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The Refined Canine



  Veterinarian Q & A

Dr. Julie Pomerantz D.V.M, is veterinarian practicing in New York City.

Feel free to submit your questions to Dr. Pomerantz and we will email you when they are posted. Because of the volume we can not answer all questions received.
Click here to submit your question

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This information DOES NOT replace professional veterinary care. It is intended solely for educational purposes. Your pet's medical condition should be evaluated by a veterinarian before implementation of any medical or husbandry changes.

If there is a potentially life-threatening emergency involving your pet, take your pet to a veterinarian or veterinary facility IMMEDIATELY!!!! Responses can take 1-2 weeks.

June 2010

Jackie asks:
Can cross eyes be fixed? If so is it expensive

Interesting question! It is pretty unusual to see crossed eyes – the medical term is strabismus - in cats except among Siamese cats where it is fairly common. Unlike people, cats with crossed eyes do not need corrective surgery or vision therapy if they are born that way. If a formerly normal cat develops strabismus later in life it may be a sign of a bigger problem involving the nerves or muscles controlling eye position. Tumors or abscesses located behind the eye can also cause strabismus and should be considered if the position of the eye(s) has changed.

Rob wants to know:
I found a stray cat and got him neutered and took him home and he is the constant target of one of the other males aggression. How do I get him to stop?

Cats are territorial by nature and introducing a new cat can often be difficult. Sometimes slow introductions work best. Start by isolating the new cat in one room. Gradually move food dishes for each cat to the inside and outside of the door separating them – so they are being “rewarded” for being in proximity to one another.  Eventually start opening the door between them. Make sure both cats have access to resources such as food, water and litter box without having to encounter one another (have at least 2 of each thing located at opposite ends of the house. The use of a Feliway ® diffuser may be of benefit. This is a plug-in device which emits a synthetic version of the “friendly pheromones” cats use to communicate with each other. It is odorless to humans. A consultation with a veterinary behaviorist may also be very helpful if the situation is not improving.


Lourdes is wondering:
Why is it necessary to give your cat a blood test before anesthesia? What are vets looking for? What does it tell you and how necessary is it?

Pre-anesthetic blood work is important to assess the pet’s health and to determine the best way to manage the animal’s care including the selection of anesthetic drugs and their dosage. The serum chemistry portion of the pre-anesthetic blood work may detect underlying kidney or liver disease that may make it more difficult for the pet to metabolize the anesthetics and may place the pet at greater risk for anesthetic complications. Electrolyte disturbances  - such as those common with digestive disorders – may need to be corrected using fluid therapy.  A complete blood count checks for evidence of infection or inflammation as well as anemia. Decreased platelet numbers may signify a bleeding disorder. Other specific pre-anesthetic tests may be required depending on the pet’s age, condition and breed.  Young animals that appear healthy often undergo anesthesia without pre-anesthetic testing however this risks the possibility of missing occult health problems that may complicate anesthesia and surgery.


Josie inquires:
My cat just had her first pregnancy followed by the birth of only one kitten. Its been 14 hours at least since the birth of the kitten. Could she have another?

Although she may only have been pregnant with one kitten, that would be unusual. Normally there should not be more than 2 hours between the birth of each kitten so I would recommend that she be checked by a veterinarian - possibly taking an x-ray to be sure there are no more kittens. If she is still showing signs of active labor (contractions) but is not producing kittens then it is an emergency. Call your veterinarian immediately - take both mom and kitten in together in a carrier - try to keep them as undisturbed as possible, do not allow other people to handle them.




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