Archives for the month of: February, 2014



Dr. Timothy Fitzpatrick, a veterinarian at ABQ Petcare Hospital, offers more than 35 years of experience treating diseases and conditions in domestic animals. A Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Timothy Fitzpatrick offers a variety of vet services, including pain management, dermatology, and veterinary surgery.

When cats return home after surgery, they require special care and attention for several weeks. It is important to check the surgical wound, change bandages, and administer any prescribed medications during the recovery period while watching for any potential problems. Right after surgery, low energy levels and redness around the surgical site are normal. Owners should not feed cats too soon or allow them to drink too much water, as it can cause nausea. Cats require balanced diets during recovery to ensure they get the proper nutrients needed for healing. Some vets prescribe specific diets, such as liquid diets, for cats who struggle with swallowing their food.

Within a couple of weeks, activity generally returns to normal, but too much activity can still cause damage. Owners should keep cats indoors to prevent possible injuries and should avoid bathing their pets. Regular monitoring of incision sites for swelling, discharge, and separation is also necessary. If any of these problems occur, or if the cat has poor stability, difficulty breathing, or pale gums, it is time to call the vet.

A diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, veterinarian Dr. Timothy Fitzpatrick owns and operates ABQ Petcare Hospital in Alberquerque, New Mexico. Through Pets of the Homeless, Dr. Timothy Fitzpatrick and his vet staff provide no-cost care to pets of homeless owners through a local animal shelter.

While some may wonder why individuals struggling with homelessness choose to take on pet ownership, many studies show that these companion animals provide positive and even life-saving benefits. Multiple studies have revealed a lower risk of criminal behavior among individuals who are homeless yet own dogs, while another study showed a lower incidence of drug use in the same population. Stories have even emerged of pet owners who cite their pets as an inspiration for addiction recovery.

In surveys and interviews, homeless pet owners repeatedly refer to their animal companions as their closest friend, the only source of love in their lives, and even the reason they stay alive. Many feed their pets before they feed themselves. Some even refuse shelters that will not accept their pets, choosing personal discomfort over separation for their companion animals. Researchers and experts typically attribute this connection to the unconditional and non-judgmental love that an animal provides, a life-affirming benefit to people who may be judged, discriminated against, or even physically hurt by other humans.