While everyone is very concerned about the recent recall, let’s keep some other health issues in mind as well. This article by pet writer extraordinaire Julia Szabo is a great reminder to check out those canine and feline teeth for early signs of bigger health problems.
Thanks to The New York Post for this article.
THE CAT TRAP
SIGNS FOR PET ILLNESS OFTEN FOUND IN THEIR MOUTHS
By JULIA SZABO
OPEN WIDE: Dr. Diane Levitan holds the author’s cat Ludmilla, who was recently diagnosed with liver disease after she noticed the inside of the cat’s mouth was yellow.December 24, 2006 — BEING vigilant about a canine’s canines could save his life. In fact, vets like Dr. Michael Rubinstein of the Humane Society of New York continually urge pet owners to keep an eye on pets’ teeth and gums. His mantra – “Changes in the mouth can indicate serious problems elsewhere in the body” – stands true for felines, too.
I learned this recently when I noticed that my Burmese cat, Ludmilla, whose coat color had always been blue, started to act blue, too. She became withdrawn and soon started to vomit copiously. A peek inside Ludmilla’s mouth revealed yellow gums – and jaundice is a sign of liver disease. Dr. Rubinstein’s orders were to see an internal medicine specialist right away.
I chauffeured Ludmilla to specialist central – the Center for Specialized Veterinary Care in Westbury, L.I. (vetspecialist.com). This 24-hour hospital boasts state-of-the-art equipment and a team of doctors and surgeons board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. If your pet needs highly sophisticated medical attention in the middle of the night – any night of the year – this is the place to go.
Tests showed Ludmilla’s gall bladder was on the verge of rupturing due to a bile-duct blockage. Her liver was shutting down. There was no choice but to remove her gall bladder and redirect her bile duct into her duodenum.
After the life-saving surgery, hospital director Dr. Diane Levitan sounded upbeat when she called with an update. Additional biopsies would tell us if Ludmilla may still face more health hurdles, but for now, Ludmilla’s appetite had returned with a vengeance, which was a great sign!