Blog News

February 9, 2014

Cats get arthritis too!

Sixteen year old Burmese Cleo was slow to jump down off the kitchen bench when caught out last week. She poured herself down the side, landed with a thud and looked stunned for a moment before moving off. When we X-rayed her elbows we were horrified to find that she had severe osteoarthritis. She had been covering it up - as cats do - for a long time before we noticed she was having trouble. We then noticed that she is also reluctant to jump very high. She uses chairs to get onto tables and has stopped leaping up to sit in the sun on the windowsill. Her painful knees make her hesitate before jumping and she then scrambles up rather than jumping. Unwilling to miss the electric blanket at night she pulls herself up on to the bed. We've set up boxes as steps onto her feed bench and the bed. We also play gently with her by trailing ribbons and batting balls to strengthen her muscles. To reduce the strain on her joints we've restricted her food and watched her weight. She makes sure that she sleeps in a warm, well-cushioned sleeping area - our bed! Now she is also on pain medication and doing remarkably well.
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