Another interesting point of view from a former pastor and one I hope can open some eyes.
Read the entire article here
Another interesting point of view from a former pastor and one I hope can open some eyes.
Read the entire article here
Owners of overweight cats need to hear this, and hear it without any type of sugar coating or euphemisms. When I tell you your cat is overweight, it’s because your cat is overweight. I’m not calling you fat, I am not picking on you, and I am not saying you are a bad person.
I can’t stress this enough – it’s not about you. When I make a recommendation for your cat to lose weight, it is only because of the high number of risks associated with overweight cats, much the same as for a human. It’s also because your cat is far too heavy.
People hear these risks so often that I think they’ve become desensitized to it, and therefore complacent when it comes to actually changing it. Even if it may not be something that you take into account for your own daily life, at least do your cat the courtesy of helping them. They depend solely on you for it. A cat doesn’t understand the risks and complications of obesity so it is up to you as their sole caregiver to help them lead a happier, healthier life.
How can you tell if your cat is overweight? Look at his head. If it looks tiny in proportion to his body, your cat is too fat. If your cat is over seven kilograms (ish), chances are they are overweight. If your cat can’t lick it’s own ass, it’s too fat. If any of these things apply, you need to take a good look at the way you’re feeding. What may seem like a miniscule amount of food to us can actually be a normal meal for your feline.
It seems that people think that treats and a buffet of food is the key to keeping a kitty healthy and happy. Oh look how cute he is, meowing because he wants more food. Oh look, I’m feeling sad so I am going to get some love from my cat by feeding it some more treats. This is not OK. If you do these things even though it is making your cat rotund, then you should re-think being a cat owner.
You are not making their lives better by giving them all of the food and treats they want – you are contributing to a poor quality of life. You are shortening that life, and making what they have left of it more and more uncomfortable with each pound they gain. Outward signs that your cat may be uncomfortable or feeling effects of obesity are:
By inappropriate urination, I mean urinating or defecating outside of the litterbox. Maybe he just can’t fit, or maybe he’s trying to tell you something. A common misconception I hear of on a constant basis is that urinating outside the litter box happens because the cat is unhappy with you, the owner. This is silly and you need to stop thinking this way. While it may seem like they have the capacity for vindication sometimes, this is false. Inappropriate urination is understood to be a behaviour indicative of stress or urinary tract disease. Don’t believe me? Here’s a University who has also said it:
Something in your cat’s world, be it a new person, thing, or even renovations, can trigger these behaviours and getting to the bottom of which one it is can help. It is heartbreaking to see cats being brought in for euthanasia for something like this because the majority of cases can be helped with a little guidance from the vet and effort from the owner. If you have a situation like this, please ask your veterinarian for information first.
People need to realize that what you may think is a good weight for cats is actually much too high. It seems like it has become a social norm to have a chunky cat at home. If your cat doesn’t have a defined waist or it takes more than a light touch to feel ribs – your cat is too fat. Here’s a little comparison to help this sink in – 1 pound gained on a cat is like 15 pounds on an average adult woman. Click here for the full chart.
Injecting your cat after every meal probably doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, does it? Approximately 0.5% of cats will develop the disease due to obesity. This puts the numbers IN THE MILLIONS. I don’t think it’s fair to these animals to feed them the way people do. Let’s face it, there’s probably a solution and the onus needs to be put back on the owner to seek it out and make change. Your cat is not mad at you, not getting back at you because you left, your cat is stressed. It is your job to help.
Here’s more information on feline diabetes: http://www.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/brochure_diabetes.cfm
See the bottom of this post for websites with statistics.
Feel free to shoot me an email with questions.
Understand this: Veterinary professionals have a unique “outside looking in” view on how your animal behaves while at the clinic. Often we can see exactly what is lacking in the dynamic between you and your dog, or read your cat in order to see when they’ve had enough of us.
Having said that, we use this knowledge to help us decide on the best possible course of action to keep you, your pet, and us, safe. Some dogs are fearful, some are dominant, some couldn’t care less. Then there are those dogs that do things in the most unexpected of ways. These are the dogs you don’t see coming, and the ones that veterinary professionals have to be on guard for at all times.
I commonly experience owners who become offended or even get angry when we need to restrain their animal. What people need to understand is that no matter what, everyone’s safety is more important than your belief that Fluffy is going to be mad at you. Many people say, “Oh, Fluffy would never bite” or “Fluffy doesn’t need a muzzle”. Here’s a tip – if we are suggesting it, then yes, Fluffy does need what we call a “party hat”. The picture below depicts a tech or vet holding a dog in what we call “lateral”. We hold the down leg to prevent the dog from getting up. He can breathe and he is not in pain, he is just laying on his side and is being stopped from getting up. Mean? No. Useful? Yes.
Maybe your pet wouldn’t normally be one to bite, but now we have taken them out of their normal environment with their familiar people and schedule, and brought them to a stress-filled place with other animals and people they don’t know. Believe it or not, this changes things for your pet. Their normal behaviour doesn’t apply. By putting them in an exam room, we’ve taken the flight option away from them, and that leaves fight. In some cases I have even watched owners who refused a muzzle get bitten by their animal and think it’s completely normal and OK. Please understand me when I say this – your animal biting someone is NOT OK. Our job is to keep your animal healthy, not to scar up our bodies even more than they already are.
Just over three years into practice and I already have countless scars that will likely never fade. Some are there because we were not given permission to muzzle an animal. As an owner, do you think it’s alright for another person to have wounds and scars just because you find it offensive to put a painless muzzle on your animal? If your answer is yes, I suspect you may be a sociopath and you need to seek help.
Another point that I must be clear on is aimed at small breed dogs. Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Daschunds, Shih Tzus, and other dogs of this type. Often owners don’t treat these guys like dogs, they more treat them like small children. This means that they don’t always have the same grasp on basic obedience or “manners”. This can also mean that we can have a very angry dog once we start to do things like examine ears and teeth or trim nails. Now this dog, who is not accustomed to doing things it doesn’t want to, is being told to stand still and allow us to do what we need to do. As you can probably guess, there is probably going to be some attempts to bite, tantrums, and some high-pitched squealing, making it sound like we’re torturing the dog.
Here’s a newsflash to all of the owners who would be offended by us restraining your little dog at this point – pipe down. We are not torturing your dog. Fluffy has this all figured out since, at home, if he lets out that shrill scream you probably let go and Fluffy gets away scot-free. Here at the clinic, we don’t fall for this trick and that makes Fluffy miffed. THAT is why he’s making those sounds, not because we are hurting him. Either teach your dog that nail trims and exams are not a bad thing at an early age, or accept the fact that we don’t want to get bitten so we’re going to throw a muzzle on your landshark. Savvy?
Cats are a whole different ball game. One must read the body language carefully to try to anticipate aggression. Sometimes cats give you fair warning, sometimes they must think it hilarious to keep you guessing. One strategy commonly used with cats is scruffing. This seems to quiet many cats, and is a way to restrain them without causing them physical discomfort. Many revert back to kitten behaviour and go very still. This is not meant to make the cat in any way uncomfortable, it is merely done to make sure we have control over the bitey end. Whether we need to give a pill, an injection, or just inspect an issue more closely, the scruff allows us to do so safely. Pet owners should realize this is a very useful tool and in no way means we’re being mean to fluffy.
This may be shocking to you as an owner, but the vast majority of people who work on your pets for a living actually love animals. We probably have some of our own. Believe me, the last thing we want to do is cause your beloved animal pain. In fact, the whole reason you brought him to us was probably to relieve it, no? We aren’t mean, we are just trying to help without getting hurt in the process ourselves. Cut us some slack.
If you aren’t sure how to properly prepare your pet for their future vet visits, please contact your veterinarian for information or tips on how to help make the process as smooth as possible. There are many things you can do, like visit the clinic just to give Fluffy a treat and meet everyone, without anything invasive being done. Helping them to associate your clinic visit with positive things like treats and affection can go a long way. Another thing you can do is handle your puppy from a young age. Lift the lips and earls, handle the paws, even trim little pieces off just so they get used to the sensation. These things will only take a few minutes out of your day, but can really go a long way to making veterinary visits much easier.
As always, feel free to shoot me a message with any questions or comments!
I was recently inspired by a discussion on Youtube by Dawkins and Krauss. I have to say that it was one of the most enlightening and moving discussions I have ever heard so far, and I admire them both for their courage to be up there talking with such conviction in front of thousands of people who may or may not agree with them. It was a discussion with so many wonderful points made and eye-opening facts that my brain didn’t quite know what to do with itself. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I’ll put a link to it at the end of this post.
The discussion was titled “Something From Nothing”. I know the topic can create some heat, but the title is not the subject that I aim to write about today. Something else came up in their dialogue that I think is a wonderful, truthful point that I wish more people would understand and have the courage to do in their daily lives: utilizing their right to question beliefs. Any beliefs. I am not pointing the finger at Christianity, or Islam, or Judaism. I mean any beliefs on the face of our planet Earth. I strongly feel that if you are going around saying “I am a Christian” or “I follow ‘x’ set of beliefs” then it should be no problem for you to explain those beliefs and be able to back up why you believe those things.
I am sick of hearing people argue for their faith without actually answering direct questions about it. One question I pose often to Christians is whether or not they truly believe all of the “miraculous” stories in the bible. I want to know if they take that, like everything else in the bible, as fact. Infuriatingly, in most instances all that happens is huffing, puffing and avoiding the questions because they’re so offended by the asking of the question itself.
If you are going to label yourself as one thing or another, nobody has the right to feel offended just because someone is questioning the things you stand for. If you can answer in a rational and logical way, good for you. Perhaps the person asking will learn something or find a new perspective on the topic. If you can’t, I think you need to take a serious look at your beliefs and what exactly you stand for. To me, it is impossible for your beliefs or yourself to be taken seriously at that point. If you feel strongly about something, there must be a reason, and if that reason is simply “that’s your belief” – that’s just plain not good enough. Be an adult Just because it is your “personal belief” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be accountable for it.
For instance, I believe in animal welfare. I work every day to make the lives of the animals in my care better. Why do I believe this? Because it is fundamentally and morally wrong to neglect or abuse other creatures who depend on us for their basic needs. The Golden Rule is one to be followed, and I would challenge anyone to argue that.
Politicians will often use their religious beliefs in their political platform, and Krauss talked about this in the video. I believe he made a great point in saying that perhaps it is alright for that politician to have those personal beliefs, but the second he uses it on his political platform he is fair game for the media or whoever to question them. If you want to put those beliefs in the public eye and use them to your advantage, it is not wrong for someone to question them and being offended at that point is incredibly hypocritical.
Dawkins had a slightly different opinion. He was of the mind that any personal belief is open for discussion or questioning, regardless of it being in the public eye or not. I can see where he is coming from here as well because even on my little blog, I feel a strong need to defend or rationalize my thoughts to anyone who questions or argues against them. If I have a belief, I should be able to back it up and state why I think that way.
The beautiful part about the discussion between these two men is that even when they disagree, they can do so in such a civilized, respectful manner that it’s quite refreshing to watch. They both discuss why they believe each point, and can have a lively and engaging debate without the flinging of mud or bruised egos that so often come with debates on controversial topics. I think it’s disgusting that there a certain religions, and I won’t pick on one, that people are afraid to talk about for fear of physical or verbal retribution. Blindly following anything with no room for inquiry or advancement is not something I consider appealing and I have a hard time understanding why it’s desirable.
Always remember: just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right.
A question posed by an audience member also really got me thinking and I am glad he was able to say this: if as many people watched this two hour video as watched the Super Bowl, the world would be a better place. If you watched the video, I think you would also agree. See for yourself by clicking here. I would love to hear what anyone reading this thinks of the video as well. Please feel free to comment or email with your thoughts!