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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Frontline Plus For Cats - Treating Kidney Disease

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

Frontline Plus For Cats - Herbs For Cat Immune System

Many cat owners have at least one pet whose immune defense mechanism has been damaged, is not working as it should, or is somehow genetically impaired. For these loving pet owners finding ways to improve their pet's immune function can range from extending life issues (cancer) to reducing the frequency of minor illnesses. In this informational article titled "Herbs for Cat Immune System" we will briefly walk through the immune system and then explore a few immune boosting herbs for cats.

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

Frontline Plus For Cats - Cat Urinary Tract Infections Solution

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.

Home Remedies

*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

Frontline Plus For Cats - Heartworm - Cats at Risk

The organism responsible is designed to live its live within two host organisms. Born inside a dog's heart the microfilarie worms live in the dogs bloodstream before being taken up by a feeding mosquito. Inside a female mosquito the worms develop further into larval worms before being deposited into another canine as the mosquito feeds. Inside the canine these larvae will grow into adult worms, settle in the animal's heart and breed so starting the whole cycle again.

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

Cat ear mites :Symptoms and effective treatment

What are Ear Mites?
As the name suggests, ear mites are a tiny spider like parasitic mite that infect the ears of dogs and cats. They usually live in the ear canals but can live on other parts of the dog or cat's body. Ear mites are the most common cause of ear infections seen by vets. They are more commonly found in cats than dogs but are a considerable cause of ear infection in dogs too.
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.

Frontline Plus - Cat vomiting causes

There can many varied reasons why a cat vomits, from a serious illness to eating something disagreeable. An occasional, isolated episode of vomiting is usually normal.
As a rule of thumb, if your cat vomits once or twice or infrequently and then goes on to eat normally, play normally, pee and poop normally and shows no signs of ill health then there probably is no reason for concern.
If your cat has chronic vomiting. (Chronic means persistent and lasting. Continuing for a long time; lingering; habitual.) then medical advice should be sought. Always check with your vet if vomiting is severe or persistent. You should also take into consideration other factors. How is your cat's general health? Is he well? Is he lethargic? Does he have other symptoms for example diarrhea or no appetite? Because vomiting in cats could signal a serious underlying disorder your vet will ask you many questions and may run tests in relation to the vomiting to determine the cause.
Below are some of the reasons why cats vomit. Some are temporary and minor and others indicate an underlying serious illness. 

Hairballs may cause vomiting
One of the most common reasons for vomiting in cats is hairballs. Keep in mind that when a cat vomits all the contents of it's stomach are expelled including hair. Because you see hair in the vomit don't always assume that hairballs are the reason the cat is vomiting as there could be other causes.

Eating Problems
The cat eats too quickly or overeats.
A change in diet. Food intolerance
Eating grass or plants
Eating food that has gone off
Eating rodents or lizards or other foreign material.

Parasite problems
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.

Metabolic diseases
Acidosis, Diabetes, Feline Hyperthyroidism, Hormone Imbalance, Kidney disease, Liver disease,  Pancreatitis, Sepsis

Salmonella,  pyometra (infection of the uterus), abscess 

Other Causes
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.

Cats Kidney disease : Chronic Renal Failure

Signs of Renal failure in cats. Increased thirst is often the first symptom

Kidney disease, in the form of chronic renal failure (CRF), is a common problem in older cats. I have seen kidney failure in cats as young as 4 years, but far more frequently in much older cats. The most noticeable symptom is an increase in water consumption and urination ("drink-a-lot, pee-a-lot syndrome"). A blood test should be done if you notice these symptoms, as there are several conditions that can cause this. The increase in drinking and urinating in CRF is due to loss of the kidney's ability to concentrate the urine. The kidneys have a very large reserve capacity, and symptoms of kidney failure are not seen until approximately 75% of kidney tissue is non-functional. In my experience, kidney failure is the most common cause of death in older cats.

Causes of Chronic Renal Failure

Recent 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

Chronic kidney failure is progressive and incurable. No conventional or alternative medical treatment can reverse its course, since the disease involves the loss of kidney cells and replacement by scar tissue. The rate of progression in any individual cat probably cannot be slowed to any significant degree. When the process is advanced, the kidneys become small and lumpy, and the amount of functional tissue is greatly limited. The most significant problems caused by the loss of function are build-up of blood toxins, and anemia. These can cause weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, and other signs of illness.

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.

Reference :catsofaustralia.com