Blog News

August 3, 2016

Peeing blood

Finding blood in the litter tray or, worse still, on the carpet is guaranteed to trigger concern. A cat running back to the litter tray every 5 minutes and sitting with a concentrated look on the face is also a major worry. In a young male or desexed male it is an emergency as he may have a blocked or semi-blocked urethra and be unable to pass urine. The bladder rapidly fills and the cat can become toxic in a matter of hours. The main cause of blood in the urine is stress and the resulting pain from an inflamed bladder. Stress or anxiety cause the inflammation which is painful, causing more stress... and the vicious circle goes on. Common causes of stress are moving house, new people or pets in the household, tradies or visitors in the house, conflict between household cats, or any change in routine. In older cats, especially those with kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism, a urinary tract infection is more likely. Occasionally bladder stones cause blood in the urine. After a chat with you and a physical examination of your cat, your vet will take a urine sample to sort out what is the most likely cause of the problem.
July 28, 2016

Sniffles and snuffles

Half of Canberra's human population is down with the flu this winter - and so are the cats. While the viruses that affect cats' respiratory systems are quite different to the ones that affect humans the signs are similar: runny eyes and noses, sneezing, snuffling and snorting. Some cats suffer from mouth ulcers, too, but coughs and chest infections are mercifully rare. Cat flu is spread by aerosol or nose to nose contact so outdoor cats or cats who run in outdoor enclosures are the most likely to be infected. While the cat flu vaccination doesn't always prevent illness, it reduces the severity of the signs and shortens the duration of the illness. Annual vaccination is strongly recommended as immunity wanes within a year. Some cats, especially kittens or insufficiently vaccinated adults, suffer secondary bacterial, mycoplasma or chlamydial infections. If your sneezing cat refuses dinner or has pus in the eyes or nose then antibiotics are indicated. At home you can offer strong smelling foods, keep the air moist with a vaporiser or pop your cat in a steamy bathroom. Wiping secretions away from the nose and eyes with a moist cotton ball will make your cat feel more comfortable.
March 4, 2016

Cortisone

Cortisone is prescribed for many feline maladies, including allergies, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes we may give a short acting injection if your cat is difficult to medicate. We rarely give a long-acting injection because of the risk of side effects. Tablets called Prednisolone or Niralone contain short acting cortisone and are our preferred way of giving cortisone because we can withdraw them rapidly if there are side effects. Although we start giving prednisolone (also called pred) tablets once or twice daily we soon reduce the dose to every other day to avoid long term side effects. Most people find that their cat accepts the tablet crushed into the food After 5 days of pred tabs every day the adrenal glands start to slow their production of natural cortisol. It is safe to stop after 5 days of daily tablets but if a longer course is needed follow our instructions carefully. Usually we recommend every other day tablets so that the adrenal glands keep functioning. On a long course of pred it is important not to stop giving the tablets suddenly in case the adrenals have closed down. Your pet may not be able to step up the production of cortisol fast enough to cope with an emergency, like a dog attack, a new pet or illness, and may collapse. Side effects of cortisone may include: drinking more urinating more, a wetter litter than before increased appetite long term cortisone increases the risk of diabetes in cats Never give cortisone at the same time as anti-inflammatory medications like Meloxicam or Metacam.