onset of the disease. Many times the only way to diagnose is with dental radiographs done at the time of dental surgery. Once the diagnosis has been made, a tooth extraction is necessary to relieve the situation.  Unfortunately with this disease, there is no known cause as to why over 30% of cats get tooth resorption. 

Periodontal disease, stomatitis, and tooth resorption are just a few of the conditions that are commonly found in our feline friends. For most dental diseases prevention is the best care and this starts at home with dental supplements, chews, or water additives. In combination, regular checkups, routine dental care and at home dental treatments can greatly reduce the prevalence of dental diseases affecting our pets. During your pet’s routine veterinary visit, the veterinarian will examine your pet’s mouth and look for plaque buildup, lesions, loose teeth, and other abnormalities that might signify issues. With some issues a dental procedure would be recommended as the best way to provide care, followed up with an at home oral hygiene care plan to prolong the effectiveness.

Talk to the veterinarians or staff at South Town Animal Hospital today about good oral health practices.  Oral health care can be vital to the longevity of life and overall well being in our feline friends. South Town Animal Hospital is ready to answer any questions or concerns that may arise about dental healthcare.

Please feel free to send us an email at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com or call us at 847-695-7387.  At South Town Animal Hospital we believe that the heart of the matter is healthy pets, longer lives. 

     

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Managing Your Cats Stress when Traveling to the Veterinarian Office

The feline species is often misunderstood.  Their character can be silly and fun loving, but often times a mystery, especially when they are put in stressful situations. Considering cats can be hard to read and possibly even unpredictable, many people hold off on taking their cats to the veterinarian, even when it becomes a necessity. Due to the stress of getting cats in a carrier, driving them in a car, and taking them to an unknown place, cats often become stressed from the situation.  

Annual exams are important because a doctor can diagnose and treat issues before they become extreme problems.  Sadly, most cats only visit the doctor when they become very sick or injured. To become more proactive in your cat’s healthcare, and reduce stress for all our feline friends, South Town Animal Hospital wants to offer some suggestions to help make the trip a little easier for your cats next venture to the doctors office.  

  • Plan Ahead

Start planning ahead a few days before your actual appointment. Limit the rooms or area your pet has access to in your home. This will make life much easier to find your cat when it is time to go.  Cats are masters of hiding, the less small tight areas your pet has to hide, the better. Close bedroom doors to prevent your cat from hiding in the closet or under the bed.

  • Prepare Your Cat Carrier

Next, make sure you have a good carrier for your cat to travel in.  A small carrier is the preferred method of feline travel. Small, plastic carriers keep cats contained safely when outdoors or in the car. Cats are fight or flight creatures. Carriers reduce the risk of cats getting spooked and fleeing the scene.  It also protects them from interacting with something that they are unfamiliar with.

  • Make the Carrier a Friendly Place 

It is recommended to put the carrier out days before the actual event.  This way on appointment day taking the carrier out does not frighten Fluffy away.  Conditioning your cat to be comfortable with a carrier instead of associating it with a stressful event is key to success. Also placing a blanket and treats in the carrier to make it as friendly as possible can be consoling. In addition, placing a towel over the carrier to make it dark can reduce stress. Cats are primarily nocturnal, and find great comfort and peace in darker spaces. 

  • Use Proper Loading Techniques

Make sure your carrier has proper air flow and is functional before your visit.  Carriers typically have doors on the front. Some have doors on the front and top for easier loading purposes. If your carrier only has a front door, and you are having troubles putting your cat in the carrier, tipping the carrier horizontally with the door facing up and loading your cat rear end first is often helpful when you have a resistant cat. 

  • Apply a Calming Spray

There are times when you need a little extra something to help calm your kitty for the trip.  Feliway is a highly recommended product that can assist. Feliway is a feline facial pheromone spray that is used to calm cats in times of stress. When a cat rubs his face against furniture or items in their environment they are actually releasing pheromones to signify that this is a safe territory.  Feliway was created to mimic this pheromone. When sprayed it induces a calming effect for our cats. 

Feliway is not to be sprayed directly on your cat, but can be used on the carrier, or in the car for travel. It is virtually odorless, so to spray it in your cars interior is a great idea.  You can also spray it on the blanket or towel that you place in the carrier. For more questions on this product or to purchase contact South Town Animal Hospital.

  • Please call us if any questions

South Town Animal Hospital knows that getting your kitty to the doctor can be challenging.  We understand. Hopefully these few tips will help the journey, and of course if you have any questions call or contact us at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com or (847)695-7387. We believe in healthy pets, longer lives and our staff can help your furry loved ones visit to be as painless and stress-free as possible. 

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Tick Talks

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Give Your Pet a Safety Net with Pet Insurance!

cat in fishing hat decorated with fishing lures

 With the exciting development of pet healthcare and scientific discoveries in the veterinary field, the cost of care is increasing. It is becoming more and more vital to invest in a safety net for your pet.  Pet insurance is one avenue that can provide a little security in your back pocket when a situation may arise. There are many options available for pet insurance to help decrease the burden of costs for pet owners.

While many options are great, it can also become very overwhelming when trying to choose a carrier, or even determine whether or not purchasing a pet insurance plan is best for you.  Some of the major factors that are considered by insurance carriers is the pet’s breed, age, or your zip code.

Your first step is to have a clear idea of what sort of plan you want. You may only want a plan that covers regular preventative care such as exams and vaccines. Or you may want a plan that can cover all major medical issues, such as emergency surgery to diagnostic testing.  In addition, knowing how reimbursements and deductibles work is an important step in purchasing insurance.

Once you know what sort of coverage you’re looking for,  you can pick a plan that works for you. With all the different options for insurance – you can go to www.petinsurancereview.com . This website allows you to put in some basic information such as pet breed, age, etc, and will compare quotes from different carriers.  Each carrier typically has multiple options such as exclusive packages or à la carte options where you can pick and choose your specific coverage. Be mindful of deductibles and choose honestly what you believe you will be able to pay out of pocket on any day – as emergencies happen, and you want to be able to make important decisions for your pet without cost being a limiting factor.

It is best to enroll your pet when they are young and healthy, as many insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions and it may not be cost-effective to get health insurance for a senior pet. This is why you can get quotes before deciding whether or not to purchase a plan.

If you are having trouble picking a package because you don’t know what your pet may be at risk for, make an appointment with your veterinarian and they can help you determine what your pet may or may not be susceptible to, and that may help you with your decision.

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Pets A Palooza

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Signs likeness for may

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Sophie

Sophie with a friend

***Update***
Sophie was adopted!
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Created lights whose days

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Nunc blandit tincidunt consequat. Duis diam metus, suscipit in pulvinar eget, egestas id arcu. Duis a enim vel mauris ultrices. Nullam aliquet velit ac velit tempus in semper neque auctor. Aenean ligula mi, auctor sed tempus ultrices, semper tempus diam.

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WELCOME TO South Town Animal Hospital

Staff photo outside South Town Animal Hospital building

 

Our team provides the compassionate care that you expect for your special family members.
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Get to Know Our Doctors

Dr Denise Crittenden

Dr Deborah Groth

Dr Sheri Cody

Our Services

Whole Health Care

Our preventative medicine approach is as unique as your pet.

Surgery & Procedures

We offer a range of soft tissue surgeries from routine to more advanced.

Diagnostic Testing

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House Calls

We offer medical services in your home including in-home euthanasia.

Vet2Pet App

Download South Town Animal Hospital’s App by visiting Google Play or the App Store.

Online Pharmacy