Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Follow Up On Ricky

A Follow Up on Ricky' Ear Surgery

Remember Ricky? He's the dog with the closed ear canals discussed on our Blog last month. He had both ears done at the same time. Both ears looked about the same. Please see the Blog published on July 16, 2015 entitled "Chronic Otis Externa, Surgery For Ricky"

Ricky's Ear Canal prior to surgery showing a closed ear canal

Here is the promised follow-up after surgery. This is a picture of Ricky's ear 5-6 weeks later. Thank you Ricky for being such a good patient!

Ricky's ear canal 5-6 weeks post operatively.
Notice the open vertical ear canal.

The Providence Veterinary Hospital Blog is a publication of Peter Herman, VMD, at the Providence Veterinary Hospital, 2400 Providence Ave. in Chester, PA. Contact Dr. Herman at 610-872-4000 or visit us at 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Taking Your Cat To The Vet

Keep Your Cat At Ease At The Vet

Providing regular health care for your cat is essential for a longer, healthier, and more comfortable life for your cat. Many cats, however, don’t get the regular veterinary care they need due to the amount of stress caused by simply trying to get them to the veterinary hospital. Here, a few tips to make the trip to your veterinarian less stressful—for both your cat and you.
A Cat Carrier
Always use a cat carrier both for transporting and while waiting for your appointment.. The cats feel safer and less threatened. Picture your cat peacefully on your lap in the vet's waiting room. Now picture a playful puppy or child wanting to play with your cat. Your cat could go ballistic!

Trips to the veterinarian should not be the only time your furry friend encounters his carrier. You want your cat to associate the carrier with positive experiences. Have your cat enter the carrier on a regular basis so he or she is more comfortable in it. Leave the carrier in a room where your cat spends lots of time and give him or her time to become familiar with it. Placing soft bedding or clothing inside may help your cat feel more secure.

Getting in the Carrier

Treats, toys, or catnip placed inside her carrier will help to encourage your cat to enter. It could take days, or maybe even weeks, for your cat to begin to trust the carrier, so be patient. Always reward your cat for the behavior you want so if he or she is sitting near or exploring the carrier, give your cat a treat.

If your cat is not yet used to the carrier, but needs to go to the veterinarian right away, try putting your cat in a small room that has few hiding places with the carrier. Put a special treat in the carrier to encourage your cat to enter. If the treat doesn’t entice your cat and your carrier has an opening at the top, try to gently cradle your cat and lower him or her into the carrier. If your carrier allows, remove the top half, place your cat into the lower half, and calmly replace the top.

Picking the right carrier
Before deciding which of the many cat carriers on the market is best for your cat, consider your cat’s size, how well it tolerates handling, and which carrier is easiest to transport. It should be safe, secure, sturdy, and easy for you to carry. Some of the best carriers are hard-sided and open from both the front and the top. An easily removable top allows a cat who is fearful, anxious, or in pain to stay in the bottom half for exams by the veterinarian.

While Driving To The Vet
Your furry friend will be safest in the car if you secure the carrier using a seat belt. If your cat seems anxious, it sometimes helps to cover, either partially or completely, the carrier with a blanket or towel, although some cats would prefer to be able to see what’s going on outside of the carrier. There are also products that you can spray into her carrier to help with anxiety.
The Exam At The vet
 Your veterinarian will examine your cat's teeth and mouth for signs of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and/or dental disease, as well as looking for any abnormal growths in the mouth. The color of your cat's gums will be examined, making sure they a normal pink color and are not pale (from anemia), yellow (as a result of icterus, often due to liver failure), or cyanotic (as a result of breathing difficulties).

The eyes will be checked for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, corneal injuries, or other abnormalities.

Your cat's ears will be examined to make certain they are healthy and that there is no evidence of infection, inflammation, or other abnormalities such as polyps.

The externally palpable lymph nodes will be examined to make sure they are of normal size.

Your veterinarian will use a stethoscope to listen to your cat's heart and lung sounds, looking for heart murmurs, abnormal heart rhythms, and abnormally harsh or abnormally quiet sounds in the lung fields.

He/she will also check your cat's pulse rate to make sure it is not too fast or too slow and that there are no "missed" beats.

Your veterinarian will palpate your cat's abdomen to make certain he/she cannot feel any abnormal masses within the abdomen.

Your cat's genitalia will be  examined to make certain there are no abnormal discharges or swellings.

If you have noticed any abnormal lumps or bumps on your cat's body, this would be a good time to point them out to your veterinarian.

You should also advise your veterinarian of any changes in your cat's behavior or eating habits. If your cat is acting abnormally in any way, your veterinarian will need to know about it. This may include such things as diarrhea or vomiting, coughing or sneezing, runny eyes or a runny nose, difficulty urinating or defecating, difficulty chewing food, difficulty going up and down stairs or rising from a sitting position.

If your cat is urinating or defecating outside of his/her litter box or in abnormal places, you should inform your veterinarian. Likewise, if your cat is urinating involuntarily and leaving pools of urine where he/she sleeps or rests, your veterinarian will need to be informed.

This information will allow your veterinarian to focus on specific body systems in order to reach a diagnosis regarding the cause of the abnormalities. The physical examination is the place where any such diagnosis needs to start, although additional testing (blood tests, x-rays, etc) may be necessary to accurately diagnose some conditions.
Physical examinations are important for cats of any age. However, as your cat starts to age, they become even more important. Our cats age much faster than we do, and regular physical examinations will help you and your veterinarian detect any abnormalities which may affect your cat's quality of life.

By finding these abnormalities early, it is often possible to make changes in your cat's routine which eliminate or slow the progress of diseases such as heart failure, kidney failure, arthritis pain, dental disease, and many more. Your veterinarian may even advise more frequent non-stressful physical examinations for your cat as he/she ages.

The Providence Veterinary Hospital Blog is a publication of Peter Herman, VMD, at the Providence Veterinary Hospital, 2400 Providence Ave. in Chester, PA. Contact Dr. Herman at 610-872-4000 or visit us at