Category Archives: Cats

Dr. Oakes’ Tips for Walking Your Cat

Kitty Holster cat harness

Kitty Holster cat harness

Now that warmer weather is here, take advantage of it by allowing your cat some safe outdoor time!

Being a constant flight risk, cats need to be secured when outdoors to prevent runaways.

One easy was to get kitty some fresh air is to simply move an enclosed large dog cage outside and allow kitty a few hours in it. 

Being a constant flight risk, cats need to be secured when outdoors to prevent runaways.

Always place cages OUT of direct sunlight, and drape a towel over half of it so kitty feels hidden and secure.

Placing the cage near some grass will allow kitty to nibble some fresh greens, which many cats crave.  Don’t worry if it causes her to vomit; lawn grass is not poisonous, but it has tiny sharp edges which can act as an irritant to some cats’ stomachs.

For an even more up close and personal outdoor experience, good for mental stimulation, stress relief, and to burn off some calories, get your kitty into a well fitted harness and take her outside!

A harness allows kitty the freedom to roam yet prevents escape.

A harness allows kitty the freedom to roam yet prevents escape.  I personally like the Kitty Holster Cat Harness (amazon.com) attached to a Guardian Gear 20-Feet Cotton Web Dog Training Lead, Black (amazon.com).

Before her first time ever outside in a harness, spend 2 – 3 days inside, getting kitty used to the new harness.  Trust me, do not skip this step!

Kitty Holster cat harness

Kitty Holster cat harness

I recommend waiting until meal time and then put a heap of food (or yummy treats) in front of kitty; while preoccupied eating, quickly slip on the harness.  Cats are supremely coordinated; a harness throws off her coordination, causing tilting, swaying, and falling over even.

Keep feeding the treats to distract your kitty from her unease about the harness, while her body and sense of balance acclimates to wearing it.  Leave the harness on several hours for 1-3 days; kitty will forget she has it on, and then you are ready to go outdoors!

When you take kitty out on a leash, DO NOT plan on taking her for a walk!!  She will actually walk you! 

When you take kitty out on a leash, DO NOT plan on taking her for a walk!!  She will actually walk you!

Just stand patiently, leash firmly in hand in case she startles and darts away.  You need to be ready to reel her back in and prevent her from getting the long leash tangled around the shrubs.  She will take 20 minutes to explore the first 5 feet outside of your door, but after 30 minutes or so your cat will become much more confident and start to even chase bugs!  Just allow kitty to explore at her own pace (SLOW!) and keep pace with her, enjoying her new found fun.

Lastly, a flea preventative WILL be needed if kitty is outdoors.  I personally use prescription-only Revolution brand monthly flea preventative in my own cats. (Editor’s note: If your pet is a patient at Bigger Road, you can order Revolution from our online pharmacy at a great price.)

Questions about your cats’ fitness, outdoor time, flea prevention, or anything else? Call or contact us online!

RECALL: Bravo Chicken dog and cat food

RECALL: Bravo Chicken dog and cat food

RECALL: Bravo Chicken dog and cat food

Bravo Pet Foods of Manchester Ct. is voluntarily recalling specific lots of several dog and cat food formulas, due to potential Salmonella contamination.

What products are affected?

  • Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats – Chub
    • Item #21-102
    • 2 lb. (32 oz)
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • UPC 8 29546 21102 8
  • Bravo Balance Chicken Dinner for dogs – Patties
    • Item #21-401
    • 3 lb (48 oz.) bag
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • 8 29546 21401 2
  • Bravo Balance Chicken Dinner for dogs – Chub
    • Item #21-402
    • 2 lb (32 oz.) chub
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • 8 29546 21402 9
  • Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats -Patties
    • Item #21-508
    • 5 lb (80 oz.) bag
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • 8 29546 21508 8

Routine testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture found Salmonella contamination in the first formula above, and the company is recalling all formulas that were manufactured in the same facility on the same day as the affected product.

No pet or human illnesses associated with the products have been reported.

What should I do if I have recalled product?

Please stop using the affected product immediately, and safely dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

How does Salmonella affect people and animals?

Salmonella can cause serious illness or fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers. Always use proper caution when handling raw foods.

Symptoms in pets are similar and may include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Concerns about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online right away.

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up here to be notified by e-mail whenever product recall or safety information is posted to our web site!

Further reading

Visit the Bravo Pet Foods web site for more information about the recall.

RECALL: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried and Frozen Cat and Dog Food

Stop sale: Stella & Chewy's Chicken Patties freeze-dried dog food

Stop sale: Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Patties freeze-dried dog food

Following the announcement two days ago of a Stop Sale on one variety of Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried dog food, the company has announced a voluntary recall of many varieties of freeze-dried and frozen dog and cat food.

They are being recalled because they may be contaminated with Listeria bacteria, or may have been exposed to other foods that are potentially contaminated.

From the Stella & Chewy’s web site, the complete list of recalled products is at the bottom of this post. If you have any of the affected products, please stop using them immediately and safely dispose of them.

During the previous stop sale announcement, the Maryland Department of Agriculture recommended disposing of affected product by wearing disposable gloves, placing product in double plastic bags, sealing it and throwing it away.

About Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in pet food poses a health threat and is potentially fatal both to pets, and to humans who handle or come in contact with contaminated food. Young or elderly people and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of fatal infection.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms like fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Symptoms in sick pets are similar. If you are concerned about the health of your pet, please Call us right away. Outside business hours, please call CARE Center of Dayton at (937) 428-0911 or MedVet Dayton at (937) 293-2714.

No pet or human illnesses have been reported with Stella & Chewy’s products, but a sample of Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried dog food tested positive for Listeria bacteria in FDA testing. The company is recalling all products from that production lot, as well as other products that may have come into contact with the affected production lot.

Complete Recall List

Product Description/Size/UPC/Lot #/Use By Date

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs /15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs /15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/26/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/29/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Carnivore Crunch – Turkey Recipe/3.25oz/UPC: 186011001103/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016 and 5/4/2016

Frozen Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels for Dogs/4lb/UPC: 186011001394/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Morsels for Dogs/4lb/UPC: 186011001387/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Surf ‘N Turf Dinner Patties for Dogs/6lb/UPC: 186011000533/Lot: 111-15  and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs/6lb/UPC: 186011000120/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs/3lb/UPC: 186011000038/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 104-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 109-15 and Use By Date: 4/29/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/18oz/UPC: 186011000229/Lot: 105-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/18oz/UPC: 186011000229/Lot: 113-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/9oz/UPC: 186011000205/Lot: 105-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Carnivore Crunch – Chicken Recipe/3.25oz/UPC: 186011001080/Lot: 110-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinners for Dogs/15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 114-15 and Use By Date: 4/26/2016

Freeze-Dried Tummy Ticklin’ Turkey Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000663/Lot: 114-15 and Use By Date: 5/4/2016

Freeze-Dried Tummy Ticklin’ Turkey Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000663/Lot: 115-15 and Use By Date: 5/4/2016

Freeze-Dried Salmon & Chicken Dinner for Cats/12 oz/UPC: 186011000403/Lot: 107-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Questions?

Please Call or contact us online with concerns about your pet’s health.

For product questions, please contact the manufacturer of Stella & Chewy’s at  888-477-8977.

Win a grill for summer cookouts!

cookoutsafety-dog-grill-thinkstockjpgDo you use Trifexis or Interceptor for your pets? The folks at Elanco, makers of Trifexis and Interceptor, have given us two 3-burner gas/charcoal grills to give away to clients! (This will be a really handy thing to have if it ever stops raining!)

Bigger Road clients who purchase 12 doses of Trifexis or Interceptor between May 1, 2015 and July 31, 2015, are automatically eligible to win! This includes purchases made in Springboro and Kettering, AND on our online pharmacy.

• Shop Online for Trifexis (Dogs) • Shop Online for Interceptor (Dogs and Cats) •

July 31 is the last day of the contest, and winners will be randomly selected and announced at the beginning of August!

The combination gas/charcoal grill up for grabs features:
– 262 (charcoal) plus 295 (propane) sq in cooking surface
– 89 (charcoal) plus 99 (propane) sq in warming rack
– 3 steel tube burners, total 24,000 BTUs
– Stainless-steel flush side burner with cover total 12,000 BTUs
– Porcelain heat plate

Good luck!

• Shop Online for Trifexis (Dogs) • Shop Online for Interceptor (Dogs and Cats) •

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

The Food and Drug Administration is announcing a voluntary cat food recall.

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has recalled 5 varieties of Rachel Ray Nutrish brand wet cat food, and multi-packs that contain these flavors, because of potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. There are have been 11 reports of illness associated with the product.

Which products are affected?

A total of 7 products are affected.

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

Single Packs

  • PAW LICKIN CHICKEN AND LIVER (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00703 2 – All Best By Dates through AUG 17 2015
  • OCEAN FISH AND CHICKEN CATCH-IATORIE (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00704 9 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • OCEAN FISH A LICIOUS (2.8 oz)  – UPC 0 71190 00705 6 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • TUNA PURRFECTION (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00706 3 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • LIP SMACKIN SARDINE AND MACKEREL (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00707 0 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

Multi Packs

  • CHICKEN LOVERS VARIETY PACK (12 count pack of 2.8 oz cups) – UPC 0 71190 00777 3 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • OCEAN LOVERS VARIETY PACK (12 count pack of 2.8 oz cups) – UPC 0 71190 00778 0 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016

What are the symptoms?

Excessive Vitamin D intake can result in the following symptoms, usually 12-36 hours after ingestion: vomiting or diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, and muscle tremors or seizures.

Pets experiencing these symptoms should see a veterinarian immediately.

What if I have the recalled product?

Stop using the product immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Questions about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online anytime!

Watch: Spooky the Cat’s Fear-Free Veterinary Visit

Our friends at DVM360 visited the Springboro Veterinary Center this week, and documented the visit of Spooky, one of our feline patients!

See what we’re doing to make your pet’s visit as stress-free as possible in this video!

Learn More

DVM360 spent two days with us, and have shared their experiences on their web site.  Check out these articles!

#askbiggervet – September 11, 2014

In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we’re taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm preventionhow much to feed your cathow far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

What is the best way to give your pet a flea/heartworm pill?
Mike asked:

“What is the best way to give your pet a flea/heartworm pill?”

Good question Mike. We know how hard this can be! Most of these pills need to be given with food, so use that in your favor. Offer them their pill in a delicious treat, right before their meal, so they are hungry and eager to eat.

If the traditional pill pocket style treat doesn’t work we suggest hiding the pill in a bit of bread, cheese, peanut butter, or even a marshmallow! You can try cutting the pill in half or quarters and giving it in smaller bites if need be. You might try offering a treat without the pill first as a “decoy”.

If this still doesn’t work or your pet has dietary restrictions ask your veterinarian for other options.

How do you know how much to feed your cat a day?

Jenice asked:

“How do you know how much to feed your cat a day?”

Another great question. While you can certainly start with the recommendations on the bag or cans, many cats have other needs to consider.

We customize feeding plans that take into account your pet’s current weight, ideal weight, age, lifestyle, and what you prefer to feed. That way we can meet both the needs of you and your cat!

We can send you a custom feeding plan today – it’s free – or we can put one together at your next visit.

Does filtered water help with bladder crystals?

Deborah asked:

“My cat get crystals in his bladder, he is on CD Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Tract Health food. I have been told from a friend that the crystals form due to calcium in faucet water. Is this true and if so what water is best for him? Would a pur water filter hooked up to my faucet be something that would take out the calcium?”

Deborah, while a water filter certainly won’t hurt, we don’t have any studies telling us it makes a difference in these cases. What we do have is lots of science behind how the prescription diets prevent cats from forming crystals.

However, because we want cats that form crystals to drink more water, our best suggestion is to offer the water he thinks tastes best! We find that many cats prefer a recirculating water fountain and recommend that owners try this to get their cats to drink more.

How far can my puppy run with me?

Jodi asked:

“Is 2 miles too long of a distance to jog with my 8 mos pit/lab mix puppy? She tolerates it well then still has energy to play at home, but I don’t want to harm her bones/growth?”

This is a really good question Jodi and we’re so happy that you’re including your sweet pup in your exercise routine!

When exercising outdoors with your dog you want to consider the same factors you would if you were exercising alone: temperature, hydration, paying attention to your body, and working up longer distances slowly.

The one additional thing you need to think about is the ground. Dogs can burn their paw pads on hot pavement, and if they aren’t used to running outside their pads may be tender and will need to toughen over time. Keep walks short or stick to the grass if the pavement is hot or they’re new at outdoor exercise.

You want to make sure they have the fitness and strength to handle the exercise. Most importantly, have fun and don’t forget to bring a baggie for potty break cleanups!

More #askbiggervet
  • #askbiggervet – October 15, 2014 (10/15/2014) - This edition of #askbiggervet is all about senior pets! Get answers to your questions about abnormal breathing, spaying older female dogs, and dental care for seniors!
  • #askbiggervet – September 24, 2014 (9/21/2014) - In this edition of #askbiggervet, we tackle itching, picky eaters and the importance of year-round heartworm prevention!
  • #askbiggervet – September 11, 2014 (9/11/2014) - In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we're taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm prevention, how much to feed your cat, how far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

Protecting Pets from Birds of Prey

Protect Pets from Birds of Prey

Small pets such as kittens and puppies are vulnerable to birds of prey.

After receiving a report of a red-tailed hawk preying on a patient in the Kettering area, we wanted to share the following tips for keeping your pets safe from birds of prey. Fortunately, Marcy (an 11 lb. Havanese) was being supervised by her mom, Susan, and escaped unharmed!

Follow these tips to keep your pets safe from birds of prey, including:

  • Supervising pets
  • Keeping pets contained
  • Providing cover
  • Avoiding ground feeding birds
  • Feeding pets indoors

Learn more here!

Bigger Road patients benefit from underwater treadmill

Underwater treadmill is gaining popularity for rehabilitation purposes, as well as for general fitness. We wanted to share videos of two of our patients, Maggie and Kylie, who have benefited from this therapy!

We refer clients to Carmen Kolz’s Canine Underwater Treadmill for treatment. When our Springboro location expands in early 2015, we will be able to offer this therapy to patients directly!

Maggie Burke


Maggie, a patient of Dr. Conan Crocker, had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery in 2009 and 2010.  The underwater treadmill has allowed Maggie to maintain strength and mobility, and control her weight through low-impact exercise.

Kylie Richards


Kylie sees Dr. Crocker for a bilateral cruciate ligament rupture. Kylie began underwater treadmill therapy in June, 2014, with the goals of improved strength and mobility. While she may need surgery in the future, Kylie’s owners have noted a marked improvement since beginning treadmill therapy.
Please Call or contact us online to find out if underwater treadmill therapy can benefit your pet!

Update on Merial PureVax feline rabies vaccine

Merial recently announced that the PureVax Feline rabies vaccine, which is Bigger Road’s choice for vaccinating cats against rabies, may be unavailable until June 2014.

Bigger Road chooses the PureVax feline rabies vaccine because our doctors feel that it is the safest product available for vaccinating your pet against rabies.

Bigger Road chooses the PureVax feline rabies vaccine because our doctors feel that it is the safest product available for vaccinating your pet against rabies. Other vaccines on the market contain additional ingredients that are suspected to have an increased risk of reactions.

If your cat is due for an examination and rabies vaccine, we encourage you to keep your appointment. It is still very important that your pet receives their scheduled examination, and you will have the opportunity to discuss the options for rabies vaccination with your veterinarian.

If we are unable to vaccinate your pet at the time of your appointment, we will be happy to schedule a future visit with no additional exam charges to perform the vaccination, once the PureVax rabies vaccine becomes available.

Merial Purevax feline rabies

Merial’s PureVax feline rabies vaccine is currently on back order

If your pet finds office visits stressful, or if an additional visit is inconvenient for you, we also offer feline house calls for clients within 8 miles of either clinic, for an additional charge.

Questions about your pet’s vaccinations or feline house calls? Call or contact us online anytime!

Protect your pet from common Spring-time poisons

Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline

As you get ready for gardening season, make sure to follow these tips from Pet Poison Helpline about common flowers and gardening products that can be toxic to pets!

Did you know that the following are all toxic to pets?

  • Tulips
  • Hyacinth
  • Daffodils
  • Lilies
  • Many common fertilizers

Read more at the Pet Poison Helpline, and have a safe, happy Spring outdoors!

Cat Friendly: Tips for a Stress-Free Visit

AAFP Cat Friendly PracticeBigger Road is an American Association of Feline Practitioners Cat Friendly practiceThat means we do everything we can to make your cat’s visit as stress-free as possible.

What does it mean to be “cat friendly?”

Here are some of the things we do to ensure your pet’s comfort during each visit:

Feliway

Feliway reduces stress

  • Separate entrances for cats and dogs
  • Feliway spray and Thundershirts to calm cats in the lobby and examination rooms
  • Music and feliway diffusers in our relaxing Cat Ward, where cats stay separately from dogs, and are away from high noise and activity levels
  • Low-stress handling techniques during examinations and procedures
  • Examinations performed in a sequence designed to avoid elevating stress levels

The most “cat friendly” vet visit starts at home!

In addition to all we do, did you know that there are things you can do before and during your visit to minimize stress?

In addition to all we do, did you know that there are things you can do before and during your visit to minimize stress? Try these tips:

  • Leave your pet’s carrier out and open all the time. Once it becomes a familiar place in your home that they can come and go from as they please, the carrier will cause much less stress when it is time to visit the vet.
  • Make sure the carrier sits flat. Cats become uncomfortable when they are forced to be situated on an incline.
  • Don’t put the carrier on the floor. Cats feel safer when they are elevated. Having the carrier on the floor in our lobby or examination room may make your cat feel vulnerable. We encourage you to use our counter or exam tables to keep your cat up high and feeling safe.
  • Use Feliway at home. In the clinic, we use Feliway to put your cat at ease. And while Feliway works quickly, it will work even better if you spray it on a towel or bed in the carrier before leaving home. Your cat’s stress level will be easier to manage if it is not as elevated to begin with.

Have more questions about ensuring a stress free visit for your feline family member? We’re here to help! Call or contact us online today!