Posted in Health, news, pets

Pet Courier Service May Help Keep Pets Healthy During And After the COVID Pandemic

While millions of people during the pandemic avoid shopping, the office, or in-school learning, they’ve been turning to online or virtual options to complete their purchases, work or education respectively.

Unfortunately many have postponed certain services such as doctor visits or childhood vaccinations in fear of being exposed to others.

So it begs the question, what is happening to our pets?

UZ

Pets oftentimes need check ups, vaccinations and care, and many people have admitted putting routine visits on the back burner during these last few months.

Hence a “We Bring Your Pet to the Vet” or “Pet to the Vet” courier service will allow those who are high risk for severe COVID infection or those required to remain in quarantine to not neglect their pets.

Moreover public safety measures require pets to be routinely vaccinated for rabies, and a disruption in their immunization course can prove problematic.

Many veterinary offices require pet owners to socially distance in the parking lot prior to bringing a pet in, but many older individuals still find the drop- off of a pet risky.

And if people were forced to postpone their hair appointments and manicures, you can bet animals failed to get groomed either. Hence a “Pet to the Groomer” service is probably in demand as well.

As veterinarians work to incorporate telehealth into their practices, those animals needing in person care or vaccinations could be transported by trained couriers, complementing the comprehensive care needed.

COVID times call for COVID measures and pets can’t be casualty. For those who cannot easily get their “pet to the vet”, help is on the way….

Stay tuned…..

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN and iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, Health, news, pets

Social Distancing to Prevent COVID Infection Also Applies to PETS

The CDC has urged people to include pets in their social distancing habits to avoid COVID-19 infection.

Last week the CDC reported 2 cats living in New York had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after demonstrating mild respiratory symptoms. They are expected to make a full recovery.

The CDC recommends the following:

  • Do not let pets interact with people or other animals outside the household.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible to prevent them from interacting with other animals or people.
  • Walk dogs on a leash, maintaining at least 6 feet from other people and animals.
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people and dogs gather.

Earlier this month, Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers at a news conference urged those who are sick with COVID to avoid being the “primary caretaker” of their pets until further studies could be done regarding their susceptibility and spread of the deadly virus.

 

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The conference occurred in light of a Bronx Zoo tiger becoming infected with COVID-19.

A cat in Belgium last month tested positive for the COVID-19 as well.

Although there are no definitive cases of pets giving COVID to their owners, officials believe we may be able to infect them.

What additionally needs to be investigated is if the virus can live temporarily on the animal as a “surface” allowing others who touch it to become contaminated.

For those of us with pets, we know that “social distancing” is not in their vocabulary or daily habits.  Most cats and dogs like to sleep in bed with their owners, some competing for their owner’s pillows.

IMG_6766.jpg

Although most of us would prefer the comfort of our furry friend if convalescing at home with COVID, the CDC recommends the following:

  • If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed by a test), restrict contact with your pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
    • When possible, have another member of your household care for your pets while you are sick.
    • Avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food or bedding.
    • If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before and after you interact with them.

 

ultimate book cover final

Great Gift!!!

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, Health, news, pets

COVID Infected Patients Told To Avoid Their Pets

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers at a news conference on Monday urged those who are sick with COVID to avoid being the “primary caretaker” of their pets until further studies could be done regarding their susceptibility and spread of the deadly virus.

Per WAPT, Gipson stated, “I would say to people, until we get a better handle on this, you might want to make that social distancing with your pets, as well. Continue to feed them, care for them, but don’t get up in their face if you can help it. Obviously, there are a lot of unknowns.

IMG_8737

Dr. Byers cautioned, “It’s important that if you are infected, if you are sick, don’t be the primary caregiver for that pet.”

He also stated, “Keep some distance. We don’t know that our pets at home can transmit it back to us, or to other people, but we know that they may become infected. We want to avoid that if we can.”

The conference occurred in light of a Bronx Zoo tiger becoming infected with COVID-19.

A cat in Belgium last month tested positive for the COVID-19 as well.

Although there are no definitive cases of pets giving COVID to their owners, officials believe we may be able to infect them.

What additionally needs to be investigated is if the virus can live temporarily on the animal as a “surface” allowing others who touch it to become contaminated.

For those of us with pets, we know that “social distancing” is not in their vocabulary or daily habits.  Most cats and dogs like to sleep in bed with their owners, some competing for their owner’s pillows.

IMG_6766.jpg

Although most of us would prefer the comfort of our furry friend if convalescing at home with COVID, the following may help to avoid close contact:

  • Sleep in a separate room than your family or pets
  • Have another family member in charge of feeding and bathing
  • Wear gloves when playing fetch with their favorite toy
  • Use a face covering/mask when you think your pet will sneakily approach your face
  • Leave potty clean up to another family member (hey…when life gives you lemons make lemonade….)

 

ultimate book cover final

Great Gift!!!

The Ultimate Medical Student HandBook

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, Health, news, pets

Cats Can Infect Other Cats With COVID, Not Humans

A study from Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China found that not only can cats become infected with COVID-19 but can also transmit it to other felines.

IMG_8734

Ferrets may also be vulnerable to the virus, however dogs, ducks, pigs and chickens appear to be less susceptible.

Researchers used 8 month old cats and exposed 5 of them intranasally with the virus.  They then euthanized 2 of them and found evidence of infection along their respiratory tree (nasal turbinates, soft palates, tonsils, trachea, and in one, the small intestines) signifying infection susceptibility.

For the transmission portion of the study, the other exposed cats were put into cages separately with non-infected cats and the latter were subsequently tested days later to see if they were exposed.  Evidence of the virus particles were found in their feces. None of the animals exhibited symptoms however of coronavirus.

IMG_8737.jpg

 

Ferrets too were found to be susceptible but dogs did not appear to carry the virus as did their whiskered counterparts.

UZ

Although no cat to human transmission of COVID has been found, study authors suggest, “Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in cats should be considered as an adjunct to elimination of of COVID-19 in humans.”

The full text of the study can be found here.

 

ultimate book cover final

Great Gift!!!

The Ultimate Medical Student HandBook

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

Posted in Health, pets

How to Celebrate Your Pet’s Birthday

Many of us love our pets, treating them as if they were our children.  And for some of us we may love them more (j/k).  So it’s natural to want to celebrate their birthday.

UZ

Here’s some tips on how to make your furry friend feel special on their big day….

For Dogs

  1.  Invite other dogs over. Dogs are very social and love sniffing each other.  It’s their version of “pin the tail on the donkey.”
  2. Go to a dog park.  Less poop in the house
  3. Make them a puppy cake of their favorite meat
  4. Buy them a present but let them unwrap it.  They love the surprise and the suspense. (Un-train them in this feat before Christmas though).
  5. Treat them to a doggie massage

    waiting for my massage
    Image from American Kennel Club
  6. Let them walk YOU on their walk outside
  7. Get a cat piñata and load it with treats
  8. Get them a new pillow bed and don’t yell at them if they poop on it
  9. Treat yourself to a T-bone steak for dinner and give them the bone
  10. If they don’t get to sleep with you on your bed, let them this one time

 

For Cats

 

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  1. Leave them alone
  2. Let them be
  3. Don’t make eye contact
  4. But in case you have a loving kitty like I do….you can also a order a cat massage or get them a Tweety bird piñata

snappy

 

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Great Gift!!!

The Ultimate Medical Student HandBook

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in Health, news, plague

Three Cats Test Positive for the Plague in Wyoming

In the last 6 months, three cats in Wyoming have tested positive for the plague.

Currently there are no known humans affected, however, under 10 human cases on average occur each year in the United States.

The type of plague the cats tested positive for was bubonic.  So here’s the breakdown.

What causes the plague?

The plague as we know it is most commonly caused by a bacteria called, Yersenia pestis.

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Image from Fine Art America

 

How does one come down with the plague?

The victim usually acquires the plague from being bit by a flea who fed on infected animals such as rodents, or by contact with one who has the plague.  Cat scratches from domesticated cats who are infected have been documented as a form of transmission.

Direct contact with infected bodily fluids could spread the plague as well. Pneumonic plague can be spread through a cough or sneeze.

What are the types of plague?

There are three types of plague:

Bubonic – the most common, at first affects the lymph nodes, but may spread to throughout the body

Pneumonic – infects the lungs and may be spread from person to person by respiratory droplet.

Septicemic – infects the blood stream and can be the result of untreated bubonic and pneumonic plague

What are the symptoms of the plague?

For all three types of the plague one can have:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Weakness
  • Headache

But with bubonic plague, one may have large “bubos” or swollen glands in the neck, underarm, or pelvic/groin region.

With pneumonic plague, one may additionally have cough, shortness of breath and blood in their sputum.

How is the plague treated?

Due to the disease spreading quickly, in some cases causing death within 24 hours, antibiotics need to be instituted immediately.

These include:

  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Doxycycline
  • Streptomycin
  • Gentamicin

Moreover supportive measures such as IV fluids and oxygen may be needed as well depending on the severity of symptoms.

How can one avoid the plague?

Flea control is paramount.  So insect repellent for humans, and flea control products will help limit bites from the infected insects.

Moreover avoid rodents and clean out areas in and around your house to avoid them from scurrying around.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in Health, news, pets

Cat Tongue Cleaning Scoop….Literally

A study recently discovered why cats are so artful at cleaning themselves and others.

Although to the naked eye it appears as if they have mini thorns along their tongue, they actually have little “scoops” that can carry saliva.

 

cat tongue.jpeg

 

Dr. David Hu, a bioengineer at Georgia Tech, and his student, Alexis Noel, found, using microCT scans, that the papilla (thorns) of the tongue spring up and into action during cleaning, and contain scoops of saliva that can penetrate fur. This allows fluid to get under the hair and onto the skin of the animal.

They looked at 6 different species, including the lion, bobcat, cougar, snow leopard, tiger and domestic cat and found similar results with their sandpapery-feeling appendage.

Nationalgeographic.com reports:

Although each papilla may only be able to wick a fraction of a water droplet (4.1 microliters, to be precise), over the course of a day, the tongue of a domestic cat transfers an average of 48 milliliters to its fur, about a fifth of a cup of water.

The significance?  Scientists can use this bioinspired design to create a brush animals can use for grooming, assist humans in sorting fibers and textiles, and even delivering medication.

I hate to give my cats a bigger head than they already have, but their tongue technology is pretty cool.

 

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One of my grumpy kitties….Spider

 

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada

 

 

Posted in Christmas, food, Health, news, pets, thanksgiving

What Your Pets CANNOT Eat This Holiday Season

ABOVE: SHAKEY-BOO TAKING ADVANTAGE OF DISTRACTED HOSTS

The holidays are coming and so are the in-laws.  So to avoid being outnumbered at the dinner table, we invite our pets.  But can pets eat table scrapings and leftovers from Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Let’s look at what they can and cannot eat.

 

Dogs

UZ.jpg

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can eat the following (in moderate amounts):

  • Turkey, Chicken, Beef (remove all bones so they don’t get swallowed and perforate the gut)
  • Ham
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bread (with no raisins)
  • Popcorn
  • Corn
  • Honey

Avoid the following in dogs:

May be toxic; cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; electrolyte abnormalities; kidney damage; pancreatitis due to high fat content, or intestinal obstruction

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Raw Dough
  • Avocado
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice cream
  • Almonds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Nutmeg
  • Mushrooms
  • Caffeine
  • Coconut
  • Energy drinks
  • Fatty/fried foods and even the fat trimmings
  • Artificial Sweeteners such as Xylitol

And watch their portions. They will eat and eat and eat and won’t keep a tally on what grandma, nephew and the neighbors threw at him.

 

Cats

snappy.jpg

Fluffy or Snappy (above) can eat – but again only in moderation:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Grains
  • Vegetables (though many stick their nose up at it)
  • Eggs
  • Butter

IMG_6539.jpg

Avoid similar foods as with dogs due to toxicity and also (according to Vetsnow)

  • Alcohol
  • Raw fish and eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Coffee, tea and energy drinks

 

Fish

fish

Yes, some will bring Nemo to Holiday dinner.

It appears fish can eat many types of meat and vegetables, scrambled eggs and even cooked rice but be careful of toxins, fats and cooking oils.

Parakeet

parakeet

I don’t have any of these and if I did, I doubt I’d share my turkey with it.  But according to pethelpful.com, many fruits, vegetables, breads and nuts (chopped up without shell) can be eaten by birdie.

 

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

 

Posted in Health, news, pets

Our Pets CAN Tell Time

We pet owners have always suspected it…..our cats jump on us moments before our alarm goes off and our dogs sit by the front door at 5:45 pm each weeknight.   Why? Because they can tell time, well figuratively that is, with science to prove it.

 

cat bed.jpg

Daniel Dombeck, the associate professor of neurobiology at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and colleagues, found the part of an animal’s brain that comprised “timing cells” or neurons that would give animals a sense of when something was supposed to happen. In mice this was found to occur in the medial entorhinal cortex of the temporal lobe.

temporal lobe.jpeg

According to news.northwestern.edu:

When planning the study, Dombeck’s team focused on the medial entorhinal cortex, an area located in the brain’s temporal lobe that is associated with memory and navigation. Because that part of the brain encodes spatial information in episodic memories, Dombeck hypothesized that the area could also be responsible for encoding time.
“Every memory is a bit different,” said James Heys, a postdoctoral fellow in Dombeck’s laboratory. “But there are two central features to all episodic memories: space and time. They always happen in a particular environment and are always structured in time.”
To test their hypothesis, Dombeck and Heys set up an experiment called the virtual “door stop” task. In the experiment, a mouse runs on a physical treadmill in a virtual reality environment. The mouse learns to run down a hallway to a door that is located about halfway down the track. After six seconds, the door opens, allowing the mouse to continue down the hallway to receive its reward.
After running several training sessions, researchers made the door invisible in the virtual reality scene. In the new scenario, the mouse still knew where the now-invisible “door” was located based on the floor’s changing textures. And it still waited six seconds at the “door” before abruptly racing down the track to collect its reward.
“The important point here is that the mouse doesn’t know when the door is open or closed because it’s invisible,” said Heys, the paper’s first author. “The only way he can solve this task efficiently is by using his brain’s internal sense of time.”

Our pets’ sense of timing is instinctive and therefore not surprising, as animals have always had the ability to sense the time of day when their prey comes to the water hole or when they to avoid the night prowlers starting their hunt.

So although our humanization of pets may seem cute at first, we should proceed with caution as animals possess many of the same intellectual capabilities as humans.  They’re smart….too smart…..and the more details scientists unlock in their furry heads, the more we learn of how similar they are to us. And I’m not sure I want to know what they’re truly thinking.  Ignorance is bliss…..

 

dog costumw.jpg

 

dw sketch.jpg

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada

 

Posted in food, Health

Christmas: What Your Pets Can or Cannot Eat

Above: Shakey-Boo taking advantage of distracted hosts

Christmas is coming and so are the in-laws.  So to avoid being outnumbered at the dinner table, we invite our pets.  But can pets eat table scrapings and leftovers from Christmas?

Let’s look at what they can and cannot eat.

Dogs

UZ.jpg

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can eat the following (in moderate amounts):

  • Turkey, Chicken, Beef (remove all bones so they don’t get swallowed and perforate the gut)
  • Ham
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Bread (with no raisins)
  • Popcorn
  • Corn
  • Honey
  • Coconut

Avoid the following in dogs:

May be toxic; cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; kidney damage; pancreatitis due to high fat content, or intestinal obstruction

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Raw Dough
  • Avocado
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice cream
  • Almonds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Nutmeg
  • Mushrooms
  • Energy drinks
  • Fatty/fried foods and even the fat trimmings
  • Artificial Sweeteners such as Xylitol

And watch their portions. They will eat and eat and eat and won’t keep a tally on what grandma, nephew and the neighbors threw at him.

Cats

snappy.jpg

Fluffy or Snappy (above) can eat – but again only in moderation:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Grains
  • Vegetables (though many stick their nose up at it)
  • Eggs
  • Butter

Avoid similar foods as with dogs due to toxicity and also (according to Vetsnow)

  • Alcohol
  • Raw fish and eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Coffee, tea and energy drinks

 

Fish

fish

Yes, some will bring Nemo to Christmas dinner.

It appears fish can eat many types of meat and vegetables, scrambled eggs and even cooked rice but be careful of toxins. fats and cooking oils.

Parakeet

parakeet

I don’t have any of these and if I did, I doubt I’d share my turkey with it.  But according to pethelpful.com, many fruits, vegetables, breads and nuts (chopped up without shell) can be eaten by birdie.

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician