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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