I’ve been thinking a lot lately of recent events. How many of you have heard the news of one million species will go extinct by the human race if nothing is done to stop our destruction? With it being Endangered Species Day, I am truly reflecting on this heartbreaking issue and what can be done. I went to the Audubon Society’s Women in Conversation gala luncheon yesterday at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. I get a little glimmer of hope of all the wonderful people doing thankless work to preserve our plant and animal life.
Even our beloved domestic pets are not safe from our hands. The heartbreaking stats of the abandoned cats and dogs that overpopulate the shelters only to be destroyed are staggering. Thanks to animal rescue initiatives such as TNR, animal sanctuaries, and strong effective adoption and fostering drives, the stats has lessened over the years but they are still overwhelming. Their plight is also due to our species’ manipulation of uprooting them from their natural homes and wild behaviors. Because of this, it is our duty to take care of them and provide them with the best life possible.
Cecil’s death sparked a debate but so much still has to be done. Reports of his brother and son also suffering the same brutal fate of being killed by trophy hunters hurts my heart but heartbreak won’t help these animals – consistent active participation to stop this will. We all have to do better.
Easter is nearly upon us. This is the season where veterinarians see a tragic spike in cat poisoning and possible fatalities due to exposure of the Easter lily plant since it is part of the Easter tradition. Many people may purchase it or get bestowed with the plant from their church as gifts. According to the 24/7 Animal Poisson Control Center, ingesting any part of the plant can cause kidney failure, loss of appetite, drooling, vomiting, dehydration, painful abdomen, etc. Symptoms usually show up after six to twelve hours of exposure. Take your kitty to your veterinarian immediately. If you vet is not available, go to a 24-hour animal emergency care or call the animal 24-hour poison hotline.
There are some benign lilies that do not contain Lilium and Hemerocallis species which cause feline fatality, like the Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies , but they can still can be poisonous and it is best not to expose your cats to any form of possible serious illness. So, please. We all love our fur babies. Do not bring home any lilies or grow any in your garden if your cats are allowed access to it. You can still enjoy the Easter season without the devastating heartbreak.
Since my birthday is in July, I thought I would bestow myself with one the best birthday presents and take a weekend trip to Toronto, Canada for the second annual Meowfest event. The one-day catextravaganza raised over $10,000 for non-profits animal organizations and got some rescue kitties adopted in the process! The first one last year took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. British Columbia is one the most beautiful and greenest places ever. I decided to go to CatCon in Los Angeles instead. Well, this time, a girl is doing both! CatCon in June and the next week heading to Toronto in early July.
With this 24 degree New York City weather, I needed something to cheer me up and warm me up. Lancelot will not be happy with my absence but he never complains with all the goodies I bring back.
PetCon2018 was held last November at the Jacob Javits Center. It was a weekend-event featuring vendors, pet celebs and their owners, along with some very excellent panel discussions of varying topics to building a social media pet platform to the devastating effects overfishing for human and pet consumption is leading to the disastrous eco imbalance to ocean wildlife.
To Grain or not to grain. The veterinarians addressed the question if owners should feed pets a grain-free diet. Many people are unaware that dogs not strictly carnivores, like cats. Their dietary needs are similar to people. They need an omnivore diet with carbs and grains to stay nutritionally balanced.
Vaccinations on dogs. Overvaccination is a real concern for pet parents. The veterinarians have seen if a puppy gets the proper amount of vaccines during that young stage in their life will help reduce the need for more vaccines in the future. The procedure of titers (measurement of how many antibodies are in the animal’s blood) is expensive but effective. A sufficient amount may prevent needing additional vaccination. However, the law does not recognize titers for rabies, and if your animal bites a person, they can quarantine the animal or order the pet to be destroyed. Vaccinations for rabies must be administered regularly to stay in the state’s compliance.
Dental care. How many of us are regularly cleaning our pet’s teeth? I don’t clean Lancelot’s teeth as much as I should. The veterinarians couldn’t stress enough the importance of regular dental hygiene, starting when they are kittens and puppies. Circular motion with a pet toothbrush, wipe, etc., is the best technique to dislodge the plaque buildup. Years of oral hygiene neglect may require a professional dental cleaning – x-rays are strongly suggested before any dental cleaning. Dental disease can transfer to other vital body organs with fatal consequences. Teeth and gum care are of paramount importance! Daily or every other day.
Heartworm medication. This can be an agonizing choice for dog owners. Depending on the dog’s lifestyle will determine what heartworm medication will be best. One size does not fit all. Older or dogs with compromised immune systems may have to look for alternatives than pesticide treatments. Heartworm is debilitating if your pet contracts it. The treatment is a long process so prevention is key. The mosquito carrying disease is on the rise with pet animal rescue from disaster areas such as Puerto Rico.
The raw food diet movement. Feeding raw food is not a new concept but it has certainly gone mainstream by more companies offering raw food products for pet owners. The veterinarians strongly cautioned administering such a diet because of the risk of food poisoning like salmonella. They have seen some animals do better on a raw diet due to their unique health issues. Please speak with your veterinarian about a raw food diet.
The final question was about veterinarian checkups. How often? Once a year is sufficient until the pet becomes eight years or older. All the panelists agreed the animal should come in every six months with bloodwork to measure the function of their liver, kidney, etc. A very good discussion. I look forward to PetCon 2019.