Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Health Problems In Cats

Health Problems In Cats

It may come as a surprise, if you’re a new cat owner, that many health problems may befall your feline friend. Some problems are easily
preventable, while others are hereditary.


Hairballs are among the most common of cat health problems. Cats groom themselves almost constantly, and swallow the loose hair that comes off their tongues. Occasionally, the hair gathers into a ball and lodges in the cat’s digestive tract instead of passing on through the body. If your cat starts coughing and hacking, he probably has a hairball. While the end product is unpleasant for the owner, most cats don’t have a problem dislodging hairballs.

However, hairballs can occasionally pass into a cat’s intestines and cause a blockage. This can be a life-threatening problem. There are a few signs to look for to see if your cat’s hairball is dangerous. If your cat is constipated, off his feed, or is lethargic with a dull coat, then he could have a serious blockage. A vet exam is definitely in order.

To prevent hairballs, groom your cat frequently to remove loose hair. In addition, feed your cat food that helps control hairballs.


For many cats, worms are a recurring problem. Roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms most commonly infect cats. Cats can occasionally develop heartworms, as well. If your cat seems unable to gain weight, is infested with fleas, or has white specks that look like grains of rice in his stools, take him to the veterinarian for worm testing.

Worms are easily cured with a few doses of medication, but if left untreated, they can be fatal.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are another common health problem in cats. This infection is particularly common in unneutered male cats, although female cats can also develop this problem. If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, a urinary tract infection is suspect. If your cat’s urine smells strong, again a urinary tract infection may be the cause. These infections need to be treated by a veterinarian. Ask about cat foods that reduce the likelihood of another infection.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

FIP is caused by a mutation of the corona virus. According to some experts, cats living in multi-cat environments tend to test positive for enteric corona virus. Cats can live with that virus remaining quietly in the intestines with no sign of disease for their entire lifetime. In other cases, probably a genetic pre-disposition, the virus mutates into FIP.

Once a cat has contracted FIP, it will display symptoms of a mild upper respiratory infection: sneezing, watery eyes, and nasal discharge. It may also have diarrhea, weight loss and lethargy. Most cats fully recover from this primary infection, although some may become virus carriers. A small percentage of exposed cats develop lethal FIP weeks or even years after the primary infection.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV, or cat AIDS, is not always fatal. FIV decreases the ability of the cat’s immune system to fight infections. Cats with FIV may remain free of symptoms for years. It is when the cat contracts other illnesses in the chronic stage of FIV infection that FIV is first suspected. This long list of illnesses includes oral-cavity infections, upper-respiratory infections, weight loss, ear infections, kidney disease, and many others. Although there is, as yet, no vaccine, all cats should be tested for the virus. The virus is transmitted through saliva, usually when a cat is bitten in a cat fight.

Feline Leukemia Virus

FLV was, until recently, the most common fatal disease of cats. But with a vaccine now available, the number of cases is dwindling. Although the name leukemia means cancer of the white blood cells, this is only 1 of the many diseases associated with this virus, such as other types of cancer, anemia, arthritis and respiratory infections. FLV is preventable if the cat is immunized before being exposed to the virus. Although the disease is not always immediately fatal, cats with FLV rarely have a long life expectancy. NEVER bring other cats into your household when you have a cat with FLV.

Lyme Disease

If your cat spends time outdoors, you should check him regularly for ticks. If you find a tick on your cat’s body and he has been lethargic and acts as if he is in pain, ask your vet to test for Lyme Disease. This disease is transmitted to people and animals by deer ticks.

Some cats may show subtle symptoms while others may show none — symptoms are hard to recognize and often may be confused with other illnesses or old age. Be observant of your pet’s behavior. It is the only way to know if your pet has contracted Lyme disease if no tick was found. Some symptoms of Feline Lyme Disease include:

(a) lethargy,
(b) reluctance to jump or climb stairs,
(c) limping, or reluctance to put weight on a paw,
(d) loss of appetite.

The key to dealing with Feline Lyme Disease is prevention and early diagnosis and treatment. You should reduce the tick population around your home with simple landscape changes and spraying.

Good Health Care

Taking your cat for a regular check-up with the vet, and keeping all vaccinations on schedule will help assure your cat a long and healthy life. Prevention is the first line of defense for most feline illnesses.

Many owners keep their cats indoors to protect them from cars, from cat fights which may expose them to deadly viruses, from ticks, and other hazards.

Outdoor cats will enjoy greater freedom, but require a watchful eye, loving attention to their health status, and regular visits to the veterinarian.

If you have any problems related to Cats please contact us for any suggestions.


Visit New Cat to learn more. Copyright 2005 Ron King. Ron King is a full-time researcher, writer, and web developer. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact.

Monday, December 17, 2007

How to care for your pets this winter...

Winter and Christmas Holiday Hazards For Pets

Please read the following tips for keeping your pets out of danger during the holiday season this year.

Firstly, please make sure your pet AVOIDs the following holiday food items:

Alcoholic beverages Chocolate (baker's (dark), semi-sweet, milk chocolate) Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans) Moldy or spoiled foods Onions, onion powder Fatty foods Salt Yeast dough

Ingestion of any food that your pet is not used to can cause intestinal inflammation (vomiting and diarrhea), but those mentioned above are specific toxins that may cause more life threatening conditions in your pet.

Holiday season plants to avoid:

Lilies found in holiday flower arrangements can be deadly to your cat. Many types of lily, such as Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca, cause acute kidney failure in cats.

Poinsettias generally have low toxicity. If ingested, poinsettias irritate the mouth and stomach, causing mild vomiting or nausea.

Mistletoe can have a cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) toxic effect. More commonly, however, mistletoe ingestion usually causes gastrointestinal upset.

Holly ingestion can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Please call your veterinarian for advice in all cases to ensure that your pet doesnt need emergency veterinary care.

Hazards around the christmas tree:

Christmas tree water often contains fertilizers, that, if ingested, cause stomach upsets. Stagnant tree water can have extremely high bacterial content, which can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, if ingested.

Electric cords should be hidden or covered safely. If they were chewed, they could electrocute your pet.

Ribbons or tinsel can get stuck in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction if ingested.

Batteries contain corrosives. If ingested they can cause serious ulceration to the mouth, tongue and intestines.

Glass ornaments can cut the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract if ingested.

Your medications:

Please keep all your prescriptions and medicines away from prying pets. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills can be lethal to your pet in very small dosages. For example, one 200mg ibuprofen tablet can cause serious stomach ulcers in a 10lb dog. Less than one acetaminophen tablet (325mg) can be extremely dangerous to a 7lb cat.

More winter hazards:

Antifreeze has a pleasant sweet taste but even in small amounts can be lethal. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat or dog. Please be very careful when changing your cars coolant and always thoroughly clean up any spills. Store your antifreeze in a tightly closed container well away from your pet. Low Tox™ brand antifreeze contains propylene glycol and is recommended to use in pet households as this is less toxic. If you think your pet has ingested anti-freeze of any type please call your emergency veterinarian immediately.

Ice melting products can be irritating to the skin and mouth. Signs of ingestion can include excessive drooling, depression and vomiting.

Rat and mouse killers are used a lot during the holiday season. These can be lethal to your pet. Please be careful.

Your animal may become poisoned with little warning. You should keep telephone numbers for your veterinarian and a local emergency veterinary service in a convenient location. If you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous, seek medical attention immediately.

copyright 2007 Televets

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

All About Pet Rabbit Reproduction

Sexing baby rabbits

It isn't always easy for us humans to sex young rabbits. Rabbits know immediately when they
meet! Behavior doesn’t always help in identifying the sex of a rabbit. Mounting is dominance behavior and both sexes will do this, often the females more than the males. Both males and females will dig and act aggressive as they enter puberty. Males will take 6 weeks after neutering to be completely without testosterone in their system. If you have an unspayed female, please be sure to separate. Females have an 85% of having uterine cancer by age 5 years of age if they are not spayed. For the sake of the health of your female rabbit, please have them spayed and give them 10 days or two weeks to recover before putting them back in the same cage with another rabbit. (You can house them next to another rabbit (put a few inches between the cages).


Turn your rabbit over on it’s back. (This is way easier said than done!) Hold the rabbit with its head lower than its hind legs. Within a few seconds, the rabbit should start to relax. Separate his hind legs with one hand while firmly holding him with the other. If you aren’t experienced in putting a bunny into a trance on their back, then get someone to help you and hold the bunny on his back on a flat surface. Be very gentle. Work fast. This position is uncomfortable for a rabbit. Speak softly to your rabbit and be careful! The rabbit is scared of being in such a vulnerable position. If you don't think you can do this, there are alternatives. But if you can, here's how to tell if you have a boy or girl rabbit.


If you put some slight pressure above the sexual organs you will see either a circle or slit. In an adult rabbit, it will be clear to tell what sex rabbit you have by the presence of testicles in males. In young rabbits however, these are not yet apparent so you have to go by the appearance of the genital opening. The male has a circle shape, whereas the female has a vertical slit. Be sure to look at the right hole - the anus is on top and the genitalia below!