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Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

FELINE IDIOPATHIC LOWER URINARY TRACT DISEASE IN CATS Idiopathic Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (IFLUTD) is a general term for disorders characterized by blood in the urine, difficult or painful urination, abnormal, frequent passage of urine, urinating in inappropriate locations (ie., bath tub), and partial or complete blockage of the urethra. Also known as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC), Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS), or Interstitial Cystitis, this treatable condition occurs in the bladder and urethra of the lower urinary tract; that is, the tube from the bladder to the outside, through which urine flows out of the body. Idiopathic feline urinary tract disease, and inflammation of the bladder for unknown reasons, are diagnosed only after known causes such as kidney stones or urinary tract infection have been eliminated. Any of the above symptoms or combination of these symptoms may be associated with feline lower urinary tract disease. The same symptoms may apply to diversely different infections, and pinpointing the exact cause for the condition can be complicated, since the feline urinary tract responds to various outside influences in a limited and predictable fashion. This disease occurs in both male and female cats. The incidence of blood in the urine, difficult or painful urination, and/or blockage of the urethra in domestic cats in the U.S. and U.K. has been reported at approximately 0.5 percent to 1 percent per year. While it can occur at any age, it is found most commonly cats between the ages of one and four-years-old. It is uncommon in cats less than one year of age and in cats greater than 10 years of age.  SYMPTOMS AND TYPES Difficult or...

The Dangers of the Parvovirus

What is the Parvovirus? Parvovirus is contagious disease that attacks rapidly reproducing cells.  This deadly disease has been around since the 1970’s and it spread across the entire world within only two years.   Often, The lining of the gastrointestinal tract is attacked by the virus as well as the heart muscle of puppies who have been infected by their mother while in utero.  Parvovirus is transmitted by animals, objects or humans that come into contact with infected feces.  This disease is highly resistant and can live for MONTHs! Did you know that this deadly virus can survive on inanimate objects such as your clothing, the floors, dog toys and shoes?  It’s true and many people are completely shocked by this! Preventing the Parvovirus Parvovirus can be prevented.  Keep your pet up to date on all of his vaccinations.  This is especially important if your expose your dog to other dogs in any setting but especially a kennel or boarding environment.  Opt for a in home pet sitter as opposed to a kennel environment if you do not believe in yearly vaccinations for your dog.  Also, if an infected dog comes in contact with your home or yard be sure to disinfect all of the surfaces and toys the dog has touched as well as food and water bowls in a bleach solution for ten minutes.  Parvo is highly resistant so the time is important!  If there are items that you can’t clean with a bleach solution then throw those items out and replace them. Signs and symptoms of the Parvovirus: Lethargy Vomiting Bloody Diarrhea Dehydration Loss of appetite If...

Hairballs in Your Cat

Hacking, Gagging, Retching.  Sigh.  Hairballs. Many pet parents often wonder about hair balls and how they can prevent them in their.  The bad news is that you can’t completely prevent your cat from hacking up hair balls every now and then but, the good news is that you can help reduce the frequency as well as make the passage of hair balls through your cat’s system a little easier!  Keep reading to learn more!  Consider a special diet.  Many pet food companies make a hair ball formula.  These formulas are high fiber which helps these hair balls pass through your cat’s digestive system a little easier.  They also reduce shedding but food alone won’t solve the shedding dilemma! Groom your cat.  Brush your cat every. Single. Day.  Yes, every day! The more you brush him, the less hair he has to ingest.  You know how cats are obsessive groomers.  So, not only will your cat feel better and have an easier time grooming himself but there will be less hacking and coughing up hairballs on his part.  Also, be sure that your comb and brush are adequate – meaning don’t just brush the surface of your cat’s coat. Look into hair ball remedy products.  There are a few on the market but a popular one is flavored petroleum jelly. This serves to aid the passage of the hair balls through your cat’s digestive system, which can work great with a hair ball specific diet.  Some of these products include a mild laxative because unfortunately, hair balls cause constipation. Talk to your vet before you use any over the counter...