Tuesday, November 17, 2009
In this way, cats aren't that much different from humans. Some foreign substance, commonly referred to as an allergen or antigen, triggers a situation in which the cat's immune system goes into hyper drive and produces symptoms of an allergic condition.
When a cat is allergic to something, common indications will be itchy skin, coughing and/or sneezing in the case of a respiratory problem, or vomiting or diarrhea in the case of a digestive allergy.
Allergies in cats seem to fall into these major categories. Allergies to fleas, foods, things inhaled, or something they have come in contact with.
Contact allergies generally result in a fairly localized reaction on the skin. The cat may scratch a lot and/or there may be an indication of irritation at the place of contact. Most common causes of contact allergies in cats would obviously be items with which they come in close contact such as flea collars, bedding, toys, etc. The simplest cure is to remove the contact. Take the collar off or change the bedding, for example. If the irritation persists, or if you still need effective flea control, consult with your veterinarian.
Some cats may also experience allergic reactions to certain plastics and/or metals. If you suspect this in your cat, you may wish to change to a ceramic or glass feeding bowl. Another problem which may mimic a contact allergy can occur if you simply do not rinse your cat carefully and completely after its bath. Residual shampoo or soap on the skin can cause dermatitis which can be mistaken for an allergic reaction.
Happily, contact allergies in cats are the least common type.
Flea allergies, on the other hand, are very common in cats. Any normal cat will commonly experience irritation from flea bites, but a cat with a genuine flea allergy will have a more severe itching reaction to the flea's saliva. A normal cat may simply bite or scratch for a while and then go on to other things, but a cat with a flea allergy may scratch, chew, and worry at the spot until large amounts of fur are lost. This constant attempt to relieve the maddening itch or irritation may result in open sores which can add the risk of infection to the allergy’s list of evils. In most cats, the most common area to be affected is going to be on the back just before the tail. The cat may also create spots of sores or scabs on the neck and head.
Inhalant types of allergies (atopy) are even more common cat allergies than flea and contact allergies! In fact, this type of allergy is probably the most common allergic problem in cats. It is possible that your cat may be allergic to the exact same allergens that you are! Tree pollens, grass pollens, and weed pollens along with the rest of the items we humans fear; mold, mildew, dust mites, and dust itself can all trigger allergic reactions in both cats and the humans they have trained to tend them.
A big difference between humans and cats, however is that while humans will most commonly react to inhaled allergens by sneezing or coughing, a cat will more commonly react by scratching an itch caused by those same allergens. Unlike a contact allergy, the cat's reaction to inhaled allergens will be a general itching of the skin as opposed to a severe reaction at a specific spot. If your cat seems to be scratching a lot and it doesn't appear to be local, as in reaction to a flea collar for example, there is a good chance that he or she is experiencing a reaction to some inhaled substance.
As in humans, true food allergies in cats can be extremely difficult to pinpoint. One reason is that they commonly demonstrate many of the symptoms of distress seen in the other groups. True food allergies in cats can cause itching and/or respiratory problems. Additionally, true food allergies can cause digestive difficulties as can other illnesses or toxic substances. In cats, food allergies are usually not present from birth, but are developed after long exposure to foods that have been eaten for long periods. Most food allergies will center around the type of protein common in the cat's diet, such as beef, pork, poultry, or lamb. Simply eliminating that type of protein by changing to another type of food will usually take care of the problem.
There are two difficult points for the cat owner when they begin to detect signs that lead them to believe that their cat may have an allergy.
1. The cat may actually be reacting to an irritant, rather than an allergen, and
2. The symptoms may be the result of some other condition, possibly one more dangerous.
For example, a flea infestation may cause flea bites which will itch and the cat will scratch. This is normal. You would scratch too, and extensively, if fleas were munching on you! However, if your cat is allergic to the flea's saliva, they will actually inflict damage on themselves in an attempt to relieve themselves of the intensified itch. However, the itch could be, as pointed out, the result of a food allergy, a contact allergy, or some undiagnosed medical condition such as a fungal infection (perhaps caused by ringworm, for example), mange, or some other type of skin infection which might have been caused by bacteria.
While a little astute detective work on the part of the pet owner may often alleviate the problem, only the veterinarian will usually be able to tell for sure what the cause and effect may actually be...and how to best deal with the situation. However, the vet does not live with your cat, so it is important to note carefully what the symptoms are, when they began, how they have progressed, what steps you have already taken, and what happened as a result of those steps. All of this information will help your vet in getting to the truth behind the apparent allergy in your cat. Your cat's veterinarian will also have diagnostic tools at his or her disposal for getting at the cause of your pet's apparently "allergic" reactions.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Its critical to seek immediate veterinary treatment when you notice the signs of a problem kidney in a cat. The earlier your cat gets treatment the more chances she has for a longer life with you. While chronic renal failure arrives over a long period of time, acute kidney failure is an emergency. Here's some tips to recognizing the symptoms of kidney failure in cats.
Feline kidneys are vulnerable to a number of life-threatening disorders that can lead to a failing kidney in a cat or chronic renal failure. Your vet would probably agree with the statistics that they see more cats 7 years and older that are showing signs of kidney failure in cats.
The risk for feline kidney disease may be inherited. Some long-haired breeds like Angoras and Persians and short-haired cats like the Abyssinian are more genetically predisposed to kidney problems, either acute or chronic renal failure.
The main difference between chronic and acute kidney failure in cats is that acute renal failure is a very severe situation that occurs relatively suddenly - over a week or a month. Chronic renal failure creeps up on your cat over a longer time, years even.
Common causes of acute renal failure include blockages that prevent a good flow of blood to the kidney in a cat or stones and inflammations blocking the flow of urine from the kidney into the bladder. The most common cause of kidney failure in cats occurs when your cat swallows a toxic substance like antifreeze, pesticides, cleaning fluids and human medications.
Signs Of Kidney Failure In Cats
- Occasional vomiting
- Increase in water consumption
- Increase in urination
- Weight loss Loss of appetite
Your vet may use a couple of terms "polydipsia" or "polyuria". Polydipsia means that your cat is drinking a lot of water - lots of it. On the other end, polydipsia means that your cat is urinating a lot - lots and lots. In fact, you this may be the first sign your recognize of a problem kidney in a cat. When you clean the litter box you find numerous pee-balls of cat litter, or unusually large ones.
If your vet suspects kidney failure in a cat she will evaluate your cat's BUN. BUN stands for blood urea nitrogen, as well as the creatinine levels. When these are elevated it means your cat's kidneys aren't working right and need extra help.
Traditionally, treating renal failure in cats is determined by the disorder causing the condition. If acute kidney failure is caused by a urinary tract blockage the stone must be removed immediately. Treating chronic renal failure is done with a more conservative approach. This may include intravenous fluid therapy and changes to diet.
Pet cats are wonderful. They're beautiful, intelligent and relatively easy to care for. But, they can present their owners with a special problem that begs for a solution -- finding what removes cat urine odor.
The most important part of eliminating cat urine stains and smells is in understanding why they choose to urinate outside of their litter box. If you can discover the cause of the problem, then you'll be able to work towards a solution of what removes cat urine smells.
Your cat might not like where his litter box is located. If it's placed in a busy, high--traffic area, they could decide to do their business elsewhere. Try moving it to another, less--busy area.
Cats are relatively clean creatures and don't appreciate having to use a dirty litterbox that's filled to the brim with waste. Clean their litterbox often. And be sure to provide multiple litterboxes if you have multiple cats or a multi--story house.
Cat Health Issues
A health problem could be causing your cat to urinate in odd locations. If you observe your cat straining to pee, or there's blood in the urine -- take them to the veterinarian and get them checked out immediately.
Cats are Territorial
Your cat may feel threatened by another cat in the house or even one outside (on the other side of the window or door). An insecure cat may feel the need to spray objects with urine to mark their territory.
This behavior is more commonly seen in males than females. And having your cat spayed or neutered will help to curb this behavior, but it might not eliminate it completely.
If there are neighborhood cats on the loose outside your doors or windows, then you might want to invest in an outdoor cat deterrent. There are quite a few humane cat deterrents on the market.
Unfortunately, if it's caused by another one of your pet cats you might be forced to give up one of them -- or be prepared to clean up cat urine on a regular basis.
What Removes Cat Urine?
First you'll need to locate the cat urine stain -- which is pretty easy if you catch them in the act. But it can be a bit of challenge for older, dried spots. In this case you can use a black light to locate the urine stains. Black lights are widely available and relatively inexpensive.
Once you've located the stain, use a towel to soak up every drop of urine you can. Add water and use a blotting motion (do not rub the stain, as this spreads the stain over a larger area).
Your next step is to clean the stain using a product specially designed to deal with cat urine (Nature's Miracle is one of the most popular brands). These cat urine cleaning products are ammonia--free (ammonia based cleaners do no good), and contain special enzymes and bacteria designed to break down all the odor causing agents.
Now you can proceed with any other cleaning required -- such as shampooing the carpet or upholstery.
As you can see, what removes cat urine odor the best is prevention. Identify the reason your cat is not using his or her litterbox and fix the problem
Frontline flea treatment contains Fipronil. An insecticide that causes hyperexcitation of contaminated insects' nerves and muscles. It remains effective even after bathing or swimming. Frontline kills most fleas before they bite, which is great for pets suffering from flea allergies. Apply this between the shoulder blades.
Frontline kills fleas and ticks for 30 days or more. It is safe to use on puppies at ten weeks and kittens at 12 weeks of age, when used as directed. Fipronil, the powerful active ingredient in Frontline flea treatment, collects naturally in the hair follicles and oil-producing glands of the skin, where it remains protected from removal by shampooing or swimming.
Then it continually reapplies itself to the hair, providing long lasting control for a month or more. It is packaged with 3 separate applications per pack, a three month supply for one pet. It provides convenient and effective flea and tick control for dogs and cats, puppies and kittens. It is effective against all stages of the brown dog tick, the American dog tick, lone star tick and deer ticks.
Pets may experience some temporary irritation at the site of product application. If signs persist or become more severe within a few days of application, consult a veterinarian immediately. This product is for external use on dogs and puppies 10 weeks or older and cats and kittens 12 weeks or older. Consult a veterinarian before using on medicated animals, animals using this product with other pesticides, and debilitated, aged, pregnant or nursing animals.
This product is flammable. Keep away from heat and open flame. This product is harmful to humans if swallowed. Call a physician or poison control center. Drink 1 or 2 glasses of water and induce vomiting unless patient is unconscious. This product can cause eye injury. Flush eyes with plenty of water.
Call a physician if irritation persists. Persistent irritation may be the cause of allergies. Along with medicating our pets, we must also take precautionary measures to safeguard ourselves from being contaminated. Washing our hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling will free us from infection and viral transmission. We can be carriers of fleas if we are not careful.
It is important to understand our pet's health conditions. A simple health illness may lead to complications and may cause death of our animals. Only we know the real condition of our pets and only we can prevent the disease to worsen. If we act upon seeing the signs and symptoms, we can save our pets from acquiring any type of disease.
Let our pets be checked regularly by a vet. We have the responsibility to take care of these creatures while they are on our care. Proper hygiene is the most important factor to consider in order to prevent viral infection or flea growth. Give your dog a bath once daily. Just like humans, they need to be clean and fresh all the time. Provide them with shampoo and soap. Always make sure they have clean shelter, and they do not go littering outside dirty areas. Free your pets from ticks and fleas with the Frontline Flea treatment.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Its important to understand some of the vocabulary used to convey the state of the condition for cats in kidney failure. Acute kidney (or renal) failure in your cat is characterized by complete organ failure where the kidneys stop working altogether. Usually, acute renal failure occurs quite suddenly and can affect both young and old cats.This type of kidney disease is almost always fatal but if treated immediately and aggressively, the kidneys may regain normal functions and your cat may live a normal lifespan.
Chronic kidney failure is the more common disease. This type of kidney disease is usually experienced by aging cats when many of their major organs have diminished function. Unfortunately, by the time you notice the symptoms for cats in kidney failure, about 70% of your cat's kidney functions are already compromised. This is a progressive disease and will eventually result in the death of your cat. However, early diagnosis and aggressive management can keep your cat in comfort and relative good health for months, if not years.
Since cats with a kidney problem typically have small, shriveled kidneys, your vet will palpitate the area and may take x-rays or an ultrasound. The most dependable diagnosis comes from the blood and urine tests taken from your cat.
A blood test evaluates the BUN level of your cat's blood. No, this isn't a level of yeast but BUN stands for the Blood Urea Nitrogen level which is a chemical that the liver makes from ammonia. After production, BUN is excreted into the kidneys, which increases in some diseases especially for cats in kidney failure. The test also is a marker for dehydration in your cat or even a urethral obstruction like bladder stones.
Blood tests also show the level of creatinine in your cat's blood. Creatinine is the breakdown product of muscle and normally is excreted by the kidneys. If your cat's creatinine level is abnormally high it helps confirm that your cat's elevated BUN level was caused by kidney failure.
When evaluating your cat's urine, the veterinarian will check for signs of infection, the concentration, and any losses of proteins. When a healthy cat is dehydrated the proteins show at a concentrated level. For cats in kidney failure, this protein concentration is not there which is key to determining if your cat's kidneys are functioning properly or not.
To wrap all this up...urine and blood tests are key to determining if your cat is having a kidney problem. Do not give up when you hear your cat has kidney disease. There are a number of homeopathic remedies available to improve the quality of life for cats in kidney failure .
reference : http://ezinearticles.com
The range of health issues that quality fish oil for cats can help with is very large including helping to improve immune function, cognition, arthritis, behavior and prevent cancer. It also helps to lower cholesterol levels and give a healthy shining coat.
They are also exceptionally good for healing those hairless dry, irritated areas and encourage the hair to grow back and promote all round good health.
The results can be quite dramatic in older cats if they suffer from arthritis or other joint problems and I have witnessed this personally when after some weeks with a daily supplement, their movement was significantly improved and it seemed like they were a much younger cat again!
It is not necessary to buy special fish oil for cats as the ones we use work just fine, and even better in some cases as the purity levels tend to be higher.
The two omega 3 fatty acids that provide most of the benefits are DHA and EPA with DHA being by far the most effective and important one, so check the website or label carefully to ensure a high level of DHA, around twice the amount of EPA.
To help keep your kitty safe, make sure any oil you use has been molecularly distilled to remove all the dangerous toxins like mercury and lead which are present in many poor quality oils. This type can also be known as pharmaceutical grade oil.
If you want to help your cat to live a longer and healthier life, then fish oil for cats in the form of a daily supplement will go a long way to achieving that, more than any other addition to their diet.
If you would like to learn more about the high quality DHA omega 3 supplements I recommend and use for my own cats, visit my website today.
References : http://www.ezinearticles.com
Who is to blame?
The cats and dogs or their human care givers? You guessed it, we are. We love our pets so much, that in an effort to keep them healthy and happy, we are in turn creating health and numerous other problems.
Overfeeding, lack of exercise and too many treats are the culprits. The extra weight is as detrimental to our pet's health as being overweight is to our health.
However, our pets don't know they are overweight and as a result cannot do anything about it, we can, however by changing our ways of feeding them, giving them more exercise and holding back on extra treats.
No fad diets here just plain common sense and less high carbohydrates. Yes, even cats can benefit from a high protein, some fat and low carbohydrates. Cats are carnivores, which means they are meat eaters.
Simply stated an overweight cat is eating more than it needs.
Keep in mind just because you have had your pet spayed or neutered is not the reason he/she is overweight. Just like humans, too much caloric intake, lack of exercise and normal aging will add on the pounds.
I am not going to give you the perfect diet for your cat to follow. That is up to you and your vet to decide.
Just as with starting a diet for yourself, you should see your doctor. It is a good idea to visit your vet and make certain your cat is in good health and ready to start the slow road to losing weight.
An overweight pet should have his/her heart and thyroid checked and some minor blood work done to see if there are any metabolic problems.
As you have learned from earlier reading, cats are carnivores (meat eaters) and dogs are omnivores (meat and plant eaters). A cat's body works differently than a dogs and care needs to be taken to see that your cat is getting all the proper nutrients its body needs while still trying to lose weight.
A cat has to eat everyday, do not under any circumstances allow your cat to go hungry or think by not feeding it that you are helping Kitty to lose weight.
First of all because of the nature of a cat's metabolic system, never start a reducing diet without your Vet's supervision. If you do, you may end up with some medical bills you weren't planning on.
Obesity in cats can lead to diabetes, arthritis and hepatic lipidosis. Hepatic lipidosis, which is known, as fatty liver syndrome is somewhat, like anorexia in humans. It happens in cats for a variety or reasons.
Obese cats because they are prone to diabetes; pancreatitis, cancer or other liver disorders are prime targets. However it can also be stress related.
Cats do not take kindly to change and any kind of change can cause stress. In our case we are talking about a cat losing weight, which includes a change in diet. New food, new eating patterns, a change in routine all can cause stress and make a cat stop eating.
Whatever you do, when you decide to start Kitty on a diet, do it slowly. Discuss with your Vet what to expect regarding Kitty's behavior plus use your own common sense. No one knows your cat better than you do, sometimes outside advice, no matter how good, does not fit your cat and its behavior. The reason for mentioning this disease is simple, your cat needs to eat, and this problem may occur when a cat is not eating sufficient calories or has gone without food for several days.
So if you are planning to make a drastic change in your cat's menu (changing to a new food) while you are putting him/her on a diet, do it slowly. Allow sufficient time for your cat to accept the new food by mixing small portions of it with the current food.
If you are in the habit of leaving a bowl of dry food out for kitty to munch on while you are at work (and who hasn't), this is a "no no" if you are trying to get kitty to slim down.
While I am on the subject of dry food, let's discuss what it is made of. Dry food is mainly carbohydrates, with very little if any protein or fat. Carbs create sugar in the digesting process, which creates weight gain. Cats do not process carbs like dogs and humans do.
Dry cat food like dry dog food is made up mainly of corn or cereal based products. In order to keep it in a fresh state, dry food is filled with all the wrong kinds of preservatives, preservatives that are not especially good for either of your pets (cats or dogs).
Interestingly enough, nature did not create kitty to be a carbohydrate eater. Most animals and we humans have an enzyme called Amylase, which helps digest carbs. Cats have a great deal less of that enzyme. That is the main reason dry food, though convenient is really not what Mr/Miss Kitty should be eating.
Nature created cats to eat a meat-based diet. Cats need a great deal of protein. A high carb diet will ultimately lead to diabetes simply because a cat's system cannot digest all the carbs.
Nature intended for cats to eat mice and birds. Believe it or not they are the perfect diet for our feline pets. A mouse or bird is composed mostly of protein and fat, the small amount of carbohydrate comes from whatever was in the intestinal tract and stomach.
Since I am not recommending you supply mice or birds for your cat, I am suggesting you provide some meat. Beef, chicken or lean pork are all favorites of my guys. The boys prefer raw beef and Miss Tiger cooked chicken or pork (with a hint of garlic, of course).
Since I am not advocating you start trapping mice for your cat, what I want you to keep in mind is the size. Mouse size is a good portion. Food in ounces and not in pounds. Six tenths of an ounce to one ounce of food per meal is plenty for a 7 - 8 lb. Cat, a little more for a larger cat. That means Mr/Miss Kitty should be fed several times a day. In our household (and we work every day) our cats eat about 5 - 6 times a day, small bits every time. Our guys eat the first thing in the morning. If by chance one of us is home at noontime, they may nibble again (during the heat of the summer most likely they won't). They seem to be evening grazers, wanting small portions several times during the course of the evening. As I have mentioned before, our boys are raw meat eaters and Miss Tiger likes hers cooked. They also get commercial canned food, too.
Cat treats have high levels of carbohydrates (flour & sugar) not to mention all the enticing flavor additions. If your cat is overweight and you believe he/she needs a treat think "meat." A small piece of meat raw or cooked is a great treat. It may take a while for your cat to get used to eating raw meat and if that seems to be a problem, lightly cooking it for a few minutes is the answer. It might seem like this all requires too much effort, trust me it will be worth it in the end.
When feeding processed canned foods, buy the best you can. Read the labels; remember no animal by-products unless they are named. No food is 100% complete and balanced (no matter what the label says). Be certain that the cat food contains taurine, a very important mineral for your cat's health. Watch for preservatives like propylene glycol, sodium nitrates, BHA or BHT. Do not feed your cat, dog food, as it does not contain the vitamins and minerals a cat needs to survive.
In order to lose weight, just like its human counterparts, cats need exercise. I don't recommend taking your cat for a walk. I once tried to leash train one of our cats. It didn't work. Actually my patience wore thin and I gave up, but I had a lot of laughs.
The exercise secret is "playtime." Get some interesting inexpensive cat toys with a wand and drag them along the floor. This way kitty can stalk and pounce. You have to be consistent for this to work and it won't overnight. Non food related attention is the best gift you can give your overweight cat.
By now you are thinking "it is as dreadful for my cat to lose weight as it is for me." Special foods, several meals a day, (at least 2 -possibly 4 - 6 small ones), exercise, no more putting a bowl of dry food down and running off. I thought having a cat would be easy.
Trust me, it is, providing you start at the beginning and follow a few steps. First of all, cats will adjust to your schedule. Seriously, cats need and want a schedule or routine that they can follow. Remember that even though dogs have masters and cats have staff, you are still the leader.
The biggest problem here is you. You have to readjust your thinking and you have to establish the routine for all of you to follow.
Once a week shopping will allow you to buy all the cat food you need for the week. Read the labels on several good brands of canned cat food. Find a couple that fit the "good food criteria" of no damaging preservatives. Cats like variety (don't you).
Buy a small piece of meat, by now you will have figured out if kitty likes his/her meat raw or cooked. If raw is the preference, cut it up in small pieces (bite size) and store in zip lock bags, store some in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer, remembering to take some out when the other is gone. If cooked is the preference, cook it quickly, let it cool and do the same thing, small bite size pieces, some in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer.
As you decide the routine, kitty will follow. Just remember that cats have to eat, they need and should have a high protein diet.
A little high quality dry food once in awhile is okay if you have to leave it. Dry food is high in carbohydrates and will add weight. Before beginning kitty's weight loss program, have him/her weighed either at your Vets or try it at home. With a cat you are not looking for pounds of weight loss (unless your cat is very large). Weight loss in ounces will more likely be the norm, so unless you have access to a digital scale it may be hard to monitor weight loss without a trip to the vet's to check every month or so. Do not expect dramatic results, this will take time and patience.
You as the caregiver have to realize that the success or failure is really up to you. You need to be committed to helping your cat lose weight. Here are a few gentle reminders that hopefully will help the process along;
- Feed your cat several small meals throughout the day.
- Feed all meals and treats in the cat's bowl. Surprisingly enough when our cats are hungry they sit alongside their individual bowls.
- Reduce snacks and treats offer your cat pieces of raw or lightly cooked meat or a small bit of cheese.
Both dogs and cats can contract heartworm disease. Most commonly found in our canine friends, it is dangerous, expensive and difficult to treat. However the problem is easily avoided if one of the three forms of preventative heartworm medicines are used. Heartworm pills, topical heartworm spot on treatments and even a heartworm injection are now widely available, so keeping our pets safe should be straightforward.
How do Heartworm Preventatives Work?
Heartworm pills and topical treatments work by destroying all larval heartworms in the animal's bloodstream. To be effective they must be given every thirty days (or every day for daily heartworm pills).
Heartworm disease is caused when larval worms mature into adults, congregating in the organs to breed. Their heavy concentration in the heart, lungs and sometimes other organs causes serious organ damage. In addition their numbers can physically block important arteries. On top of this the tiny new generation of heartworms are released into the circulatory system in such vast numbers they may block smaller blood vessels too.
Preventative heartworm medicines do not stop your pet from becoming host to larval heartworms. This is impossible, as the larvae are passed to the bloodstream of dogs and cats via an infected mosquito bite. Instead, heartworm medications destroy these young larval worms before they are able to do any damage.
To get the best results from any heartworm medication, regular treatment is essential. As the larvae mature, any preventative is less efficient at destroying them totally. Monthly treatments should be given every thirty days. Then, the most mature worm they need to destroy is less than a month old, which they can do with 100% efficiency.
Combining Parasite Control with Heartworm Medication
To make preventing our pets contracting other parasites easier, many heartworm medications also target fleas, lice and intestinal parasites too. Reducing the number of medications we need to give our pets makes life easier for them and us too. Using a total parasite preventative such as Advantage Multi can save time and money, by replacing separate flea drops, heartworm medicine and an intestinal de-worming product into one simple topical treatment.
Important Points About Heartworm Medicine
- Before starting a course of heartworm medicine, your pet should first be checked by the vet. They will determine if the animal already has heartworm disease, in which case they will need to remain under veterinary supervision to clear the infection before using preventatives. This test should be repeated every spring.
- When changing from one brand of preventative to another, always ensure the new product is given thirty days after the last old treatment (or one day after, if switching to a daily heartworm pill).
- Cat's are much more sensitive to certain parasiticides than dogs, so their heartworm medications are different. Never use a medicine designed for dogs on your cat.
- Heartworm medicines come in different doses depending on the size of your pet. Never use a dose designed for a larger animal.
- Only one preventative heartworm medication should be used at a time.
- Although heartworm pills and spot on treatments have an extremely good safety record, always check with your vet before starting to treat a chronically ill or underweight animal.
- Pregnant and nursing animals may be treated with some varieties of preventative but not others, so check the label.
- If you forget a monthly treatment, administer it as soon as you remember. Do not 'double dose'. Simply start your pet's new regime from the new date, repeating every 30 days. If two months or more have elapsed between treatments speak to your vet about a heartworm test for your pet.
Choosing Heartworm Medicine
All pet medicines labelled as heartworm preventatives contain one of four active ingredients. All offer the same guaranteed prevention of the disease when used correctly. So whether you choose heartworm pills or a topical spot on product is primarily a matter of personal preference. Generic products offer the same level of protection as the branded versions.
If you are really worried about forgetting a treatment speak to your vet about the heartworm injection. There have been health concerns in the past, but it is widely used in Europe and Australia with no reported problems and has been recently reintroduced in the US.
There are spot on flea treatments, such as K9 Avantix which deter mosquitoes biting our dogs. These will reduce the chance of your pet contracting heartworms but will not guarantee they do not get the disease. The only way to prevent the disease is to regularly destroy all the larvae picked up, by using a properly labelled heartworm medicine.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
As a cat ages, it is more susceptible to kidney disease. Chronic renal failure (CRF) is more common in cats over 15 years old. Since the disease is life threatening, early detection can stabilize the condition and provide for a good quality of life.
If the animal is experiencing weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, loss of appetite, vomiting, difficulty in urinating or a dull coat, the disease could be a cause of the problem. Other diseases such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes causing similar symptoms can mask this condition. A veterinarian can determine if it is present. If left untreated, the kidneys will completely shut down leading to death.
Once CRF is diagnosed, there is no cure but life can be extended with proper treatment. It is diagnosed by a blood panel measuring levels of critical components. A low phosphorus diet can help prevent or retard it. The diet should also consist of low protein content, low sodium content and high potassium content. The diet should not restrict essential nutrients to maintain the animal's health.
The low phosphorus content decreases kidney calcification called nephrocalcinosis. It is the deposit of calcium salts in the kidneys. When functioning nephrons drop below 25%, kidney failure occurs. Toxins build up in the blood and the kidneys are not able to filter the blood to eliminate the toxins. The kidneys besides eliminating waste in the blood, regulate the body's acidity, electrolyte levels, water balance, hormone production and vitamin D.
CRF can be treated by adding additional fluids to food or under the skin (SQ fluids), diet, medications (Epogen shots or oral medication) and appetite stimulants. Appetite stimulants are important because a poor appetite is a result of the disease. Adding tuna juice or liquid from canned food can help the feeding process. In some cases, force feeding with a syringe may be the only alternative. For these options to work, dehydration must not be present. This is also beneficial to an older healthy cat because it could prevent the disease. Hemodialysis and kidney transplants are rare and expensive.
The condition can cause an emotional experience for an owner. The pet will have it's good days and bad days. An owner must try to relax and not stress out. The pet will sense the owner's stress and this can have an effect on it's health. Like any serious condition, the life expectancy is unknown. Caring for and enjoying the cat is the best way to cope with the problem.
There are many foods on the market that are tailored to be used for CRF. Royal Canin and Wellness Core are two brands that offer a low phosphor food. Consult a veterinarian to determine what is best treatment.reference :http://ezinearticles.com
A cat's immune defense shield is an amazing set of mechanisms by which infection by disease causing microorganisms such as bacteria, virus, and fungi are fought off. The immune defenses also fight off problematic abnormal cells such as cancer cells. The immune mechanism must first identify organisms or cells as harmful or abnormal, and then fight them. Some of these defenses are inherent; while others are acquired as the body encounters specific organisms and responds to them.
For the most part the immune mechanism is a very efficient disease fighting machine. That said, sometimes it needs a little help. For these instances immune boosting herbs for cats are a natural way to accomplish this. Let's look at a few of the more well known herbs for supporting and bolstering cat immune defense.
*Echinacea: Without a doubt this is the most recognizable herb for cat immune system health. There are two common species Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea. The latter is the one most commonly used for its immune boosting capabilities in cats.
Among the most important immune stimulating components of Echinacea are the large polysaccharides, such as inulin, that among other things increase the production of immune chemicals that activate microphages (a large cell derived from a white blood cell). The result is an increase in immune defense activity.
In addition to being an excellent herb for cat immune health echinacea exerts direct antiviral activity and has been shown to prevent the spread of bacteria.
*Astragalus membranaceus: While the name is likely not one most people in the west recognize this herb has been used in Chinese medicine to support immune system health and fight viral infections for centuries.
Research studies with animals show that astragalus works by bolstering several factors in the immune system: phagocytic activity of monocytes and macrophages; interferon production and natural killercell activity; T-cell activity and other antiviral mechanisms. This valuable herb for cat immune system health seems to be particularly useful in cases where the immune system has been damaged by chemicals or disease (cancer).
In summary, there is good evidence to suggest that herbs for cat immune system function are a safe and effective way to both prevent illness and fight off existing disease.
What next? If you are searching for a natural way to improve health and fight off illness then immune boosting herbs for cats is a good place to start. Currently there are a number of affordable cat immune boosting formulas containing echinacea and astragalus that just might prove to be a valuable tool in the fight against disease.
reference : http://ezinearticles.com
So, you notice Sylvester, your finicky feline acting a little strange. He is struggling with urination, even though he is trying to voiding much more often. He just isn't himself; he normally stays close when you are getting ready for work or watching television, and that irritating food begging act that you love to hate has been put on hold.
After a few days you decide that perhaps Sylvester should get checked out by the veterinarian. The conclusion after a urine analysis and culture test is that your cat has fallen victim to something called a urinary tract infection. Your vet explains that this is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract which has gained access to the urinary system through the urethra. He goes on to explain that by identifying it early there is a good chance that antibiotics can clear it up in 5 to 7 days.
Next let's investigate both antibiotics and home remedies that can prove helpful in arriving at a cure for cat urinary tract infection.
Antibiotics are perhaps the most important medical discovery of the last century and are the primary treatment implemented to cure cat urinary infection. Antibiotic treatment is two fold with the first being to identify the offending bacteria and the second matching the appropriate antibiotic to the offending bacteria.
In most cases results will be swift and effective but sometimes animals develop chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections. There are many reasons for this but ultimately the conventional course of action is repeated antibiotic administration for an extended period of time. If the underlying case of the infection cannot be determined repeated courses of antibiotics can do more harm than good. Long term use is topic that should be discussed at length with your vet.
*Water: This simple tool cannot be overstated. Water cleanses the body especially the bladder and lower urinary tract. Cats suffering from urinary tract infection need to be able to continually flush the invading bacteria out of the system. Make sure your cat has a litter box close at hand to encourage regular voiding.
*Citrus: We have just discussed the importance of water but giving that water a little extra punch may also prove helpful. Citrus boosts acidity in the urine, thus reducing the amount of bacteria. Juices often used to cure cat urinary infection are cranberry and apple.
*Glucosamine and Chondroitin: These two supplements are best known for their beneficial joint health properties but are also helpful in protecting the lining of the bladder against recurring bacterial infection.
*Give me a can man: Canned foods as opposed to dry food seem to encourage frequent voiding thus flushing harmful bacteria from the system.
In summary, antibiotics are your first line of defense to cure cat urinary infection especially when combined with early identification. You should never substitute home remedies for the medications prescribed by your veterinarian.
Additionally, many natural health minded cat owners are choosing to implement homeopathic remedies as a way to both prevent and treat infection of the urinary tract. Homeopathic remedies for UTI containing cantharis and uva ursi are perhaps some of the most effective. Cantharis maintains a healthy urine flow and soothes the bladder while uva ursi is known as a urinary tonic and is thought to possess certain antibacterial properties.
reference : http://ezinearticles.com
Heartworms are ideally suited to live within the mosquito and their canine hosts causing serious illness and often sudden death in domestic dogs and wild canines such as coyotes, wolves and foxes. Recognized for over a century, huge advances have been made in the treatment and prevention of the disease in dogs. Nowadays many responsible pet owners give regular heartworm medicine to destroy any larval worms passed to their pet during the previous month.
Sadly though our cats are not given quite so much care. Understandable though as the disease has always been associated with dogs. But, though the parasite lives most successfully inside a dog's body, it often survives for up to three years if deposited inside a cat instead. Because the worms often will not breed inside the feline system, they are much harder to diagnose in cats than in dogs. Usually the newly hatched generation of worms can be clearly seen in a sample of canine blood. But without such offspring to test for, vets have to look much harder to confirm a heartworm infection in a cat.
Even the symptoms differ, cats suffering with this disease display a huge range of non-specific symptoms, from lethargy, loss of appetite and occasional difficulty walking to vomiting, seizures, breathing difficulties and even sudden death. All these symptoms could be explained as coming from another cause. Indeed, the Heartworm Society and pet medical experts now recognise that many previously diagnosed cases of feline asthma and bronchitis were more probably cases of cat heartworm disease.
With diagnosis so difficult and a large stray population, ascertaining the real figures for infections in cats are impossible. Conservative estimates suggest that rates will be between 5 and 20% the rate for the disease in dogs in any given area. But other groups suggest the figure could be much higher, up to 40%. Whatever the figure, all agree that wherever dogs contract heartworm disease, cats are definitely at risk too.
There are a few products available which will ensure your cat does not contract the illness, which can be given each month when mosquitoes are active. These heartworm meds should be given after consulting with your vet to check your cat is not already infected. Preventative medicine is the only option open to pet owners as there are no FDA approved treatments available to treat an infection in cats. All vets can do is offer secondary care, things to help lungs and heart cope with the infection while they wait for the parasites to die off naturally. With this taking up to three years, that is a long time for your cat's health to be poor and in serious danger of permanent damage.
Heartworm disease has been recorded all over the United States but obviously the threat is greatest where mosquito populations are larger and/or active year round. Check with your vet to see how common the disease is in your area but remember the Heartworm Society recommend all pet owners to use preventative heartworm meds in all states of the US.
reference : http://ezinearticles.com
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Ear mites thrive in the warm moist area where the air flow is restricted. They feed on epidermal debris & ear wax. They burrow into the ear, causing inflammation and irritation which the body responds to by producing more wax.
What are the Symptoms of Ear Mites in cats?
Ear mites are terribly uncomfortable for your cat. Imagine how it would feel having thousands of little bugs running around in one of your most sensitive areas. Usually the first symptom you notice will be your cat scratching his ears or shaking his head due to the extreme itchiness that the mites cause. You may notice a flattening of the ears. His ears may be painful to touch and he may cry in pain when you touch them or while he is scratching them. You may also notice a foul odor coming from the ears.
Cats may cause damage by scratching causing the ears to bleed. They may also shake their ears with such intensity that small blood vessels are broken and hematomas form.
If you have a look inside the ear of an infected cat you will see dark reddish brown or black debris throughout the ear canal which has been described as looking like coffee grounds. This debris comprises of ear wax, blood and Ear mites are visible to the naked eye and can be seen as white dots among the dark debris. You may even see them moving around.
Your vet will look in your cat's ear with a magnifying instrument called an otoscope and may inspect the debris from the ear under a microscope for a more definite diagnosis. Ear mite infections can be serious if left untreated resulting in damage to the ear canals and eardrums and leaving deformity of the ears and possible deafness.
Secondary bacterial or yeast infections are also common so it is important to consult your veterinarian.
Treatment of Ear Mites. How Do I Get Rid Of Ear Mites?
You can purchase ear mite treatments from your usual pet supply store or your vet will prescribe an oily insecticide to clean the ear canals. All ear exudate has to be cleaned from the ear canal daily. The medication should massaged deeply into the cat's ear taking care to get into all the nooks and crannies of the ear canal. It is important to follow your vets instructions for the application of the treatment as you need to beat the ear mite's life cycle.
Revolution is another option. It is a Parasiticide that is applied to the skin of cats six weeks of age and older. Revolution is used to prevent heartworm disease, kills adult fleas and prevents flea eggs from hatching and treats and prevents ear mite infestation.
Your cat might also require antibiotics for secondary infections.
Are Ear Mites Contagious?
Ear mites are very contagious and can be passed on from cat to cat or cat to dog and visa versa so it is important to treat all of your pets at the same time.
Can Humans Catch Ear Mites?
No, humans are not affected by ear mites.
Eating grass or plants
Eating food that has gone off
Eating rodents or lizards or other foreign material.
An infestation of worms and other intestinal parasites can cause your cat to vomit
Your cat may also vomit after giving him worming medication.
Toxic plants, anti-freeze, lead paints, cleaning agents, human medications, coffee, weed killer, fertilizers and many other poisonous substances found around the home.
Accidental over dosage of medications.
Gastric and Intestinal Problems
Colitis, Cancer, Constipation, Enteritis, Fungal Disease, Gastritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Obstruction, Tumours, Ulcers.
Acidosis, Diabetes, Feline Hyperthyroidism, Hormone Imbalance, Kidney disease, Liver disease, Pancreatitis, Sepsis
Salmonella, pyometra (infection of the uterus), abscess
Feline Urinary Syndrome, Heat Stroke, Motion Sickness.
Vomiting can be caused by many feline disorders and it must be stressed that this article is for information purposes only and is in no way intended to replace veterinary advice.
Signs of Renal failure in cats. Increased thirst is often the first symptom
Causes of Chronic Renal FailureRecent research suggests a link between vaccination for feline distemper and immune-mediated inflammation of the kidneys, which is thought to be the cause of CRF. Annual boosters for distemper are completely unnecessary. Be sure to discuss all recommended vaccines with your veterinarian. A cat with kidney disease or kidney failure should not be vaccinated at all.
Long-term feeding of an all-dry-food diet is also suspected as a factor in Chronic Renal Failure. Cats' kidneys are highly efficient and adapted to life in the desert, where they would get most or all of their water from eating their prey. Cats eating dry cat food take in only half the water that cats on a canned or homemade diet get; this chronic dehydration can cause stress on the kidneys over time. Dry diets also predispose cats to lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD, LUTD, FUS, crystals, stones, cystitis) because they force such a high degree of urine concentration. Chronic or recurrent bladder disease may also be a factor in the development of CRF.
Treatment of Chronic Renal Failure
Some cats are able to maintain their body weight and live relatively comfortable lives for months to years, while others succumb to the disease more quickly. In conventional medicine, there are drugs that can minimize anemia, and phosphate binders to prevent phosphorus precipitates from further damaging the kidneys. However, these may not be palatable, and may cause adverse reactions. They are also of little or no value unless the cat is eating a restricted protein/low phosphorus diet exclusively. It may also be important to supplement potassium in the food.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I think you may want to warn other elderly cat on the disease to enable them to recognize this and be better able to get a good start that should never have happened. - Lori tons
A: Recently, many improvements and advanced medical and nutritional care, our home life of a cat a longer period of time than in the past. The age of the disease to the veterinary profession a bit strange, earlier. One of these diseases is hyperthyroidism cat writer, Lori and experienced.
Before the 20th century, the early 80s, veterinary clinicians do not generally recognized that this situation, the cat, and now it is almost an epidemic in the past 10-year-old cat, with an average age of 13 years old. Veterinary experts believe the majority of cats, it is seen as the most common endocrine (glandular excretion principle) confusion aging cats, may be the most common diseases, they always see the cat for more than 10-year-old patients.
Cat Hyperthyroidism is a disease, multi-body systems, as a result of excessive secretion of thyroid hormone. This has seriously increased the metabolic rate of individuals. With the addition of the affected body system functions to speed up the cat, it can not be maintained. This is not the final outcome of the normal process in the heart, kidneys, liver and gastrointestinal problems, hyperactivity and severe weight loss, despite strong demand.
A number of other elderly cat diseases, including chronic renal failure, liver disease, cancer and diabetes have symptoms similar to those observed in cats with hyperthyroidism, so that when the diagnosis difficult. However, a thorough veterinary examination, together with the owner of a good history and conventional laboratory tests, it is relatively easy to diagnose in most cases. The practice of veterinary medicine in general tend to believe that this kind of cat it is necessary to the patient's physician or veterinary teaching facilities for further and more complex test before making a final diagnosis.
Prognosis simple cat hyperthyroidism (ie not with kidney disease, liver disease or serious damage to the heart) is usually good. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism cat will succumb to complications of the disease.
Medical management of this issue show that the three options a cat, should conduct in-depth discussion with your veterinary surgeon:
• non-invasive oral tablet a government deadline for the lives of cats.
• Surgical removal of the thyroid.
• injection of radioactive iodine.
The latter is currently considered the preferred treatment, but relatively expensive.
There is no known risk of the disease other than aging. Preventive measures including the closure of home monitoring, frequent veterinary checks, hope to have the right genes, and to help your cat to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
• Make sure your pets have thermal protection and the Sun (the dog house does not provide relief to heat), and adequate fresh water when outdoors. Heat stroke in pets can be fatal, as well as people.
• Mass Transit Railway Ordinance in Louisville, the sun and fresh water available at all times to animals, and in the outdoors.
• With more time spent outside, make sure that your pet is always wearing a collar and identification tag. Or better, however, is the chip.
• Pet sunburn, too - use sunscreen on his nose and ears, if necessary. Pet light-colored noses or fur are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer.
• take your pet to exercise caution. Adjust the intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. In very hot days, limit the activities of the early morning or evening to be especially careful when the short-nose dogs and those thick jackets. Asphalt is very hot and can burn your pet's claws. Walking the recommendations at the grassroots level.
• Keep your cat indoors. No one cat who is allowed to go out to an increase in risk of disease and injury in a motor vehicle or other animals.
Heart disease caused by cats of the same mosquito-borne parasites as heartworms in dogs, Dirofilaria immitis. This mosquito-borne parasites, and take a blood meal from infected hosts, and then feeds the impact of cats, the transfer of infected blood. Larvae and then transferred to the cat's body, and ultimately in pulmonary blood vessels. This takes about 8 months of time to get in touch adult heartworms in cats stages of development. This is one to two months longer than the dog. Heartworms in cats infected with the average life expectancy of two to three years time, and 5-7 years of experimental research.
Any heart disease in dogs, cats may be infected. Less vulnerable to cats than dogs infected with heartworms or other dogs. However, the cat, but the development of heart disease, high risk of developing serious consequences, including death. Indoor and outdoor cats may be exposed to infected mosquitoes and heartworms.
Non-specific symptoms of cat heartworms can be very easily confused with other diseases cats. Some cats with feline asthma or allergic bronchitis is defined by the new respiratory syndrome-related complex known as the heart. Acute symptoms of heart disease and cats, including difficulty breathing, increasing heart rate, collapse, convulsions, vomiting and / or diarrhea. Signs of a more long-term, heart disease, including cough, loss of appetite, weight loss and lethargy. Some cats did not show any clinical symptoms, and suffered the collapse of severe acute disease and sudden death. These cats may appear normal up to the time of death.
Heart disease diagnosis often is difficult to cats. In addition to physical examination, you may be the implementation of the veterinary chest X-ray and complete blood counts. Antibody and antigen tests of adult female heartworms available heart. Whether the test is perfect, but at the same time, they may help to determine whether the existence of heartworms. Cardiovascular ultrasound and other imaging diagnostic tests may be used to help diagnosis of heartworms.
There is no approved drug for the treatment of diseases of the cat heart. The drug for the treatment of heartworms in dogs may cause serious reactions in cats. Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the body's response to parasites, bronchodilators and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection can be used for the treatment of heart disease symptoms. Heartworms extraction operation has been completed, but in some cases, is not without risk.
The good news is, preventatives available for cats. Monthly drug given orally or in part, is effective in preventing heartworm infection. American Heart Association recommends that cats with heartworms antigen detection and antibody tests before the start of prevention. Preventatives for cats tested positive in order to prevent additional forms of heartworms larvae from developing to adult stage, but will not eliminate the existing adult.
There are four drugs approved to prevent heart disease in cats. Heartgard Cat and intercept oral drug given month. Advantage of the revolution and the more popular products, has also been used to a month. For more information on cat heartworms, please contact your veterinary
Berks County, PA - Dear Christopher Cat: We found a stray kitten has small black spots in her long-term stay deep, fluffy hair. What are they?
Chris replied: these black flea dirt particles may be the euphemism of the flea droppings.
When a flea bites, drink a little blood, and excretion of black spots was digested blood.
To determine whether your cat is flea dirt spots, comb hair from her and place them on a white paper. Dripping wet and smear them a few of your fingers touch them. If you see a red-brown stripes of wet paper towel, your cat has fleas.
Fortunately, the process of killing them is very simple. Just apply a hot products, such as front-line In addition, advantage or revolution to your kitten's skin.
If you choose a different flea products, to ensure that the package said that it is safe for cats, because some products when the development of a fatal dog for our cats.
To check for fleas, I comb my hair my mother a fine-tooth flea comb every week. If she saw a flea dirt, she applies to the topic of my products to kill fleas and prevent the locusts in our home.
Even if your cat's life entirely indoors, you should be wary of. Fleas can be a smooth ride to your home page of your pants and shoes; Once inside, they attacked our cat. Is not only a nuisance caused by fleas, but they can carry disease.
Alternative weekly flea comb is one of the products as described above apply to your cat's skin once a month. Your cat will thank you.
Dear Daisy Dog: Actinidia, we Bichon / Shih Tzu puppy, the brake when we take his belt.
I tried attaching the leash to a harness instead of a collar, but it worked no better. What should we do?
Daisy said: my mother when I was 5, because I have never gone through the belt, I show the same way.
She taught me to see the fun of walking the dog a warm tribute to my every step.
Our dogs well, and actively to strengthen the "good dog!"
When we walk, my mother before me at a special taste to retain an injustice to our businesses. Every few steps, she has given me a.
Mom also taught me happy I enjoy walking belt of places, including parks and friends homes.
Finally, she let me have confidence in the belt entry at my dog obedience class.
There, I learned how to walk around other dogs and are not afraid of them.
Walking belt so that the fun - full of praise and rewards - and Kiwi soon as I can, like many
Pet insurance has been warning customers of the dangers of antifreeze may cause their friend is a cat family, to leave the sad death of the cat.
9-year-old Tommy the Cat 5 days of fighting, trying to overcome the effects of intake of the substance, he eventually had to put down last week, the report yarmouth advertisers.
It is unclear whether the cat was, deliberately or accidentally poisoned to death, but the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would like to remind the owners risk the health of their pets.
Undergraduate inspectors said: "Sometimes, when someone spilled antifreeze is being committed to their car, but sometimes it is deliberately poisoned cat lay, may enable them to stay away from the property."
He added that the impact is often deadly and can lead to a "slow and painful" death of the animal.
Tommy is the tragic situation in the south London Business News said that a 5-year-old cat has been poisoned to buy a bouquet of lily of God for his boss, Roger's wife.
Animal Friends pet insurance pet insurance experts who have been insured dogs and cats in the United Kingdom since 1999, we are your first choice of moral insurance.