Caring For Your Cat and Her Litter After Birth

It’s important to assist your cat in and after her kitten delivery! Cuddle them all closely and get the best post cat pregnancy tips.

  The time has come — the cat that you adore has given birth to a litter of kittens. You’ve been anticipating this moment over the last two months, and now they're here, all of them! What happens now, and how do you care for the new mother and her new litter?   The Vet Set loves tiny, new kittens! We’re here to support you and your cat in prenatal and postnatal care. Take a moment in your day and learn more about how to keep everyone happy and healthy in this new transition!

The Fragile Post-Pregnancy Stage For Cats

  After a cat gives birth, like humans, it is a new and fragile stage for them, so it’s vital for you to do what’s best and not interfere too much to the natural rhythm of nature. With too much obstruction, it can actually be more harmful to your cat and her litter, even when you mean well.   It’s a warm-up period, she’s a new mom, and needs some help but also some space!  

The Ideal Post-Pregnancy Cat Habitat

  After the kittens come, it’s important to quarantine them in a separate space that is calm, quiet and warm. One of the biggest health concerns when it comes to newborn kittens is chilling, so ensure there is enough warmth to keep them safe. You may even consider investing in a portable heater to better heat a room, or heated pad that they can lay on.   Help keep the family together by keeping them in a box or contained area that the momma cat can enter and exit with ease. Line it with towels or disposable liners and change them frequently to keep the area clean and stink-free!   It’s important that the new mom has all of her necessities nearby and this includes the litterbox, food, and water.      The first two to three weeks after birth are critical for both the kittens and the mother. Postpartum concerns to look for are eclampsia (blood calcium deficiency). The mothers often present symptoms that include:  
  • Poor maternal instincts
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Panting
Also in this time, the kittens will grow quite quickly and the mother will display any adverse postpartum symptoms.   Week one: The kitten is quite small and typically fits in the palm of hands. Week two: The kittens begin to open their eyes. Week three: The teeth begin to develop and their eyes may change color.    

Health Concerns Kittens Face

  Kittens are subject to a variety of health concerns that include infectious diseases (respiratory infections), parasites, and congenital diseases. One of the most heart-wrenching but common health concerns in kittens is known as Fading Kitten Syndrome (FKS). While there may be many causes, the end result is the inability of the kitten to thrive. Signs of FKS including sleeping more than the litter and lethargy.  

Take Cues From Your Cat

  New kittens are so cute and cuddly and we know that you just want to hold them and be near them all the time — especially if you have kids — but let the new mother set the tone. If you’ve had her for a while, she may know and trust you and allow you near her litter right away, but if she was fostered or rescued, it may be a minute before she lets you in.     Just keep an eye on their progress and ensure that they’re moving about, nursing, and thriving. If they are, just look to mom for your next move and watch her body language.  

What To Feed Your Cat Post-Pregnancy

  After birth, it’s important to continue to feed your cat high-quality cat food, both wet and dry food are fine. Because nursing takes a toll on their bodies, they require more protein. Your cat will not only need more protein, but they will also need to eat more, often doubling their food consumption while nursing. The more food she eats, the more milk she’ll be able to produce for her new kittens.   These eating patterns will need to continue throughout the duration of nursing, in which kittens are typically weaned anywhere from eight to 10 weeks old.   Water is also a non-negotiable after birth — they require much more of it to better produce milk. Ensure that your cat always has clean, fresh water available. As far as feeding, you may want to adopt a “free choice” style of feeding where you leave a bowl full of food and they can come and go as they need and when they need.     A new litter is exciting to be around but it’s important you take the right steps and respect the new mom, so everyone can thrive and adapt to the new life.   If you have additional questions about the post-natal cat and kitten care or need a vet well-check, schedule an appointment at our Carrol Gardens vet clinic today.  

Keeping Your Furry Friend Protected and Cozy in the Winter (Part Two)

Have fun in the winter and keep your dog safe and protected.

  In part one, we examined why the cold can be an issue for dogs and what puts them at risk. In today’s post, we’re getting to the meat of the conversation and exploring the tangible ways you can keep them safe and snug.   Carroll Gardens is quite chilly this time of year, so why brave the elements? Stay right where you are and let our mobile services come to you! And while you’re waiting, enjoy the best tips for protecting your dog in the winter. And now…  

Winter Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Protected This Winter!

 

Pay attention to the paws.

  The paws are extra vulnerable in this season because they’re subject to not only the cold and snow but also to the treatments that are put on the roads and sidewalks.   Protect their paws by doing a few small things including:   Keeping their feet groomed - Trim the hair around and in between the paws. When their hair is short and out the way, not only are they easier to clean it makes them it easier to monitor.    Using a protective balm - A protective balm can do wonders to their paws! Apply a balm before they go outdoors for an additional layer and use it indoors to keep them supple and to support healing to any cracked or dry paws.    Invest in dog boots - There is a myriad of reputable companies that make dog boots for dogs, and while your dog may not take to them right away, over time they’ll find comfort in the extra protection the boots provide.  

Be considerate of the time of day you go out.

  Try and get all your major activity in during the daytime and when the sun is out. Going for walks in the dark is cold — for both of the dog and the owner! Not only are the temperatures a little warmer in the daytime, but the sun also helps to melt and clear snow and ice.  

Create a cozy place for your dog to relax.

  Ensure your dog has a nice, comfortable spot to rest. Sleeping on the floors can be cold (especially if they’re wood) in the winter months, so ensure their comfort with a nice bed with blankets if need be.    

Be conscious of where you pile your snow.

  If you live in an area with a small porch or even a yard, if you shovel your snow into the same area storm after storm, it can build up and create the perfect escape route for your dog. Instead, find different places to shovel snow and cross your fingers the temperature heats up to melt some of it!  

Ensure they’re staying hydrated.

  Summer or winter, dog’s can still become dehydrated. And, even if they’re eating snow when they’re out, this doesn’t always make up for what fresh water they are drinking. Always make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water whether they’re indoors or not.       Wintertime in Brooklyn is picturesque and even enjoyable when you and your furry friend are prepared. Relish in the cold weather, while keeping them protected and cozy.  

To learn more about our mobile vet services, reach out today!   

 

When Pets Need Medical Imaging

Just like humans, pets need medical imaging, too. Pet radiology is a diagnostic tool used to assess health issues in animals when the vet needs more information from symptoms such as vomiting, coughing, or limping, and is available in x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans. Medical imaging for pets is generally non-invasive and painless for pets.   It’s hard to see your pet in pain from an injury or symptom that just won’t pass. At VetSet, we offer comprehensive care at our animal clinic including medical imaging for pets. This type of diagnostic tool can be stressful for both you and your pet, so learn more about pet radiology in today’s post.

About Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging

  Medical imagery for pets is beneficial to their health and wellness because it can identify a concern not immediately apparent and provide clear, concise insight to the “whats and whys” of your pet’s symptoms. Pet medical imaging also gives timely diagnoses so your pet can receive better care, faster.  

Is veterinary medical imaging necessary for my pet?

  Your vet will always begin with an examination before they even decide on medical imaging, and may determine radiology is needed to collect additional information for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Vets will generally implement x-rays first, however other imaging such as an ultrasound may be needed for a better look in a specific area of the body.     The goal of medical imaging is to get the final diagnosis, if possible. The vet wants to reach a conclusion and start treating your pet just as much as you. However, depending on your pet’s case, they may need multiple tests before the final diagnosis. For example, if an MRI reveals a mass, your pet may need a follow up for a biopsy to conclude if it’s malignant or benign.   Is there ever sedation or anesthesia involved? Sedation or anesthesia all depends on the medical imaging being used and their overall comfort level. In most cases with pet radiology, nothing is needed because in the procedure in itself is painless, but if your pet is in pain from a possible broken leg there are options to make your pet more comfortable.   If your pet requires an MRI or CT scan, anesthesia is almost always used because your pet needs to remain absolutely still to get the images — any movement can mess up the image and render unclear and hard to read results.      What The Medical Diagnostics Are Used For Pet medical imaging is used for health issues to help a vet get a better picture of what’s going on and thus, a better, quicker timeline for treatment.   X-rays - These are the most common form of radiology used by vets and are used to help diagnose the following:  
  • Fractures
  • Pneumonia
  • Arthritis
  X-rays aren’t always the right option for certain diseases and conditions, so your vet may prefer other medical imaging based on your pet's symptoms. The radiation your pet is exposed to is minor, but talk with your vet if you have concerns.   Ultrasound - An ultrasound is also one of the most common types of medical imaging used on pets. An ultrasound is a high-frequency sound beam that is projected to a specific area on your pet’s body. These diagnostics are better for detecting abdominal issues and can be used complementary to x-rays for a more acute look in a distinct area.   CT Scans and MRIs - A CT scan is a type of x-ray that provides different slices of your pet’s body, and are great for determining issues in the joints, head, and chest. MRIs, unlike x-rays, implement radio waves and a magnetic field to creates images and are effective in finding changes in tissues and are better for detecting strokes, brain conditions, herniated discs, and spinal cord concerns.   There are times when a vet examination is inconclusive and vets need to gather more information to give you and your pet the correct diagnosis and treatment. Medical imaging and pet radiology does just this — it gives insight to the internal structures that can’t be seen, or sometimes felt, with just an examination.   If you think your pet needs a closer look, work with us at VetSet in Carroll Gardens.

We provide thorough pet services, including radiology. Schedule with us today!

Why Some Dogs Will Eat Anything

Some dogs will eat just about anything.

Dogs have been known to devour a wide variety of objects that aren’t edible and certainly aren’t meant to be consumed. For example, Ozzy, an American Bulldog, swallowed a tennis ball whole, while Bear, a Pomeranian Poodle mix, has eaten everything from her own poop to shoes and dead birds. The formal name for compulsive consumption is called pica, and it can cause a lot of trouble, but before we go into how to prevent your dog from eating anything and everything, it’s important to understand why they do this. Here are just a few of the many reasons why some dogs will eat just about anything:

#1. Dogs explore the world with their mouths.

Human babies learn about the world through their mouths, and dogs do, too. Puppies are born deaf and blind, which means that they have to rely on their skin, nose and mouth to learn about their environment. Additionally, puppies don’t have opposable thumbs, and they use their mouths to pick things up and carry things around. Young puppies may not know how to properly differentiate between eating things and carrying them around in their mouth, and that learned behavior can follow them into adulthood.

#2. Dogs have scavenging in their blood.

Dogs, as well as their wild ancestors, are natural scavengers, eating whatever they can find. In fact, it was this natural instinct to scavenge that helped to build the relationship between dogs and humans that we now enjoy today. Dogs were naturally drawn to scavenge the garbage humans threw away because it was easier and took less energy than hunting. And, even though today’s dogs are fed plenty of high-quality dog food, their natural instinct to scavenge hasn’t gone away, which can cause them to eat almost anything they find.

#3. Dogs can exhibit compulsive behavior when they are stressed.

Stress and anxiety can affect dogs just as much as it can affect people. When a dog is subjected to environments where they are in danger or in an otherwise stressful situation, it can cause them to start eating things that are inappropriate as a way to relieve the stress. Some dogs are anxious and restless even in the best environments. If you think that your dog might be eating things they shouldn’t due to stress and anxiety, consult your veterinarian.

#4. Dogs are instinctive bingers.

In the wild finding food on a regular basis is not always possible. So when a pack of dogs took down prey they would often eat the whole thing in one sitting. This is because it might be days or weeks until they get another meal, and it’s not like they could store it somewhere safe for later on. As we mentioned in our second point, domestic dogs nowadays don’t have to binge because they get regular meals. But that doesn’t mean that the instinct to binge has been eliminated.

#5. Dogs eat things when they’re bored.

Boredom, which is often caused by a lack of mental and/or physical exercise and sometimes a lack of company, can cause a dog to eat things that they shouldn’t. Just as people will eat when they are bored, so will dogs. However, dogs can’t peruse the pantry or the refrigerator, so it often leaves them to dig in the trash or even to chew on objects that aren’t edible. Make it a point to keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated with regular walks, games and other activities.

#6. Dog eat things to get attention.

Sometimes, dogs act out in order to get a reaction from their owners. If your dog isn’t feeling like they are getting the amount of attention they want from you they may eat things they know they shouldn’t simply because it causes you to react and give them attention, even if that attention is scolding them. For a dog that doesn’t get a lot of attention from owners even a scolding can be a welcome change.

#7. Dogs can gain insatiable appetites due to medical issues.

Not all dogs who eat anything and everything do so because of instinct or bad behavior. Sometimes, dogs feel hungry all the time because they are suffering from a medical issue. A few of the health conditions that can cause pica in dogs are Diabetes Melitus, a stomach tumor, hookworms, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, hyperthyroidism and many more. Now that you know what can cause dogs to eat just about anything, it’s time to learn what to do when you think your dog ingested something they shouldn’t. Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog to learn more! In the meantime, if you suspect your dog has ingested something inappropriate, don’t wait to get your dog the help they need. Contact our veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens right away.

Summer Dangers All Pet Owners Need to Know About Part 2

The warm weather is the best part about the summer, but it can be a risky time of the year for your pet.

From the warm, sunny days spent reading your favorite book by the pool to the BBQs, ice cream and flip flops, there’s a lot to love about the summer. But, the warm weather that makes the summer so special also brings about a lot of dangers for your furry friend. If you haven’t already, check out our latest blog to learn about the first five summer dangers for your pet, and keep reading to learn more:

#6. Mosquitoes

There’s almost nothing more irritating than having an endlessly itchy mosquito bite. However, mosquitoes present a much bigger threat to pets than just their bite. Mosquitoes can transmit heartworm to dogs, which can be deadly. And to make matters worse, once your pet contracts heartworm, it is difficult and expensive to treat. There’s good news, however. Heartworm is incredibly easy to prevent. All you have to do is give your pet their monthly preventative medication, which you can get a prescription for from your veterinarian. Don’t get caught up in the misconception that because you live in the city or because your pet stays mostly inside that they don’t need a heartworm preventative. Mosquitoes can bite anywhere, and this preventative medication is much more affordable and effective than heartworm treatment.

#7. Allergies

When the warm weather arrives, many people deal with runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. Pets, just like people, can suffer from seasonal allergies in the summer. Signs of allergies in pets include sneezing, eyes that are red and watery, itchy paws, skin infections and ear infections. If you think your pet might be suffering from seasonal allergies, consult your veterinarian.

#8. Fleas

Just as mosquitoes, ticks and bees are more active during the warm summer months, so are fleas. Most people are aware of the fact that, when fleas bite, they make pets irritated and itchy, but did you know that fleas can carry diseases and parasites that can affect your pet and yourself? Believe it or not, fleas can carry the bubonic plague, and it can affect both cats and people. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms and hemobartonella, which is a blood parasite that can lead to severe anemia in pets. Luckily though, like mosquitoes, flea bites are incredibly easy to prevent with the right preventative medication, which you can get from your local veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens.

#9. Dehydration

It’s important for your pet to have access to water all the time, regardless of the time of the year, but in the summer, it becomes even more essential. Pets can become severely dehydrated in the summer without their owners realizing it, and it’s essential that you learn to recognize the signs of dehydration in pets so that, if your pet does become dehydrated, you can get them the treatment they need right away. Signs of dehydration in pets include panting, loss of appetite, reduced energy levels, sunken-in eyes, dry gums and nose and loss of elasticity in skin. In cases of mild dehydration, getting your dog to drink water might be enough in the way of treatment, but if your dog is severely dehydrated, you need to take them to the veterinarian immediately.

#10. Water Dangers

Some of the best parts of summer happen in and around water, but any time you are around water with your dog, it’s imperative that you watch them closely. Many people think that all dogs are natural swimmers, but that’s simply not the case. Some dogs are not natural-born swimmers, and if your dog is one of them, there is a risk they could drown if you don’t watch them closely in the water. If you’re worried about the risks associated with your dog swimming, consider investing in a life vest for your dog. Another water danger that it’s important to be aware of is stagnant water. When you’re walking or playing with your dog in the heat of the day, they’ll probably try to get water anywhere they can get it, including stagnant ponds and water in gutters. Never allow your dog to drink stagnant water, as it often contains bacteria that can make them sick.

Let us help you keep your pet safe all summer long.

As you can see, there are many things that can put your pet in harm’s way over the summer, but a little know-how and the right preventative steps go a long way toward keeping your pet safe and sound throughout the warmest months of the year. In our next blog, we’ll be going over summer-specific safety tips for your pet, so make sure that you stay tuned. And if, in the meantime, your pet needs to see a veterinarian for any reason this summer, schedule your appointment with our team at the Vet Set in Carroll Gardens.

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