Palliative Care

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 17:26 by Dr. Sarah

It’s one of those terms that not everyone is familiar with, but once you’ve witnessed “palliative care” in the case of a loved one, you’ll never forget it. According to the World Health Organization, palliative care is a medical approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing complications associated with life-threatening illness, often through the prevention and relief of suffering by treatment of pain and other problems. These treatments are offered regardless of whether or not there is any hope of a cure by any means.

While palliative care has been available to humans for decades, more and more veterinarians and pet parents are advocating for similar treatments for companion animals, too. As a pet parent, you owe it to yourselves – and your companion animals – to watch this special episode of Pet Talk.

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Feline Diminished Thirst Reflex

Monday, 25 July 2011 14:45 by Dr. Jane

Dr Jane Bicks
The French veterinarian Ferand Mery famously said, “God made the cat in order that man might have the pleasure of caressing a tiger”. While the domestic cat cannot claim the venerable tiger as an ancestor, it is true that our cuddly feline companions are believed to have descended from felis sylvestris lybica, the African wildcat. Also known as “the desert cat”, this feline is a desert-dwelling species that inhabits harsh environments notable for their lack of food and even less water. To survive, the African wildcat can shed nearly all of her reserves of fat and protein, up to 40% of her weight! But even this highly adapted animal is much less tolerant to dehydration. And yet, it continues to thrive in desert climates without easy access to water.

Water is the single most vital component necessary to sustain the normal functioning of all living cells. Water has many functions: it eliminates waste, lubricates tissues, regulates body temperature, cushions joints and internal organs, aids in digestion, and much more.

In the wild, cats tend to eat small game characterized as high-protein and high-moisture content, such as rabbits, birds and rodents (even some juicy insects). Prey animals like these contain about 70% water, providing most of the moisture that wild cats need. Unsurprisingly, wild cats have failed to evolve a strong "thirst reflex" like that of dogs and humans. A thirst reflex involves complex interactions between the kidney and the brain. When we are dehydrated, the kidney releases chemicals that communicate with the brain, which in turn makes us consciously aware that we are thirsty and need to drink. More...

Angelas Angels Cat Rescue

Tuesday, 19 July 2011 09:59 by Life's Abundance

Kitty

This month, we’d like to highlight another financial award given by the Dr. Jane HealthyPetNet Foundation, this time to Angela's Angels Cat Rescue, a donor-supported, non-profit, no-kill, cage-free cat rescue in Columbia, North Carolina. What began as a personal experience caring for and rescuing sickly and abandoned cats, quickly became the established rescue organization we honor here.

A small, tightly knit organization, their focus is on saving felines from euthanasia at high-kill shelters, while also taking in stray, abandoned and surrendered cats. They actively work to maintain relationships with other no-kill rescues, shelters and vets in the surrounding area, thus creating a strong network of caring individuals working in tandem to save as many cats as possible, placing them in loving, permanent homes. The majority of their rescues are in temporary foster care, although some of their adoptable cats currently reside in the cage-free “Cat House” on the founders’ property. More...