Blog News

June 16, 2014

Stress-free vet visits

Veterinary visits don't have to be stressful for you or your cat! Happy visits to the vet start well before the big day. Ideally we should acclimatise our cats to carriers and cars while they are still kittens.How can we minimise these stresses here and now though? 1. Ask reception to book you at a quiet time 2. Socialise cats to the carrier and car. Leave the carrier out permanently in your home. Many cats will use it as a comfortable resting or hiding place or play around it, particularly if it has been about since they were kittens 3. Withhold food before travel to prevent travel sickness and consequent negative feelings about car rides 4. Short practice rides in the car followed by a good experience such as a favourite food help some cats to relax about cars 5. Apply Feliway spray to bedding in the carrier regularly and just before transport. Feliway contains a natural pheromone that relaxes cats. Familiar clothing from a favourite person before a visit or hospital stay may also calm your cat 6. Cover the carrier with a towel or blanket or place one over the cat inside the carrier so that she can hide if she needs to 7. In the waiting room place the carrier up off the ground on a seat or bench
June 9, 2014

Cat fights

Cats typically have a hate-hate relationship with any strange cat in their presence, yard, or environment. When new cats meet, they fluff up, spit, hiss – more like scream! – and the fur soon goes flying. While the brawl may only last a few seconds, that’s enough time for a few diseases to jump bodies. Feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus or cat AIDS (FIV), infectious peritonitis (FIP), or nasty bacterial infections are transmitted from cat to cat in saliva. Outside cats, particularly unneutered males, love to fight. Most times they will end up with a nasty abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus under the skin. It makes a cat very ill because of the bacteria and toxins it releases into the bloodstream. He is feverish, goes off his food, hides and sleeps a lot. Treatment for abscesses involves a general anaesthesia, clipping and cleaning the skin, lancing the abscess and flushing all the pus out, placing a drain to allow any new pus to empty, antibiotics and pain relief. Some cats are so sick they need hospitalisation and intravenous fluids for a night or two. How do we avoid all this?? Desex your cat if he is still entire. Keep him indoors, particularly in the evenings and at night when the brawling usually happens. Keep other cats off your property. A dog on patrol will soon despatch an intruder. Otherwise keep an eye out for a few evenings and frighten strays off with a loud noise. Catch the infection as soon as possible. If your cat has been in a fight bring him immediately for an antibiotic shot to discourage the abscess from forming. Vaccinate your cat against FIV, Feline AIDS. There are three shots in the initial course. A booster at the annual checkup and vaccine review prevents the virus gaining a toe hold.
May 30, 2014

Snotty nose cats

Snotty-nosed and snuffly cats are difficult to live with.Their owners put up with sneezes and snot all over the house, as well as snuffles and grumbles all day and half the night. The causes of sinusitis and rhinosinusitis are also difficult for vets to diagnose accurately and even more difficult to treat effectively. Inflammation and infection spread rapidly from cats’ throats to adjacent structures, such as the middle ear, frontal sinuses, nose and tympanic bullae. These cavities are difficult to reach with medical or surgical treatments. Feline mucus is also thicker than human mucus and medication has a hard time penetrating the mucus to get to the offending microbes. Feline Herpesvirus is the most common initiating cause of chronic rhinitis and rhinosinusitis. It causes chronic airway inflammation and swelling, destroys the normal lining of the nasal cavity and upsets the normal mucus layers. The nasal cavity cannot remove foreign particles or the abnormal mucus and the sinuses become blocked. Bacteria leap in and set up infections making the situation even worse. Drugs to reduce the mucus and the swelling in the sinuses help a bit. We treat the bacterial infection with antibiotics but are still left with Herpesvirus and all the damage it does. Herpesvirus sinusitis soon flares up into full blown bacterial sinusitis again. Some cats respond well to antiviral drugs but others keep getting intermittent sinusitis. Nastier causes of similar signs are Cryptococcosis, a fungal disease, and cancer, commonly lymphoma, adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These are difficult to distinguish on X-ray but CT or MRI are very helpful, if they are available. A biopsy clears up any doubts. A blood test is available for Cryptococcosis. Bad teeth and infected tooth roots sometimes make cats snuffly. A dental inspection and X-ray under general anaesthetic allow targeted and successful treatment. Occasionally a cat breathes in a grass seed or other foreign body. Usually nasal discharge is from one side only and there is some bleeding.