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
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Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Silent killer - heart disease

Friday, October 26, 2018


Heart disease in cats often remains undiagnosed until the heart fails - just like in humans. If we're lucky a vet may become suspicious when a cat loses weight without any abnormalities in the annual blood tests.
A heart murmur in a cat may mean advanced heart disease - or it may mean nothing. Some cats have heart murmurs with no underlying disease. Other cats have perfectly normal sounding hearts and die of heart failure.
The most common form of heart disease is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). The walls of the heart thicken so that the volume of blood it can pump gets less and less.
Cats with Hyperthyroidism commonly have heart disease which is partially reversed when the hyperthyroidism is treated.
Echocardiography (or ultrasound) of the heart diagnoses the type of heart disease. An X-ray tells us if the lungs or the chest cavity are filling with fluid because heart is not pumping properly.
A special blood test called a ProBNP is sometimes run if a vet is worried that your cat might have heart disease and echocardiography is not available.
A cat with heart disease should be monitored with chest X-rays until fluid accumulation indicates that diuretics (fluids medication) are necessary. Once on diuretics we monitor electrolyte blood levels closely.

Open day on Sunday 7th October

Thursday, October 04, 2018
Canberra Cat Vet is throwing open the doors at midday on Sunday 7th October. Come and see behind the scenes, and talk to the vets and vet nurses. People are welcome but cats should stay at home - most cats hate crowds.

Please park in Purdue St, Belconnen, so that we have Canberra Cat Vet's car park for the barbecue and stalls.

Heidi from Purr Luxury Cat Hotel is bringing some of her cat comforters, and Tom the Pet Man will have a sample cat enclosure set up in the car park.

Munch on a sausage sandwich or buy some biscuits and cakes to share. Enter the lucky door prize and bring a gold coin for the raffles for some great catty gifts. Our team has been busy making bandanas, screen printing T-shirts and making beautiful cat-themed cards for you, too.

No Lilies please!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Overactive thyroid

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Is your cat in pain?

Friday, September 07, 2018

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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