Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic




One spring afternoon a very kind client of ours brought to us a dreadfully matted neighbourhood stray cat requesting that we sedate her for a much-needed de-matting procedure. The client was very allergic to cat hair but had taken on the responsibility three months prior to care for the poor bedraggled cat after it had first set up her property stakes outside of their home. Subsequently, the family named her Leviathan and elected to have us sedate her for de-matting and then planned to have her released to a nearly cat rescue facility to enable adoption procedures for this poor homeless waif once a new caregiver could be found to offer her a permanent home.

It is very important for owners of longhaired cats to be diligent about regular brushing and combing to help them maintain a healthy hair coat. Little mats can become very large mats in just a few weeks. Without the mats being removed, these cats can become very uncomfortable, emotionally disturbed and physically affected from skin irritations, sores, dander and other associated issues.
Be sure to check your own cat regularly for mats. Some key areas to check are the underbelly, armpits, above and below the tail, and behind the ears. If these mats are small, you can carefully clip them off at home. But be very cautious about using scissors to accomplish this task since it is very easy to accidentally snip the skin on areas that are hard to reach, especially if you’re four-legged friend is wiggly. If it seems that this chore will take some time it is best to consider dividing up grooming sessions into separate events. A reward after this procedure is always well deserved, as much for you as for your four-legged family friend!


 Striving to Beat the far so good!

Willie, a local Chilliwack resident is a greyish-blue and white19 year old neutered male cat of Russian Blue X heritage. Russian blue cats are a rare breed as distinct in their outward appearance as they are in their personalities.

Pure bred Russian Blues have a soft, very dense blue coat and are born with yellow eyes which transition to green as they mature. They do not shed much so are considered to be a good choice of breed for people prone to inhaled allergies. They have a muscular body and an innate intelligence and playfulness as well as an ability to vocalize their wants and needs very effectively It has often been said that this breed of cat is very much inclined to train their owners to achieve any goals they may have at the time rather than be trained!

Not much more is known about this rare breed; however, it is believed that the Russian Blue originates from The Archangel Isles in northern Russia. According to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA), rumour has it that the Russian blue breed descended from the cats kept by the Russian Czars.

Using the formula for all cats older that 15 years of age which is to equate 24 human years to the first 2 years of their life added to 4 human years for every year there-after after this makes nineteen year old Willie to be about 92 in human years. At this advanced age he is reaching for the top end average range of 20 years for the Russian Blue breed.

As most cat lovers are aware, cats very effectively use their body postures to communicate their emotions and intentions to others. These can range from total 
contentment to insecurity, and competitiveness to abject fear.

Willie has always assumed, even as a young kitten a resting pose where he crosses his front paws one over the oher that is quite uncommon but which speaks very clearly of
his ease and general contentment. He has consistently demonstrated even as a young kitten his intelligence and enjoyment of his family members. Until about 10 years
ago he was owned by his present owner's mother before she passed away and since then he has been a beloved family member of the daughter and family.

These days, as would be expected of a 19 year old elderly cat he is much less active and enjoys the majority of his leisure time languishing in the rays of the sun or on the easily reached cozy places of his home. However, he likes to communicate vocally at times should he feel the need for some extra attention. Now that his his joints are stiff and his mobility is reduced, he avoids stairs but is still quite capable of climbing into and out of his litter box when nature calls.

Willie, has been quite a healthy pet throughout his life although now, as an elderly cat he has problems maintaining a healthy blood pressure and he suffers from some joint pain, especially of his shoulders and elbows. He can be picky about his daily menu but fortunately, he enjoys a specially formulated canned prescription joint diet and dry kibble Kidney diet that helps to to reduce the work load on his kidneys and joints. He is very difficult to give any form of medication to orally so now, he is receiving his blood pressure medication transcutaneously by his owner rubbing a compounded blood pressure reducing medication on his ear flap, monthly injections of b vitamins and an arthritic medication,as well as a liquid kidney medication that fortunately he will accept orally.

Early this March he experienced a short seizure-like episode that was a matter of some consternation to us all. Some more common causes in geriatric cats include a cerebral disorder, cardiac crisis, various infections, disrupted organ functions or tumours. Since then he has not experienced any more but most certainly should one occur than it will be necessary to make some hard decisions to elect for a specialized work-up to determine the cause or instead to consider a dignified passing.

Telomeres are protective caps on chromosomes that wear away with age. A healthy lifestyle increases the length of telomeres which results in a longer life-span. 
In consideration of the care and attention and love that Willie has received over his life time it is quite likely that his telomeres are still in good shape!

The term "telomere " is from the Greek telos (end) and meros (part). 
Judging by his present state, Willie is not quite ready to end and part just yet!


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 your four-legged furry friends.


Over their lifetime, pets, like people, need regular care of their teeth to ensure that they can live a long, healthy life free of oral pain. But, unlike people, they are unable to verbally complain about aching or mobile teeth. They must rely on their owners to help them out.


An individual pets dental needs may be basic involving preventative measures such as diagnostic dental x-rays to detect dental root problems well as anesthetic facilitated dental cleaning procedures. In other cases, their needs may be more involved, and complex.



A common misconception is that because a pet is regularly emptying his or her food bowl at mealtimes their teeth can't be bothering them. This is actually NOT the case. Since all animals have to eat to survive they are hard-wired is to put up with pain and generally get on with their life even though their discomfort may be quite extreme.




Another common misconception is that loose teeth will come out on their own. Again, this is generally not the case since tooth roots of pets are anchored quite deeply in their mouths so many pets are forced to endure painful tooth motion for extended periods of time, sometimes, very sadly, for their lifetimes if not addressed.


Anyone that has experienced a tooth ache in their past can relate to the relief achieved by a visit to their dentist. Pets have similar sensations of oral pain from rotten teeth but must endure the pain in silence and rely on attentive owners to help them out.










            Nishan Panwar is a young writer from India known for his profound philosophical sayings.  According to his biography, he loves dogs, and babies, respects old people and women and is a strong believer in God. 

           Recently, one of his quotes “age is just the number of years the world has enjoyed you!” goaded me to present a canine patient of mine called Bailey.  He is an appealing Havanese dog who has certainly achieved senior status as a seventeen-year-old!  Of course, as he ages, Bailey is facing a moderate decline of his muscle mass and body organ function as well as some joint stiffness and yet, he still moves his little body about quite swiftly, appearing to be quite enjoying his sunset years to the fullest!    

        Presently, some quite moderate nutritional and medication adjustments have proven to be beneficial to him, aimed to provide support to favour his kidneys and his stiffening joints.  These include blood pressure medication, a joint cartilage restoring medication, and vitamin B12 to perk up his appetite.    

       His quarterly spaced blood work so far looks great for his age and his heart function is very acceptable.   

       His daily routine is not a pampered one, and he obviously is enjoying it to the fullest. There is no evidence of significant cognitive decline, which is quite commonly a finding in “grey muzzles”. 

        A few months ago a Cultus Lake misadventure at a Main Beach dock speaks to his resiliency.   One fine summer day Bailey was trotting along the deck in the company of his owner, with them both enjoying the weather and fresh air when, in a moment of distraction he headed off the deck at a 45 degree angle, fell down about five feet and then was submerged in the cold lake water! !  Still, he managed to reorient himself, swim under the deck and scramble at the ladder soon to be rescued by his human friend!   

       Inevitably, unable to escape the clutches of time, as Bailey experiences more physical impairments he will require some additional body support needs at home such as stair gates and strategically placed track mats to avoid missteps and tumbles.  When he starts to develop problems with his hearing and with his vision, he will be requiring some additional guidance and supervision by his owner whenever outdoors.  But, by all outward appearances, at this point in time he is still ready and set to go outside and have some fun at the lake with his human companion at his side.  

       Although he would not be capable of understanding this, he has no doubt contributed to his human friend’s health status.   Studies have indicated that dog owners that walk with their pets have significantly lower serum triglycerides than do non-owners and further, human interactions with them can help reduce their human friend’s blood pressures.  

Although Bailey can no longer navigate stairs as well as he once could, nor run as fast nor jump as high, a healthy life-style including lots of love and exercise have no doubt played a large role in his senior health status. 

   By analogy, as people age, although they may not be as capable of running up apartment stairs two at a time, or reading fine print without glasses, they can still maintain a good health status by watching what they eat, getting lots of exercise, preferably outdoors and sharing time with their friends and loved ones. 




















 Dog parks can provide a package of fun, entertainment and exercise for most extrovert-type dogs; however, there are some hazards that need to be avoided.

One essential priority is to directly supervise interactive play to avoid dog disputes escalating to painful bite wound injuries. Even minor wounds can cause psychological stress to dogs and not uncommonly, may appear minor at first appearance but hidden tissue damage deeper down may be actually the case.

Another priority of importance is to avoid sharing water bowls because shared water can share diseases from one thirsty dog to the next.  

Kennel Cough, Canine Influenza, Distemper and Leptospirosis, all can all be passed on this way. To avoid this risk, it is best to bring your own water source for your canine friend so that he can have a lot of fun while you can rest easy that he won’t be coming home with a newly acquired illness.


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