Petersen Pet Hospital - December 2022

SUBWAY’S Advice Alley

Hi, newsletter friends! It’s your friend Subway here, and today we are going to talk about arthritis in cats. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that inflames one or more joints in cats. While OA is common in felines 10 years old and older, here is everything you need to know about OA and how you can help your furry friends. What are the symptoms of OA? Us felines are excellent at hiding signs and symptoms of our pain — we don’t want our owners worried about us. However, the most common symptom that informs cat owners that their feline may have OA is difficulty jumping onto the bed, couch, or windowsill. Other signs include walking stiffly, lameness in one or more legs, difficulty getting in and out of the litter box, stiff or swollen joints, and unexpected aggression towards other cats or humans. How can you make your cat more comfortable? While there isn’t a cure for OA, there are some things you can do to ensure your feline continues to live happy lives. The first thing you can do is implement non-skid flooring to provide more texture and reduce the risk of slips and falls. You can also invest in ramps that attach to your bed and couches, so your cats can quickly get on and off your furniture. Perhaps getting a litter box they don’t have to climb into or one with a ramp will make using the bathroom easier. Are there any treatments? Yes! You can look into laser therapy and pain medications to help ease the stress and pain your cat’s joints feel. However, a new treatment that has

Bright Eyes and Bushy Tail!

Norah is a beautiful, black, long-haired, 5-year-old German shepherd that is extremely sweet. Norah came in to see Dr. Eike with very red eyes and she was having difficulty seeing. From first glance, Dr. Eike suspected what Norah’s

topical immunosuppressants. Pannus makes eyes sensitive to sunlight and doggles (dog goggles) may be warranted to protect the eyes from ultraviolet light. Some cases require surgery to remove pink scar tissue from the corneas. If left untreated, Norah could have become completely blind.

issue could be due to breed, age, and characteristics of the eyes.

Initial treatment for Norah involved topical steroid eye drops given four times daily for two weeks. To be honest,

Festive Holiday Dog Cookies

Several tests were performed on Norah’s eyes to distinguish what eye conditions were present and the cause of this problem. Eye pressures were checked to rule out glaucoma and fluorescein staining of both eyes was performed for the presence of eye ulcers. A Schirmer tear test determined adequate tear production. All tests were negative and normal. Dr. Eike diagnosed Norah with pannus. Pannus is a chronic superficial immune- mediated condition affecting both corneas (the clear part of the eye). It most commonly occurs in middle-aged German shepherds, but it can occur in other breeds as well and is thought to be hereditary. Treatment is topical steroids for the eyes and is for life, as treatment only slows the progression of pannus. Sometimes, dogs with pannus need additional eye medications that are

Dr. Eike was very concerned and

skeptical that we could clear this up with just the use of topical steroid drops. But at the 10-day recheck, in comes Norah, trotting and bouncing through the doorway like the princess she is with her bright eyes and bushy tail. She looked amazing! She could see again, and her eyes cleared up beautifully. In Norah’s case, her treatment protocol will consist of topical steroid drops given twice daily for two weeks, then once daily for two weeks. Sometimes, it can be discontinued but flare-ups can occur. We will likely continue with once-a-day dosing for Norah. In most cases, it is a lifelong disease and requires therapy. Norah will continue to see Dr. Eike to ensure she stays healthy and happy for the rest of her doggie days.

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