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The Refined Canine



  Veterinarian Q & A

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.

June 2008

Summer Safety for Kitties

While people are enjoying summer fun in the sun we would like to remind cat owners of a few safety tips of particular importance for the season.

Flying is for the Birds
Cats love to lounge on windowsills to soak up the summer sun, but falls from open windows are a major hazard during the summer months. This kind of accident happens so frequently in cities, that is has been given the name "high rise syndrome". As the name suggests, falls from high floors can occur, but in fact, falls from lower floors can actually be more hazardous because the cat does not have time to orient its body for landing. During falls from lower floors, the cat's body is accelerating and it is usually falling headfirst resulting in injuries to the face, chest and front legs. Cats don't actually have nine lives so please install sturdy window screens to keep your kitty from overstepping his boundaries.

Too Hot to Handle
Cats aren't usually great travelers and would probably prefer to stay home while you go out to enjoy the summer fun. However, if you must travel with your cat during the summer it is very important to remember that no pet or child should ever be left in a parked car for any amount of time. Cars get very hot very fast, with interior temperatures climbing over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, sometimes within minutes. Even with a window open the heat can become dangerous in a very short time. Death by heatstroke is extremely painful and entirely preventable. Schedule your travel for the cooler parts of the day and if you must stop along the way take the kitties out of the car too (safely in their carriers of course!).

Pesky Parasites
Summer is the time of year when pets are most likely to pick up parasites. Warm weather may encourage them to spend more time outdoors increasing their exposure to fleas, ticks and biting insects such as flies and mosquitoes. Even if the cat does not go outside, other pets such as dogs may bring fleas home to share with their feline friends. Outdoor activity can also expose cats to intestinal parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms. Discuss the risk of parasites with your veterinarian to decide on a prevention and/or treatment plan that is most appropriate for your cat.


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