About Jean Hofve DVM

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So far Jean Hofve DVM has created 309 blog entries.

Please Don’t Give Pets as Gifts

It's a wonderful thing to give, and we all have good intentions when shopping for truly special gifts for our loved ones. You may have visions of one you love opening a beautiful box with an adorable kitten inside, or of covering their eyes and leading them into a room where a puppy wearing a big bow is waiting. We aren't to blame—we have these joyful images lingering from our own childhood as well as from movies. It may feel like we are giving the gift of unconditional love, especially ...


When You SHOULD Induce Vomiting

We recently discussed when NOT to induce vomiting after your pet has eaten certain harmful items. Today we’ll look at common situations where you should induce vomiting (how-to instructions below). Rodent poisons often contain anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) drugs such as coumarin or warfarin; newer products contain bromethalin, a neurotoxin that is equally dangerous. If a pet ingests an anti-coagulant, or even eats an animal that has consumed it, life-threatening internal bleeding may occur. While symptoms typically take 5 to 7 days to develop, they need to be headed off by inducing ...


Rabies Vaccine Reality Check

Thanks to my good friend Dr. Karen Becker at Mercola.com for this incredibly important article! By Dr. Becker I have some encouraging news to share about rabies vaccines, or more specifically, how pets with out-of-date vaccinations that are exposed to a rabid animal should be handled. Currently, if a pet with a lapsed rabies vaccination is exposed to a rabid animal, the law in many states requires the pet to be quarantined for several months at the owner’s expense, or euthanized. In October 2014, a Brockton, Massachusetts woman was forced ...


Halloween Safety for Pets

Halloween is already upon us, so it's time to remind folks how to keep all pets (most especially black cats!) safe at this time of year. Many thanks to Kimberly Jackson (A to Z Petcare) and Kate Solisti (KateSolisti.com) for this timely article! HALLOWEEN SAFETY ESSENTIALS FOR ANIMAL GUARDIANS By Kimberly Jackson and Kate Solisti Halloween can be scary for our furry friends. It can also be quite dangerous. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your pets safe on Halloween. First and foremost, please do not leave pets outside ...


When NOT to Induce Vomiting

Cats and dogs can get into a lot of trouble! If they've eaten something they shouldn't, the common advice is to induce vomiting by giving them syrup of ipecac or hydrogen peroxide. (My favorite item recovered by this method was a baby sock that had been eaten by a cat!) However, there are some things that are actually worse coming back up than they were going down. In those cases, you should NOT induce vomiting by any method. These items include: Household cleaning products containing acidic or alkaline ingredients, which ...


The Difference in Cost of Veterinary Care

Today I'm posting an article written a few days ago by a colleague, Dr. Carolyn Karrh, who was sad and frustrated after a dog died after being spayed. The dog was a high risk patient, but was brought to a low-cost, high-volume clinic for the surgery. Had she (the dog) been at a clinic where a thorough history, pre-op exam, better equipment, IV line, constant monitoring, etc., were the norm, the story could have had a much happier ending. Dr. Karrh goes on to explain the difference between clinics, and why ...


Restful Sleep

Restful sleep is a topic that most of us don't give enough attention to... unless it's to fret about not getting enough of it! And hardly anyone thinks about sleep as far as animal companions are concerned. But getting enough good quality sleep is essential to health. And this goes for our pets, too! Most wild members of the feline (and canine) species are born in a dark nest or den; and they're born with their eyes closed. Darkness is a key component of healthy development in those first weeks ...


Cat Scratchers – What Do Cats Like?

Updated 6/3/20. Having the right cat scratching "implements" is critical in preventing claw damage to carpets and furniture. Now, scientific research provides insight into where and why cats scratch. Scratching is a deeply embedded instinct in cats. It is used as a visual and scent marking technique; to stretch tight shoulder and back muscles; to condition the claws by removing the damaged outer layers; and to relieve stress. If you have a cat, you need to provide an acceptable outlet for this normal and necessary behavior. Unfortunately, many cat guardians ...


Cat Senses

Science has discovered what many cat-lovers have known for years... most cats depend more on their vision than on their sense of smell! I could have told you that when I brought my freshly-shaved dog home one summer afternoon. My "watchcat" Spencer took one look and attacked instantly, drawing blood on both the dog--and on me, when I tried to intervene. He didn't spend a nanosecond analyzing any smells... it was a lightning reflex arc from eyeballs to claws! But to give science credit, the British researchers did develop a ...


The Woman-Cat Bond

You may have heard of the "human-animal bond," but my colleague and friend Dr. Jane Bicks (who makes Life's Abundance pet food) just posted a great summary of research on the bond between humans and cats; and more particularly, the unique bond between women and their cats. Fascinating! One of the study's authors, Dorothy Gracey of the University of Vienna, said, "A relationship between a cat and a human can involve mutual attraction, personality compatibility, ease of interaction, play, affection and social support... A human and a cat mutually develop ...


The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook

To order the book as an instantly downloadable electronic (PDF) file, just click on the “Add to Cart” button below. To order it in paperback from Amazon.com, The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook. To order a personally autographed copy from author Celeste Yarnall, visit CelestialPets.com. All proceeds from e-book sales support Dr. Jean's work with AAFCO on pet food regulations, and help defray the costs of Celeste's cancer treatment. is an information-packed, lavishly illustrated e-book (PDF) by nutritionist Dr. Celeste Yarnall and Little Big Cat’s own Dr. ...


Are Cats Really Domesticated?

There is an ongoing debate in the science community about cats. That is, are they fully domestic, or are they still essentially wild? The premise is that unlike dogs, who are thoroughly domesticated in mind and body, it's unclear just how wild or domesticated our cats may truly be. As a veterinarian, I can tell you that individual cats run the full gamut. Some kitties are totally relaxed and docile, and others more resemble an angry rattlesnake! Complicating the issue are feral cats, who are as wild as any other ...

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