Blog News

February 9, 2014

Does my cat need an annual checkup?

Because cats are so good at hiding illness and discomfort it is imperative that they have a check-up at least once a year. Cats older than 9 years of age may need a physical twice a year especially if we identify any problems. During the examination we check their eyes, mouth, teeth, ears, heart, lungs, skin, joints and belly for any abnormalities. Many cats start having dental problems as early as 3 years old. Skin disease, allergies and gut upsets an happen at any age. We discuss the optimal diet for your particular cat because every cat is an individual. Behavioural problems like inappropriate urination, yowling or attacking often come up in discussion, too. If your cat is likely to go into boarding or other stressful situations then we recommend an annual vaccination for enteritis (also known as panleukopenia or parvovirus) and the two flu viruses (calicivirus and herpesvirus). This vaccine is also known as the F3 or 3 in 1 vaccination. Inside cats who don't go into boarding may need less frequent F3 vaccination. Cats who go outdoors or who may escape home, particularly if they fight, require an FIV vaccination against feline AIDS every year. It is important that cats receive the FIV vaccine boosters exactly 12 months apart. We also give or recommend the best worming and flea treatments for your cat during the annual visit.
February 7, 2014

How can I tell if my cat has bad teeth?

Cats are determined to hide any sign of pain or discomfort from us. The observant owner may notice one or more of the following if they are really on the ball: not grooming properly, leaving coat matted, loose or scurfy eating on one side of mouth or tilting the head to one side when chewing resenting stroking around the face/jaw not enjoying handling at all keen hunter not interested in hunting any more keen warrior not interested in fighting any more not wanting to play with tug toys throwing food to back of mouth to chew bringing unchewed, unlubricated food up within 10 minutes of a meal hesitating at food bowl even though clearly hungry not crunching kibble preferring moist to dry food when used to prefer dry to moist and vice versa bad breath eating only a little but going back to the bowl often drooling pawing mouth swollen face bleeding from mouth grinding teeth
February 7, 2014

Cough or vomit?

It's easy to confuse coughing with retching or vomiting in cats. A coughing cat crouches, sticks her elbows out and opens her mouth to get more air. A vomiting cat sits with the front legs straight, her abdomen contracts and she produces fluid or food. Many coughing cats have asthma or chronic bronchitis. Like human asthmatics cats with asthma react to something they have inhaled like pollen, cigarette smoke or dust mites. We saw several asthmatic cats during the recent bushfires when the smoke hung low around Canberra. Cats with bronchitis have long term inflammation of the airways causing thickening of the small airway walls and reduced airflow. Asthma and bronchitis often overlap in cats. In general, asthmatics have sudden episodes of difficult breathing, wheezing and coughing, while cats with bronchitis have more chronic but less dramatic coughs. Infections of the bronchi and lungs make asthma and bronchitis suddenly worse. Other causes of coughing in cats include inhalation of foreign material, such as grass or cigarette smoke, flu virus infections, lungworm, heartworm or lung cancer. Once we sort out the cause of the cough with X-rays, bronchoscopy or other more specific tests, we target the treatment. For asthma and bronchitis treatment can be lifelong or as necessary.