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by ARLnow.com Sponsor — November 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

Sometimes it’s hard to say that our fur-kids really are not human. Many of us love them and treat them like they are. While we could argue behavioral and psychological reason for and against that perspective, one thing that is pretty straight forward is drug metabolism…

Dogs and cats are not small humans and cats are not small dogs. Each species has very different abilities to metabolize certain drugs and as such, there are some human medications that should NEVER be given to our pets, some that can under direct supervision of a veterinarian, and some that are fine to use but may require a different doses for our pets than humans.

NEVER:

Tylenol (acetaminophen), in cats: Causes a life-threatening inability to deliver oxygen to tissues.

Pepto Bismol in cats and dogs: Contains aspirin in a form that is not useful for treating any condition and often causes GI bleeding.

Breath Fresheners in dogs and cats: Some human breath fresheners can contain xylitol, which has the potential to cause the blood sugar to drop dangerously low (hypoglycemia), causing loss of motor control or even seizures; and even liver failure.

Ibuprofen in dogs and cats: Very easy to overdose and can cause symptoms ranging from upset stomach, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure and acute neurologic symptoms.

Pseudophedrine and phenylephrine in dogs and cats: Can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, agitation and heart rhythm disturbances.

ONLY UNDER VETERINARY DIRECTION & SUPERVISION:

Aspirin in dogs and cats: If given at high enough doses to help with inflammation, aspirin almost always causes gastrointestinal bleeding. There are far better and far safer medications to help with inflammation (arthritis and pain). We can use it safely in very low doses to reduce platelet activity and clotting in certain disease situations that predispose clotting.

Immodium AD in dogs: While not toxic to most dogs, some dogs may carry a genetic mutation that makes the more sensitive to the effects of this drug and can lead to seizures and even coma.

GenTeal Eye Lubricant: This is a useful artificial tear supplement when your dog has been accurately diagnosed with Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (AKA “Dry Eye”). Eye issues can quickly go awry, so always have a veterinarian exam before trying to treat at home.

Tylenol in dogs: The dose range is pretty narrow and it’s definitely not a first-line pain medication in dogs. We tend to use it more with severe pain, and in combination with codeine. Overdosing can cause severe liver disease and so should only be used exactly as directed and prescribed by your veterinarian.

Antihistamines in dogs and cats: Claritin (loratidine), and Zyrtec (cetirizine) can be used to reduce itching. Claritin and Zyrtec tend to be better for general allergies in our dogs, but they do not cause drowsiness in dogs and cats they way they do in humans, so don’t try these as a sedative. Talk to your veterinarian about dosing. **Be sure NOT to use an antihistamine that contains Pseudophedrine – such as Zyrtec-D or Claritin-D**

SAFE TO USE (though we still recommend consulting with your veterinarian before starting these medications):

Pepcid AC (famotidine) in dogs and cats: Pepcid and other antacids such as Zantac (ranitidine) or Prilosec (omperazole) are safe for pets and used for many different diseases (such as gastroenteritis, kidney failure and liver failure). Check with your veterinarian for dosing.

Antihistamines: Benadryl (diphenhydramine) tends to be better for acute allergic reactions (such as bug bites and contact allergies that cause hives) and may cause mild drowsiness. It doesn’t do nearly as good a job for general allergies as some of the newer antihistamines. The dose is 1mg per pound of body weight every 8-12 hours for allergic reactions (so a 25lb dog would get 25mg every 8-12 hours). If the symptoms are not improving within 24 hours of starting Benadryl or if the allergic reaction is getting worse in spite of using Benadryl — your pet needs to be seen by a veterinarian!

Meclizine in dogs: This is a motion sickness medication, similar to Dramamine, that can be helpful for reducing car sickness and doesn’t cause much drowsiness. The dose is 12.5mg-25mg per dog given 1-2 hours before a car ride.

Topical ointments with a numbing cream: In most cases, a topical Bacitracin ointment is likely okay to use, but when they are supplemented with a pain numbing cream, such as hydrocortisone or tetracaine, these can be toxic if ingested.  Most dogs and cats tend to lick ointments immediately after application and we often recommend the use of an e-collar (i.e. the cone of shame) when using topical medications.

Additional resources on toxic and non-toxic household items, plants and medications can be found at ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control’s website: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

by ARLnow.com — August 31, 2016 at 8:45 am 0

Traffic on I-395 near Shirlington

Northern Virginia Transit Ridership Down — Amid Metro’s woes, transit ridership across Northern Virginia has dropped significantly. Metrorail ridership was down 6.7 percent for the one year period ending June 30, while Metrobus ridership is down 4.6 percent. Arlington Transit bus ridership, however, was up 13.8 percent. [InsideNova]

Arlington Family Gets Lost Cat Back — A new Arlington family whose cat jumped out of their moving van and ran away at a Michigan Welcome Center has been reunited with their wayward feline. The welcome center’s employees managed to safely trap the cat five days after it escaped. [NBC Washington]

Free Chips and Queso Today — California Tortilla restaurants are offering free chips and queso today, to commemorate the impending end of summer. Customers must say the password “easy cheesy” and make another purchase to get the free stuff. [Facebook]

CIA’s Local VC Firm Profiled — Courthouse-based In-Q-Tel, which functions as the Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm, “operates in the shadows.” The firm is run as a taxpayer-funded nonprofit, investing in companies whose technology could benefit the CIA or the military. [Wall Street Journal]

Carlee Takes University Job — Former Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee, who most recently served as Charlotte, N.C.’s city manager, has taken an assistant professor position at Old Dominion University’s Strome College of Business in Norfolk. [Charlotte Observer]

by ARLnow.com — June 30, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

As we head into the D.C. area’s hot and humid summer we often start to diagnose ear infections more frequently. To understand a little bit about these, looking at the anatomy of the ear of the dog and cat can be very helpful:

We break the ear down to three basic regions:

  • External ear (horizontal/vertical ear canals)
  • Middle ear (within the tympanic bulla)
  • Inner ear (where the hearing organs are located)

Ear infections can thus be broken down into external ear, middle ear (more like what a human gets when they get an ear infection), and rarely inner ear infections. The incriminating bugs for these infections can range from yeast, bacteria or mites… and they are all treated differently.  This is why your veterinarian will typically take a swab from the ear and examine it under the microscope — they are trying to identify what organism(s) and in what numbers are present.  In some cases of bacterial otitis, a culture and sensitivity is needed to find out what specific type of bacteria is present and to help guide antibiotic selection.

The real kicker with ear infections is that there is almost always an underlying cause — meaning the organisms we find in those ears are rarely the primary problem (the exception would be mites). To keep the infections from coming back and to facilitate clearing of the infection, the underlying problem should be looked for and addressed (or at least a management strategy put in place).

Predisposing factors for ear infections include:

  • Allergies (environmental, fleas or food)
  • Anatomy (certain breeds have anatomical characteristics that cause complete occlusion of the canal when even mild inflammation is present)
  • High humidity/heat, swimming, retained water in the ear canal
  • Trauma to the ear canal (e.g.: overly aggressive cleaning or inappropriate hair plucking)
  • Polyps
  • Tumors
  • Foreign objects
  • Medical conditions (diseases that compromise or alter immune-system function)

Otits Externa (inflammation/infection of the external ear canal) is the most common presentation of an ear infection in both dogs and cats. These can crop up as a new (acute) infection, a recurrent infection or a chronic (never fully cleared) infection.  

Management of Otits Externa involves treating the infectious component as well as addressing the underlying factors as well. Ear cleaning is often a mainstay of managing both the infectious component as well as helping managing some underlying factors (such as allergies and anatomical predispositions or to dry the canal following a swim). Because we find that a lot of folks were never taught how to correctly clean their pet’s ears – we’ve put together a video!

When ear infections are appropriately identified and addressed, we can often prevent or minimize recurrences – though for some pets this means a chronic/maintenance strategy is put in place. In cases where an pet has had severe chronic inflammation & infection of the external ear canal, scarring/fibrosis and mineralization of the ear canal may occur – making medical management far more difficult (and sometimes impossible). In many of these cases surgical removal of the external ear canal is indicated to provide lasting relief to the patient – this is called a total ear canal ablation or TECA.

Otits Media (inflammation/infection of the middle ear) often goes hand in hand with chronic bacterial Otitis Externa and the ear drum in these cases if often ruptured or severely thickened/abnormal. In some cases, we need to manage pain/infection/inflammation before we can even see the eardrum – and in these cases follow up/rechecks are very important so that we can really evaluate what is going on down in that canal.

In addition to causing recurrent symptoms of the external ear canal, these middle ear infections can actually cause neurologic symptoms (generally problems with balance), or pain opening the mouth. Otitis media often requires systemic medications, but in many cases anesthetic procedures to thoroughly evaluate, obtain biopsies and/or cultures and clean out the middle ear may be needed to get them to clear and heal. In some cases, aggressive surgical procedures to open the tympanic bulla (bulla osteotomy +/- TECA) may be indicated.

So what are the takeaways from this?

  1. It’s important to determine if your pet’s ear infection is caused by yeast, bacteria or mites so that component can be treated correctly.
  2. It’s really important to identify predisposing or underlying factors so that they can be addressed or chronically managed.
  3. It’s important to look at your pet’s ear drum to assess its health. If the middle ear gets involved topical medications alone rarely work (and sometimes we need to initiate treatment to even get a look at that ear drum).
  4. Work with your veterinarian to come up with a chronic management plan to help prevent/reduce recurrences, and if you have any questions about the plan — ask your veterinarian!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — June 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

(Updated at 5 p.m.) Here are some fun pet trivia questions for a lovely Thursday afternoon….

What were the most common male and female dog names in 2015?  

  • Tucker and Bailey

How do cats land on their feet when they fall?

  • The vestibular, or balance, system of cats tells them which was is up/down and helps them right themselves as they fall.  They also have a very flexible spine, which can help to absorb shock.  

What’s the most common reason for dogs to visit the veterinarian?

  • Ear infections/allergies

What’s the most common reason for cats to visit the veterinarian?

How many teeth do adult dogs have?

  • 42 (28 as puppies)

How many teeth do adult cats have?

  • 30 (26 as kittens)

What sex are all calico cats?

  • Female

According to the AKC, what are the 10 most popular dog breeds in the US?

  • Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Bulldogs, Beagles, Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, Boxers, French Bulldogs, Rottweilers (in descending order)

Why don’t cats and dogs sweat?

  • Cats and dogs can actually sweat, but only through non-haired areas of their body – mainly the paws.  Dogs cool primarily via panting, and while cats typically prefer to not exert themselves to that point, though they can pant if the temperature is high enough.  

Which dog breed yodels instead of barks?

  • Basenji

What is the oldest dog breed?

  • Afghan Hound (followed by Tibetan Terrier, Basenjis, and Shih Tzus)

What is the tallest breed of dog?

  • Irish Wolfhound

What is the smallest breed of dog?  

  • Though up for debate, the consistently smallest AKC-recognized breed is the Chihuahua

What is the heaviest dog breed?

  • Mastiff or Saint Bernard

What is the oldest cat on record? and currently alive?

  • Creme Puff – 38 years and 3 days (August 3, 1967 – August 6, 2005)
  • Corduroy – almost 27 years old (August 1, 1989 to present)!

How many whiskers does a cat have?

  • 24 (approximately) – 12 per side

Random Facts:

  • The domestic cat is the only feline species able to hold its tail vertically while walking.
  • Cats can purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine, which is 26 cycles per second.  
  • The purr of a cat is also at a frequency that can promote tissue healing!
  • Bloodhounds, known for their amazing sense of smell, have approximately 230 million olfactory cells within their nasal passages, 40 times the number that humans have.

Please join us on Sunday, June 12 from 3-6 p.m. at the James Hunter Dog Park (a.k.a. Clarendon Dog Park) as we kick-off our “Friends of the Dog Park” sponsorship with Clarendon Alliance.  Caroline Ferrante and the Whole Magilla will be providing the music; Smoking Kow BBQ will be providing the food.  There will be exhibitors on-hand to answer your pet-related questions. Plus plenty of room for your pooch to play.

Do you have the cutest dog? Enter the Clarendon Dogs Photo Contest and vote for your favorites!

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

On Wednesday we reported that a cat and her kittens were living on top of Gunston Middle School. Today we’re happy to report that the kittens have been successfully removed from the roof.

After a bit of an impasse with Arlington Public Schools officials, yesterday animal control officers from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington were able to find a way to safely get to the roof, capture the kittens and get them back down from the roof.

AWLA detailed the process in a Facebook post last night.

We are happy to report that the kittens have been safely removed from the roof and are in our care here at the shelter!

We were made aware of this little family after a young student saw the kittens outside his classroom window and called the shelter. The mother cat was able to freely come and go from the flat roof, and had decided that it was the safest spot for her kittens!

Because the mother cat is feral, we needed to wait to remove her kittens until they were old enough to eat on their own and not rely on her for survival. Typically our officers do not climb onto roofs for safety reasons, but after we were informed that there was a secured ladder on the side of the building, the officers knew they had to help. And so Operation Roof Kitten Rescue began!

Officers Corcoran, Solano and Dispatcher Barrett were able to capture the fearful kittens in a net and transfer them to a carrier. They created a harness made of leashes so that Officer Solano could “wear” the carrier as she descended the ladder.

The kittens are now the perfect age for socializing: old enough to eat on their own, but young enough to learn to enjoy human contact. They will now go to a foster home until they are old enough and friendly enough for adoption. Thank you to everyone who assisted us in this rescue!

What will happen to the kittens’ mother? AWLA also answered that on the Facebook post.

When it comes to feral kittens there’s a delicate balance between leaving them with their mothers vs taking them into the shelter. If we leave them with the mother until they are completely grown and leave her on their own, they will be too old to socialize and adopt out – they will be feral like their mother, and then those kittens will grow and have more kittens of their own, leading to a larger and larger population of feral cats in the area. The officers and shelter staff feel that it’s in the best interests of the mother and kittens to remove them at this time. As stated above, the officers are looking options for the mother cat. We can assure you that the welfare of both the kittens and mother are what we are most concerned about.

by ARLnow.com — May 18, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Gunston Middle SchoolArlington Public Schools and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington are trying to figure out how to get a cat and her kittens off of the roof of Gunston Middle School (2700 S. Lang Street).

The feline family recently took up residence on the school’s roof, apparently after the cat climbed a tree to get there.

Both APS and AWLA want to get the cat and kittens down from the roof, but are still formulating a plan for how to do it.

“We think that the mother cat is feral, and we want to capture the kittens while they are young enough to be socialized,” said AWLA’s Susan Sherman. “Once the kittens are old enough to get down from the roof on their own, they will likely be too old to socialize.”

Sherman said an AWLA animal control officer has been to the school “several times” to talk to officials from the school and the attached Gunston Community Center. One sticking point is deciding who’s going to go up on the roof. School workers don’t want to get attacked by the cat and animal control officers don’t want to play Spiderman.

“We offered to assist the school facilities people to set a humane trap on the roof, but they said the mother cat might attack them,” Sherman explained. “Our officers do not climb up on roofs. The part of the roof the cats are on is flat, and we requested access from classroom windows but the school facilities person told us the windows cannot be unscrewed or removed.”

“We are working on a plan to capture the kittens as soon as possible but want to do it in a way that is safe for the cats and people,” she said.

by ARLnow.com — February 18, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Opening the gates at the Ballston Metro station (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Widening Critics Still Questioning I-66 Deal — “Widening the highway for four miles from Beltway to Ballston will not relieve traffic congestion, according to every expert I’ve spoken to,” writes WAMU transportation reporter Martin Di Caro, regarding the I-66 deal struck by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette, meanwhile, says the overall plan for tolling I-66 is worth the compromise. [Twitter, WAMU]

Arlington Probably Won’t Sue Over I-395 HOT Lanes — After mounting an expensive legal battle over a plan by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) administration to convert the HOV lanes on I-395 to High Occupancy Toll lanes, Arlington appears poised to accept a similar HOT lane plan by VDOT and the McAuliffe administration. There are some key differences between the two proposals, observers say. [Greater Greater Washington]

Arlington Man Arrested in D.C. Cold Case — Arlington resident Benito Valdez, 45, has been arrested and charged with an alleged accomplice in a 1991 triple homicide cold case in the District. [Associated Press]

Lee Highway Plan Comments Extended — The public comment period for the Lee Highway Visioning Study has been extended to March 31. [Arlington County]

Chamber Concert in Lyon Park This Weekend — On Saturday, IBIS Chamber Music will hold a free concert of chamber music in the newly-renovated Lyon Park Community Center (414 N. Fillmore Street). The concert will start at 7:30 p.m. and feature music by Schubert, Beethoven and Debussy. [ARLnow]

Local Resident’s Cat Story Appears in Book — A story by Arlington resident April Riser is featured in the new book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat,” according to a PR rep for the publisher.

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — August 19, 2015 at 10:10 am 3,610 0

Firefighters rescue a cat in Ballston (photo courtesy @B_Flipn)

A cat was rescued from a high ledge in Ballston this morning.

The rescue took place around 9 a.m., several stories high at the Avalon Ballston Square Apartments (850 N. Randolph Street), after the cat had walked down a ledge from an apartment balcony and its owner was unable to reach it, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Brian Edwards.

Firefighters used a ladder tower to pluck the cat from the ledge without incident, Edwards said.

Edwards couldn’t recall the fire department’s last cat rescue. He noted that “we don’t get a whole lot [of cat rescues] but there are a few throughout the year.”

Photo courtesy @B_Flipn

by ARLnow.com — August 3, 2015 at 10:15 am 1,316 0

Last year, two kittens rescued by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington became Internet sensations thanks to a viral video of them dancing to the hit song “Turn Down for What.”

This year, another AWLA kitten is getting some Internet love. Winnie, a foster kitten, stars in a video of her “dancing” to the tune of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ pop hit “Uptown Funk.”

Since the video was uploaded to YouTube in May, it has received more than 600,000 views.

The AWLA wasn’t able to provide much information about Winnie, but did confirm that she was a foster kitten and has apparently since been adopted.

“Our foster coordinator recognizes the video kitten as one we had in the spring,” said league COO Susan Sherman.

Sherman said the organization, through its foster program, helps to rescue hundreds of kittens over the course of the summer. More kittens like Winnie, along with adult cats, are currently available for adoption.

“Kittens go to foster care when they are too young and sometimes too unsocial (feral) for adoption,” she said. “Once they reach two pounds in weight and are socialized to people, they come back to the shelter for adoption. We currently have nine kittens up for adoption and 24 in foster care who will be available in the next few weeks. Every summer our foster families help 200-300 kittens.”

by ARLnow.com — June 3, 2015 at 9:15 am 1,020 0

Blue Jay in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

AWLA Cats Star in Movie Trailers — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is releasing a mock movie trailer each week this month starring their very own cats. The adoptable felines will then be given the star treatment at the shelter. “Guests who visit AWLA each Friday in June will be invited to walk the ‘Paw of Fame,’ enjoy some popcorn and take a photo with one of the starring ‘caters’ or ‘catresses’ or to take one home for free,” The first trailer is set to a “Jurassic World” theme. [Facebook]

Arlington Sells $77 Million in Bonds — Arlington County issued $77 million worth of bonds Tuesday, at an average interest rate of 2.8 percent. “Our Triple-AAA rating has helped ensure the lowest interest rates possible, ensuring taxpayer dollars for bond funded projects are used as effectively as possible,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in a press release. [Arlington County]

Sierra Club Endorses Fallon — Peter Fallon has picked up a key environmental endorsement ahead of the June 9 Democratic County Board primary. The Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Fallon, saying he has “a long history of community activism,” is “well versed in the environmental issues facing the County” and is “a strong supporter of [Arlington’s] Community Energy Plan.” Though there are two open County Board seats, the group said it “opted to only endorse one candidate.”

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — March 25, 2015 at 2:55 pm 1,648 0

Dog up for adoption at Taste of Arlington 2012Market Common Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) will be holding a pet adoption day on Saturday in conjunction with two animal rescue groups.

The event is being held at the shopping center from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on March 28. It will be followed by a “Yappy Hour” at Zaika restaurant from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The pet adoption day is scheduled to be the only D.C. area stop this year for the North Shore Animal League “Tour of Life” bus. New York-based North Shore bills itself as the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. Beyond that, it’s perhaps best known nationally as the animal shelter publicly supported by Beth Stern and her husband, Sirius XM host and America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern.

North Shore Animal League is partnering with Arlington-based Homeward Trails Animal Rescue for the event.

“The Tour of Life bus… will park on the Community Loop and house approximately 50 animals ready for adoption,” according to a Market Common spokeswoman. “The Loop will be transformed into an interactive dog park, where Arlington residents will have the opportunity to bring their pets to mingle with other animals, as well as have the opportunity to adopt from and donate to Homeward Trails.”

Ten percent of the proceeds from the Yappy Hour will be donated to Homeward Trails.

by Andrea Swalec — September 25, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,498 0

Clarendon Animal Care owners Kayleen Gloor (left) and Natasha Ungerer (Photo courtesy of Clarendon Animal Care)A new doctor’s office for cats and dogs is coming to Clarendon.

Two locals are opening a veterinary clinic on N. 10th St. between N. Garfield and N. Highland Streets. Set to open in early 2015, Clarendon Animal Care will provide a range of treatments.

“We’ll be a full-service general practice doing everything from wellness care to geriatric treatments to management of chronic conditions,” co-owner Kayleen Gloor said.

Gloor, 32, and co-owner Natasha Ungerer, 34, will also perform basic dentistry and have X-ray machines. The office will focus on making both human and animal clients comfortable and helping pet owners understand how to keep their companions healthy.

“I can’t count the number of times people have told me they wish I were their own medical doctor because I explain things so clearly,” Gloor said.

Clarendon Animal Care will replace Ellen's Futons on N. 10th Street.The 3000 N. 10th St. storefront was previously home to Ellen’s Futons, which has locations in Alexandria, Laurel and Rockville.

Gloor, an Arlington resident, and Ungerer, a McLean resident, met during an internship at a veterinary emergency office in Gaithersburg. They believe Clarendon Animal Care will be the only all-woman-owned veterinary clinic in Arlington. The majority of veterinary students are women, yet few own their own practices, Gloor said.

“It’s a bit of an old boys’ club.”

by Andrea Swalec — September 22, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,321 0

A kitten named Speedo is getting the physical therapy he needs.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington is treating a two-month-old domestic shorthair known as a “swimmer” cat who walks by making swimming-like motions with his front paws.

Born with rear legs that splay outward, Speedo was dropped off at the AWLA at 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. by an owner who wasn’t in the position to deal with his medical issues, Chief Operating Officer Susan Sherman said.

The shelter found a foster home for the kitten, who gets physical therapy treatments every day. Rather than opting for surgery on his legs, Speedo gets massages and may even receive acupuncture treatments.

“The massage is meant to train the muscles and ligaments,” Sherman said. “The acupuncture would stimulate nerves.

“We do not believe he’s in any pain,” she added.

AWLA veterinarians made a special “alley” for Speedo to walk through with his hind legs bound, encouraging him to walk correctly.

To help pets like Speedo, AWLA is asking for donations to their Woody and Mickey Healthy Pet Fund, which helps special needs pets by paying for”above and beyond” services like orthopedic surgery, blood tests and dental surgery.

Despite his ongoing treatments, Speedo is a sweetheart, Sherman said.

“He is adorable. He’s very sweet and amazingly friendly.”

AWLA expects the kitten will need a permanent home later this year.

“We’re going to see how much he’s able to progress, and as soon as we think he’s going to be able to live a healthy, happy life, he’ll be up for adoption,” she said.

AWLA made this video of Speedo walking through his “alley”: 

by ARLnow.com — April 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm 0

The Scratching Post banner

Editor’s Note: The Scratching Post is a new column that’s sponsored and written by the staff at NOVA Cat Clinic.

Has Fluffy been drinking a lot more water lately? Have you been cleaning out her litter box more often than normal?

These can be some of the initial signs of kidney disease. We rarely think about our cat’s kidneys and how well they are functioning, but they are very important organs in the body. Kidneys filter the blood to remove waste from the system. Most commonly due to aging, but occasionally from infections or toxins, the kidneys can become weakened. This may lead to kidney disease, which is sometimes called Chronic Kidney Failure.

Here are some commonly-asked questions we get regarding feline kidney issues.

Q: I’m cleaning Fluffy’s litter box all the time. How can her kidneys be failing if there is MORE urine?

For us humans, we might think it’s a good thing. We are told to drink 8 glasses a day to stay hydrated, but cats are different. When Fluffy’s kidneys are functioning well, her urine is fairly concentrated (yellow) and she doesn’t need to drink a large amount of water. If her kidneys begin to fail, it doesn’t mean they aren’t producing enough urine; it means they are not eliminating waste as well. In order to compensate, her body will increase blood flow to the kidneys which makes her kidneys produce more urine. To avoid dehydration, she will become very thirsty. This compensation may help initially, but over time she may experience loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and very bad breath. While these symptoms can be due to kidney disease, they can also be caused by other conditions and should be investigated by a veterinarian.

Q: How will I know if my cat has kidney disease?

The only way to know how well the kidneys are functioning is through testing the blood and testing a urine sample. These lab results, in conjunction with a discussion with your veterinarian about your cat’s overall health and behavior, will help us to determine the appropriate course of action.

Q: What can I do if my cat has kidney disease?

Though every cat’s needs are different, there are a few common treatments we use to help ease the burden on the kidneys. These treatments can range from special diets and medications, to giving fluids under the skin, or even acupuncture treatments. If the kidney disease is more advanced, we may recommend placing Fluffy on IV Fluids for up to three days to flush waste out of the kidneys. This will hopefully help her kidneys to function better for some time while some of the other treatments are provided.

Q: Will treatment cure my cat?

While Fluffy’s kidneys will never return to normal, she may live with a great quality of life for an extended period of time. Following your veterinarian’s recommendations and closely watching Fluffy for changes will give you a leg up on keeping her as happy and healthy as possible.

If you feel your kitty is showing any of the signs of kidney disease, give us a call at 703-525-1955. We can work with you to figure out the best plan of action for you and your furry friend.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by ARLnow.com — March 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm 2,425 0

A cat was rescued from a townhouse fire Wednesday morning (Photo courtesy ACFD)Arlington County firefighters rescued a cat from a townhouse fire early this morning.

Firefighters were called to a home on the 4400 block of Pershing Court in the Barcroft neighborhood around 4:45 this morning for reports of a fire. Units arrived six minutes later and found flames coming out of a front window on the top floor, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah-Maria Marchegiani.

The blaze was quickly extinguished but firefighters found a cat inside the home in “respiratory distress,” Marchegiani said. The cat, which was foaming at the mouth as a result of smoke inhalation, was brought outside and given oxygen. It was then transported to an animal hospital — the VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center on Route 50 — where it is now listed in stable condition.

There were no human injuries as a result of the fire. The blaze caused about $50,000 in damage.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, which started in an upstairs bedroom, according to Marchegiani. Other than the cat, the home was unoccupied — its residents were on vacation at the time.

Photo courtesy ACFD

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