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Liver Biopsy by Frank Utchen, DVM

Question: Dr. Utchen My 12-year old cat has been losing weight and not eating very well for a while. The vet did some blood tests, and says my cat needs a liver biopsy. Don’t the blood tests tell us what we need to know?  


Blood tests tell us which organ in the body is diseased. Sometimes this is all that is needed in order to proceed in treating a patient, but often a tissue sample of that organ is needed in order to determine precisely what is causing that organ to malfunction. 

For example, sometimes there is an infection present. Other times, t... Read More

Kittenhood by Frank Utchen, DVM

It seems like there is never a time of year that isn't "Kitten Season" for the various animal rescue groups in the Tri-Valley Area. If you become a foster (or permanent) parent to a litter of kittens, keep these recommendations in mind:

Feeding Guidelines

For newborns (the first 2 weeks of life) kittens depend exclusively on mother's milk and need to nurse frequently. If you have a young litter without the mother, small nursing bottles can be purchased at pet supply stores along with milk replacer for kittens. The most common on is called KMR (Kitten Milk Replacer). Kittens should be fed every 2 to 3 hours.

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Ask the Vet – Why do Cats Vomit? by Kristel Weaver, DVM, MPVM

I have 2 kitties and one of them throws up a ton!  I know people say that cats throw up; it's no big deal.  Why do cats vomit?

... Read More

Inflammatory Bowel Disease by Frank Utchen, DVM

Dr. Utchen: My cat vomits several times a week, but seems okay otherwise. Is this just furballs?


It is not likely that this is just furballs. Although cats do get furballs, and will sometimes vomit as a result, most cats will not vomit several times a week from this. There are a number of problems that can cause frequent vomiting cats, and only a veterinarian can diagnose these problems. Usually this requires X-rays and blood tests, and sometimes ultrasound. Less commonly, more invasive diagnostics like endoscopy and intestinal biopsies are necessary.

O... Read More

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