Tag Archives: pet clinic washington dc

All About Catnip and Your Cat

Does your feline friend go wild for catnip? It’s our cats’ favorite indulgence, but how much do you know about this fascinating plant? Your veterinarian Washington, DC tells you everything you wanted to know about catnip in this article:

What is Catnip, Exactly?

Catnip is an herb, classified together in the same family of plants as mint and other common herbs. It grows in the wild across North America and various other parts of the world. The “raw” catnip you’ll purchase in a pet store is a dried and processed version of the wild plant, and you can also purchase toys, sprays, and other products that contain catnip.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

Catnip contains a chemical substance called nepetalactone. It triggers a chemical response in your cat’s brain, leading to the reactions you’ll see. Some experts liken it to a kind of sexual response in cats!

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?

Is your cat not reacting to catnip at all? No need to worry—your cat is healthy. If a cat doesn’t possess a certain gene, inherited from his or her parents, nepetalactone won’t have any effect in the brain.

Call your vet clinic Washington, DC to learn more.

Chocolate Toxicity in Your Pet

You’re probably aware that pets and chocolate don’t mix. In fact, chocolate is one of the most dangerous and common pet poisons out there! Learn more about the symptoms and treatment of chocolate poisoning, and how to prevent it, from your Washington, DC vet.

Symptoms

Two ingredients in chocolate, theobromine and caffeine, cause the symptoms associated with toxicity. The symptoms include lethargy, drooling, loss of coordination, and—if treatment isn’t administered—seizures, coma, and even death. All types of chocolate can cause these symptoms, including milk, dark, semi-sweet, baking chocolate, and powdered chocolate.

Treatment

Rush your pet to the emergency room if you see or suspect that they’ve ingested chocolate. The stomach may need to be flushed, or activated charcoal may be given to slow the toxin’s absorption. A pet recovering from chocolate poisoning may need supportive measures like fluid replacement while they’re getting back to full health.

Preventing Poisoning

Prevent chocolate poisoning initially by keeping any and all chocolates safely stored in containers, cabinets, or the refrigerator where pets can’t reach.

Ask your veterinarian about other foods that are dangerous for pets. Call your pet clinic Washington, DC if your pet needs an examination—we’re always here to help!