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Posts Tagged ‘Cat’

Tis the Season to be Jolly but beware of the dangers!

This Christmas, our team at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, want you and your pet to enjoy the festive season, however it is always good to make sure the house is pet proof!

The majority of vets during this time of year will treat a number of pets for eating items that are toxic for them. With chocolate remaining top of the list of ingested ingredients.

Cats have also been reported to be seen over this time also for cases of antifreeze poisoning and seasonal plant poisoning such as poinsettia, lilies and mistletoe.

It is also a good idea to be careful of festive decorations around our houses like tinsel and fairy lights as these can be hazards to both our cats and dogs.

Some ideas for a hazard-free Christmas with your pets:
  • Must sure your pet does not have access to those festive decorations without your supervision – these items can be very appealing to our pets but can cause seriously harm is broken, chewed or swallowed.
  • Give your pet toys not treats – too many of those yummy treats your pet enjoys will lead to obesity which can have detrimental effects on their health so why not consider a new toy to keep them active and in shape.
  • Poison protection – make sure those festive treats are out of reach that can contain ingredients that are harmful to our pets including chocolate, sweets, raisins, xylitol, nuts, grapes or liquorice. As well as festive decorations and seasonal plants as poinsettia, holly and mistletoe.
  • Make sure you know where your local veterinary is over this time. Sometimes accidents and emergencies may still occur, therefore be aware of your vet’s emergency cover provision and opening hours.
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The 12 dangers of Christmas

Christmas can be a very chaotic time of year and a more dangerous time for our pets as their usual home surroundings are filled with presents, decorations, trees and much more. We want to make you aware of potential toxins over the Christmas period in order for you to sit back, relax and celebrate this time of year.

Chocolate: In chocolate there is a substance called Theobromine which is poisonous to our pets. It can be found in all types of chocolate – white, milk and dark.
Onions: All of the onion family, including leeks, garlics, chives and shallots whether they are cooked, dried or raw can be poisonous to dogs.
Christmas Cake and Mince Pies: Raisins, currents and sultanas, as well as grapes, are common ingredients and can be poisonous. Please take care in order to keep cakes and snacks away from your pet.
Blue Cheese: This cheese contains roquefortine C which animals are very sensitive to. Therefore is best to keep out of reach and dispose of any leftovers.
Bones: It is common for small, cooked bones (especially from poultry) to fragment easily into pieces with very sharp edges when chewed.
Artificial Sweetners: Xylitol can be found in chewing gums, mints, sweets and liquorice.
Alcohol: Most people are aware not to give alcoholic drinks to their pets, however alcohol poisoning in pets can be more common than you think!
Mould: Growth on food, in rubbish bins and sacks can hold toxins which will quickly attack an animal’s nervous system. Only a small amount of these mycotoxins can cause tremors and seizures.
Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe, Ivy, Lillies: Many flowers, house plants and bulbs that can be poisonous to our pets. We often bring seasonal plants inside the house or receive them as gifts.
Christmas Trees: If eaten it may cause mild stomach upset however the sharp tips may do more damage internally.
Christmas Decorations & Wrapping Paper: There is a high risk of gastrointestinal obstruction if the decoration is ingested.
Silica Gel: This may be found in a present in small sachets containing silica gel
In the case, where your pet ingests any of the items above, it is best to contact the vet for advice. If you need to take your pet to the vet, please take any relevant packaging in order treat your pet.
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Health Issues in Older Cats: Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is thought to affect a third of all cats over 10 years of age. As time goes on we have more and more to offer animals diagnosed with this condition, and we hope to give cats with chronic kidney disease a good quality of life for as long as possible. The prognosis for cats diagnosed with chronic kidney disease can be excellent, and some cats will go on to lead happy lives for many months or even several years.

Usually once CKD is diagnosed, we cannot identify the original cause, as it most likely happened earlier in the cat’s life. The kidney is an organ that cannot regenerate (regrow) and so CKD is not a disease that can be cured. The disease will usually progress over time and, unfortunately, in a lot of cases, the end stage is kidney failure. However, with treatment we aim to support the function of the kidneys for as long as possible, and also to minimise any complications.

Most cats diagnosed with CKD will have vague symptoms including weight loss, reduced appetite, drinking more and urinating more and vomiting intermittently. If you notice any of these signs at home do book your cat in for check with a vet as it is likely that we would recommend a blood test and a urine test. Often though these signs are difficult to notice as they come on gradually, and so it can be at a yearly booster or other check up that weight loss or other symptoms are found.

Once CKD has been diagnosed, if your cat is otherwise well and eating well, the vet will discuss the best way to manage the disease. If your cat is unwell when they are first diagnosed, they may initially need more intensive treatment which might involve a stay in hospital.

We will often recommend a change of diet to a prescription diet, and there is evidence to show that this is one of the most important factors in slowing down the progression of CKD. We do know however that a lot of cats will struggle to change their diet, and it is always more important that they are eating well and are happy, so we will always discuss with you whether this is right for your cat.

Monitoring your cat with regular blood and urine tests and blood pressure measurements is very important as it allows us to pick up changes early so that medication can be added if required and any complications picked up. We hope that by picking up CKD as early as possible we can prolong your cat’s good quality life as long as possible.

Our free senior cat checks are a perfect chance to discuss any concerns you may have about any of the symptoms of CKD, or any other worries. Please call us at the cat clinic to book your cat in.
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Health Issues in Older Cats: Arthritis

When a cat reaches 11 years of age they are classed as elderly, and it is around this age that they can start to suffer with the various conditions that are associated with older cats. The effects of ageing can be seen through physical changes as well as behavioural changes, and there are certain home care routines that can help improve your cat’s quality of life. Regular checks with your vet are important to identify early disease processes, but what can you do at home to provide that extra bit of comfort?

Arthritis – This is a common condition seen in older felines and can result in chronic pain, often owners will notice that their cat is less reluctant to jump or looks a little stiff when they walk. Most of the time owners just associate this with their pet getting older and do not actually act on it. It is important to remember that when you see your cat is looking stiff or struggling this means that they are in pain. There are pain relief and joint care medications that the vet can prescribe to make your cat more comfortable.



There are also things you can do at home to make your cat more comfortable:
  • Ensure that your cat’s resources (food, water and litter trays) are close by and easily accessible, and provide multiple resources around the house.
  • Make sure that the resources and safe places are on ground level to prevent your cat having to jump. You could provide steps up to the resources, beds or cat flap.
  • Make sure that litter trays have low sides for easy climbing in and out and provide a litter that is soft on the feet pads. Even if your cat usually goes outside to the toilet it is a good idea to provide litter trays in the house for times when they do not feel up to going out. It is important to monitor faecal and urine output and consistency to identify underlying disease processes.
  • Pay close attention to your cats claws. We advise that you check these weekly as elderly cats are less able to retract their claws, this often results in them getting stuck on soft furnishings. They are also at risk of them overgrowing and cutting into their pads as they will be less active.
  • Carpet and mats can provide more comfort for elderly cats walking around, wooden and laminate flooring can be slippery for elderly cats that are less stable on their legs.
  • Cat flaps – If your cat usually uses a cat flap to access outdoors ensure that they can get up to the cat flap ok, providing steps may aid them climbing in and out.
  • Scratching posts – If your cat is suffering from arthritis they may be reluctant to use a vertical scratching post as stretching up high may cause them pain. Horizontal scratching posts can be more comfortable for them.
Read more tips on caring for your older feline here
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Health Issues in Older Cats: High Blood Pressure

Did you know cats can suffer from high blood pressure, just like humans? There are often no visible signs, but left untreated it can cause blindness and damage the heart or brain.

High blood pressure is more common in older cats, and those with certain medical conditions like kidney disease. We recommend that all cats over seven years old have their blood pressure checked yearly. Blood pressure is measured in cats using similar methods to that used for humans. It’s a quick and relatively straight forward procedure, you can even stay with your cat whilst it’s done.

To raise awareness of the importance of regular blood pressure checks, we are offering free Senior Health Checks with one of our registered veterinary nurses during November for cats over eight years old at our Stoke Road, Stony Stratford, Willen and Walnut Tree Branches. Please also remember that Tuesday and Thursday are our Cat Clinics at our Stoke Road branch, these cater specifically for your cats needs and minimise the stress they may experience when visiting us
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