Blog News

September 23, 2015

Snake bite season

As the weather warms up the danger of our cats finding a snake in the bush around our Canberra suburbs increases. At first the snakes are slow and easy to catch, but they are also full of venom. If your cats wander away from your yard they may find a snake and attempt to bring it home for you. Usually early in the season cats are faster than snakes and avoid getting bitten. However, every year we see a few cats who don't move fast enough. A big dose of venom may cause collapse, drooling, trembling, disorientation, dilated pupils and/or vomiting. Some cats appear to recover and then collapse again. If you suspect your cat has just been bitten do not hesitate to phone us or the Animal Emergency Centre immediately and come straight in. A cat who appears to be drunk or who cannot move at all may have been bitten by a snake some hours or even a day before. They are like 'floppy dolls' and often talk more than usual.It is still important to get your cat to a vet as soon as possible. The treatment is antivenom, pain relief, intravenous fluids and whatever supportive care is necessary. The majority of cats survive. The best prevention is keeping your cat indoors.
September 22, 2015
cat with bow tie on

Pica or what did you just eat????!!!!!

Pica is the abnormal appetite for non-food materials, such as wool, fabrics, cat litter, houseplants or licking concrete or stones. It can arise as a behavioural problem or can be the result of an underlying medical problem such as anaemia. Behavioural pica Behavioural pica often is a long standing problem in healthy cats or in playful kittens. They are usually seen at a clinic for vomiting and reduced appetite due to an intestinal obstruction with odd objects, or toxic substances. Behavioural pica may also increase during times of stress (e.g. new pets and moving house). Siamese and related breeds are particularly prone to fabric eating and this is often a chronic problem starting at a young age. It is presumed that there is a genetic component to the habit and , although incompletely understood, it is thought that the endorphin release the cat experiences makes the habit addictive. Some cases are very difficult to manage and consulting a veterinary behaviourist is highly recommended. Pica due to medical conditions Pica can be seen in cats with chronic anaemia or intestinal problems – they consume excessive amount of grass or plant material and consequently vomit, have diarrhoea or lose weight. Grass/outdoor plant ingestion in cats Grass eating is common in cats. The reasons for this is not fully understood but it is suspected that grass has some beneficial effects on the stomach and intestines, including easing nausea. Grass eating is not problematic unless the is also showing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea or eating a toxic plant (i.e lilies). Some owners grow grass on trays indoors for their cats to eat – this may discourage houseplant eating in indoor cats. Empirical treatments Steps can be taken to prevent cats from eating odd things: Place wool, blankets and clothing out of reach or sight Hide electrical wires or protect them with cord guards Remove houseplants Use non-clay based litter or placing only shredded/torn up newspaper in litter trays. Behavioural pica can be challenging to manage; a thorough examination and consultation with a veterinarian will help rule out common causes and allow prompt treatment. Normal 0 false false false EN-AU X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;}
September 14, 2015

Ginger’s midnight snack

Ginger thought she'd struck it lucky when she found a half finished barbecue chicken in the TV room. She gobbled up as much as she could before the family returned. Next morning she felt rotten. Her stomach felt as if it was full of knives and she couldn't stop vomiting. Her carers rushed her off to Canberra Cat Vet. After all the vomiting she was dehydrated and she couldn't bear anyone touching her. An Xray of her belly showed a long thin chicken bone in her stomach, on the far left. Cooked bones do not digest very well and this bone was sharp and could pierce the stomach wall if not removed. Ginger had emergency surgery to remove that long bone. Dr Kate found another smaller bone blocking the outlet from the stomach to the intestine. It was the reason for the vomiting. Kittens and young cats are particularly fond of chewing and sometimes swallowing odd things. Keep cooked bones, hairbands, tinsel, string, coins, elastic bands, fruit stones, hard long grass, nut shells and other indigestible objects well away from them. You'll find more information on keeping cats safe on the excellent iCatcare site.