Spring 2014 
Mews & News
Riverside Cat Hospital

Clinic Hours 
Monday 8am-7pm
Tuesday thru Friday 8am-5pm
Closed weekends

Boarding pick-ups on Sunday at 5pm by special arrangement

Did you know that our clinic is on social media?

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We use it to post interesting links or articles, as well as news updates regarding food recalls or other important information. We also love to see what our patients are up to at home, so you are welcome to post pictures of your cat there as well. Click on the Facebook or Twitter icons above to visit our page.

exam room  
Have you checked out our clinic website lately? We have updated and redesigned our website to include more informative articles and helpful information. It is also optimized for viewing on mobile devices. Visit today and let us know what you think! 
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Wellness Packages
Take the financial worry out of your cat's veterinary care! 

Riverside Cat Hospital offers Wellness Packages designed to make caring for your cat easy!

Wellness Packages are offered in 3 levels for different life stages. Each package level includes "wellness" exams at recommended intervals, all recommended vaccines, fecal testing for parasites, and unlimited nail trims at no additional charge. Kitten Wellness Packages also include feline leukemia testing and the complete series of kitten visits and vaccine boosters. Senior packages include senior screening bloodwork, or thyroid or kidney bloodwork for senior patients with thyroid or kidney disease.

In addition to all of the wellness care listed above, cats with our wellness packages are also entitled to free, unlimited visits with no additional physical exam charges. So you don't have to worry about exam charges for unexpected vet visits if your cat gets sick.

Visit our website to learn more, or call and ask about a wellness package for your cat today!

Many of you have met Lally in recent months. She came to stay with us after her owner passed away. She made herself at home pretty quickly, settling in and encroaching on Izzy's countertop territory! 

We are very pleased to report that Lally has found a new home, with a family who will keep her active and provide plenty of love and attention. We will miss her!
Contact Us

phone: 517-347-2287

4632 Okemos Rd.
Okemos, MI 48864

Spring is on the way!
cat at the vet Spotlight on Feline Diabetes  
Feline diabetes is an increasingly common disease, affecting cats of all shapes and sizes.  In recent years, our understanding of how to treat this illness has improved, resulting in new treatment strategies and better outcomes for patients. 
Diabetes is a disease that most commonly affects middle aged cats.  Affected cats tend to be overweight, and live predominantly indoors.  Cats that eat an exclusively dry diet are also more likely to be affected than those that eat canned food. Diabetes in cats is similar to Type 2 diabetes in people, what we call "adult-onset" diabetes.  Symptoms of diabetes in cats are also similar to those in people - an increase in thirst and urination is seen with most affected cats. These cats tend to lose weight, especially if diagnosis is delayed.  If the disease progresses unchecked, affected cats may eventually develop diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening complication of unregulated diabetes.
Diagnosis of diabetes in cats is largely based on a history of increased thirst and urination, weight loss, and elevated blood sugar (glucose).  Glucose in the urine, urinary tract infection, and pancreatitis are also commonly seen.  It is important to ensure that there are no other concurrent diseases or problems that could complicate the successful treatment of the diabetes, so a full blood panel, urinalysis, and sometimes other tests are needed before starting treatment.

Most cats diagnosed with diabetes need supplemental insulin, at least in the beginning stages of treatment.  However, if diagnosed early and managed properly, many cats can be successfully taken off insulin eventually and managed with appropriate diet and monitoring.  There are several different types of insulin used for treatment in cats.  Some are insulins produced for human use, and others are made exclusively for veterinary patients.  Insulin must be administered as an injection, and this can be a big hurdle for some pet owners.  However, we find that most cats will take an injection much more easily than a pill!  Sometimes it is as simple as setting a dish of food or a treat in front of the cat while administering the injection.


Proper feeding is a key component to successful management of the diabetic patient. A low-carbohydrate, canned diet is essential. Insulin is used to process dietary carbohydrates, and a diet that is low in carbohydrates will help to reduce the cat's dependence on insulin. Cats who are overweight are also at greater risk of developing diabetes, so maintenance of a healthy body weight will help to prevent or control the illness.



Ongoing monitoring of blood sugar levels is also an important

part of diabetes management. Home monitoring is preferred, as the stress associated with coming into the clinic will usually cause a cat's blood sugar levels to rise dramatically.  Most pet owners can successfully learn how to test their cat's blood sugar using a portable blood glucose monitor.  A small drop of blood is obtained by pricking the edge or tip of the ear.  Once an owner has obtained several blood sugar readings, a consultation with the veterinarian is needed to make any adjustments to the insulin dose.


Diabetes can be a devastating diagnosis for a pet owner to receive from their veterinarian, but with a strong commitment to appropriate monitoring, feeding, and treatment, most diabetic cats can be successfully treated.  In fact, if effective treatment is started quickly enough, many of these cats can go on to do very well, even losing their need for supplemental insulin.

For more information, check out these helpful links, found on the resources page of our website:

resorptive lesions
Tooth resorption
Dental X-rays are here!
We are very pleased to announce that we have added digital dental x-rays to the lineup of diagnostic tools available at our clinic. We have been working towards this goal for some time and very glad to be able to offer this service to our patients and clients. 
Abscessed canine tooth
Tooth root abscess
Dental x-rays will offer us the capability of evaluating a patients' entire set of teeth, rather than just the crowns that are visible above the gumline. We will be able to find tooth resorption affecting the roots of the tooth, as well as tooth root infections and periodontal disease. We will also be able to follow surgical extractions with x-rays to verify that the entire tooth
resorptive lesions
Tooth resorption
root has been removed, reducing the rate of post-surgical complications. Having digital x-ray capability, rather than relying on film that requires manual processing, will reduce the amount of time patients have to spend under anesthesia.

Ask Izzy 
Dear Izzy, 
What is the best cat litter? There are so many different types and brands available now, that the choices can be overwhelming!

Izzy says,
Well, that is a good question with no single right answer. In addition to old-fashioned clay cat litter and clumping litter, there are also new light-weight litters, paper based litters, pine litters, and corn and vegetable litters, to name just a few! Litters come in scented or unscented versions, indoor cat, single cat, and multi-cat versions. There are even litters made to attract your cat to the litter box.

Behavior experts agree that most cats prefer a sandy, unscented clumping litter. This is because our cats' wild anscestors were desert cats, accustomed to eliminating in sandy soil. While perfumes added to litter may help to mask the litter box smell, these perfumes may be unpleasant for cats' sensitive olfactory systems.

If your cat doesn't want to use the litter that you provide, you may need to do some experimentation with different litter types to find what suits your cat. Some cats even prefer plain soil or dirt! Regardless of which type of litter you you, it's very important to keep the box clean - scooping waste at least once daily. Also remember to provide an adequate number of litter boxes, in various locations throughout the house.


The Last Word      


As we move into warmer weather, now is a good time to think about restarting your cat's seasonal parasite prevention program. Fleas will be back sooner than you think, and preventing infestation is much easier than treating after the fact! 
If your cat goes outdoors, now is also a good time to remember that even though it may be warming up soon, the weather is still cold for our feline friends. In addition, there is still the danger of exposure to antifreeze. Be sure that your cat stays safe outdoors!
Finally, Easter will be arriving in just a few weeks. Because a lot of the early spring flowers can be very toxic to cats (particularly lillies), it is best to refrain from bringing cut flowers indoors. Ingestion of even a few particles of pollen or chewing on a small petal can cause severe illness for the curious kitty. It is generally safer to stick with green houseplants rather than flowers.
A final housekeeping note: I will be out of town the week of April 7th with family. We will be open if you have questions during that time, or need to pick up medication refills.
 Dr. Kerry Lewis
Riverside Cat Hospital