Animal Hospital News

Cats get Arthritis, Too!

posted by Dr. Deb on November 8th, 2018 in Cats

Cats suffer from arthritis just as much as dogs.  They just suffer in silence.  

I often hear cat owners tell me that their cat has “finally learned to stay off the counters”.  Or they are worried that the cat can’t see because “he doesn’t always make it when he jumps up on the couch”.  When I ask what their cat does during the day, they usually tell me that their cats “sleep, but he’s a cat”. (OK, got me there! 🙂  )  So sometimes we have to dig deeper:  How does his activity level compare to a couple of years ago?  Last year?

Arthritis in cats is a very subtle and often debilitating disease. Because cats are so good at hiding pain and weakness, we often miss the subtle signs of arthritis in many of our aging cats.

SIGNS of Arthritis in Cats:

Reluctance to jump up on counters or other perches that were once favored.
Difficulty jumping or “missing the mark”—not quite making it to the perch.
Decreased activity
Increased sensitivity over the hindquarters (greater than in the past)
Poor grooming, especially of the hindquarters—this may be noted as an increase in dandruff on the hindquarters.

DIAGNOSIS… is based on a thorough physical examination and radiographs of the suspected area (spine, hips, knees, elbows…)

Weight loss is the best medicine for overweight cats with arthritis.

Complementary” Therapies: Acupuncture, Physical Rehabilitation, Cold Laser Therapy

Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA 15-20mg/# daily), Glucosamine/ Chondroitin, Avacado unsaponified extracts

Adequan(R) injection therapy- we’ve had really good success with this!  Adequan is, essentially, an injectable form of glucosamine that travels to inflamed joints, improving the slipperiness of joint fluid, combatting inflammatory metabolites and providing building blocks for cartilage repair. 

Joint Support Prescription foods are especially beneficial for cats who don’t like omega 3 supplements (or you would prefer 1 less supplement to have to “give”)

Pain Medications- We have to be very careful with anti-inflammatories in cats (so NEVER give them human medication without consulting your kitty’s vet!), but newer, safer medications are becoming available for cats with arthritis.  We can use some other pain modifiers that are not necessarily anti-inflammatory to help kitties live more active lives, too!

How To Help Your Kitty Live Happier: 

  • Environmental Modifications allow your disabled kitty to continue enjoying the things he loves!
  • Food and water sources on the floor
  • Lower edge litterboxes. Maybe remove the lid
  • Steps or Ramps to favorite perches
  • Encourage exercise- play with your kitty for 10 minutes daily. Try leash walking (this where you attach the leash and follow your cat, right?). Hide food around the house to stimulate hunt/ foraging activities
  • Massage and grooming

If your cat is showing you any signs of osteoarthritis, please call your vet for an appointment and consultation.  Even if your kitty is NOT showing signs of arthritis, a check up with the vet once a year can identify the little things your cat is hiding before dis-ease becomes a crisis!

Cats Can Get …WHAT!?

posted by Dr. Deb on November 1st, 2018 in Hospital Announcements

Cat disease, indoor cats

Diabetes (actually becoming an epidemic) Heart Disease
Hyperthyroidism Pancreatitis
Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Pemphigus Periodontal disease
Constipation Inflammatory/ Stress Cystitis

and much more….

DID YOU NOW that Indoor Cats are more at risk of metabolic disease than Outdoor Cats? 

  • Cats who only eat dry or canned food don’t floss their teeth with the fur of his prey with every meal, so they are at high risk of developing dental disease. 
  • Cats who sit around the house, sunning in a window, instead of chasing prey and running away from predators all day, are at high risk of developing obesity related diseases like diabetes. They are also more prone to orthopedic injuries related to poor fitness! 
  • Cats who are confined to a limited space, especially with other cats, are more likely to develop stress related illness like painful bladder inflammation (Yup, it’s a stress thing in cats (and women)!).

These conditions are often painful and life-limiting, but they can be treated!  The earlier they are treated, the easier it is, too!  Just changing a cat’s diet, for instance, or changing his environment can go a long way toward reversing or slowing different disease conditions. 

“I diagnosed my 13 year old Kitty, “Spot” with kidney failure during an annual Sr “wellness” screen. All I did was change his diet and he lived another 3 1/2 years without needing any medication at all!  During the last 6 months of his life, I kept him happy and comfortable with some medication that rubbed into his ear flap once a day.  That was 4 years of great quality of life, with little effort on my part, because of a Senior early disease detection screen.  I’m really happy I did it, even though he “seemed perfectly healthy”!” ~ Dr Deb Bohnke

Get your kitties to the vet this month!  Don’t let them suffer in silence!  After all, they deserve the same kindness as the dog, right? 😉

Cimarron is Celebrating Cat Health Awareness with $10 off all cat exams and 15% off all cat diagnostics this month!


Cimarron Animal Hospital Embraces Fear Free Pet Experience

posted by Dr. Deb on August 19th, 2018 in Other

Dr Deb Bohnke is now a CERTIFIED Fear Free Professional! 

While we’ve always wanted our patients to be a stress- free as possible, we’re even better now!  During 8 hours of continuing education, Dr. Bohnke learned even more tricks to help pets have a better experience during vet visits!  Our staff is actively employing our new techniques and tools with every patient to ind what works best for every individual pet that visits!  And it’s working!  Pets are happier, less aggressive, less fearful, more outgoing!  Which makes the whole visit more FUN!

  Here’s how we are making a better vet visit:

  • Offering to move you and your pet to an exam room sooner, so you can let your pet off leash or out of its carrier to get accustomed to the room and explore on his own terms.
  • Continuous touch gradient to communicate calm expectations through body language
  • Considerate Approach to the patient to avoid overwhelming him
  • Massage of soothing pressure points during the exam
  • Distraction techniques like better treats, toys make the visit more fun for you and your pet
  • Soothing music in the exam rooms- good for people, too!
  • Pheromones ( Feliway and Adaptil ) that mimic kitty cheek gland scents and dog  milk gland scents – what’s more soothing than that?  These help to down regulate the sympathetic (flight or fright) nervous system
  • Swaddling blankets, Thundershirts, Thoracic wraps, Calming Caps and Doggles induce a state of calm
  • Therapeutic Laser to induce endorphins– you can’t even feel it! It just works great on cats!
  • Pre-Visit Sedation available on request.  Newer drugs, smarter drug “cocktails” give us more options, even for sick and elderly pets!  Call ahead for a  Kitty and Canine Calming Kit .
  • More proactive in clinic sedation—  with safer drugs we can sedate even elderly and sick patients!  Sometimes we can reverse the sedation and they don’t even have a “hangover!” 
  • Pet Parent education on crate training ad car training to make the trip to and from the clinic less stressful
  • Cat FriendlyCertification by the American Association of Feline Practitioners means that our doctors and staff take extra continuing education in considerate cat handling of cats and we have modified the clinic to accommodate the sensitivities of kitties!  This makes the cat visit more Fear Free!  See How We Are Cat Friendly Certified
  • Happy Visits are just for fun (and free)!  Come in with your pet’s favorite treats, a comforting blanket or article of clothing from home and just hang out for a few minutes.  Let our staff give treats and walk your pet around the clinic, do some comfort and relaxation training.  Call ahead to schedule during our quiet times so we can give your pet the best experience. 
  • Monday 12:00 pm-2:00 pm*
    Tuesday 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
    Wednesday 9:00 am- 2:00 pm
    Thursday 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm
    Friday 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm*
    Saturday 12:00 pm- 1:30 pm

                   *Other times may be available depending on schedule, call ahead

Fear Free handling and reducing Fear, Anxiety and Stress FAS in pets during visits is (surprisingly) a new and innovative way of managing pets in veterinary clinics.  It’s changing the profession’s “just get ‘er done” approach to pet exams.  It’s making veterinary health teams consider not just the physical well-being of their patients, but their emotional well-being as well.  

Sure, for some pet owners, a pet is “just an animal”.  All this “fuss” might seem silly.  But for pet parents whose pets are their children, Fear Free is the only way to treat them!  Our team at Cimarron wanted to get in on the ground floor of this veterinary care revolution because of one of our patients (just ike our own pets) is a precious being!

If you want a more stress free experience for your pet, see the handouts below.  Bring them in or discuss them with our scheduler when you make your pet’s appointment.  

Find other Fear Free tips in our Fear Free Library 

Fear Free Library

posted by Dr. Deb on August 18th, 2018 in Other

Articles on our Fear Free Philosophy 

Before your pet’s first visit please print and fill out:

PreVisit Questionnaire   and What Your Vet Should Know

If your pet doesn’t travel well, find tips and tricks to smooth the ride in

What Your Vet Should Know and Preparing for the Vet Visit

Call us for a Kitty or Doggy Calming Kit a few days ahead of your appointment! 

Have more questions?  Call us at 520 886-1125 or email









Preparing Your Pet for the Vet Visit- Fear Free

posted by Dr. Deb on August 18th, 2018 in Cats, Dogs, Other

We all know how sad and stressful it is for many of our pets (and Us!) to bring them into the veterinary clinic for check ups!  So, we just don’t do it, right?  Especially cats- they’re the worst!  But THEY are the ones who need Doctor checkups the MOST because of their propensity to hide signs of illness until it’s almost too late.  Even indoor cats need regular check ups since they are MORE at risk for metabolic diseases then outdoor cats!

Here are some tips and tricks to make getting to the vet clinic a little less traumatic!

Preparing Your Pet for the Vet Visit


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