Newsletter

Eastside Veterinary Associates - Medical Articles The veterinarians and staff at the Eastside Veterinary Associates are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

“Back-To-School Blues” For Your Dog

Parents and youngsters aren’t the only ones who have to adjust to a new schedule every fall. Just as kids grow accustomed to the care-free days of summer, dogs get used to the constant attention and play time that a child’s constant presence brings. Many dogs will adjust quickly to the change, but those prone to separation anxiety may look for ways to lash out.



In an interview with the Associated Press, Dr. Nick Dodman of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine recommended the following tips to help ease the transition between summer and the school year:

  • Make departure time happy using toys and treats
  • Create a place in the house where the dog feels safe
  • Try starting the routine before school begins
  • Do not indulge with baby talk or sympathy
  • See a veterinarian if the dog’s disposition doesn’t improve

With a little advanced planning and a few tweaks to you and your dog’s morning routine, you can keep your dog relaxed and content while his favorite playmate is gone for the day. Before you know it, your dog’s “back-to-school blues” will be a thing of the past.

Petition Launched To Ban Unattended Animals In Cars

A pet insurance company has launched a petition to encourage legislation prohibiting animals being left unattended in cars. Petplan Insurance posted the petition on We The People, the Obama administration’s petition site. Like all petitions posted to the website, a White House staff member will review it and provide an official response if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures within 30 days.



The initiative, called “Driven to Bark,” aims to have all states adopt statutes that do not allow pet owners to leave animals unattended in cars. Currently, only 15 states have laws against the practice, which Petplan says causes “countless” deaths every year.

Ferret Ban May Be Lifted In New York City

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio may be lifting a 15-year ban on ferrets. The ban, which was implemented by then-mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1999, was a source of controversy for fans of the small mammal. Giuliani and his administration said that ferrets were likely to carry rabies and were known to attack young children, but ferret advocates maintained that the animal was no more dangerous than other small mammals.


NYC's ban on ferrets may be lifted.


In an internal memo, city health officials stated that “evidence shows ferrets do not bite more frequently or severely than other pets the same size.” Ultimately, the health department recommends lifting the ban, but says that spaying and vaccination requirements should be put in place. According to NYCFerrets.com, a ferret advocacy site, ferret ownership remains illegal in New York but may be lifted by the end of 2014.

VIDEO: Foolproof Pet ID

A microchip is a tiny computer chip which has an identification number programmed into it. The chip is the size of a grain of rice, and it is easily and safely implanted into the skin of an animal with a hypodermic needle. Once the animal is "chipped" he can be identified throughout his life by this unique number. Microchips are read by a scanning device which recognizes a unique identification number. Through registration of the animal with a national database, the owner can be contacted and this is an important step many pet owners forget. The bad news is that this technology is not foolproof. Watch this quick video and learn more about what you can do to make sure your pet is properly identified using a new free service.


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Cat Scratching Compromises

The claws are the primary weapon in the feline arsenal. In addition to providing an iron grip for climbing, a cat's claws can be lethal, quickly un-holstered to slash at an enemy or rip open a soft underbelly. Although the claws are often described as retractable, the claws are, in fact, hidden until the cat's paw is extended. Safely sheathed when the cat is relaxed, even while it is walking, the claws stay sharp, ready for action. During a post-nap stretch or an angry swipe, the tendons controlling the claws are pulled taut, thrusting the nails outwards.

Cute, but dangerous!

Though seemingly incorrigible scratchers, cats rake their claws over rough surfaces to both clean and hone them. The raking motion also helps shed the claws' dead and dulled outer layers and helps exercise the leg muscles. Just as importantly, scratching allows the cat to leave its calling card, a territory marking scent released from the paw pads.

So now that you know the biology behind it and that scratching is a natural behavior for cats, how are you going to convince your cat that your sofa is nicer UN-shredded? Start off on the right foot (or paw) with universal advice from Mark Twain, "Never try to teach a pig how to sing; it frustrates you and annoys the pig". Keep in mind that cats like to scratch and generally need to scratch so you are never going to be able to stop the behavior. Your job as protector of your furniture is to re-direct your cat's scratching to an area that is acceptable to both of you.

Step one in the "great scratching compromise" is to get your beloved a scratching post. Bear in mind that your idea of a desirable scratching post and your kitty's idea may not coincide. Cats like rough surfaces that they can shred to pieces (the exception, of course, is your chenille couch, which has its own particular appeal). The scratching post with the most aesthetic appeal to your cat is often a tree stump, though this can be a bit unwieldy. Whatever you and your cat choose, it has to be tall enough for her to fully extend her body, and most importantly, secure enough to withstand the push and pull of her claws. If it topples over right from the start, chances are your cat will not go back to it. A sisal post or a carpet remnant (make sure it's secure) are always good choices.

Once a scratching post has been agreed upon, the location is important. You want it in a central location in relation to where you or your family normally hangs out. If the post is in a remote location of the house, your cat is less likely to use it because it is not convenient, hence your sofa's premature demise! Encourage your cat to use the post with clever enticements. Feed her and play with her by the post. Rub dried catnip leaves or powder into it. Make all association with the post a pleasant one.

If your cat is reluctant to give up her old scratching areas, you may have to employ discouraging tactics. Using lemon-scented sprays or potpourri of lemon and orange peels on or near her old haunts may work. Cats have a natural aversion to citrus smells. If this doesn't work, try squirting her with a water gun or spray bottle, blowing a whistle or other noise maker, every time you CATCH her scratching. You must use these deterrents while she is scratching, in order for them to be effective.

If the scratching post becomes an unsuccessful attempt at persuading your cat to scratch something else besides your stereo speakers, you may need to employ alternate solutions. These range from trimming your cat's nails regularly and / or applying protective guards, to surgically removing the entire claw from your cat's toes, otherwise known as de-clawing.

Though trimming your cat's nails may defray some of your cat's potential for destruction, it does not stop her from scratching. By keeping them short, it makes them less sharp. The longer they get, the sharper they become as a result of scratching. If you are unable to trim your cat's nails by yourself, many groomers or veterinarians provide the service at a minimal cost. Even if your cat uses a scratching post regularly, it is wise to keep her nails trim to help her avoid getting stuck to the carpet or your sweater after you've snuggled her.

Soft Paws are another great option. These are lightweight vinyl caps that are applied over your cat's own claws. They have rounded edges so your cat's scratching doesn't damage your home and furnishings. They last for approximately six weeks or however long it takes for your cat's nails to grow out of them. They are generally applied only to the front paws since those are the most destructive of the four. Soft Paws come in a kit and are easy to apply using the cap and adhesive. If you find it difficult to apply them to your cat, at least initially, your veterinarian or groomer may be able to do it for you for a nominal fee.

A third option is de-clawing. A surgical procedure, de-clawing involves the total removal of your cat's nails. It is a non-reversible procedure, but is extremely effective in protecting your furniture. Though an effective option, it is not recommended for cats that go outside regularly as they lose their ability to defend themselves with their claws. Since it is a surgical procedure requiring anesthesia, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the procedure.

Ultimately, your cat chooses her favorite place to scratch. However, it is up to you to give her suggestions and persuade her to use an area you have chosen. Training your cat to do what you want takes a lot of patience. Remember to reinforce good and wanted behavior and deter unwanted behavior. Once you and your cat have found a suitable solution, your house and furniture are going to thank you for your perseverance!!!

New App Can Locate Missing Pets with Facial Recognition Technology

A new app called PiP promises to locate missing pets using facial recognition technology. PiP, which stands for Positive Identification of Pet, uses the same technology for identifying human faces. Pet owners can upload a picture and register their pet with the app. If the pet goes missing, an alert is sent out to other PiP users in the area, as well as shelters and veterinary clinics. If another user finds the pet, he or she can upload their own image to indicate a match.


PIP App


The app's creator, Philip Rooyakkers, says he created the app after losing his own pet in 2011. "It really bugged me that technology hadn't kept up to this problem," he said. "You're at home trying to get the information out, but at the same time, you need to be out looking." The app launched in January, and Rooyakkers says it has already helped reunite pets with their owners. "The more we can reunite families with their pets," he said, "the better it is all around."

VIDEO: Cryosurgery: Icy-Cold Handiwork

Imagine a procedure where your pet's warts, skin tags and even cancerous growths could be removed from his or her skin without the need for anesthetic and is also practically painless and bloodless. It might sound futuristic, but the reality is that many veterinarians are now turning to Cryosurgery to help remove unwanted skin growths from our pets. Although the technique is not new, modern tools and delivery devices now make it easier for your veterinarian to use extreme cold to help heal your pets!

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Colleges Opening their Doors to Pets

As enrollment figures are starting to drop, many colleges are welcoming pets. Administrators at Stevens College in Columbia, MO and State University of New York at Canton have seen enrollments increase and emotional problems, often associated with students leaving home for the first time, decrease since allowing pets on campus.

A survey of 1,400 colleges lists allergies and irresponsible students as the two main reasons for not allowing pets. Other objections include mess, noise, disease, biting, roommate issues and pet abandonment. Schools that allow pets solve these problems in a variety of ways, including special dorms for students with pets and extra security deposits and cleaning fees. Schools also require current veterinary records and waivers of liability.


A girl and her dog on the quad


Here are a few schools that allow students to bring their pets to college:

MIT – Cambridge, MA
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, students may keep cats in “cat-friendly” areas of certain dormitories. The cat-friendly areas have a Pet Chair who is responsible for approving and keeping track of pets in the dorm, and the pet owner must have approval from his or her roommates.

Stetson University – DeLand, FL
Stetson University allows students to bring fish, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rats, mice, cats and dogs under 50 pounds to pet-friendly housing areas on campus. While several breeds of dogs including pit bulls and Rottweilers are prohibited, the college nonetheless won the Halifax Humane Society’s 2011 Wingate Award for encouraging responsible pet ownership.

Eckerd College – St. Petersburg, FL
Students with pet ducks are in luck at Eckerd College. In addition to cats, small dogs and rabbits, the college allows owners of waterfowl to cohabitate with their feathered friend in its pet friendly dormitories. All pets on the Eckerd campus must be registered with Eckerd’s pet council.

Stephens College – Columbia, MO
Stephens College is home to Searcy Hall, affectionately referred to by students as “Pet Central.” In addition to welcoming cats and small dogs, Stephens offers an on-campus doggie daycare and opportunities to foster pets through a nearby no-kill animal rescue organization.

Caltech – Pasadena, CA
Students housed in Caltech’s seven pet-friendly dorms are allowed to keep up to two indoor cats. Cats are provided with an ID tag by Caltech’s housing office, and students must remove cats if neighbors complain.

SUNY Canton – Canton, NY
State University of New York’s Canton campus has a designated pet wing where students are allowed to keep one cat or a small caged pet with the approval of the residence hall director. Pets in this area are allowed free reign in the hall, as the school’s pet wing community tries to promote a family-like atmosphere for its residents.

These are just a few of the colleges that currently allow pets on campus. In fact, a recent survey of college admissions officers found that 38% of schools have housing where some pets are permitted, with 10% of those schools allowing dogs and 8% allowing cats. Students who dread leaving Fido behind every fall might not have to if they choose a pet-friendly college.