Topical Pain Medications a Danger to Cats

Cat Pain Meds

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety alert warning pet owners of the dangers of topical pain medications containing the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) flurbiprofen.

Several cats have recently been sickened, and some have died, from exposure to topical pain medications.  In all of the reported cases, the owners said the medications were not applied directly to the cats.  The owners applied the medications to their own bodies, and it is unclear at this time how exactly the cats were exposed to the drugs.

Affected cats experienced kidney failure and severe symptoms including failure to eat, lethargy, vomiting, and anemia.  Necropsies performed on the deceased cats found evidence consistent with NSAID toxicity in their kidneys and intestines.

The FDA recommends that pet owners take precautions to ensure that their pets are not exposed to topical pain medications containing flurbiprofen.  This would include keeping the container out of reach, and also making sure that your pet does not lick the medication off of your body.

You can read the full FDA warning HERE.

 

For the Love of Dogs: The Dog-Human Gaze Cements Our Bond

Laura's Dog Pic

A new study published in the journal Science proves that there’s a biological basis to that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you gaze into your dog’s eyes. Japanese researchers conducted experiments showing that human oxytocin levels increase when our dogs look into our eyes. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released when we engage in bonding behaviors, particularly the maternal-child bond.

Researchers studied various types of dog-human interactions and then measured oxytocin levels for both species. The largest and most significant oxytocin increases were seen in owners who engaged in long gazes with their dogs. Both humans and dogs were found to experience similar increases in oxytocin when they engaged in eye contact and touching.

Mandy1

An analysis of oxytocin levels in male and female dogs interacting with people found that the female dogs were much more likely to experience increased oxytocin when gazing at humans. Researchers note that while male dogs tend to be more vigilant, female dogs are more sensitive to the effects of increased oxytocin.

Eye contact plays a key role in human bonding, especially with infants. The authors of the study suggest that as dogs became domesticated, the dog-human gaze activated oxytocin in both species, facilitating the close dog-human bond that we share today.

For full text of the article, click HERE.

 *photos courtesy of Laura Ingham.

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

Orange ribbon

Did you know that April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month?  Show your support for animals by wearing an orange ribbon or posting an image of the orange ribbon to your social media pages!  The orange ribbon is known as the “animal guardian ribbon” and has come to symbolize awareness for animal cruelty prevention.

Orange ribbon dogs

How can you make a difference in the lives of animals?  Check out the ASPCA’s website for some great ideas on how to get involved.  You can find tips and resources on fundraising for animals in need, helping your local animal shelter, and becoming an advocate on animal issues.

Orange ribbon cats

Together, we can all do our part to raise awareness on animal cruelty prevention!

Prevention and Treatment of Feline Acne

Feline acne

Does your cat look like she has some dirt on her chin? It could be feline acne, a common skin condition in cats. What looks like a dirty chin could be a mild to moderate case of cat acne. Those black specks are actually blackheads, similar to blackheads in humans. In more severe cases, a cat can develop red sores and lesions on the chin area.

Some cats are more prone to acne than others. This includes cats who don’t groom properly, produce excess sebum or keratin, have clogged hair follicles, or have allergies. Your veterinarian can perform a simple test to diagnose acne and rule out any other skin conditions.

Your vet may clean the area and clip the fur, and then apply a topical treatment to your cat’s chin. The treatment will continue at home, with continued application of the ointment. Hot compresses can also be helpful. If the acne has progressed to an infection, antibiotics may be required.

Feline acne2

Cat health experts recommend that you switch your cat’s bowls from plastic or ceramic to stainless steel. Some cats are sensitive to plastic. Stainless steel is also more resistant to bacteria growth than ceramic. Wash the bowls in the dishwasher every day using the heat dry cycle to make sure they are as clean as possible. Make sure your cat’s chin is clean and dry after eating and drinking.

Feline acne can reappear, so continued treatment with topical medication and hot compresses may be needed.

Creative Fundraising Ideas for Animal Charities

Charity_Winnie

The FACE Foundation recently received a wonderful surprise from this cute pup Winnie and her parents!  Winnie and her people have been collecting spare change they find on the ground during their daily walks for the past few years.  They collected almost $200 which they generously donated to FACE to help save the lives of local pets in need.

Here are a few other fun and creative fundraising ideas for animal welfare non-profits:

Doggy Treat Bake Sale

Charity_baking

Volunteers can donate homemade dog treats and you can hold a bake sale for your organization.

Animal Nail Art

Charity_nails

Have some volunteers who love doing nails?  Host a pet-themed manicure party!

Dog Kissing Booth

Charity_kissing

Who wouldn’t want to get some wet doggy kisses for a good cause?

Let us know if you have any creative, animal-themed fundraising ideas of your own!