Pet Tips From Experts

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*** Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Veterinary Staff, Groomers and Breeders are invited to submit tips for pet owners. Please include your name, job title and place of work in order to credit you for your tip as well as verify your expertise. Submit tips to We welcome your submissions.

Cats Need Annual Checkups

Tip Submitted By: D. Skrabalak, PhD, DVM, Dipl ABVP

Cats currently outnumber dogs as America’s most popular pet. There are approximately 95 million pet cats versus 83 million pet dogs. Yet people falsely believe that cats only need to visit their veterinarian when they are ill. This unfortunately is the proverbial “closing the barn door after the horse has escaped”. Most feline diseases can be cured or treated if diagnosed early.

Some of the most common feline maladies are periodontal disease, kidney disease, skin infection and both internal as well as external parasites. All of these can be minimized or eliminated via annual checkups and early diagnosis. This is better for the pet and much better for your pocketbook, since it is cheaper to treat problems early rather than treat chronic problems.

Many other diseases are preventable with annual checkups and the appropriate vaccinations. And do not forget about diseases cats can transmit to humans, such as rabies! So get your cat into your veterinarian’s office on a regular basis. It is good for your cat as well as yourself.


The NYS College of Veterinary Medicine is looking for Black Russian Terriers to participate in a genetic study that will improve the health and well-being of these dogs. The results of the study may possibly lead to the development of a genetic test designed to provide breeders with the information they need to effectively reduce the incidence of hip and elbow dysplasia in this breed.

Those who want to participate, please call 607-253-3060 and ask to speak with Susan Garrison or email your interest to


Tip Submitted By: Dr. D. Skrabalak:
Over 85% of pets over 2 years of age suffer from periodontal disease. This can lead to heart and kidney disease. Between annual veterinary visits and any professional cleanings, you can keep your pet’s teeth clean via regular brushing. One should use a pet tooth paste as well as a soft, children’s tooth brush. Clean only the side of the teeth on the cheek and lip side. Do not open the pet’s mouth or try to brush the tongue side. This is difficult and will only make subsequent attempts to brush near unattainable!


Tip Submitted By:
Make sure to start your pets on flea and tick prevention this spring. Our harsh winter will unfortunately produce a bonanza of these pests. When vacuuming your home, add a flea collar containing pyrethrums to your vacuum bag or container. This will kill the fleas suctioned up into your machine.