Dr. Rossi’s guest this week, Dr. Ashley Paper, is a feline practitioner, and a 1992 graduate of Auburn University. She became certified in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) in 2007, and is the owner of the Anastasia Cat Clinic in St. Augustine Florida. Dr. Paper begins by discussing the benefits of treating only cats, both for her patients and herself. The greatest benefits to her feline patients appears to be a reduction in stress when they are not in the presence of dogs, as well as being in a much quieter environment. She says “cats hide things so well,” that clients will have a hard time observing when they’re sick. However, one may look for changes in body position, appetite, drinking, or behavior.
Dr. Paper stresses the importance of annual exams, and fecal checks for parasites. But she advises that vaccinations be tailored to individual cats. She believes that excessive vaccinations may not be necessary, and could lead to an increased risk of many medical problems, and these are discussed. Our cat expert also discusses the great myth about the feline diet, and gives details! She draws a firm correlation between the usually recommended diets, and the major diseases seen in geriatric cats. She emphasizes the importance of water, and states that filtered water is preferable for cats. In addition, Dr. Paper strongly advocates socialization kittens, just as we do for puppies. Finally she recounts the value of acupuncture, and other forms of Traditional Chinese Veterniary Medicine (TCVM) for cats.
Dr. Rossi also gives kudos to the town of Claxton, Georgia for ending its antiquated rattlesnake roundups. The town replaced them with an educational event dedicated to saving the rattlesnakes, an important part of the local ecosystem, and a major force in controlling unwanted rodent populations. He also tells us how to recognize when our dogs are in pain using a number of signs, some of which may not be so obvious.