Posts Tagged ‘cats’


January 21, 2011

At long last, here is a blog post that will appeal to those of you who love cats (although dog lovers will likely enjoy it as well).  You have been such loyal fans in spite of the fact that I know you’ve felt slighted.  We all hoped there would be a Talking for Tabby published on the heels of Speaking for Spot.  No such luck!  The publishers I’ve spoken with feel that medically oriented cat books don’t sell well.  Here’s the good news – the medical advocacy principles presented in Speaking for Spot  and my blog apply across species lines (including humans).


So, for all you cat lovers, this blog’s for you!  I heard a recent story on the radio about a gentleman known as the “graffiti guy.”  Every morning, he heads out into his neighborhood armed with a bucket of paint, rollers, and brushes.  His goal is to cover up the graffiti applied the night before throughout his inner city neighborhood.  Apparently, there is considerable concern for the safety of the “graffiti guy.”  It’s possible that the gangbangers whose graffiti he is erasing might seek retribution against the individual “defacing” their artwork. 

After hearing this story, I began thinking about these gangbangers and what motivates them to post graffiti.  For the most part they are adolescent males (heavily under the influence of testosterone) who spray paint in order to mark their territory.  As a veterinarian, this all feels so familiar!  Think about it- a client comes in, pulling her hair out because her adolescent male kitty (heavily under the influence of testosterone) is spraying all over the house to mark his territory. Only he’s not spraying paint, he’s spraying urine!  The good news for my client is that I have a surefire way to fix the problem. A simple “snip-snip” surgery (aka castration) and voila, the spraying stops.  Now let your imagination run wild.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?!

Best wishes, 

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
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Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Medical Alert for Those Caring for a Diabetic Dog or Cat

November 7, 2009

If your four-legged family member is diabetic and the insulin product you are administering is Vetsulin®, please pay close attention.  The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine is alerting veterinarians that problems with this product are being reported. Apparently, as Vetsulin® sits in storage, the crystalline zinc crystal component (which is supposed to comprise 70% of the solution; the remaining 30% is the insulin) can increase above 70%.  This leads to a slower onset of action of the insulin and, potentially a longer duration of action both of which can result in unpredictable fluctuations in blood glucose values (values that are too high or too low). 

The manufacturer of Vetsulin®, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is unable to assure the FDA that each batch of their product is stable.  This company, along with the FDA have requested that veterinarians closely monitor their patients receiving Vetsulin®.  

There is absolutely no need to panic.  However, if your dog or cat is receiving this product, I strongly encourage you to discuss the following with your veterinarian: 

  1. Symptoms to be watching for that might indicate your pet’s blood glucose value is too high or too low
  2. Monitoring of blood glucose values
  3. Whether or not your pet should be transitioned to a different brand of insulin 

At the time of this writing, this problem has not been addressed on the Internet/Schering-Plough Web site ( but I expect information will soon be forthcoming.  

For more information about Vetsulin® concerns visit

Wishing you and your four-legged family members good health,

Dr. Nancy Kay
Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine 

Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller. 

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Listen to Dr. Kay’s interview – A Veterinarian Advises “How to Speak for Spot” on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross

TTouch – Linda Tellington-Jones

November 29, 2008

Linda Tellington-Jones is a legend amongst people who love and care for animals. She truly understands what makes them tick, not just from an intuitive standpoint (although her intuition is remarkable and powerful), but from a scientific point of view as well. Linda is world renowned for TTouch, a form of bodywork that evolved from her time spent working with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais. The Feldenkrais Method teaches mind-body integration for the human nervous system. Over the course of several years, Linda applied what she learned to hundreds of horses and observed remarkable improvements in their behavior, balance, and ability to learn. Her work became known as the Tellington Touch Equine Awareness Method, or TTEAM. Her work didn’t stop there. Linda learned that dogs could be helped by many of these same techniques. She has authored several wonderful books all of which provide clear, easy-to-follow instruction for anyone interested in learning the Tellington Method. Linda travels worldwide giving instructional clinics.

I recently had the pleasure of auditing a Tellington TTEAM horse clinic in Northern California, close to where I live. I was profoundly inspired by what I observed. There were approximately 25 participants including people with their horses, teachers, and Linda herself. What an inspirational woman! After the hundreds, perhaps thousands of clinics Linda has taught, I anticipated she might be supervising rather than actively teaching. Boy was I ever wrong! Linda was a completely “hands on”, patient, enthusiastic, compelling instructor. She has the energy of a twenty-year-old and that energy is contagious to her students (the energizer bunny has nothing on this woman!).

The clinic participants and their horses literally blossomed before my eyes. There was Jonelle’s mare, so “out of her mind” and difficult to control that Jonelle was afraid to even lead her from paddock to arena. Within just a couple of days, they were a team- the mare calm, in fact, downright peaceful, and Jonelle’s fear was gone. Darran was there with her new horse who could not hold his feet still because of pent up anxiety. Within a few days, she was able to ride him at liberty (no bridle) around the arena because he had transitioned to such a state of calmness.

I particularly enjoyed my time spent chatting with Linda. Here is what I learned. She has traveled the world and lived in some of the most beautiful places imaginable. She has interfaced with people from every walk of life and her stories are fascinating. She’s a definite “people person.” Her interactions are relaxed and comfortable and she’s a good listener- clearly something animals sense about her as well. In summary, Linda Tellington-Jones is a true master at teaching techniques that improve the quality of life for animals and the people who love them. It simply doesn’t get much better than that!

Dr. Nancy Kay meets Linda Tellington-Jones
Dr. Nancy Kay meets Linda Tellington-Jones

Linda Tellington-Jones (left), Dr. Nancy Kay (right)


Please visit to read excerpts from Dr. Kay’s book. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog. SPEAKING FOR SPOT is available at, local bookstores, or your favorite online book seller.