Tuesday, April 28, 2009

High Chemical Levels in Our Pets

Are Chemicals Threatening Our Pets Lives?

In the past we all took notice of the articles pertaining to our children and the risks chemicals posed to their well being. We all took this realization very seriously, educated ourselves and child proofed our homes. So why wouldn't we do the same for our four legged friends?

Today we are taking it a step further and looking at our adorable pets and the risks they face. Just like young children, our animals play on lawns with pesticide residue, ingest pollutants in tap water and breathe indoor air contaminants. With their shorter life spans, pets also may develop health problems from these exposures sooner than people would.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released results of a new study that found high levels of industrial chemicals in our pets. They pooled samples of blood and urine from 20 dogs and 37 cats. What they found was alarming with 48 of the 70 industrial chemicals tested. The average levels of many of the chemicals were higher then is typical for people. Cats showed more than 5 times the amount of mercury, compared with average levels in people. Pathologist, Lawrence McGill, DVM at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City, Utah, made the comment, "I am worried about the mercury exposure in cats. A lot of people feed fish to their cats as a source of protein." He suggested that perhaps cats should eat less fish, just as pregnant women and children are advised to avoid eating certain fish.

Cat samples contained 46 chemicals, including 9 carcinogens, 40 chemicals toxic to the reproductive system, 34 neurotoxins and 15 chemicals toxic to the endocrine system. Endocrine toxins raise particular concerns for cats because hyperthyroidism is a leading cause of illness in older cats.

Pet's unique behaviors may place them at risk for higher exposures from chemical pollutants at home. As cats groom themselves, they lick off accumulated dust that studies show can be contaminated with polybrominated diphenyl ethers and other harmful toxins. Vacuuming your house frequently and bathing your pets more often can help ward off contaminants. When using house-cleaning products on the floors remember to rinse them off well.

When going outdoors, McGill suggested wiping the animals paws and legs after taking it out, which may reduce outdoor environmental contaminants.

Pets face chemical exposures that in some ways are similar to those of infants and toddlers who have limited diets, play close to the floor and put their hands and household objects into their mouths far more often than adults do, according to the EWG.

Most importantly if you see anything that is abnormal, call your veterinarian's office. Also, bring your pet in every 6 months so your vet can examine your pet closely to catch any problems early.

For more on this study, go to ForumVet.com.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's All About The Cat

Phoenix: Setting the Bar in Cat Care

We were so close.

Had it not been for the great cat owners of Tampa, Florida, Phoenix would have been named the number 1 cat-friendly city in the country.

On March 27th, 2009, the CATalyst Council recognized Phoenix as one of America's 2009 top 10 cat-friendly cities second to Tampa. They also recognized our very own doctor, Judy Karnia, as one of Arizona's prominent feline-only veterinarians. Dr. Karnia stood on the stage at the American Animal Hospital Association conference and gracefully congratulated Tampa for their victory. We were honored and pleased to have been recognized by the CATalyst Council.

What makes a cat-friendly city? The love and care cats receive, says the CATalyst Council. Among the criteria for choosing the top cities were number of AAHA accredited practices and number of veterinarians who are members of the Association of Feline Practitioners. The Scottsdale Cat Clinic is proud to be members of both.

The CATalyst Council is a national initiative to champion the cat in light of troubling statistics released by the AVMA. They are comprised of animal health and welfare organizations. Their purpose addresses the desire to change society's image of cats as aloof creatures, not in need of human contact or care. Recent data suggests that cats truly are America's number one companion according to the AVMA U.S. PetOwnership & Demographics Sourcebook. The number of cats owned (81.7 million) outnumbers that of canines (72 million) by nearly 10 million amoung the pet-owning public. Unfortunately with this rise in the cat population we've also seen visits to the veterinarian fall some 11 percent between 2001 and 2006. Overcrowded animal shelters are also seeing more cats given up than their canine cousins.

The 'vision' of the CATalyst Council is to raise the level of care and welfare of cats by cat owners. To ensure that cats receive the proper care and attention they need and deserve the council is reaching out to all parties - the pet healthcare community, shelter and welfare organizations, government, commercial groups and the public.

Working together, the CATalyst Council intends to make a difference in the way the United States sees and experiences cats. Phoenix is helping set the bar for other cities showing how they love and care for their cats.

To learn more about the organization click here: CATalyst Council

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Toxins Lurking - What to avoid for your pet

It's that time of year again and flowers are in bloom everywhere we look. With the enticing colors and wonderful aromas, many of us wish to create that atmosphere in our homes. Although adorning our tabletops with tulips, daffodils and lilies may look beautiful it can also pose a dangerous threat to our animals.

Just a few of the popular flowers this time of year that are also toxic to your pet include lilies, tulips, crocus and daffodils.

For a complete listing of Spring toxins to avoid for your pet visit the Pet Poison Helpline.

If you're a new pet owner, just like babies, you need to think about Poison Proofing your home. From toxic plants to cleaning supplies this site will help you be more prepared and better protect your pets health.

If you feel like your pet has been poisoned call your veterinarian right away. The Pet Poison Helpline is also available and is a 24 hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinarians who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet. Make sure you have their number, 1-800-213-6680, written down in a handy place.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scottsdale Cat Clinic's New Accreditation

AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association, a professional association of veterinary hospitals founded in 1933. AAHA is the only organization that provides accreditation for veterinary practices throughout the United States and Canada. Accreditation is strictly voluntary and we are proud to be accredited.

Here at the clinic we are dedicated to providing excellence in small animal care. Our hospital will be evaluated regularly by AAHA to ensure that we meet or exceed the association's standards of excellence. These standards cover nearly every aspect of our hospital including anesthesia, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, patient care, pain management, housekeeping and maintenance, client service, emergency services, diagnostic imaging, and medical records. AAHA standards are recognized around the world as the benchmark for quality care in veterinary medicine.

"Healthy Practices. Healthier Pets." is the ultimate goal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

Approximately 15% of small animal practices in the United States are AAHA accredited and only 7% of Canadian small animal practices are accredited.

To become accredited, hospitals must comply with the AAHA Standards of Accreditation. As mentioned above we will be evaluated regularly to ensure that we meet or exceed these standards. There are over 900 standards including 46 which are mandatory.

How Does Being Accredited Benefit You?

The Scottsdale Cat Clinic has chosen to be accredited because of our commitment to excellence in small animal care. The AAHA standards were developed with high quality care in mind. By following these strict standards, the Scottsdale Cat Clinic is in a better position to provide patients with the very best in veterinary care.

We will have access to a diverse mix of high-quality educational programs and services to assist our practice in better serving you. We are also committed to being continually evaluated against most rigorous standards in veterinary medicine.

To learn more about AAHA click here to visit their website.