cat-4-bec-blogOne of the most common health concerns that cats may suffer from during their lifetime is Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD  refers to a number of conditions that affect the bladder or urethra in cats. Causes of FLUTD include;
* Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) or interstitial cystitis – this is the most common cause of FLUTD as it is the general diagnosis given if a cat presents with symptoms of FLUTD and no other cause is able to be diagnosed.
*  Urolithiasis (Urinary Stones) –  this is when stones, or a hard collection of minerals, are formed in the bladder.  Urinary stones are usually diagnosed after an x-ray confirms their presence.
*  Urethral obstruction – which is the most serious and life threatening cause of FLUTD.  This is when the cats urethra becomes partially or completely blocked.  The blockage can be caused by stone or a urethral plug which is made up of a combination of protein/cellular material and minerals or prostate disease in male cats can cause an obstruction.  To determine if a blockage is present the vet will feel the cats abdomen and x-rays and blood tests will be taken.
*  Urinary tract infection – this is more common in older cats over the age of 10 and occurs when a bacterial infection takes place in the bladder or urethra.  This can be diagnosed through testing a urine sample.

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lilly2This hot and humid weather is definitely doesn’t agree with my dear Lilly. You see, Lilly has congestive heart failure so apart from her just not liking the hot weather she is finding it more difficult to breathe on the hot and humid days.

Congestive heart failure is when the heart is unable to function properly and efficiently pump adequate blood around the body. Diseases like mitral valve insufficiency or dilated cardiomyopathy are common causes of heart failure as well as heartworm, irregular heart rhythms or weakened heart muscles. Congestive heart failure and other heart disease can be either congenital, can develop due to other health issues or just happen due to old age. Some breeds of dogs are also more likely to develop heart failure like the giant dog breeds.

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QLD_CM_LIFESTYLE_TOADS_10DEC13(3)

Image courtesy of www.couriermail.com.au

In the last month it seems that as soon as the sun goes down our yard is taken over by cane toads.  The little bit of recent rain has brought these toads out of hibernation and they are ready to breed during the wet season.

These rather unattractive amphibians are a common cause of poisoning to dogs and less commonly cats.  When toads feel threatened they ooze a milky poison through the glands in the skin.  If a dog or cat is to lick, bite or eat a cane toad the poison can make them quite sick and can have a hallucinogenic effect on them.  Just recently I was reading an article in the Courier Mail that said that some dogs were possibly becoming addicted to the “high” or the effect that the cane toad poison was having on them and were then repeatedly seeking out cane toads.

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xmas-petsWhat better way to to celebrate the Christmas period than with the family. The whole family; four legged members included of course.  If you are thinking about going on a summer holiday and want to take your pets, visit Holidaying With Dogs for some great pet friendly holiday spots.  Or if you are just looking for some dog friendly parks and beaches all around Australia visit Doggo.

With the festive season in full swing, everyone is out enjoying the beautiful Australian weather with parties and barbeques.  As tempting as it might be to treat your dog or cat with some table scraps it really isn’t a good idea.  It is important to keep your pet’s diet as normal as possible as changing it and offering them an overindulgence of treats can cause stomach upset.  Ham is one of the worse things you can feed your pets as it is high in salt and fat.  Over the Christmas period veterinary clinics will often see a rise in pancreatitis cases and stomach upsets with the usual cause being that the animals have been eating the Christmas ham.  Also make sure not to give your pets any cooked chicken or turkey bones as they can splinter and also cause intestinal blockages.  Sweets, and in particular chocolate, are a big no no for you pets.  Chocolate is very dangerous for your four-legged friends as it contains theobromine which can cause symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea,  restlessness, cardiac failure, seizures and death. And most importantly, don’t forget to make sure your pets have plenty of cool, clean water to keep them hydrated over the hot summer days.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone, humans and animals, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Until next time,
Bec


chickenSour Crop, what is Sour Crop you ask?  Well, I had to ask the same question this week when one of my chickens got sick so I thought I would share with you what I found out.

One of our chickens “Blondie” was perfectly fine one night and then the next morning she seemed a bit lethargic and depressed.  I gave her a quick check over and couldn’t find anything wrong with her so I put it down to the heat and hoped she would be better by the evening.  That night there was no improvement, in fact she actually seemed worse and I hadn’t seen her eat or drink all day.  So my husband gave her another check over and  discovered that her crop was very full and sounded fluidy.  So I did a bit of research and decided that it looked like she had sour crop or an impacted crop.  I spoke to our veterinarian who advised that we need to get the crop to drain.  So we turned Blondie head down, with her neck at about a 60 degree angle and after a few seconds a very sour smelling fluid started running out.  We tipped her back upright and let her have a breather for a few minutes.  We  then did it again while massaging her crop and out came more but it was thicker and more of a mushy pellet consistency.  After probably 5 seconds it stopped and we turned her upright and the crop was definitely drained and didn’t feel like there was anything left in there.  The terrible sour smelling fluid and mush confirmed that it was most likely sour crop she was suffering from.  After a little time passed we put her back in the coop, so she could sleep with her friends and feel safe.  I removed all feed and water overnight so that I could be sure that she didn’t eat early in the morning.

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Engorged Paralysis Tick

Engorged Paralysis Tick

Spring is here and so are the ticks!!!

Over the last week I have heard two radio shows discussing ticks and how they are out and in high numbers already.  My daughter even had one on her arm last week.  So I thought that I would remind everyone of the dangers of ticks, tick paralysis in pets and prevention methods.

The tick season, when their are higher numbers of adult ticks present, is from August to February.  There are a number of tick species in Australia including the Brown Dog Tick, Bush Tick, Cattle Tick and the most dangerous the Paralysis Tick.  So as we are heading into the most dangerous time of year for ticks it is important that your pets tick prevention is up to date.  There are a few different tick preventative products available that work either by repelling ticks or killing them once they make contact with or attach to the animal.

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http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-french-bulldog-grey-kitten-image15578303August is the Australian Veterinary Associations Pet Dental Month with this year’s theme being quality dental care is good medicine.  The idea of Pet Dental Month is to raise awareness of the importance of good dental health in pets, how to care for your pets teeth and to encourage people to take their pets to a veterinary clinic for a dental check up.

It is important for pets to have at least an annual dental examination.  If an animal has bad or unhealthy teeth or underlying dental problems it can have a detrimental effect on their overall health and wellbeing.  Poor dental health can lead to a number of serious conditions including liver, kidney and heart disease.  It can also be responsible for other problems like bad breath, excessive drooling, inflamed gums, pain or discomfort, chewing of different objects and changes in eating habits.  By having an annual dental check up it means that any dental problems can be detected early and promptly dealt with before it leads to any further health complications.

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JrMy brothers dog “Junior” is a 3 year old purebred Great Dane with bit of eating disorder.  He sees anything and everything as food and eats it before even thinking and without tasting.  About a month ago he ate a tomato sauce packet, the squeezy type that you put on your pie. His mummy accidently dropped it and before she could even say “no” he had swallowed it.  The vet advised that there was two options, either surgery or observation.  They opted for observation, as Junior had already undergone stomach surgery for bloat a while ago.  They watched him very carefully, monitoring his faeces, his eating habits and behaviour.  Thankfully Junior showed no signs of distress, continued eating and was quite happy.  One day, two weeks after ingesting the tomato sauce packet, he vomited a couple of times and then the third time he vomited the packet up.  Since vomiting it up he has been perfectly fine, luckily the packet did not get stuck in the oesphagus and did not cause any damage to the stomach or oesphagus.  The tomato sauce packet isn’t the only thing that Junior has swallowed, he has also swallowed bottle tops, palm trees, bread packets and a whole packet of soothers.

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Photo from http://wellpethumane.com

Photo from http://wellpethumane.com

Just this week I was reading an article in our local newspaper about the high number of Parvovirus cases that have been presenting to the local vet clinics in the last month.  I found this revelation upsetting as although it is highly contagious, Parvovirus can be avoided by vaccinating your dog.  So I thought I would share a little bit of information on Parvovirus and the signs and symptoms to look out for.

Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious and often fatal virus infecting dogs.  Parvo, as it is more commonly known, attacks the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovascular system of the dog.  It is most common in young puppies, aged six to twenty weeks, and in adolescent and adult unvaccinated dogs.

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rose winter (2)The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder and the weather is getting bleak.  That’s right Winter is almost here.  During the colder months you find yourself reaching for an extra blanket or turning on the heater, but what about your pets.  Many pets will feel the cold weather just as much as their owners.

How much your pets feel the cold can depend on a number of factors like age, size, body condition, breed and coat type.  Generally as animals get older they feel the cold a lot more than in their younger years.  Animals that are in poor condition or without a lot of body fat are going to feel the cold more than the animals with a lot of fatty insulation.  Pets with a single layered coat will also feel more chilly than those with a thick double coat.

It is very important to keep your pets warm during cold weather to avoid such illnesses as colds, flu’s and pneumonia developing.  The cold weather also aggravates arthritis and joint health problems in animals, which can make animals stiffer, slower and in more pain.  During cold periods it is also common for animals to drop off in weight.  This is because they are requiring more energy to stay warm and therefore are burning more calories then in the summer months.

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