Search Locations
Find Us
Open 7 Days a Week

Monthly Archives: September 2020

How Do Cats Get Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty Liver Disease in Cats 101

Although cats have earned a reputation of being picky eaters, if your cat is dismissing its food, don’t ignore it. Avoidance of food is one of the many first signs of the common sickness that cats experience called hepatic lipidosis, more commonly known as fatty liver disease (FLD).

With September being Happy Cat Month, you want to ensure your cat is feeling happy and purrrrfectly healthy (pun intended). Below is everything you need to know about feline hepatic lipidosis symptoms, treatment, and more!

How do cats get fatty liver disease?

The chances of hepatic lipidosis occurring are greater if the cat was once overweight or obese. It’s very common for cats to experience fatty liver disease (FLD) if they have gone through a three to four-day time period of anorexia (meaning little to no eating). The chances of FLD are even greater if the cat was overweight before the anorexia began. 

Essentially, what happens is when there aren’t calories coming in to support the body’s functions, the body rapidly breaks down fat to use it for an energy source. The cat’s liver becomes overwhelmed and rather than processing it properly, the fat stores itself in and around liver cells, which compromises the natural function of the cat’s liver.

There are easy identifiers to spot if the cat has FLD. One of the first things to look for is yellow in the white areas of the eyes and/or skin. Other feline hepatic lipidosis symptoms include weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, muscle wasting, depression, drooling, and downward bending of head and neck. To see if your cat has this illness, blood tests will be taken to identify if the liver is functioning normally or not. Your vet may recommend an ultrasound be done to help evaluate your cat’s liver. Samples of the liver tissue, called aspirates, can be obtained during the ultrasound which help to give your vet more information about the liver’s health.  However, in some cases, veterinarians may be able to presume a diagnosis of FLD without liver tissue aspirates.

How to treat and recover?

Feline hepatic lipidosis treatment consists of aggressive nutritional support until the cat begins to form a normal appetite again. Typically, the cat fatty liver disease recovery process is about six to seven weeks, so it’s important that the owners are consistent and aware of their feeding methods and schedules for the cat. Along with strong nutritional support, many cats are also treated with medications and if hospitalized, an IV for fluids and/or a feeding tube may be surgically implanted to help physically feed the cat and provide the nutrients they need to get healthy.

Although the disease can be life-threatening if the cat receives treatment immediately the survival rate of fatty liver disease is promising. According to Cat Watch, 85 percent of cats who survive the first 96 hours of feline hepatic lipidosis treatment will go on to a full recovery. However, with that being said, FLD is also commonly known as secondary to many underlying health conditions so it’s important to explore further testing to ensure your cat is completely healthy.

How to prevent fatty liver disease?

Because the disease is stimulated by a cat being overweight and then having a lack of food, it’s important to maintain control of your cat’s food consumption. Regulating how much they are eating will help prevent the infection from taking over the cat’s liver. Therefore, if you plan to travel or be away from your home for multiple days, task a nearby friend or family member to check in on your cat to ensure normal eating habits continue while you’re gone.

Now that you know what the disease is and how to spot feline hepatic lipidosis symptoms, be sure to immediately visit the nearest AZPetVet location if you begin to see signs of infection. To find a hospital near you, visit our website at


DISCLAIMER – Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week – September 20-26, 2020

Why You Should Consider Special Needs Animals for Adoption


Shelters and rescues are packed with homeless pets. At AZPetVet, we work with many rescue groups and organizations around the Valley, such as LovePup, to help as many animals in need of adoption as we possibly can. The ASPCA estimates that around 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year – approximately 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats. Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). Special needs animals are consistently overlooked for adoption simply because so many people prefer to adopt cute puppies and kittens.

If you search ‘animals up for adoption near me’, you’ll get a huge string of results from all sorts of shelter and rescue organizations vying for your attention. All of them have pets that have been waiting weeks, months, and sometimes years to find their fur-ever homes. Typically, ‘less adoptable’ refers to animals in some unique categories including special needs and even hair color. While the term ‘special needs’ might sound intimidating, it’s a category term for pets who may need a little extra care. Physical disability, behavior, chronic illness, or medical conditions can all put an animal into this category, reducing their chance of finding a home. That’s why created ‘Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week’ – to help raise awareness of these wonderful animals who are too often overlooked. Here, we’ll highlight the most common types of special needs pets and the reasons you may want to consider them.

Older Dogs

Senior pets end up in shelters for a variety of reasons. Some may have health conditions that can be managed with diet and medications, others are perfectly healthy. Sometimes, the owner can no longer afford to care for them, becomes ill, moves, or just doesn’t want a pet anymore. Given the chance, older dogs can adapt to a new home and family, and become wonderful companion animals for families. Older dogs are especially great for individuals that enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, as they require a lot less exercise, and are often just happy to curl up next to their beloved person. Many people prefer to skip the rambunctiousness, potty training, and additional training that comes with adopting a puppy or kitten. Older pets usually know basic commands and tend to be more mellow, so they’re ideal for senior citizens. And yes, old dogs can learn new tricks – it’s just a matter of working with them to develop new habits. Positive reinforcement is the best approach. The Arizona Humane Society even offers a Senior to Senior adoption program with discounted fees. Like people, older pets will require regular wellness checks to keep them healthy and happy for life, so this should also be considered when adopting a senior animal.

Pets With Medical Conditions

Many shelter dogs and cats have some form of short- or long-term medical condition, especially older animals. Younger animals with less developed immune systems, or that haven’t received the required vaccination series can contract diseases, like parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough, or Valley Fever. With the right family or individual, plus regular veterinary care, many health conditions can be managed through medications, lifestyle and dietary modifications, and some good old fashioned TLC. With the right treatment and care, most pets will enjoy a good quality of life for years to come with their new families.

Hearing loss or deafness is another reason people will overlook adoptable pets. Congenital deafness often occurs in predominantly white or merle-coated breeds like Dalmatians, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, English Setters, white Boxers, and white Bull Terriers. While they may not be able to hear, most of these pets can learn simple sign language commands. Aside from the hearing loss, they’re still the same wonderful, loving creatures – they just need the chance to show it.

Behavior Problems

Just like people, no pet is perfect. Behavior problems are a common reason for people surrendering animals to a shelter or rescue. Pets with behavior problems have special needs, and require consistent, specialized training from a professional to get them back on track. Behavior issues can range from poor potty training, separation anxiety, or not getting along with other animals/children, to aggression. Many issues can be resolved with stability, consistent training, regular exercise and play, and of course, love.

Black Dogs & Cats

Research studies consistently show that black dogs and cats have a more difficult time getting adopted than others. Black dogs and cats are often left behind in shelters and rescues due to centuries of ingrained superstitions and old wives’ tales. The reality is that black dogs and cats are just as loveable as any other pet. While it may be harder to capture their cuteness and features in a photo without proper lighting, no matter what, black cats and dogs bring the same brand of goofy, unconditional love as other pets.

Remember, loving pets come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and breeds. Take some time to get to know one another when you’re looking for a new pet. You never know, it could be a loving match for life. Good luck in your search!

Need a good vet for your new pet? AZPetVet has 21 locations around the Valley. Click here to find a location near you.

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.




When Do Puppies Lose Their Teeth?

Call the Tooth Fairy — Are Puppies Meant to Lose Teeth?

Fuzzy, cuddly, and adorable — it’s no doubt that having a puppy in the family can bring endless joy to your life! However, there is one aspect to puppies that can be a little less than pleasant — their teeth. These baby teeth are sharp like needles and can be a nightmare to your furniture, curtains, and shoes, as well as to your own arms and ankles. But remember… puppies will lose all of their baby teeth eventually.

When do puppies lose their teeth? It really depends on the breed and the dog, but puppies will generally start to lose their baby teeth at around four months old.

The Life Cycle of Puppy Teeth

For newborn pups, their teeth will typically start to grow in around two weeks old. You’ll be able to tell that your little pup is teething if they are drooling more or chewing on more things. These baby teeth can be very sharp and unpleasant. Since puppies drink their mom’s milk and then move to kibble, it may cause you to wonder why puppies have such sharp teeth in the first place. One common thought is that domestication has not fully impacted their teeth. Historically, wild dogs had to have razor-sharp teeth in order to tear into their first taste of meat. It’s also thought that sharp teeth will help with the weaning process, as well as teach bite inhibition.

Puppies start to lose their baby teeth at around four months old as their adult teeth begin to come in. Sometimes you may find that a baby tooth will be stubborn and will remain in their mouth… if this happens, you should consult your local veterinarian as the tooth might need to be extracted.

Do Puppies Lose All Baby Teeth?

Eventually, your pup will lose all 28 of its baby teeth. Due to the fact that these furry friends don’t eat much hard food and mainly drink their mother’s milk as pups, the baby teeth don’t include any grinding molars. Over the course of their teething period where they transition from 28 baby teeth to 42 adult canine teeth, your pup will gain some molars to help grind up/chew their food.

You may find a sharp baby tooth in your carpet over the course of this period; however, it is more likely that your pup will swallow the majority of their baby teeth while they eat. So, no need to alert the puppy tooth fairy!

Discomfort During the Teething Period

Just like humans, it’s common for your furry friend to experience a certain level of discomfort while teething. They may whine more than usual or chew on more of your beloved personal items. It’s important to do what you can to help ease their discomfort during this period; try to find quality chew toys specifically designed for teething pups.

Although it may be easy to get frustrated from time to time when you find that they’ve chewed up your favorite sneakers – again – try to be mindful and aware of the changes they are experiencing. Before you know it, your puppy will lose all of their baby teeth and your shoes will be safe once again!

[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

National Hummingbird Day September 5

Fun Hummingbird Information and Facts

They’re magical, colorful, and incredibly fast. With over 300 species, the hummingbird continues to mesmerize individuals with their jewel-toned feathers and lightning-fast speed. Known for the buzzing sound they make when they flutter around, which actually awarded them their name, these incredible birds are native to the New World and can’t be found in the wild anywhere else outside of the Western Hemisphere.

This month on September 5th, we celebrated National Hummingbird Day… what a great opportunity to learn more about this magical bird. For those who are interested in discovering expert tips on how to attract more hummingbirds to your backyard, patio, or balcony, you’ve come to the right place!

Hummingbird Information and Facts

These tiny creatures pack a lot of energy and power into a very small package. As they are widely known for their speed, here are some fast facts and information about hummingbirds to try to match their velocity:

  • The world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, is on average roughly two inches long and weighs in at a whopping 2 grams.
  • These buzzing birds can’t use their feet to walk or hop but they can use them to scoot over on a branch, as well as to clean their feathers.
  • Hummingbirds lay teeny tiny eggs. In fact, they lay the smallest eggs of any species of bird — they can be smaller than a jelly bean!
  • A hummingbird’s beak doesn’t vacuum up nectar. Their tongue actually flicks the nectar up at a rate of 10 to 15 licks per second.
  • The hummingbird can reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour and their wings can flap at roughly 80 beats per second.
  • Although these birds have no sense of smell, their sense of eyesight is impeccable.
  • These talented birds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

Despite their size, there are hundreds of interesting facts and information about hummingbirds. Interested in learning more? Discover more facts about hummingbirds here.

How to Attract More Hummingbirds

Are you looking to draw in more of these alluring birds to your backyard or balcony? Luckily, there are a number of ways to attract more hummingbirds to your outdoor oasis. One simple tactic to utilize is to use a bright red hummingbird feeder. However, you also need to be strategic about where you place the feeder for optimal results. Consider hanging the feeder near a natural perching area that offers shelter, as opposed to out in the open. On top of this, try to place the feeder out of direct sunlight to slow down the fermentation process. Then, to ensure the hummingbirds keep coming back for more, routinely check on the feeder to make sure it never runs out of nectar.

If you want to go above and beyond and you have the space, you can create a hummingbird garden with a variety of their favorite flowers, trees, and shrubs. If you opt to do this, it is recommended that you utilize a number of native plants and flowers in varying colors. When picking out flowers, aim for flowers that have longer, more tubular shapes as these attract hummingbirds the most.

Best Time of Day for Hummingbirds

If you want to have better luck spotting a hummingbird in your backyard, it’s important to know the best time of day for hummingbirds. The best time of day to watch hummingbirds is usually during dawn or dusk or even in the early morning or late afternoon, just before the sun goes down. Although these are their favorite times to eat, hummingbirds can still be spotted throughout the day. For those in the U.S., hummingbirds are more active and common during the spring in April and May as they are migrating north.

With National Hummingbird Day this month, be sure to take a moment to discover all of the fun and interesting information and facts about hummingbirds. Then, if you want to be able to witness some of these magnificent creatures for yourself, consider applying some of these techniques to your backyard, patio, or balcony to attract more hummingbirds to your space.
[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.