Blog News

November 15, 2018

Suffering in silence

November 5, 2018

Beware of snakes

Molly is our Heroine of the month! She ducked under a shrub when she was outside with her Dad and came out with a Brown Snake! The emergency centres were full of cats and dogs bitten by snakes last weekend - but Molly bucked the trend. She bit the snake! Fortunately her Dad was there to help and relocated the snake to a safer - for all - place. Snakes like to hide in long grass, leaf litter, under low lying shrubs, in brambles, and under logs and rocks. They are particularly venomous at the beginning of the warmer weather. Keep your cat inside or under strict supervision outside. A snake with a lot of venom at the beginning of spring can kill a cat within minutes. Once the venom load is less, cats will survive with antivenom and a drip. Signs of snake envenomation include weakness and paralysis, a mournful cry, dilated pupils, bleeding from the bite site or in urine and faeces (with some snake species). Soon after the bite the cat may collapse, vomit, have diarrhoea, tremble, or fit. Often carers don't notice that a cat has been bitten until they become partly paralysed. The sooner the cat presents to the vet the better the chances of complete recovery.
October 26, 2018

Silent killer – heart disease

Heart disease in cats often remains undiagnosed until the heart fails - just like in humans. If we're lucky a vet may become suspicious when a cat loses weight without any abnormalities in the annual blood tests. A heart murmur in a cat may mean advanced heart disease - or it may mean nothing. Some cats have heart murmurs with no underlying disease. Other cats have perfectly normal sounding hearts and die of heart failure. The most common form of heart disease is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). The walls of the heart thicken so that the volume of blood it can pump gets less and less. Cats with Hyperthyroidism commonly have heart disease which is partially reversed when the hyperthyroidism is treated. Echocardiography (or ultrasound) of the heart diagnoses the type of heart disease. An X-ray tells us if the lungs or the chest cavity are filling with fluid because heart is not pumping properly. A special blood test called a ProBNP is sometimes run if a vet is worried that your cat might have heart disease and echocardiography is not available. A cat with heart disease should be monitored with chest X-rays until fluid accumulation indicates that diuretics (fluids medication) are necessary. Once on diuretics we monitor electrolyte blood levels closely.