206.323.4433 2115 - 23rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144

3 Tips for a Successful Curbside or Virtual Veterinary Visit

How to Have a Successful Curbside or Virtual Veterinary Visit | atlanticvetseattle.com

Imagine driving 100 mph on a curvy racetrack with no guard rails – all day, every day, for over a year – while trying to keep a smile on your face and avoid a fiery crash.

That’s how health care workers – including veterinary staff – feel. Veterinary clinics nationwide have experienced a surge in demand as stay-at-home families adopt pets. While that’s a wonderful thing for animal shelters (many shelter pets have found forever homes), from a health care perspective, we’re seeing:

Increased emergency visits.

Emergency veterinary clinics nationwide are typically backed up 6-to-12 hours and are often forced to turn patients away.

Clinics such as Atlantic Veterinary Hospital are taking in more emergencies daily, because we no longer have the option of referring critical patients to emergency clinics.

Pet emergencies are time-consuming, and because emergencies require immediate attention, well-pet appointments sometimes have to be rescheduled.

Increased wait times to schedule appointments and increased time for the appointment.

Veterinary clinics nationwide are booked out anywhere from four days to three weeks. The increase in pet emergencies, combined with a shortage of skilled veterinary nurses and the inefficiency of curbside service, all contribute to the problem.

What you can do:

1. Understand that our pre-COVID world no longer exists.

Life looks so much different today than it did 14 months ago! Our staff is committed to providing top-quality care, and we are also committed to abiding by Washington State’s COVID-19 health guidance to keep you and our staff safe.

2. Think ahead. Be patient and kind.

We keep a number of same-day urgent care appointments available every day. These appointments are filled quickly, so call early if you think your pet needs to be seen right away.

Urgent care appointments have a higher charge than a regularly scheduled appointment. Learn more about typical conditions we see in urgent care.

We will continue to provide concierge curbside service, likely for the next few months.

When we are able to allow pet parents back in the hospital, only one adult client at a time (not couples or families) will accompany their pet.

How Concierge Curbside Service Works

  1. Complete all necessary online intake forms before your appointment time.
  2. You and your pet arrive in our parking lot and remain in your vehicle.
  3. Text us from the parking lot: 206-323-4433.
  4. Our staff will escort your pet into the hospital while you remain in our parking lot.
  5. Our staff and doctors will communicate with you via AirVet virtual visit or phone, provide care for your pet, and then return your pet to your vehicle. Please be prepared to answer the doctor’s call while you are waiting in your car.
  6. Payment can be collected via a hands-free device in the parking lot.

You’ll want to plan your pet’s visit well in advance, and be patient with us if you experience a delay.

3. Take advantage of virtual veterinary consultations.

Virtual visits are an alternative to curbside visits. We’ve partnered with Airvet, a service where you and your pet can have a consultation with a veterinarian from the comfort of your own home.

During the appointment, you and your pet are on a video call (similar to Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype), where you are virtually in the exam room with the doctor, nurse, and your pet.

When you use Airvet for a scheduled pet behavior consult, you will talk with the veterinarian with whom you scheduled the consultation.

Telemedicine is also helpful for pet parents who have after-hours questions and concerns. The Airvet system will attempt to schedule you with one of our doctors. If we’re unavailable, you will consult with one of our partnered Airvet doctors.

Airvet is a quick and efficient way to ask questions, do follow-ups, and sometimes, to get the reassurance you need during those moments of “I don’t know if I should be freaking out or not!”

Click here to learn more about Airvet works and to download the Airvet app.

We so much appreciate our pet patients and their human counterparts! Thank you for your continued patience and grace as we mutually adjust to “the new normal.”

The staff at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital

What You Need to Know About Fleas, Ticks and Parasite Preventives

More than an itchy nuisance, fleas are blood-sucking, disease-spreading insects.

What You Need to Know About Fleas, Ticks and Parasite Preventives | atlanticvetseattle.com

Flea bite anemia

When cats get infested with fleas, they can get flea bite anemia due to losing so much blood. Those suckers (literally) drain so much blood that a cat’s body is unable to function normally.

Cats particularly susceptible to flea bite anemia include:

  • kittens
  • small cats
  • elderly cats
  • cats with weakened immune systems
  • cats who have lost blood due to an injury
  • cats who have recently undergone surgery and required a blood transfusion

Cat scratch fever

Fleas also cause cat scratch fever, a mild-to-severe bacterial infection that cats can pass along to humans. Humans can get cat scratch fever when a cat infected with Bartonella henselae (a bacteria cats contract when scratching or biting at infected fleas) bites or scratches a human or licks an open wound on a human’s skin.

Cat scratch fever (also called cat scratch disease) in humans is most prevalent in the southern part of the U.S. and most common among teenagers and children aged 5-9. However, anyone who owns or interacts with a cat is at risk of contracting the disease.

Not-so-fun flea facts

Although tiny and flightless, fleas can jump 7-13 inches and show no respect for property lines and door sills.

April Showers Bring May Flowers – Fleas & Ticks Aren’t Far Behind | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Female fleas can lay over 5,000 eggs in their lifetime and live up to 18 months.

A single pregnant flea can cause a population explosion of fleas on your pet and in your home.

Fleas have been around for millions of years, causing itchy misery and spreading diseases like tapeworms and life-threatening bacteria and viruses affecting animals and people. For example, fleas spread the bacteria that causes The Plague, a disease that killed thousands in Europe in the Dark Ages and is still found today in places as near as Eastern Oregon.

Get a flea preventive NOW!

We have amazing new parasite preventives that came out in the past two years. These preventives are better than anything you can buy over-the-counter. (They prevent ticks, too.)

Call Atlantic Veterinary Hospital at 206-323-4433 and ask about our flea and tick preventives. (Continue reading for more on flea and tick preventives.)

Ticks…A Growing Concern in the Pacific Northwest and Worldwide

What you need to know about ticks | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Ticks are blood-sucking arachnids – not insects – and are implicated in the spread of a number of life-threatening diseases that affect humans and animals. They can harbor bacteria, viruses, and protozoal parasites, sometimes more than one at a time.

Slow-moving and unable to jump, they lay in wait on grass or leaves until their prey walks by, then grab on for the ride.

Ticks can transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, anaplasmosis, and erlichiosis, to name a few.

Unfortunately, one of the many side effects of warmer temperatures is that ticks are increasing in abundance and geographical range throughout the world. Once a realm of warmer, humid southern areas of the US, ticks and tick-borne diseases have spread north and occur in all 50 states and Canada.

A similar phenomenon has occurred in Europe. Tick migration mostly occurs through the movement of animals upon which ticks feed. Small mammals can transport ticks short distances, but migrating deer and, especially, birds can carry the intrepid hitchhikers into new territories where they once did not exist.

Our Western Washington “Emerald Isle” has more ticks.

New Products Make Flea & Tick Prevention Easier for Pets

Fortunately, defense for pets against fleas and ticks continues to improve since the introduction of fipronil (Frontline) in 1995, a safe-but-messy topical that helped prevent fleas and ticks in cats and dogs.

Today, better products help prevent these parasites. Our favorites are the new oral chews that have come on the market in the past two years that quickly kill fleas and ticks.

No more messy topical medication or stinky collar, just a tasty “treat” that safely and effectively prevents fleas and ticks from 30-90 days, depending on the product.

Additionally, new laboratory tests help us spot tick-borne diseases faster, sometimes before they even cause disease symptoms.

You know the 4DX lab test we recommend for your dog every year? Well, test #1 screens for heartworm disease, but #2-4 are screens for tick-borne illnesses – Lyme disease, erlichiosis, and anaplasmosis.

Hey ticks, we’re watching.

Better Lyme disease vaccines are now available for dogs traveling to Lyme disease endemic areas – the Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Florida.

We recommend your dog begins the Lyme vaccine series 7-8 weeks prior to your trip back East, in addition to using one of the newer tick prevention products and taking precautions, such as keeping your dog out of tall grass or wooded areas if possible, and doing a daily tick inspection of yourself and your dog.

Dog Sharing: Is Co-Ownership Right for You?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Caring is Sharing.” But when it comes to pets, is that really practical?

While connecting with pets helps us stay connected to our humanity, pet ownership can be challenging and costly. That’s one reason why pet sharing is gaining in popularity.

Dog Sharing: Is Co-Ownership Right for You? | atlanticvetseattle.com

Pet sharing is exactly what is implied: sharing the responsibility of caring for a pet through either a legally-binding or verbal agreement.

Who does dog sharing work for?

Pet sharing can be a good fit for animal lovers who aren’t sure whether they can take on the full responsibility of adding a furry friend to their household.

It’s a viable solution for people who are away from home most of the day or who have obligations that require constant travel.

Pet sharing is an option for busy families who own more than one pet. For example, the owners of a purebred Schnauzer who is used as a stud also have several other dogs and children. In order to give the papered pet the attention and socialization he needs, one of their friends (who runs a home-based business and does not have any pets), keeps the dog with her as part of her family. When the dog is needed for stud purposes, the owner has full rights and maintains the records. However, the friend is the one who cares for and keeps the Schnauzer full time.

A retired couple shares their dog with a young family. “Sammy” was raised around kids and loves being with children, but now that his owners are retired, life has a slower pace. Their neighbors, a family with three young daughters, wanted a dog, but debated how a dog would fit their busy lifestyle.

The retired couple asked the young family if they would like to keep Sammy for a few days. It was a wonderful experience for all of them. Sammy came home energized from being around children, the young family experienced what it was like to have a pet, and the retired couple was able to travel to see their kids without having to board their dog. Sammy continues to visit the young family’s home because of how much everyone benefits.

Balancing pet ownership responsibilities

Sharing a pet is not a canine version of the movie, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, where an inanimate object is passed around. Pets, just like their human owners, have physical and emotional needs that include stability.

In a pet-sharing agreement, responsibilities for expenses such as food, grooming, and veterinary visits must be clearly outlined.

And, because no one can predict what the future holds, the agreement should specify what happens if one family moves or can no longer care for the pet.

In lieu of setting up co-ownership, other options are available:

Dog Walkers

If your furry friend is in the house or kennel for long stretches, look into hiring someone to walk your pooch around the neighborhood. Some dog walkers are paid professionals, and some just enjoy having someone to take with them on their daily stroll.

Doggie Day Care

More expensive, but is usually fully insured and has a vetted staff. Their goal is to make sure your pet is well cared for and content while you are gone.

Pet Sitters

These can be paid professionals and franchises for long-term boarding, or friends who love your pet almost as much as you do and don’t mind caring for them while you are away.

Bark N Borrow is an app that connects people with other dog owners in their neighborhood.

Whether you share ownership of a pet with another family, or you need to make arrangements to help with pet parenting, it is nice to know that adding a furry friend to your family might be easier than you thought.

Microchip-Controlled Cat Feeder Helps Control Who Eats What

Does your dog eat the cat’s food?

Or perhaps your curious toddler plays with kitty’s food?

We’re certain you’d rather spend your day doing something other than playing Cat Food Police. That’s why we’re excited about the SureFeed Microchip-Controlled Feeder.

The feeder opens when it recognizes your cat’s microchip or RFID collar tag, and closes when the cat has finished eating.

Check it out… watch this video.

While reviews show it doesn’t work for everyone, overall opinions are very favorable.

This feeder could be a big help in controlling who eats what in a multi-pet household, particularly if you have cats on prescription diets. Or one who likes to help himself to everyone else’s food.

Has your cat tried this feeder? What did kitty have to say about it?

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit

By Hannah Feinsilber
Intern at Atlantic Veterinary Hospital

It’s not a surprise that some dogs and cats dislike vet visits. The different sounds and smells, as well as getting poked and prodded, can upset their routine of playing, sleeping, and eating.

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Our Pets Are Just Like Us

The way some humans think about dental visits – or even yearly doctor check-ups – is similar to the way some pets think about vet visits: uncomfortable, stressful, but unquestionably necessary. Pet owners know that annual checkups and vaccinations are crucial to their pet’s long-term health, yet some dread the anxiety-laden trip that comes with it.

According to The American Veterinary Medical Association:

“Thirty-eight percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats are fearful of vet visits, even more fearful than kids are of going to the dentist. Even 38 percent of cat owners and 26 percent of dog owners are stressed just thinking about it.”

Twenty-eight percent of cat owners and 22 percent of dog owners would visit the veterinarian more frequently if it wasn’t so stressful for the owner and/or the pet.

Fear Free Takes the “Pet” Out of “Petrified”

Fear Free is an organization that helps alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them. Fear Free provides online and in-person education to pet owners, veterinary professionals, and the pet professional community. There is so much YOU can do to help your pet(s) have the safest and most productive vet visit EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Why You Should Care

Veterinarians and pet owners take the physical health of pets very seriously, yet the pet’s mental health is sometimes overlooked. Reducing anxiety, stress, and fear in cats and dogs will significantly reduce their sensitivity to pain, and create a safer and more productive visit for everyone involved.

Fear vs. Anxiety

Fear and anxiety are two different problems, and can be often reduced in quick and easy ways. Fear is the instinctual feeling of apprehension resulting from a situation, person, or object presenting an external threat – whether real or perceived. Anxiety is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in physiologic reactions.

Be Educated in Fear Free Practices

In order to provide pets with long, happy, healthy lives, regular visits to your veterinarian for both preventive and acute care are crucial. By becoming educated in Fear Free techniques, you can help to brighten and enrich your pet’s life to the fullest.

Veterinary visits are a crucial part of Fear Free Happy Homes. Reducing the anxiety, fear, stress, and pain sensitivity for the pets we care about will create a more productive and safe environment for everybody involved – pets, pet owners, and veterinary professionals.

Here are 12 easy steps you can take that will make a huge difference in the long-term health of your pet:

For Cats

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Be Prepared

Do not wait until the day of or the day before to prepare for your cat’s visit.

After working on creating positive associations with various predictable aspects of the vet visit, like getting in the crate, riding in the car, and being handled by new people, if your cat still seems anxious about the visit, talk to your vet about other methods for soothing them.

For example, pheromones, supplements, or medications may help to manage your cat’s fear, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, before you take your cat to the vet, work with your veterinary team to discuss your cat’s emotional health during their visit, and patterns you have observed at home. Little changes, such as waiting in your temperature-controlled car until an exam room is ready, can make a huge impact on your cat’s mental health and reduce their anxiety and stress levels.

Create a Safe Carrier

Get your cat accustomed to being comfortable in her carrier.

If the only time your cat gets in her carrier is when going to the vet, chances are she will fear and reject it. Instead, try creating a link between the carrier and safe and happy feelings by incorporating her carrier into her daily life.

Use the carrier as a place for your cat to sleep or eat, as well as rewarding her with treats once inside.

Additionally, try leaving her carrier open throughout the day, incorporating it into playtime with feline friends.

Provide a Comfortable and Safe Car Ride

Try spraying Feliway® (a pheromone that has a calming effect on cats) in your car’s interior 30-60 minutes before you will leave for the vet visit. This spray will reduce your cat’s anxiety and stress, making kitty more calm once he heads in for his appointment.

During the drive, try to avoid sudden braking, stopping, acceleration, or sharp and fast turns.

Tuning the radio to a soothing channel like classical music can also calm your cat, causing a more relaxed visit.

Finally, once you arrive at the vet, make sure you have brought a blanket or large towel to cover the carrier to reduce visual stimulation of seeing other pets.

Manage the Waiting Room

Some veterinary waiting rooms can be a scary place for your cat, especially when shared with other anxious, loud, and unhappy pets who aren’t thrilled to be there either. In an ideal world, your cat should be able to be moved to the exam room right upon arrival; ask the front desk whether this is possible.

To make the waiting room experience more tolerable, try positioning the carrier so that it faces the back of a wall, chair, or couch.

Additionally, cover the carrier with a towel and stay with your kitty – reassure by talking to them and letting them smell your fingers. If possible, seek out a place to sit that is animal-free.

Timing is also very important, too. Be on time. Do not arrive too early, and do not arrive late. Waiting a long time for the vet can cause a buildup of stress, anxiety, and fear that will not make the vet visit as easy and productive as it could be.

Consider Anti-Anxiety Medications

If your cat still has an anxious mind, your vet can prescribe or suggest prescription medication or over-the-counter remedies that can help take the edge off during the vet visit. Talk to your vet for specific recommendations.

Implement Regular “Happy Visits”

Cat’s visits to the vet shouldn’t just be limited to when they are hurt, sick, or need vaccinations.

The more familiar they become with the environment of the vet, the more comfortable they will feel going to the vet.

Even just popping in occasionally for a reward of treats and a friendly hello from the veterinary staff can make your cat feel more safe and relaxed at the vet.

For Dogs:

12 Tactics to Help Your Pet Have a Fear-Free Veterinary Visit | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Bring Toys

Does your dog get stressed out by unfamiliar or presumed unsafe environments? Like the cartoon character Linus’s famous blanket, some dogs benefit from bringing their favorite toy to provide a familiar scent and a dose of comfort at the vet’s office.

Implement “Happy Visits”
Taking your dog to the vet clinic even if they do not have a scheduled appointment can make them less fearful, stressed, and more comfortable with the veterinary environment. Many veterinary clinics encourage “happy visits” where the staff will pet your dog and feed him treats. As a result, this can make your dog feel more relaxed at their vet visits.

Arrive Hungry

You may be thinking, “Why would I ever want my dog to be hungry?” Arriving at the vet visit with a hungry dog can encourage them to take treats for good behavior, which has been scientifically shown to decrease anxiety, fear, and stress.

Bring their favorite treats from home if you are not sure if they are going to like the vet treats.

Take Joy Rides

Does your dog associate car rides with going to the vet? If yes, after they are finished with their visit, take your dog on a car ride that ends with a treat or a stroll in the park. As a result, your dog will not associate the car with only vet appointments.

Medications from your vet to treat car-sickness for your pet is also a great option, and is highly advised if applicable. Additionally, it is unsafe for your dog to be in the front seat of the car due to possible inflation of airbags, so put them in the back for optimal safety.

Create a Safe Crate

Crates can be a scary place for some dogs, increasing their anxiety, stress, and fear levels when placed inside of it before the appointment. Try to avoid taking out the crate only when going to the vet. Alternatively, at home, leave it out as a safe place for your dog to sleep or eat in, instead of an unsafe/negative environment.

Most veterinarians recommend crate training when your dog is a puppy as well to make this process easier. As a result, your dog will hopefully go inside when you need them to, will not associate the crate with only going to the vet, and will feel safe and secure.

Make a Difference

Reading body language for detailed cues, playing specific music, and providing short-acting anti-anxiety medication are just three examples of the many ways to reduce anxiety, stress, and fear in the pets we love.

The emotional and physical health of the ones we care the most about is the #1 priority, and each of us can play a vital role in in helping vet visits become Fear Free.

Why Indoor Pets Should Be Vaccinated for Rabies

All mammals, including bats and humans, can contract rabies through a bite or contact with saliva from a rabies-infected animal (alive or dead). Unfortunately, bat bites in humans can be tiny and often go undetected.

Bat Facts

According to the Washington State Department of Health, the incidence of rabies in wild bats in Washington is estimated to be 1%.

However, the incidence of rabies in bats found indoors and submitted for testing is as high as 10%.

While rabid raccoons, skunks, foxes or coyotes have not been identified in Washington, the virus can be transmitted from bats to these mammals. In the past 20 years, two humans and several domestic animals have died of rabies in Washington.

Bats are a tremendously important part of our ecosystem and found on every continent except Antarctica. Thanks to flight, they are one of the most widely disseminated groups of animals in the world.

There are more than 1000 different species of bats throughout the world, ranging in wing span from 5 inches to 5 feet. Many species of bats help control noxious insects, like mosquitoes and insects that damage food crops. Other species are important to fruit pollination.

How Bats Enter Homes

Washington bats, for the most part, are quite small, and can squeeze through an opening as small as 1-inch by 5/8-inches, according to information found on Bats Northwest. Attics and walls provide good roost sites and bats often enter homes where the sides of a house meet the roof or chimney.

“Cats are especially susceptible because they are natural hunters of flying creatures and often catch bats. The bat’s only defense is to bite.”

“It is very important to have your pets vaccinated against this disease, even if they are ‘indoor’ pets. Bats sometimes find their way into houses and an unvaccinated pet that is exposed may have to spend months in quarantine or be euthanized,” the website states.

Beware the ‘Winged Mouse’

Even the sleepiest house cat cannot ignore the Call of the Wild when a “winged mouse” is flapping around the house, looking for a way out. If you find a bat inside your home or outside on the ground, don’t touch it with bare hands or release it outside. Trap the bat under a container and contact your county health department to have the bat tested for rabies.

If a bat is found in the house while you’re sleeping but escapes before you can trap it, health officials often recommend rabies prophylaxis for people and pets in the household to safeguard against a potentially unknown bite.

State Rule Requires Rabies Vaccine

Since 2012, rabies vaccines have been mandatory for all cats, dogs, and ferrets living in Washington State.

We typically recommend puppies and kittens receive their first rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age. A booster vaccine should be administered one year later, and then every 3 years for dogs and annually for cats (who receive the gentler modified live rabies vaccine).

To schedule a rabies vaccination for your cat, call Atlantic Veterinary Hospital at 206.323.4433 or e-mail us.

Access Your Pet’s Medical Records 24/7 on Your Phone or Computer

Access to your pet’s medical records can be a lifesaver in case of an after-hours emergency or when traveling.

With your complimentary subscription to Petly, you can access your pet’s exam summaries, discharge instructions, laboratory results, and X-rays, 24/7.

Petly also allows you to:

  • review your pet’s vaccine and preventive health recommendations
  • request appointments, boarding reservations, and prescription refills
  • receive important medical alerts and hospital news
  • communicate with your pet’s doctor
  • update your personal contact information

Petly includes other features, including a library of reliable information on a wide range of pet health topics. We provide this service FREE to all Atlantic Veterinary Hospital clients with active email addresses.

Learn how to access your pet’s medical records.

4 Remedies for Hairballs in Cats

Did you know that cats spend up to a quarter of their day grooming themselves?

4 Remedies for Hairballs in Cats | atlanticvetseattle.com

Their rough tongues catch loose hair, which is swallowed and usually passes unnoticed through their GI tract. When a larger amount of hair has accumulated in the stomach, however, cats have a unique talent of vomiting up a trichobezoar, or “hairball” (although it’s hardly shaped like a ball).

This is protective measure that usually works just fine to rid the cat of excessive hair in its stomach. Occasionally, the trichobezoar grows so large it cannot pass out of the stomach or blocks the intestinal tract, requiring emergency surgery to remove it. Fortunately, these occurrences are rare.

Other times, cats are vomiting hairballs more frequently than normal, indicating some other underlying medical problem that needs to be addressed (besides having the carpet cleaners on speed dial).

Cats that vomit hairballs more than once a month (except in May and June, perhaps twice a month), may be grooming excessively. Or, the frequent hairballs may be a result of inflammatory bowel disease, food sensitivity, or an intestinal motility problem. It’s time to give us a call and schedule an appointment.

4 Common Remedies for Hairballs

Here are four ways to remedy hairballs.

1. Hairball diets

Over the past 15 years, “hairball diets” and “hairball treats” have become common place in the world of cat food. These diets and treats are usually higher in fiber and are thought to help cats pass swallowed hair in their stool. Whether they actually work as advertised seems to vary amongst cats.

2. Hairball Laxatives

Another common remedy is hairball laxatives, typically petrolatum-based (think Vaseline) or oil-based, that is also meant to help a cat pass swallowed hair in their stool. We suggest the oil-based hairball laxatives, but only once a week (not daily). Oil-based hairball laxatives can be harder to find than the petrolatum-based products.

3. Regular Grooming with a Cat Comb

The very best remedy for hairballs (not caused by an underlying medical problem) is regular grooming. During May and June, “regular” can mean twice a day.

Our favorite grooming tool is a nylon comb from the drugstore, or you can purchase a cat comb from a pet store. Nylon combs are inexpensive, their teeth are rarely sharp, and they can be tossed in the dishwasher to clean.

Try dipping the comb in a tumbler of water, tap it on the edge of the glass to remove most of the water, then comb your kitty in the direction the hair grows.

Most, but not all, cats enjoy grooming if it doesn’t hurt. It’s a social thing cats do for each other when they like each other. The damp comb helps pick up more hair, keeps it from flying around your home, cleans the kitty, and prevents static electricity so you don’t “zap” your cat (who would no longer find grooming much fun after that!).

It’s best to start regular grooming as a kitten so your cat, however, even many adult cats like it if you’re gentle.

4. Lion Cuts

Some extra furry kitties come see us for a lion cut because their heavy coats cause them to shed A LOT.

Our nurses love doing lion cuts, and most extra furry cats like them too (however, occasionally we have to provide light sedation to accomplish the task).

Lion cuts involve clipping the fur on the trunk, but leaving the fur on the “ruff” (neck), head, legs, and tail, thus making the cat look like an adult male lion. Older cats usually act pretty kittenish after a lion cut.

Is My Cat a Senior? How to Care for an Aging Cat

When is a cat considered a senior?

According to Pet Health Network’s feline age chart, a 4-year-old cat is considered to be equivalent to a 26-year-old human being. The process slows down after that.

Beginning at around age 9, a cat reaches senior status (the presumed equivalent of a 52-year-old human). At age 14, a cat is considered to be geriatric.

How to determine whether your cat is a senior | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

As cats age, they’re prone to some of the same conditions aging humans face:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Organ failure
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis and cognitive disorders

At Atlantic Veterinary Hospital, we offer Adult Pet Wellness Plans. These include yearly or senior wellness checkups, vaccinations, intestinal parasite screening, and routine wellness laboratory screenings at a significant discount to you.

How to determine whether your cat is a senior | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

For your senior cat, we recommend:

  • Twice yearly thorough physical exam, including oral health and mobility assessments
  • Intestinal parasite screening, at least once a year
  • Vaccines tailored to your pet’s lifestyle, health & environment
  • Comprehensive parasite preventive (internal & external)
  • Blood pressure screening and senior laboratory assessment

Give Atlantic Veterinary Hospital a call to schedule a wellness exam for your senior cat: 206-323-4433

Acupuncture: This Ancient Healing Art Helps Pets, Too!

An ancient healing art developed in China more than 4,000 years ago, acupuncture is a therapeutic technique that enhances a body’s natural healing abilities.

Acupuncture: This Ancient Healing Art Helps Pets, Too! | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dr. Munroe uses acupuncture to treat a dog.

What is Animal Acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves inserting very fine, sterile needles into specific points mapped over the body. The needles stimulate circulation, stimulate the release of hormones, and help restore the body’s natural balance.

Dr. Tricia Munroe | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dr. Tricia Munroe, cVMA, CCRT, completed her training and certification in veterinary acupuncture in 2015.

Animal acupuncture should only be performed by a trained and certified veterinary acupuncturist. Dr. Tricia Munroe, cVMA, CCRT, completed her training and certification in veterinary acupuncture in 2015 and has been using the technique to provide our patients with an additional therapy option.

Conditions that Acupuncture Can Improve

More and more pet owners are trying acupuncture for their furry family members. Pain management is one of the most common uses for acupuncture, often in conjunction with a more traditional treatment plan.

Several common conditions effecting animals can improve with the addition of acupuncture treatment, including:

  • arthritis and back pain
  • immune disorders
  • decreased appetite
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • skin conditions
  • intestinal problems (diarrhea and constipation)
  • metabolic problems (liver and kidney disease)
  • anxiety
  • urinary incontinence

During Therapy…

Pets typically relax and enjoy acupuncture therapy. The tiny pinch caused by the needle insertion is very tolerable and often unnoticed. Many pets relax and fall asleep while they wait the 15-30 minutes before the needles are removed.

Acupuncture: This Ancient Healing Art Helps Pets, Too! | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Dr. Munroe uses acupuncture to treat a dog.

Initially, Dr. Munroe recommends acupuncture on a weekly basis, but as a pet’s condition improves, treatment sessions are often changed to a monthly or as needed basis.

About Veterinary Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the safest medical therapies, using no chemicals or medications. Veterinary acupuncture was approved as an alternative therapy by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 1988. A new development in animal acupuncture is the use of therapeutic lasers instead of needles.

Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.