Homemade Dog Treats

So far, this blog has seemed a bit ‘felicentric’ 😉 so I thought a recipe for homemade dog treats would help balance things out a bit. I came across this in my travels the last few weeks and wanted to share it with everyone. Please don’t make these for your dog if she/he has food allergies to any of the ingredients.

1 cup cooked ground beef

¾ cup water

½ cup oats (quick cooking or old fashioned)

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 small carrot, grated, about 1/3 cup

1 egg

½ tsp baking soda

½ cup shredded low fat cheese

1 tsp dried oregano (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350*. Spray two mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients except cheese in a large bowl.

Spoon batter into tins and sprinkle with cheese and optional oregano.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Cool for 15 minutes on wire cooling racks..

Remove from pans and serve.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 days in refrigerator or in freezer for up to 3 months.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The emergency clinic patient who stole my heart.

Before I head back to school next week for my last quarter before graduation, I wanted to post about a patient I had the pleasure of meeting when I did a clinical rotation through an emergency clinic. He was a male, neutered domestic shorthair (DSH) cat named Bl******. Because I’m using a paper I wrote for class and this cat is a real patient, names of patients and places have been changed to protect the innocent 😉 and to respect confidentiality. Also, I decided to leave the medical lingo in there, but add explanations in parentheses so everyone can see the crazy world of medical jargon. lol Bl****** had a problem very common to male DSH cats. Read on to find out!

I arrived a few minutes early for my early evening shift at the ABC Emergency Clinic (ABC), so I sat in my car and waited a few minutes. As I waited, I saw two women carry in a cat wearing an E-collar and wrapped in a towel. Little did I know how fond of that cat I would become over the weekend. Upon entering ABC, I was greeted by the receptionist and shown to the treatment room. There were no patients, as it had been a slow day, but I was still very impressed. It was a long room with multiple treatment tables and everything was set up in a way meant to maximize efficiency. The only patient that night, and the one that most fascinated me from

Hooked up to an IV bag

that weekend, was the cat I had seen taken in and waiting in the reception area. His name was “Bl******.” He was a transfer from a nearby veterinary clinic because they were unable to monitor him for the weekend. He was a blocked, male, neutered DSH with the loveliest orange eyes and the sweetest disposition.

When he arrived at ABC, he was leaking urine around his urinary catheter. It was determined that the catheter had shifted or slipped in some way and it was adjusted and sutured into place. He also had a bruised rectum caused most likely by urine leaking subcutaneously (under the skin). During all of this activity, “Bl******” was vocalizing quietly and struggling slightly. Obviously he was in discomfort. At this time he was given medication for analgesia (pain relief). A few minutes after administration, he was resting peacefully and no longer vocalizing or trying to lick his urinary catheter. When I left for the night he was resting nicely.

Bright, alert, and responsive!

The next day when I arrived at 4:00pm, he was BAR (bright, alert, responsive) and quite the friendly purr machine. He had a good appetite, but after eating he would become drowsy and mildly ataxic (he would stumble and stagger). This was because he was highly suspected to have a liver shunt. Dr. G at ABC suspected this immediately the night before because of his lovely, uniquely colored orange eyes. Also known as a portosystemic shunt, a liver shunt is when the portal and systemic venous systems let blood bypass the liver. This means that toxins from the GI tract carried in the blood do not get filtered out by the liver. He was also cryptorchid ( a testicle was hidden up within his body), had a URI (upper respiratory infection), and hydronephrosis (swelling of kidneys due to the backup of urine). Because he was such a hodge podge of problems, I’m going to focus on the problem common to many male neutered cats and go over the history, physical exam, etc. of a blocked cat.

Male, neutered cats most often suffer from urethral blockage because the urethra is very narrow as it goes through the penis. Clinical signs of blockage may not always be present, but when they are, hematuria (blood in the urine), urinating out of the litter box, dysuria (painful or difficult urination), straining, vomiting, and even collapse or death may occur. Blocks can be caused by crystals (uroliths) or by urethral plugs. Urethral plugs are made of minerals and mucoproteins produced by inflammation of the urethra.

Uroliths (bladder stones) can be made of many types of crystals, but the most common in cats are struvite crystals. To treat struvite crystals, the cat’s diet can be changed to Hill’s Prescription Diet Feline s/d to reduce the urine pH and make it more acidic. A pH of 6-6.3 will cause struvite crystals to dissolve and may stop them from reforming. Surgical removal might be necessary if the uroliths don’t dissolve. For either treatment, uroliths blocking the urethra should be flushed retrograde into the bladder so that urine can flow from the bladder. For some recurring or serious cases a perineal urethrostomy can be performed. This involves widening the end of the urethra and creating an opening in the perineum to which the urethra is tacked. This procedure does increase the risk for bladder infections.

If the obstruction is caused by a urethral plug, the clinical signs are straining

Urethral sediment plug

to urinate or crying out in pain while in the litter box, dehydration, vomiting, collapse and death in 3-6 days. Gentle massage of the urethra can sometimes break up the plug and then expressing the bladder (applying gentle, careful pressure to the bladder) can flush it out. Cystocentesis (using a needle and syringe to go through the body, into the bladder, and draw out urine) may be needed to relieve the pressure in the bladder. Perineal urethrostomy may be needed if the plug can’t be removed or if plugs continue to reform.

“Bl******” ended up back at his normal clinic on Monday where he underwent a successful perineal urethrostomy. He still has a laundry list of troubles, but at least now he has one less.

I hope you enjoyed my favorite emergency clinic patient. He was a wonderful, sweet cat with a beautiful personality and it was nice to see him do well and to hear he survived his surgery. He fares much better with a perineal urethrostomy because with a widened urethra it’s impossible for anymore stones or sediment to get stuck. If there are any in his bladder, they will pass through in his urine now.

It’s off to the grindstone for me this spring! I hope you all have a great month and enjoy the gradually warming weather with your furry/feathered/scaled companions! I’ll be back no later than May with another exciting adventure or informational piece! 🙂

Published in: on April 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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