Posts Tagged ‘pet insurance’

November is Pet Diabetes Month

 

It’s TRUE!

Cats and dogs can develop diabetes. Luckily, treatment is available.

 

What is diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin (Type I) or is unable to effectively use the insulin it does produce (Type II). In either case, serious health disturbances result.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, necessary for processing blood sugar (glucose). Without insulin, blood sugar passes into the urine, rather than being used by body tissues.

When body tissues are starved for sugar, they begin to break down and no longer function normally, resulting in:

  • cataracts
  • skin sores and infections
  • urinary and respiratory infections
  • pancreatitis
  • neuropathy
  • vomiting and dehydration
  • coma and death

The kidneys, liver, heart, and nervous system can also suffer as a result of diabetes.

Type I diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and is often seen in older, overweight female dogs and in cats.

Type II diabetes, also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is often seen in cats, but is rare in dogs.

What signs should I look for in my pet?

  • excessive thirst and urination
  • weight loss
  • poor appetite
  • weakness, inactivity
  • vomiting
  • dandruff and unkempt appearance (scruffy coat)
  • muscle wasting
  • plantigrade stance in cats (see photo)
Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

Click to enlarge. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

What causes diabetes?

  • genetic predisposition
  • viral infection
  • pancreatitis and other diseases
  • hormone-type drugs
  • obesity

Is there a cure?
No, diabetes is not curable, but it can be controlled.

What kind of treatment is available?
Insulin injections and a specialized diet are indicated for Type I diabetes. You will learn how to give your pet its insulin injections at home. You may also need to monitor its blood sugar and urine sugar levels.

Type II diabetic patients may require a specialized diet and feeding schedule, along with blood sugar monitoring.

Nearly all diabetic patients require some amount of exercise, and female patients should be spayed to prevent hormone fluctuations from disturbing blood sugar levels.

Your pet’s veterinarian or vet specialist will recommend a suitable diet to manage glucose levels and weight, such as one that is low calorie, low carbohydrates, low fat, and high fiber, and features appropriate levels of protein and taurine.  

Will pet insurance companies help pay for treatment?
Some of them will, unless your pet’s diabetes is a pre-existing condition — meaning that it was diagnosed before you signed up for pet insurance. The best time to sign up for pet insurance is while your pet is young and healthy.


Note: The information above is a partial explanation of diabetes, its symptoms, and treatment. There are other diabetes-related diseases that are not mentioned here.
This article is not a substitute for medical care. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any condition. If you believe your pet has an illness, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian today.


Resources:
American Veterinary Medical Association
Hill’s Pet Nutrition publication
Instructions for Veterinary Clients
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice
The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult


This post originally appeared on October 10, 2012.

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November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Tips From the American Veterinary Medical Association

It’s a sobering reality: Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and while it’s not as prominent in cats, it’s often a more aggressive form of cancer.

You can be your pet’s advocate when it comes to treating cancer early on by spotting the telltale signs.

Contact your veterinarian if your dog or cat displays any of these signs of possible cancer. Remember, early detection is critical in the fight against pet cancer.

*Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow.
*S
ores that do not heal.
*Weight loss.
*Loss of appetite.
*Bleeding or discharge from any body opening.
*Offensive odor.
*Difficulty eating or swallowing.
*Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina.
*Persistent lameness or stiffness.
*Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, adds that cancer in pets can mimic other diseases and disorders, so it’s important to perform tests that can tell the difference.
In Hampton Roads, we refer to oncologists who diagnose and treat cancer in pets.

Contact Us to schedule an appointment for your pet. 

Pet cancer infographic

Double-click to enlarge

Article and infographic courtesy of Nationwide Pet Insurance.

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Nationwide Reveals the Wackiest Pet Names of 2019

Winners selected from a pool of 750,000 dog and cat monikers 

Beige cat wearing a crown

When only the wackiest name will do…
[Photo by Katarzyna Modrzejewska via Pexels]

DJ Skribbles and Bits and Jean Clawed Van Damme earned the distinction of owning the Wackiest Pet Names of the year. DJ Skribbles and Bits nosed out Stella Bean Dip in the dog division, while Jean Clawed Van Damme purred past Boba Fetticini to be crowned champions and receive a basket of goodies.

Each year, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the U.S., celebrates the most clever, creative and quirky pet names across the country. After a thorough selection process, the top 10 wackiest dog and cat monikers were chosen from Nationwide’s database of more than 750,000 insured pets and put to a public vote.

[See last year’s winners here!]

Below are the top 10 Wackiest Pet Names of 2019:

Dogs
1. DJ Skribbles and Bits
2. Stella Bean Dip
3. Big League Chewie
4. Ruff Bader Ginsburg
5. Bilbo Beggins
6. Nostadogmus
7. Albus Dumbledog
8. Grampaw
9. Indiana Bones
10. Captain Morgan Freeman

Cats
1. Jean Clawed Van Damme
2. Boba Fetticini
3. Henry Hissinger
4. Avocato
5. Wu Tang Cat
6. Schtinky Puddin
7. Hairy Pawter
8. Reece Whiskerspoon
9. Dave Meowthews
10. Alclawchino

“The results from our Wacky Pet Names competition illustrate the thought and creativity pet owners put into naming their furry family members,” said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president of chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide. “We’ve learned that some of these names are assigned just for laughs, but many hold a special meaning or story behind them. These unique, yet specific, names exemplify how pets are a part of the family.”

For photos and background stories of the top 10 wackiest dog and cat names, visit www.wackypetnames.com.

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About Nationwide pet insurance
With more than 750,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016). Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com

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Guest Post: Cat Eye Problems: All You Need To Know
By Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
Original article and links found here.

Discovering that your cat is squinting in one eye or that the cat’s eyes are red around the edges can be disheartening – nobody wants to see their furry friends suffer and feel uncomfortable, especially since the eyes are such a delicate part of their body.
Cat eye problems are one of the most common health issues that felines face and they can cause permanent damage in a relatively short time if left untreated.

That is why it’s so vital that you keep an “eye out” for any cat eye problems and know how to recognize the most common symptoms that could be a cause for alarm.

Are your cat’s eyes the picture of good health?

Warning Signs of Cat Eye Problems
Even though cat eye issues can be dangerous, the good news is that in most cases, you can spot them rather quickly and ensure that you provide your cat with treatment early.
If your cat is living indoors-only, it might not be as likely to develop eye problems as an outdoor cat because it’s less exposed to feral cats and diseases that they may carry,¹ but there are still risks.
Even a relatively small cat eye injury can become infected, and you may soon start noticing your cat squinting their eyes and trying to clean them.
If you notice that your cat’s eyes suddenly become runny, with colorless or even yellow or green discharge, you can be fairly certain that your cat has either a viral or a bacterial infection.² Especially if the discharge is followed by redness and respiratory symptoms, which will require urgent treatment to avoid complications.
If your cat is squinting in one or both eyes, this can also indicate an infection. Even if no other symptoms are present.
Finally, keep an eye out for your cat scratching at their eyes which may indicate a severe issue.

Common Cat Eye Problems
Since cats aren’t always vocal or expressive about health issues and may act more or less normal even when not feeling too well, you will need to look for behavioral changes which could indicate problems.
Luckily, issues involving your cat’s eyes are usually readily apparent and obvious. A simple examination of your cat’s eyes to look for irritation, redness, or squinting can be sure signs of an issue.
But what are some of the more common eye problems that cats suffer from?
One of the most common issues is conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye.” Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye which can cause runny eyes, swelling inside of the eye, and redness. Cat pink eye is usually a result of a viral or bacterial infection and may appear at the same time as an upper respiratory system infection.
Another common eye issue is a corneal ulcer. An ulcer can develop from an injury, because of a genetic abnormality, or even from an infection that isn’t treated promptly.³ The most common symptom of a corneal ulcer in a cat is a cloudy eye. However, it is usually accompanied by rubbing of the eyes, redness, as well as more severe discomfort for the cat.
Other common cat eye problems include irritation from allergies or various environmental factors, as well as more serious eye issues such as cataracts or glaucoma.

What Causes Cat Eye Problems?
There are a wide range of reasons that can cause cats to develop eye problems. It’s essential to know the most common cat eye issues and what symptoms to look for. It is also important to understand the causes of these issues so that you can try to prevent them from developing in your furry friends.
For instance, conjunctivitis is most frequently caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, but there are other ways it can develop, too. It can be caused by non-infectious issues due to hereditary factors, traits of certain breeds, allergies, or tumors.²
A corneal ulcer, which often appears as a cloudy eye in a cat, is commonly the result of an injury. Whether your kitty accidentally rubbed their eye against something too strongly, or became injured by a foreign object or during a skirmish with another cat, the result will often be an ulcer that will need to be treated immediately.
Irritation, itchiness, and redness are usually caused by environmental factors such as allergies, chemicals, or a range of other factors. So it’s important to consult with a vet to determine the cause.
As for more serious conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, they can develop because of a genetic predisposition to these problems.[4,5] For cats, however, it more commonly is the result of an infection or trauma.

Eye Problem Treatment
If you notice something wrong with your cat’s eyes, it’s important to act fast. These issues will likely require diagnosis and treatment. The longer your cat goes without treatment, the greater the chance of the symptoms becoming more severe. The good news is that as long as you act quickly, the better the chance is that your cat will make a full recovery.
Issues like conjunctivitis or corneal ulcers may be treated with antibiotics since they are often caused or at least followed by an infection. In other circumstances, your vet may prescribe eye drops to reduce irritation and help the eyes heal.
In the case of glaucoma, it’s crucial to drain the fluid to relieve eye pressure as quickly as possible. This will not only reduce the discomfort and pain your cat is feels, but it will also help minimize the long-term negative effects.
Finally, your vet might not prescribe any treatment and simply recommend your cat rest to allow the issue to heal on its own. It is important to allow a licensed veterinarian to make a treatment decision like this and to never try to diagnose your pet on your own. This will ensure you pet receives the best treatment available.
And if you want to have peace of mind knowing that your cat will always have the best treatment options in case it develops eye problems, check out Pets Best’s Cat Insurance which offers complete coverage for your pet. Call us at 1-877-738-7237 today, and we’ll help you find a plan that works best for your individual needs.

1 American Humane (2016, August 25). Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/indoor-cats-vs-outdoor-cats/
2 Ward, E. (2009). Conjunctivitis in Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/conjunctivitis-in-cats
3 Ward, E. (2017). Corneal Ulcers in Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/corneal-ulcers-in-cats
4 McLellan, G.J., & Miller, P.E. (2011). Feline glaucoma: A comprehensive review. Veterinary Ophthalmology, 14(1), 15-29. doi:10.1111/j.1463-5224.2011.00912.x
5 PetMD.com (2019). Cataracts in Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/eye/c_ct_cataract

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8 TIPS FOR TAKING A ROAD TRIP WITH YOUR PET

Posted on May 15, 2018 under Dog Articles on PetsBest.com

By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

Imagine driving for three days, staying at two hotels and covering 1,383 miles with a 60-pound dog and a meow-happy cat. And, then a week later, repeating this trek to return home. Does that sound like your dream road trip? Surprisingly, it was for me!

Latest national pet surveys indicate more than 70 percent of people take their dogs – and yes, even some travel-savvy cats – on road trips.

Photo by Vladimir Kudinov via Pexels

8 TRIED-AND-TESTED TIPS FOR ROAD TRIPPING WITH PETS
To keep your sanity and to keep your pets safe during those long hours of driving, here are 8 tried-and-tested tips. Plus, be sure to download your Pet Road Trip Checklist to help you prepare for the journey!

1. Pack with a purpose

Keep pet travel essentials in your vehicle. My must-have list include a water bowl, bottled water, extra leash and collar with identification tags, poop bags, an old towel, pre-moistened wipes, a basic first-aid kit, necessary medications, a copy of health records, bedding, treats, one or two favorite toys and at least a 3-day supply of food inside resealable plastic bags or containers.

2. Don’t be a road warrior

If you are traveling by yourself, take a break every couple of hours and check if your pets need a bathroom break or water. I limited myself to eight hours behind the wheel each day and always left an hour or two before the morning rush hour.

3. Select hotels that that don’t take a big bite out of your wallet

Book hotel stays in advance by using pet-friendly websites like BringFido.com and GoPetFriendly.com. But be sure to call the hotel directly, too. You may save a bit by booking direct.

4. Park your pet while you drive

Do not allow your dog to ride in the front passenger seat or in your lap or allow him to stick his head out the window. An unrestrained 60-pound dog becomes a 2,700-pound projectile in a sudden stop or an accident at 35 miles per hour. Depending on the size of your dog, fit him in a pet safety harnesses securely clipped into a seatbelt in the middle seats or place him inside pet carriers, also fastened in place. In our trip, my dog was harnessed in the back of the SUV and my cat was inside a well-ventilated cat carrier tethered to a seat belt in the middle seat.

5. Purchase pet insurance

Nothing takes the fun out of a vacation like an unexpected expense or injury. Treating a broken leg can cost $2,000 to $5,000. Pet insurance helps you prepare for the unexpected. The best part is that you can use any vet in the U.S. with Pets Best coverage. So if you’re just passing through and an emergency happens, you don’t have to worry about using a different veterinarian.

6. Tap into technology

With the swipe of your finger, you can obtain instant access to your pet’s medical records, locate the nearest emergency veterinary hospital and receive step-by-step audio and print instructions for pet first-aid by downloading the Pet Tech PetSaver App or other similar ones. Pets Best customers can access their policy’s included 24/7 Pet Helpline for questions and tips for keeping their pet’s healthy during road trips too!

7. Dine at odd times

Try to dine at pet-permitting restaurants and outdoor cafes during off peak times, such as mid-morning or late afternoon. Weekdays are usually quieter than weekends. Be sure to have exercised your dog with a brisk 30-minute walk before dining to help calm him down. Request a table in an out-of-the-way corner. Tether your dog’s six-foot or four-foot leash securely under one of your chair legs to keep him from disturbing other diners.

8. Paw it forward

Set a good example for the next person traveling with his or her pet. Have your dog be in a sit-stay when you check in at the front desk. Abide by the pet rules and always leave a generous tip for the housekeeping staff – especially if you have a shedding dog like mine. These gestures create a positive impression that will benefit other pet lovers.

[Bonus tip: Make sure a lost pet can be returned you by protecting him or her with a permanent microchip ID, like a HomeAgain microchip.]

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How to Build a Safe and Stylish Catio

Posted on April 14, 2017 under Cat Articles at PetsBest.com 

By Julie Sheer, Houzz.

It’s the dilemma of every cat owner: how to let Kitty enjoy the outdoors without risk of the Great Escape. The outside world can be a dangerous place for a roaming cat, with the threat of predators, cars, poison and diseases. Not to mention the danger to wild birds, which outdoor cats kill in monumental numbers. Catios — or cat patios — are safely enclosed playhouses for felines that provide fresh air, mental stimulation and exercise.

Cats confined indoors are at higher risk for stress-related diseases, says Dr. Martine van Boeijen, a cat veterinarian in Perth, Australia. “An enclosed catio, which safely confines your cat to your property, allows your cat to have the best of both worlds.” Here is a basic guide on custom, kit and DIY options for adding a catio to your home.

Catios can be as elaborate as a custom-designed feline jungle gym or as simple as enclosing a patio with screening. Here, Rasputin enjoys one of the perches in a custom catio built in Arcadia, California.

Suggested Features
It’s important to make sure catios are escape-proof and include basic feline comforts:

  • Entry door or window, or walkway or tunnel from the house
  • Perches, ramps, steps, bridges, catwalks
  • Post or tree for scratching and climbing
  • Hiding places
  • Beds, pillows or hammocks for resting

Finish reading this article at PetsBest.com


Bonus Links 

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True or False: Only senior pets are at risk of dental disease.

False!

A 3 year old cat or dog is still pretty young —
but they’re already at risk of periodontal disease.

Schedule time each day to brush your pet’s teeth, as part of an at-home healthy mouth plan.

You brush your teeth every night, but your pet can’t brush its own teeth — you get to do that! Yay!

Need help or inspiration? Check out these tips on brushing your pet’s teeth, to help prevent or slow down periodontal disease. 

Not sure about the state of your pet’s mouth? Contact Us to schedule an exam for your pet with Dr. Miele.

Double-click the image to enlarge.

Infographic courtesy of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Take a look at how their customizable plans can be made to fit your budget.

 

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