Your cat has a vet appointment. So you go to the closet to get out the carrier…and your cat takes one look at it and runs away to hide. You trap your frightened cat and try to put her in the carrier, possibly getting scratched and bitten in the process. Finally, you get your cat into the carrier and get treated to an earful of yowling and meowing. You put the carrier in your car and risk your cat becoming physically sick from her anxiety. And all this chaos happens before the actual exam—which is a whole different adventure!

Looking back on more than 40 years as a veterinarian, Dr. Richard Siegle has seen a lot of change. Since he joined the practice in 1978, Cascade Hospital for Animals has grown from a small family veterinary practice to two clinics with 92 full- and part-time employees, and boarding, daycare, grooming, and training services. And now, with the Breton Village Animal Clinic relocating to a bigger facility soon and his son in his last year of veterinary school, Dr. Siegle has much to look forward to as well.

At first, it wasn’t clear what was wrong with Annie. According to her owner, Danielle, the trouble started when the normally healthy six-month-old puppy was suddenly unable to keep food down.

Worried, Danielle brought Annie to the hospital, where staff suspected the she had eaten something she shouldn’t have. An X-ray revealed a mysterious obstruction in Annie’s intestines. No one who examined the X-ray could figure out what Annie had swallowed. Then Dr. Becky Schafer took one look and said, “That’s a pacifier!”

Ask Dr. Becky Schaffer about her favorite animal story, and the conversation quickly turns to cats – BIG cats.

Becky, the newest veterinarian at Cascade Hospital for Animals, once had the opportunity to care for a circus lion that had fallen ill while the troupe was touring West Michigan.

“I had to remind myself that despite his size, he was a lot like any other cat” said Becky, 34, a graduate of South Christian High School who received her bachelor’s degree from Calvin College and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University.

Unfortunately, many of the things that people love about Christmas can be potentially dangerous to cats.

Christmas time can be a very exciting time for people and cats alike. After all, we put actual trees in the
house, cover them with things that move and roll if knocked down, put a new fancy blanket that is devoid
of cat hair under it and then circle it with stringy, shiny stuff. Christmas is a fantastically fun time if you are a cat.
Unfortunately, many of the things that people love about Christmas can be potentially dangerous to cats. 

When Dr. Kyle Fuller joined the staff of Cascade Hospital for Animals recently as an Associate Veterinarian, it was a homecoming for her in more ways than one.

Kyle has returned to her hometown after stints as a graduate of Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, an intern at an animal hospital in Washington state and associate veterinarian in Mississippi.

It is often difficult and stressful to bring your cat into the clinic for an annual exam, but dental disease is one of the primary issues that we can find on those exams. It is a common misnomer that cats with a painful tooth or bad dental disease will stop eating. In fact, eating is an instinctual part of survival and that instinct overrides the pain and keeps them eating. Therefore, this is a not a good way to know if your cat’s mouth is painful.

Like humans, cats can also get their blood pressure checked

We as people, are very used to getting our blood pressure taken. It is done at any and all doctor visits and is considered vital information. Should cats have their blood pressure measured too?

Young cats generally do not have problems with high blood pressure, much like young people. As they age however, high blood pressure can and does occur in cats. It can cause kidney damage, heart damage and blindness in cats.

Are all feline vaccines created equally?

Years ago, veterinarians started to see, infrequently but consistently, cats with cancerous tumors in the area that vaccinations were being administered. These tumors, called fibrosarcomas, are very invasive tumors that are nearly impossible to completely remove surgically.

Myth #1: “Canned food makes my cat fat.”

Truth #1: Dry food is actually more likely to make cats fat. Cats are true carnivores meaning they only
utilize protein and fat from the diet. They lack enzymes needed to break carbohydrates down into
absorbable energy. Fat and protein are the moistest part of a dry food. There is only so much that can be
put in and still have a dry kibble. Protein is also the most expensive component to making pet food. Thus,
most dry food has a lot of carbohydrates and fiber and less protein and fat making it exactly the opposite
of what a cat would feed itself in the wild.