Blog News

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.
December 5, 2013

Allergic dermatitis

Does your cat scratch or groom more than normal? or are patches of fur missing perhaps with areas of broken, red or raw skin? If you answer yes to any of these questions your cat may have allergic dermatitis - the feline equivalent of human hayfever. We will rule out flea allergy dermatitis - very common - and food allergy, which is less likely, before deciding that your cat has allergic dermatitis. A treatment specific for allergic dermatitis in cats has just been released. Atopica is designed for cats so is easy to administer and in cat-size dosage bottles. It relieves the irritation, allows the skin to heal and the hair to grow back within 6 weeks. Your cat will soon be back to her/his happy, beautiful self.
November 22, 2013

Vaccinations and regular check ups

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