Feline Fountain of Youth
Cats are living longer than ever. Why? More of them living indoors, their owners are teaming with veterinarians to address health needs in a more proactive manner along with advances in medical research.
With their increased life span comes aging. Getting old isn’t a disease it is a process and it happens right in front of your eyes, day by day. It seems like yesterday that your cat was a kitten. Now your veterinarian is talking about senior issues. Pet parents try to slow the process by myriad techniques. It is not uncommon for an owner to rave about a new supplement or food that has turned their geriatric feline into a kitten during their cat’s wellness visit. Rather than being ecstatic about their discovery, I am often wary that their cats may be afflicted with a common hormonal condition, hyperthyroidism.
Dr. Hazel Carney, describes herself as “one of the oldest living cat-only doctors left in captivity”. She is also the Chair of the American Association of Feline Practitioners Guidelines Committee.
As a long-time veterinary technician turned cat-only practitioner, Dr. Carney has cared for cats for over 40 years. She graduated from Colorado State University with an MS in Physiology and Biophysics and a DVM. She opened a feline exclusive practice in 1981. She and her husband reported the first case of the virus that causes Bowen’s disease in cats. She was an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University Veterinary School where in1986, she started providing radio-iodine therapy for hyperthyroid cats. For the past 21 years she has been a feline medicine and behavior clinician at a referral clinic in Idaho and has operated an I-131 treatment facility in Oregon. In 2014 the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association named her Veterinarian of the Year. She currently serves as Chair of the AAFP Guidelines Committee and has been a Co-chair or panelist on 6 of the Guideline publications. Besides the health care of cats, her passions are her husband of 35 years, their daughter their critters and their ranch in Idaho.