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Feline Arthritis

| July 2, 2018

Feline Arthritis

Feline Arthritis

What is it?
Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint. Unfortunately arthritis is common in older animals following a lifetime of general wear and tear on the joints. Younger animals can also suffer from arthritis, but usually as the result of an injury, poor diet or infection. Obese pets are more prone to arthritis due to the extra weight being carried on their joints. Animals with Cushing’s Syndrome (hormonal disorder) and diabetes can also be more susceptible due to the metabolic processes that affect their bones. Working dogs and very athletic dogs may be more likely to be affected due to the additional pressure put on their joints.

Symptoms:
If your pet shows signs of lamesness, stiffness or pain they may be suffering from arthritis. Your pet may also be experiencing some pain while exercising or getting up, difficulty in managing stairs or teh jump into the car, have an altered gait or joint swelling and have a decreased range of motion. Sometimes what appears to be arthritis can in fact turn out to be uncomfortable ‘trigger points’. These are simply muscle cramps but can resemble the symptoms of arthritis. Don’t worry though, as they are not serious and can be treated effectively with a series of acupuncture.

What can be done?

Lifestyle changes:
It is very important to keep your pet at a normal, healthy weight. Try introducing set meal times rather than leaving food out all of the time. Some pets will respond well to a single protein source diet such as a balanced chicken food. Preventative dietary measures are recommended, especially in larger dog breeds and breeds prone to joint problems such as Maine Coons, Devon Rexes, Burmese, German Shepherds etc. Keeping your pet lean during its formative years help prevent developmental bone problems. Some pets may suffer from leaky gut syndrome which can be a contributory factor. In such pets a detoxification diet may help.

Do not overexercise your pet as this puts additional stresses on the joints. Shorter exercise periods rather than a long walk benefit most pets. Swimming is excellent therapy and is recommended as it strengthens muscles and manipulates joints without unduly jarring them. If there is short term joint swelling, cold ice packs may help relieve the symptoms

Holistic Treatments:
Many animals will find great relief following a course of acupuncture and continuing with top up sessions when necessary. Some forms of arthritis may also benefit from a type of deep massage called chiropractic manipulation. This is particularly effective if the pain is associated with the back and spine. Providing a heated water bottle or pad is generally much appreciated by animals suffering with joint pain, especially during the winter months. It is important to encourage gentle exercise, with swimming being the best way to keep joints mobile.

Providing glucosaminoglycans is one of the most important things you can do in the form of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, green lipped sea mussell, bovine or shark cartilage. We prefer to avoid the use of shark cartilage as it is an animal product. Omega 3 acids such as fish oil, Vitamins C & E, probiotics, dimethylglycine, digestive enzymes or apple cider vinegar can also prove to be beneficial.

Herbal products can help with the reduction of inflammation and pain of arthritis. The Natural Vet Company have consulted Sydney veterinarian, Dr Barbara Fougere to formulate a range of safe and easy to use products to best help your pet. You can read more about these products and how they can help here.

Conventional Treatments:
In the meantime, if your pet is experiencing pain, your veterinarian can prescribe conventional drugs. While the Natural Vet Company can offer you new and natural ways to improve your pets health, it is important not to disregard any of the advice that your regular veterinarian provides you with. It should be noted however that long term usage of cortico steroids such as prednisolone shoudl be avoided where possible (make sure you do not leave your pet in unnecessary pain). This form of treatment should be a last resort, there are many reported side effects and the possibility of speeding up the damage [Johnston & Fox 1997]. Reported side effects of corticosteroids include gastric or colonic ulceration, kidney damage. Care must also be taken using non-steroidal anti inflammatories such as Rimadyl, metacam and ibuprofen. Do not completely dismiss these drugs out of hand as they are extremely effective and important in the fight against pain however there is some controversy regarding the possibility of them causing additional damage and harm to the livers, kidneys, brain, immune system and blood. The sensible way forward is to consult with your vet to discuss and consider all of the options – putting the comfort and long term health of your pet at the front of the considerations.

Consult one of our vets:
For more information and guidance feel free to contact The Natural Vet Company directly. You can sign up for a consultation using our online ordering system. One of the many trained veterinarians will be more than happy to guide you through a personalised treatment plan to ensure that your pet is as happy and comfortable as possible. Another option is to post your question to our online forums where other members can perhaps help you with advice and guidance (please note: we do not have any control over the advice given in our forums). Please feel free to suggest a topic for a factsheet and we will be happy to put one online.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS FACTSHEET IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL BACKGROUND READING AND NOT AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL VETERINARY ADVICE. A VET CAN NOTICE SUBTLE CHANGES PERHAPS NOT OBVIOUS IN YOUR PET AND HAS MANY YEARS OF TRAINING TO PROVIDE THE BEST TREATMENT. WE DO NOT ADVISE YOU FOLLOW ANY OF THIS ADVICE WITHOUT CONSULTATION WITH OUR VET OR YOURS.

Copyright & Credit:
Source:  The Natural Vet Company | http://www.naturalvetcompany.com
Photo copyright and courtesy: Kathryn Cairney – stock.xchng

Cat Litter Box Problem? A Look At Behavioral Issues

| June 10, 2018

Cat Litter Box Problem
There may be more than one cause of a cat litter box problem, but they come from one of two categories. If you’ve read my article on the physical causes of this dilemma, then you already know that this problem is either physical, or behavioral.

Since your cat can’t tell you what’s going on, you have to rule out each possible cause, until you are left with the most logical answer. This is known as a diagnosis of exclusion.

The first step here is to have a consultation with your vet. Always assume that your cat has a physical problem as the cause, unless your vet says otherwise.

If your vet has given the all clear, then you’re going to have to assume, for the moment, that your litter box problems are behavioral. Let’s try to understand our cat’s point of view and see if we can think of some behavioral reasons for not using the litter box.

1. Dirty Box – some cats will use a dirty box without complaining, but others are fussy. In any case, clean your litter box at least once per day. You should change your litter at least every few weeks, unless it gets too dirty more quickly than that. Whenever you change the litter, wash and dry the litter box thoroughly. If you have a hooded box, be sure to wash the lid also.

2. Box Odor – some cats will refuse to use a litter box if it doesn’t smell right. Remember, that means smell right to the cat, not to you. You might be thinking that your clean box smells just fine. This is not always the case.

If you didn’t clean it well enough, your cat will know. If you used a scented cleaner, or didn’t rinse it well enough, it may not smell right to your cat. It’s recommended that you use a solution of one part bleach to 30 parts water to help prevent the spread of parasites and recurring infections. Rinse well and dry thoroughly! When you’re finished, the box should not smell like cat waste, soap, or bleach.

3. Litter Box Odor – some cats simply prefer the odor of one brand or type of litter over another. Even unscented litters have an odor your cat can detect and may not like. Be prepared to try different types and brands until you find the right one for your cat.

4. Type of Litter – your cat may not like the type of cat litter you use. When you switch litters, do it slowly. Try adding 20 percent new litter to 80 percent old, and then increasing the amount of new litter over several days until you’re only using the new litter.

5. Litter Box Type – the shape, size, and type of box does matter. For example, some cats may like a hooded box, while others prefer the open kind. Perhaps your cat would like higher walls, or a larger box. If you’ve recently changed litter boxes, this could be causing a problem.

6. Number of Boxes – in multi-cat households, territory is at a premium. Use the one plus one rule when selecting how many boxes you’ll need in order to prevent traffic jams. That means one box for each cat, plus one extra so that there is always a free box available. Having more boxes also keeps each box a little cleaner, which makes the scooping chore a bit easier on you.

7. Location Choice – in some cases, you just can’t find a good spot for the box, and you’ll have to do your best. If your cat is not pleased with the location of the box, she may stop using it. Always try to keep the box in a low noise and low traffic area. Busy areas like laundry rooms and kitchens are usually not good places.

8. Territorial Issues – territorial arguments are common in multi-cat households. Some cats like to sneak up on others when they’re using the box and pounce. If your cat is attacked every time he’s in the box, he may grow to hate the box. This is where the one plus one rule for multi-cat households is most important.

9. Stress – if your cat is stressed by a recent move, a new addition to the household, or perhaps simply a behavior shift on the part of a family member, this may be at the root of the box issue. Try to think about what might have changed recently in your cat’s life, and then try to ease whatever stress she’s under.

Cat litter box problems can usually be solved, once you know the cause. The solution doesn’t have to mean getting rid of the cat. Your veterinarian needs to first rule out physical causes so you can tackle the behavior side of things. Think like a cat, and you’ll be able to solve your box problems.

Copyright & Credit:

Article Source: http://www.a1-optimization.com/articles Kurt Schmitt is an experienced cat owner and offers advice on cat litter box problems and many other cat care subjects at Cat Lovers Only Feel free to grab a unique version of this article from the cat litter box problem Articles Submissions Service

Photo copyright and courtesy: Lena Povrzenic – stock.xchng

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| June 10, 2018

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