Weirdos- I’d like to introduce you to our newest effort in partnering with rescues and shelters to help adoptable cats! This new endeavor is called Forever Home Friday and will aim to help give exposure to cats in shelters that have been long term residents, have special needs, or are senior cats that are often overlooked. The team heading Forever Home Friday are Admin Cassandra Bean Ungvarsky and Moderators Stacey Marie and Hannah Schramm. The process will be to contact a shelter or rescue and ask them to choose an adoptable cat under their care who could use our help in getting adopted and then we will create a post on the first Friday of the month on our Facebook Group page and also our Public page so that the maximum amount of people can see the post and spread the word about that special cat. This cat will be deemed our “Featured Feline,” and will remain featured for a full month, or, until it is adopted! If the Featured Feline is adopted in less than a month’s time, then we will ask that same rescue to choose another Featured Feline, up until the end of their month.
We have seen great success on our page when we have helped a rescue or shelter post about a certain cat so we are really hoping this new program leads to a lot of adoptions and will in turn also help us continue to build better relationships with the shelters and rescues in the Northeast Ohio area.
So, when you see the first Forever Home Friday post please be sure to “bump” up the post and share it from the link on the post to your own personal pages to help us make this program a success!! We are currently waiting to hear back from our first selected rescue and hope to have our first Featured Feline up by Friday March 7th!
When Animal Control picked up a little stray Poodle that I’d later adopt, she was a mess. Among a host of health issues, Peach was missing 18 teeth and needed another seven extractions. So we’re protective of her remaining teeth, which my husband and I affectionately call “chompers.”
But the other day, I gave her a little cookie, and she put it on her bed to save for later. Is she planning ahead, or was it too hard for her chompers to chew?
Is she experiencing dental pain?
Signs of Trouble
Picking up food and then dropping it can be a sign of dental pain in dogs and cats, says Sharon L. Campbell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, at Zoetis and a Fear Free certified veterinarian who serves on the advisory board.
“Signs of dental disease in general can start off with probably the most commonly recognized sign: halitosis, or bad breath,” she says. “We all have smelled that stinky dog breath and stinky cat breath.”
Unfortunately, dental disease can be painful. Dr. Campbell says other signs include drooling or pulling their head away when you try to pet it. Also look for yellow tartar, bleeding gums, and whenever a tooth is loose, broken, or discolored.
She emphasizes that if you notice your dog or cat has decreased appetite or weight change, it could be a sign of dental disease – or something critical.
“That’s an alarm,” she says. “When a pet owner notices that their dog or cat has decreased appetite and weight loss, let’s get them to the vet immediately because there’s something serious going on there.”
At the Root of Health Problems
Dr. Campbell notes dentists like to say that teeth are the window to the body because not only can dental disease cause pain locally, it can lead to gingivitis, which is irritation of the gums that can lead to loosening of the tooth and eventual tooth loss. A pet might get an infection in the root of the tooth that can cause fever or general disease.
“With an infection in the mouth, those bacteria can seep to other parts of the body and other vital organs,” she warns. “It can go to the liver, the kidneys, the heart in particular, and then you end up with conditions in those organs, too. So you’ve got a twofold effect: the local effect of all the irritation and pain and disease that can happen within the mouth itself, but then those bacteria that formed can shed to the rest of the body and cause disease elsewhere.”
Dental Care Best Practices
That’s why regular dental exams are so key to the overall health of our pets. During annual exams, veterinarians will always check the dog or cat’s mouth. Sometimes they’ll recommend a dental cleaning if they suspect disease or a need for extractions or require a closer look.
Anesthesia is an important part of an effective and thorough dental exam and cleaning. One reason is that the veterinarian will need to take x-rays of the teeth to see if there’s infection in the tooth roots – something pets don’t typically hold still for when they’re awake.
“A lot of the disease is below the gum line and they can’t see that and can’t get to it if the dog isn’t anesthetized,” she says.
Anesthesia also helps keep pets calm and allows veterinarians to get ahead of the pain when the veterinary team administers medications while the pet is under anesthesia. Scraping teeth can irritate the gums, causing pain – if a pet is awake, they’ll be stressed and painful.
“It’s very essential that the pets go under anesthesia for any type of dental procedure in order to have a thorough exam, a calm exam, a pain-free exam or procedure so that animals don’t remember what happened because they’re unconscious,” she says.
While pet owners can be wary of anesthesia, as evidenced by the rise of “anesthesia-free cleanings” in pet stores and other locales, Dr. Campbell says pet owners should be comforted knowing veterinarians use the same anesthetic medications used in human patients.
“They’re very safe, and they use dosages that are very safe,” she says.
Of course, prevention is the best medicine. In addition to annual exams, Dr. Campbell recommends training a dog (or cat, though this can be more challenging) to tolerate home tooth brushing. Start with a regular soft toothbrush, or little rubber finger toothbrush, and cover it in peanut butter or squirt cheese. Let the dog lick it off to get used to the brush. Gradually get them used to the implement, and then start using toothpaste made for dogs and cats (typically flavored like chicken or liver).
“Try to make it a fun thing for them, so when you actually do go in there to brush their teeth, they’re not objecting to it,” she says.
Dr. Campbell also plays a game with her dog Huckleberry each evening: Find the Greenie. She hides the tooth chew in the house and the Australian shepherd mix runs around their home looking for it. His reward helps keep his teeth clean.
While some pet owners may think dental disease only affects older animals, studies have shown that dogs and cats as young as three years old already have some degree of disease. So it’s important to have conversations with your veterinarian about your pet’s dental health on a regular basis.
“We want to make sure those teeth stay bright and shiny, and that there’s no pain or irritation or bacteria build up in those teeth,” she concludes.
This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.
Award-winning journalist Jen Reeder is former president of the Dog Writers Association of America.
Article courtesy of https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/
Hi Weirdos! I hope you enjoy today’s blog. As a Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetic of 30 years, leadership and I felt it was important to discuss this topic as it pertains to our feline friends. We hope that you will read on, so that you will be able to identify the signs and symptoms of diabetes in your fuzzy family and how to help them, should the need arise.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is the body’s inability to produce or to properly utilize insulin. Produced by the pancreas, insulin allows the body to use the calories ingested as energy. If the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or isn’t able to properly use the insulin produced, blood sugar becomes elevated and the body may begin breaking down fat and protein to use for energy. Although diabetes in cats can be due to things like chronic pancreatitis, hormone issues or certain medications, it is most often linked to obesity in cats. If a cat is diabetic due to being overweight, weight loss may result in remission of the condition, but it cannot be cured.
Increased thirst and urination
When a cat becomes diabetic, the body is unable to process glucose and blood sugar rises. The kidneys filter out this excess glucose, which causes cats to urinate more. It also makes them excessively thirsty.
Urinating outside of the litter box
When a cat has high blood sugar from diabetes, they drink more and have to urinate more frequently. This can result in accidents outside of the litter box if they are unable to make it there in time.
Weight loss, Decreased Energy, Weakness
Insulin acts as a key that allows the body to use the calories ingested as energy. When the body cannot use these calories, they will break down body fat for energy instead, resulting in weight loss. Likewise, you may notice that your cat is weak or acting lethargic because they cannot use the calories for energy.
If diabetes progresses without treatment, your cat may begin vomiting. This is due to a build up of ketones in the blood as a result of the body using their fat for energy. If your cat progresses to this stage, they are experiencing ketoacidosis. This condition is very serious and requires immediate veterinary care.
Change in Gait
In advanced cases, when diabetes remains untreated, some cats will walk “lower” on their haunches instead of their feet because their hind legs become weak due to diabetic neuropathy (nerve problems).
Most cats with diabetes are treated with daily injections. The frequency and dose of these injections will be determined by your veterinary care team. Blood sugar will usually be checked in the office at checkups. Your vet will determine how often this needs to occur, but it may be quarterly or every 6 months. It is possible to check your cat’s blood sugar at home if you wish and this should be discussed with your vet if it’s something you would like to do. It is likely that your veterinarian will recommend a change to your cat’s diet as well, to help them lose weight (if needed) and control blood sugar.
Low Blood Sugar
If you cat is diabetic, it is possible that they could experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Upon diagnosis, you should ask your vet for a treatment plan in case this occurs. Signs of low blood sugar include trembling, lack of coordination, exhibiting unusual behavior (i.e. confusion), blindness, extreme lethargy or unconsciousness. Your vet may recommend karo syrup as an immediate treatment as you prepare to head to the vet’s office should low blood sugar occur. If you notice these symptoms in your diabetic cat, it is important that your pet is seen for treatment immediately.
For additional information and support, please visit the Feline Diabetes Message Board
**Please note, I am not a veterinarian and this is not medical advice. My goal is to help cat owners recognize and understand the signs and symptoms of diabetes, so that they can be caught early and treated accordingly. Please speak to your vet for any and all concerns and medical care for your cat, should you suspect diabetes or any other medical issue.**
Today, Weirdos, I would like to discuss a topic that may be sensitive to some. However, I hope that it may educate you in some way. Today we are talking about what to do if you are in a situation where you potentially may need to re-home your cats.
First, I want to acknowledge the stigma most associated with having to re-home animals. That having to re-home your animals, for any reason, makes you a negligent pet parent, or less of an animal lover. This is false. It is important to consider the well being of yourself, as well as your pet, and that not all pet/pet parent matches are perfect and that some animals may be better suited with another family.
However, should you ever need to find a home for your pet or pets, for their own betterment or the betterment of yourself and your family, there are responsible ways to go about it to ensure the best possible outcome for your cats. There are many different avenues available for re-homing. In 2020, you have animal shelters, rescue groups, websites specifically designed for re-homing animals, you even have Facebook groups comprised of Weirdos who advocate for the betterment of cats (and all animals) by any means necessary. It is important to consider each way to re-home your pet individually, as one may fit your cat and their personality better than another.
It is recommended that when you suspect you may have to relinquish your pets, that you take action immediately - even if the possibility of needing to surrender is small or is likely not happening for a while, for example. The truth is, there are MANY homeless animals in Northeast Ohio, throughout the United States. Animal shelters, rescues, and foster homes are packed with adoptable animals and waiting lists to relinquish an animal are almost unavoidable entirely. It is imperative to call to request your spot with one of these organizations, even if you may not think you need it. It is easier to call and to cancel an existing appointment that is no longer needed than it is to find a cancellation on the same day you need to surrender your pet by, risking the chance of being turned away because you had waited.
There are many reasons why one may need to surrender a pet. Please remember that there are ample resources within the Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland Group to help you and your furry family members if you are put in a situation that restricts you from continuing to care for your animals. Below is a short list of local animal shelters for you to reach out to for more information regarding animal admissions. An extended version is available on our website at www.weirdocatloversofcleveland.org/resources.
● Cleveland Animal Protective League
1729 Willey Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113
● Friendship Animal Protective League
8303 Murray Ridge Road, Elyria, Ohio 44035
● Rescue Village (Geauga Humane Society)
15463 Chillicothe Road, Russell Township, Ohio 44072
● Lake Humane Society
7564 E. Tyler Boulevard, Mentor, Ohio 44060
● Humane Society of Summit County
7996 Darrow Road, Suite 30, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087
-Hannah Schramm, Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland Moderator
Well, amazing Weirdos, let me tell you about our adventures in making a Weirdo license plate a reality. But first, a little bit of information on the plates themselves.
In order to get these plates in production, the state requires that we obtain a minimum of 150 complete petition signatures. This means we need the name, address, phone number, email address, license plate and drivers license number of 150 Ohioans. It's not county dependent, nor do you you have to be a registered voter. Our goal is to get 200, so that should any be deemed invalid due to legibility or other issues, we won't fall short of the requirement. Once we have these signatures, we have to submit them to a state representative that is willing to sponsor a bill to approve the production of the plates. At that point, we can then apply to the BMV to begin production. We are then required to have at least 25 plates renewed each year, starting the second year, in order to keep it going.
The reason that we want a specialized Weirdo plate (aside from the fact that they'll look catastic on our cars) is because we need reliable sources of revenue to continue our efforts to help cats in N.E. Ohio. The plates will be assigned a renewal fee of up to $50. The BMV will receive $10 of the renewal fee and the remainder will come to the Weirdos for our emergency vet care fund. Reliable and consistent sources of revenue are critical to our organization, so this is a huge opportunity for us.
This past few weeks, we have been welcomed into adoption events with House of Mews, Forever Friends Foundation and Viva Los Gatos, The Lake County Volunteer Fair and to local shops, bars and restaurants such as Tracy's Trinkets & Treasures, Wadsworth Tavern, Manja and Blueline Bar & Grill. We have met so many amazing Weirdos and been able to put faces to the names we see every day on our Facebook page. We've had the opportunity to get the word out there about who we are and what we do to lots of new people and we brought in over $130 for the emergency fund though our swag sales at these events. We have had Weirdos donate handmade catnip toys and kitty magnets to help us raise money and we are so very grateful for and touched by these thoughtful and selfless gestures.
With that said, I am happy to say we are at 137 signatures as of tonight! And we will have more once a few people get back to me with their license plate numbers. That's always the hardest part! LOL
In the last few weeks, despite many hours of work, I have had the MOST amazing time. There are no words to thank you all enough. Whether you shared our posts about the events, came to sign the petition, buy my decals or the awesome Weirdo swag in person or online, YOU made a difference. People talk about how much good we're doing, but we are very aware that NONE of this would be possible without YOU. To all of the owners of the establishments who welcomed us in with open arms, we are so grateful to you. To the rescues who were happy to give us space at their adoption events, you ROCK!
If you would like to learn more about the local places that we're raving about, check the resources section of our website. If you'd like to get involved with us, send me a message! We are still looking for a couple more places, especially near Lakewood, Parma, North Olmsted, Independence or Mayfield Heights to host an event for the remaining signatures, so if you have a place and are willing, please let me know.
Again, THANK YOU so much for all that you do, Weirdos. We truly appreciate it!
Best wishes & purrs,