Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Dangers of a dry food only diet

Thursday, August 30, 2018
Feeding dry food only to your cat, especially your male cat, is dangerous. Feeding it ad lib is particularly harmful.
Dry food is convenient and the premium diets are well-balanced with all nutrients - except water. The cat's urine becomes super-concentrated, predisposing male cats to blockage of the urethra.
If the male cat is also overweight and not very active the risk of blockage increases.
Cats on an ad lib dry food diet tend to become overweight. Dry food is like space food. A lot of calories are packed into a very small package. A tablespoon of dry food is equal to a can of wet food. Cats grazing on dry food all day and not moving around much are bound to pack on the kilos.
All cats have a poor drive to drink. In the wild most of their fluids come from their food. They avoid water sources as that is where they are most vulnerable to predators. A cat on a dry food only diet drinks more than a cat on a wet diet, but not enough to remain properly hydrated.This puts pressure on the kidneys. When they are young they can compensate to a degree but as they age it may accelerate kidney failure.

Trouble urinating?

Monday, August 20, 2018

If you see your neutered male cat jumping in and out of the litter tray and straining to pass urine it is an emergency. He could have a blockage in the urethra, the passage from the bladder to the penis. Please call us  as soon as you notice he is having trouble urinating.
If he is not treated the bladder will continue to enlarge and he will become toxic. Urine banks up behind the blockage damaging the bladder wall and endangering the kidneys. His system soon overloads and death is likely.
We will quickly relieve the blockage with a urinary catheter and treat him with fluids and electrolytes to reverse the toxicity.
To prevent another episode feed wet food only. We may prescribe a diet which lowers the urine pH if a lot of struvite crystals are found. However, the main cause of urinary blockages in male cats is a dry food diet so avoid dry food as much as possible especially in the first few months after a blockage. 
Obesity, inactivity and anxiety are often predisposing factors, also.  Discuss a weight loss strategy or ways to reduce anxiety with us before you take your boy home.

Thyroid troubles

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Is your old cat ravenous - but losing weight no matter what you feed him? Often this is the first sign of an overactive thyroid gland. Many hyperthyroid cats are also more tetchy, demanding or restless than when they were younger. Observant carers might notice occasional vomiting or toileting outside the litter box. Some cats pant or don't look after their coats very well. Hyperthyroidism makes all body systems work harder including the heart, kidneys and bowels.

While all these signs individually might be put down to old age any one or more of them make our vets very suspicious of a thyroid nodule producing too much thyroxine - hyperthyroidism. Too much thyroxine accelerates aging and puts a strain on all the body's organs.

A capsule of Radioactive Iodine (RAI) in an otherwise healthy cat cures hyperthyroidism. To check if your cat is a candidate for RAI blood and urine is collected to confirm hyperthyroidism and check kidneys, liver and other organs.

If your cat has other problems like kidney disease then daily medication as a tablet or transdermal gel is easy and convenient.

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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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