Construction Has Started!
We are excited to announce that construction is officially underway!
It has taken a little while to get all of the moving pieces coordinated, but we anticipate that things will roll faster and faster now we’ve been able to actually start the remodel. Providing no surprises, our builder is estimating being finished in about four months. We can’t wait until we get through this phase and are ready to open our doors and greet familiar faces (human and feline!) as well as welcome new ones.
While construction is going on, we’ll be busy continuing to work out the details of opening and operating a veterinary clinic. We’re are preparing our services, equipment, product and staffing requirements in anticipation of opening in what feels like both a very long and a very short time from now. We will continue to post updates as we have more information to share.
In the meantime, we want to remind people that the holiday season poses special hazards to cats, and the following is some information that we think you will find helpful in keeping the felines in your care safer and healthier during this time of year.
Keep your cat safe from these common
Feline Holiday Hazards
1) Tinsel and Ribbon
Cats are attracted to string and anything similar in appearance since it is fun to play with. Unfortunately, they all too often end up eating it, particularly since it can get stuck on the barbs on their tongue, making it difficult to spit out, and easier to just swallow the whole thing. Linear foreign bodies, as we call them, are extremely dangerous when ingested since they can often fail to pass through the GI tract, getting stuck and actually slicing through the walls of the intestine. Households with cats are advised to never use tinsel on their Christmas trees and to not leave packages tied with ribbon out where cats have access to them. When packages are opened, the ribbon should be promptly disposed of in a cat-proof receptacle.
The toxicity of poinsettias has been largely exaggerated. The plants do contain a toxic substance, but large quantities must be eaten for symptoms to develop. Cats usually just experience mild vomiting that resolves with little to no treatment. (Keep in mind, however, that any persistent vomiting, especially if accompanied by lethargy and lack of appetite, should be evaluated by a veterinarian. You may attribute your cat’s symptoms to a poinsettia, but there are many other potential causes that need to be ruled out.)
True lilies such as Easter lilies, tiger lilies, and day lilies (members of the Lilium and Hemerocallis genera) are extremely toxic to cats, causing acute kidney failure. Even a bite on a leaf or ingestion of pollen can cause problems. These plants should never be brought in to a house with cats. Cats often vomit within a few hours after exposure and the kidneys fail within 24 to 72 hours of ingestion. If you believe that your cat may have ingested any part of a lily, immediate treatment at the nearest emergency facility is necessary since delays frequently result in irreversible damage and death.
4) Christmas trees/ Christmas tree preservative
Ingesting pine, spruce, or fir needles may cause vomiting, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, and lethargy. Supportive care at a veterinary facility is indicated if these symptoms occur.
Christmas tree preservatives contain such small quantities of potentially problematic compounds that most cats drinking water containing it develop no symptoms. Occasionally, mild gastrointestinal upset can occur. Rarely, bacterial or fungal contamination of the water can cause more severe problems.
Christmas trees should also be securely placed so that cats who are tempted to climb them won’t knock them over. Moreover, care should be taken in terms of ornaments placed on trees, avoiding any that might cause gastrointestinal blockage if ingested or could be knocked off and broken, resulting in injury to cats trying to play with them.
Ingestion of mistletoe generally causes mild stomach irritation; however, stores often replace the berries with plastic berries which can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction if eaten.
6) Ice Melts
Cats may be exposed by walking on the ice melts themselves, or by ingesting granules brought inside on the owner’s shoes. They often contain sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium salts which may lead to vomiting and electrolyte imbalances. Even though severe problems are unlikely, it is wise to clean up any ice melt that is tracked inside.
7) Liquid Potpourri
Cats may be exposed by direct ingestion, by rubbing against leaky bottles or simmer pots containing the potpourri, or from spilling the containers themselves. Subsequent grooming can result in oral exposure. The substances in liquid potpourri are extremely caustic and toxic. They cause localized and potentially severe oral, skin, and eye damage as well as systemic symptoms such as central nervous system depression, coma seizures, and collapse. Any exposure should be treated by a veterinarian immediately.
Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Cats may singe their whiskers or fur, or even knock them over. Use appropriate candle holders placed on a stable surface, and put them out when you leave the room.
9) Human food
It is generally not a good idea to feed human food to your cat as a change in diet can cause gastrointestinal upset. It is particularly bad to feed fatty and spicy food, and bones should never be given to your cat, no matter what the size. Particularly tempting discarded food should be put in a cat-proof trash container to prevent raiding.
10) Stress and Risk of Escape
When entertaining guests, it is always a good idea to give your cat a quiet space to retreat to if they are overwhelmed by the presence of unfamiliar people. When a large number of people are anticipated, it is wise to shut the cat in a room with food, water, and litterbox to prevent inadvertent escape through the frequent opening and shutting of doors.
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control hotline offers assistance to veterinarians and pet owners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They have an extensive database regarding toxicities and can be reached at 1-888-426-4435.