Blog News

August 5, 2014

Diabetes

Cats with diabetes have high blood glucose levels. This is caused by a deficiency of insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas. Under the influence of insulin the body takes glucose up from the blood and uses it as an energy source. Diabetes mellitus is mostly seen in older cats and is more common in males than females. Obese cats and Burmese cats are more commonly affected. Diabetic cats produce more urine and, to compensate for this, drink more. This may not be obvious if the cat goes outdoors and has access to pools of water. Some cats urinate outside the tray after being litter trained for years. Indoor cats saturate the litter rapidly. Many cats lose weight despite an increase in appetite. A history of drinking and urinating more, a good appetite and weight loss suggests diabetes. Your vet will test for high blood glucose and the presence of glucose in the urine. Stress may also cause a transient rise in glucose levels in cats so your cat may be admitted to hospital for a day for a series of blood glucose tests to confirm the diagnosis. Untreated diabetes eventually causes loss of appetite and lethargy. Cats with diabetes mellitus are treated with insulin injections. Weight loss in obese cats can sometimes lead to remission of the diabetes. Stopping drugs such as prednisolone may also resolve the condition. Treatment for most cats involves a twice daily injection of insulin. They feel little pain because only a very fine needle is used. Usually insulin is given 12 hours apart at the same time as a meal. Unlike diabetic humans or dogs diabetic cats require a low carbohydrate diet, high protein diet. Specially formulated diets such as Hills m/d are low in carbohydrate and high in protein and ideal for diabetic cats. Many small meals or grazing are fine as long as the cat is not overweight.
July 23, 2014

Dreading the vet visit???

Bringing your cat to the vet can be a stressful experience for you, your cat, the vet and the nurse. Some cats yowl as soon as the car starts, others pee in the carrier every trip. An upset cat is difficult for your vet to examine and stress skews some blood tests. How do we make visits to the vet less stressful for all concerned? Leave the carrier out permanently in your home. Many cats will rest or hide in it or use it as a play thing, particularly if it has been about since they were kittens. Pop some treats in the carrier so that your cat associates it with a pleasant experience. Apply Feliway spray to bedding in the carrier regularly and just before transport. Feliway contains a natural pheromone that relaxes cats. Lining the carrier with a favourite person's clothing may also calm your cat. Withhold food before travel to prevent travel sickness and consequent negative feelings about car rides. Short practice rides followed by a good experience such as a favourite food help some cats to relax in the car. Cover the carrier with a towel or blanket, or place one over the cat in the carrier so that she can hide if she needs to. In the waiting room place the carrier up off the ground on a seat or bench and well away from other cats. If your cat is wide-eyed, trembling, or huddled at the back of the carrier ask the receptionist to put her in a spare quiet room. Because cats hide illness and pain so well they need regular, scheduled visits to the vet to ferret out problems like arthritis, thyroid and kidney disease and liver and heart decline. Annual visits are adequate for cats less than 8 years old. Older cats need checks more often, especially if any problems have been identified. Unfortunately, cats often don’t show us they’re sick until it’s almost too late. Reducing the stress of vet visits means more frequent checkups and a longer, healthier, and more comfortable life for your feline friend.
July 21, 2014

Constipation – a bit of a strain

Signs of constipation in the cat are usually easy to spot, and include: straining and difficult passing faeces pain passing faeces production of small, hard pellets of faeces decreased frequency of defecation Sometimes it's difficult to decide if a cat is straining to urinate or defecate. If you are in any doubt please phone us. Difficulty urinating is life-threatening. Causes of constipation: Cats can be reluctant to defecate if the litter tray is dirty or they don’t like the type of litter. If cats have a bad experience using the tray, especially with rival cats, or if the tray is in a noisy or busy place they will hold on and become constipated. Arthritis that makes getting in and out of the litter tray or adopting a position to defecate painful, may lead to constipation. Dehydration or inadequate fluid consumption, especially in older cats with kidney disease, causes constipation. Management of cats with constipation: Maintaining good hydration – a good fluid intake by feeding wet (tins, sachets) rather than dry food may help, and encouraging the cat to drink as much as possible. Many cats like water fountains like the Drinkwell fountain. Litter tray management – remove faeces daily and replace litter at least once weekly. Make sure the tray is in a private place, is at least 1.5 times the length of your cat, and is easy to get in and out of. Trays with a cut down side are easier for arthritic cats. You should have a litter tray for each cat in the household plus one. Dietary management – feed a diet with a high moisture content. Add a pinch of psyllium to the food to aid the regular passage of softer faeces. Enemas – hospitalisation and an enema are necessary in long standing cases Laxative drugs – lactulose keeps many cats who suffer chronic constipation regular