Meet FACE Success Story Marmalade!

Marmalade is a beautiful odd-eyed white kitty who was diagnosed with a urinary blockage…one of the most common emergency veterinary health issues we help with FACE grants.

Marmalade needed life-saving surgery to address his urinary obstruction, and we are happy to report that he is now recovering at home with his loving family.

His humans sent us a note with the good news about his health and a kind thank you for the financial assistance we were able to provide for his care:

“Thank you so much for saving our precious kitty’s life! We couldn’t imagine a world without this sweet loving boy in it and that is what would have happened without the amazingly generous help that the FACE Foundation and its donors provided to us. You have truly enriched our lives in a way that we will be eternally thankful for! It warms our hearts to know that there is such a wonderful organization in our community!”

We’d like to extend *our thanks* to all of our kind donors and supporters for making success stories like Marmalade’s happen!

 

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Dogs and Humans Share Similar Gut Microbiomes

The human microbiome (the many microorganisms that live in and on our body) is a popular topic in science news these days.  Researchers are especially interested in how the microbes that live in our intestines impact our health and well-being.

Our pets have microbiomes too, and a recent study of the canine gut microbiome has found that humans and dogs share many similarities.  Dogs are more like humans in the gut microbiome than either pigs or mice.

Why are we so similar?  The study authors suspect that it has a lot to do with similarities in our diets.

The researchers randomly assigned two different diets to a group of dogs.  One was high protein/low carbohydrate and the other was a lower protein/higher carb diet.

The genes of the dogs’ gut microbes were sequenced using poop samples.  They were then compared to the genes of the gut microbes of humans and other animals.

The researchers found that we share more similarities with dogs than with pigs or mice.  They also found that dogs on the high protein/low carb diet experienced more changes in the gut microbiome than dogs on the higher carb diet.  This was especially true for overweight dogs.

Humans show similar gut microbiome changes when our diets are altered as well.  The researchers note that both dogs and humans with healthy body weights have more stable gut microbiomes, while obesity can lead to less stable gut microbiomes and an increased sensitivity to dietary changes.

 

 

AVMA Shares New Pet Ownership Numbers for the U.S.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently released its latest Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.  The number of pets in the U.S. is increasing, including non-traditional exotic pets like birds and reptiles.

Here’s a summary of some of the key findings:

  • 57% of all U.S. households own at least one pet.
  • The number of households with dogs is at a record high (38%) with cat owning households coming in second (25%).

  • 13% of all U.S. households have some sort of exotic pet, an increase of 25% from the 2011 pet ownership survey.
  • The trend of keeping poultry as pets has been growing at a rate of 23% over the last 5 years.

  • The number of households with pets is highest in rural states, with Wyoming, West Virginia, and Nebraska at the top of the list.
  • The states with the least number of pets are Rhode Island, South Dakota, New York, and New Jersey.
  • Dog owners are more likely to take their pets to the veterinarian than owners of other animals.

The Sourcebook is available for purchase via the AVMA website, and AVMA members can download the Executive Summary at no cost.

 

Vet Visit Checklist for Senior Cats

Cats are considered to be “seniors” when they reach 11+ years of age.  Senior cats can develop a variety of chronic health problems, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid disease

Other common health issues seen in older cats include weight loss, dehydration/constipation, and tooth and gum disease.

Because your senior cat is at a greater risk of developing chronic health problems than she did when she was younger, it’s important to make regular veterinary visits a part of your cat’s health plan.

Cat Care for Life is a feline health and wellness initiative from the International Cat Care charity.  They have created a handy senior cat checklist for cat owners to take with them on veterinary visits.  Checklists are a great way to remind yourself of issues and concerns you’d like to bring up with your vet.

You can download and print a pdf of the one-page senior cat checklist by clicking HERE!