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Alternative Healing for Animals

| October 16, 2017
Alternative Healing for Animals

Alternative Healing for Animals

There are now available a fairly large array of alternative healing modalities for animals as well as humans and medical science has acknowledged the benefits of some of these. One needs to understand that, in the case of sick animals, choosing an alternative healing method does not mean that you don’t take the animal to the Vet but rather that the modality you choose for the animal works in conjunction with as opposed to instead of.

Animals are wonderful to work with as they have no expectations so the results cannot be written off to “well they expected to feel better so they did”.

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is one modality to which animals respond extremely well. This is a hands-on healing technique which is thousands of years old. The work Reiki comes from two Japanese words – Rei and Ki. The word Rei as it is used in Reiki can be interpreted to mean Spiritual consciousness and Ki is the life force which is a non-physical energy that animates all living things.

I am a Reiki Master teacher. I have also trained in Touch for Health (a Kinesiology module), Bach Flower remedies, Radionics, Animal Communication and Gestalt.

Working with animals I combine all the above, depending on what is required and will also utilise Tissue Salts and crystals if asked for. The animal can be anywhere in the country as I do not need to see it physically but can work with the hair. No two cases are ever the same – I have worked with horses, dogs and cats exhibiting behavioural problems and/or physical problems with many and varied causes.

I have a feral cat who has lived with me for close on 7 years and who, in conjunction with surgery, literally had to be put together again and learn to walk. Today he is a magnificent, loving cat who likes nothing better than a cuddle and is always the first one to greet visitors.

There have been several Dachshunds with back problems who required surgery but healed faster because of the energetic support.

Often an animal will present with a physical symptom/symptoms which the Vet has been unable to alleviate. Once one gets to the emotional cause, healing can begin. As an example of this, a Maltese was referred to me as a last resort. It had lost most of its fur and was covered in weeping sores. The Vet has changed the diet several times and prescribed many drugs over a period of time – to no avail. The owner had decided that euthanasia was the only option left. What I picked up when working with a minute amount of hair from its tail (the only area still partly furred) was a big black dog which had taken over the Maltese’s role in the household. When checking with the owner she confirmed that there was a black Lab in the house which had arrived several months before the Maltese started having skin problems. In a nutshell, I worked with the Maltese over a period of 3 weeks to heal on an emotional level and reinforce its No. 1 status and its coat grew back and the skin healed completely.

There are enough stories to fill a book about all the amazing animals I have been privileged to help. Humans need to understand the role that animals play in our lives, to acknowledge that they help us in so many ways and to move on from the belief that we own them and are superior to them.

I do work with people as well although this I prefer to do physically and not with hair as I find after a session a client will often want to talk things through.

I am available evenings and weekends and can be contacted on 082 812 3870 or email if you have any queries.

Copyright & Credit: Linda Park
Photo copyright and courtesy: Jorn Jansen
– stock.xchng


| June 15, 2017


Anaemia is a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin

What is it?
Anaemia is a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin (the oxygen carrying part of the red blood cell). Many things can cause Anaemia. If your pet shows signs of Anaemia, it is vital that you consult a veterinarian to establish the cause as it can be caused by serious conditions such as liver disease, renal failure, immune mediated disease etc. A less serious but very common cause of Anaemia is parasitic infestation.


An unusual amount of lameness or sleepiness can be a sign of anaemia. Anaemia itself is a symptom that often affects the amount of energy that your pet has, so look out for a decrease in this.
What can be done?

Lifestyle changes:
Anaemia is closely linked with low levels of iron in the body. Food and herbal iron sources are therefore very helpful. Some mild exercise can help to increase oxygenation and energy levels. It is also important to feed good quality protein to support blood making in the body. As Anaemia is often related to parasitic infections it is vital that you ensure your pet is flea free, using a good quality conventional flea and worm treatment to get achieve quick and effective results.

Suggested dietary changes include the introduction of liver to the diet. Other possible foods include beets, molasses, brown rice, eggs, mussels, sesame seeds, oats and wheat bran. Broccoli, Sunflower seeds, fruit and vegetables are also helpful.

Holistic Treatments:
A range of vitamins can help your pet when suffering with anaemia. Nutritional Yeast, Wheat germ, Folic Acid and Vitamins B, C and E are particularly good. Acupuncture and herbal treatment are also worth considering. 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. We can also assist during consultation by presecribing chinese medicinal herbs to treat the specific problem your pet has..

Conventional Treatments:
Iron supplements are often a conventional way to treat anaemia. Your vet should also carry out some blood tests. While The Natural Vet Company can offer you new and natural ways to improve your pet’s health, it is important not to disregard any of the advice that your regular veterinarian provides you with

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 happy and healthy again very soon. 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.

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

Animal Hospitals Jump on High Tech Feline Healing

| July 14, 2010
Even as impressive is the advanced gear hidden within the walls of animal hospitals around the world. That equipment is indistinguishable to the devices applied to manage human maladies. Thanks to this equipment, and to the vets that employ it, the diagnosis and treatment of cat sicknesses has shown to be surprisingly successful.

Even as impressive is the advanced gear hidden within the walls of animal hospitals around the world. That equipment is indistinguishable to the devices applied to manage human maladies. Thanks to this equipment, and to the vets that employ it, the diagnosis and treatment of cat sicknesses has shown to be surprisingly successful.

Humans are privy to the most technologically advanced methods of treatment that the world has ever seen. Ailments that were once considered terminal are now combatable, even curable, thanks to the research and development of pioneers in the medical field.

Even as impressive is the advanced gear hidden within the walls of animal hospitals around the world. That equipment is indistinguishable to the devices applied to manage human maladies. Thanks to this equipment, and to the vets that employ it, the diagnosis and treatment of cat sicknesses has shown to be surprisingly successful.

No matter if your cat is unhappy from irregularity, tumors, heartworm, cancer, or any number of added illnesses, his or her vet can present the most effective treatment, as long as high tech equipment like the following is available:

Echography, or ultrasound, equipment for diagnosis of heart and abdominal problems.

Electrocardiogram for detection of problems with heart function.

Radiography, or X ray, for capturing still images of a cat’s internal body structure.

Fluoroscopy Radiography, or X ray, for viewing immediate, accurate images of a cat’s internal body structure.

CAT scan, for viewing 3D and cross sectioned images of a cat’s organs and bones, and for discovering tumors and infections.

MRI, for applications similar to that of a CAT scan, only with more effective tissue screening contrast. It’s particularly useful for watching over the brain, heart, muscles, and any tumors that may exist.

Photodynamic Therapy, for the targeted removal of tumors.

BICOM machine, for the revitalizing of a cat’s immune structure, in the struggle against toxins, cancer, and parasites.

BFS machine, for reconstructing your cat’s body’s instinctive rhythms, and to raise blood counts, circulation, and immunoresponse.

Endoscopic surgical equipment, for biopsies and surgeries with minimal invasion and scarring.

Surgical microscope, for a superior grade of meticulousness during veterinary surgery.

Anesthetic apparatus, for the best administration and observance supervising of your cat’s state of consciousness and vital signs for the duration of veterinary surgery.

Your cat’s best chances for a long and healthy life can be realized when his or her veterinarian creates a collage of care. That creation should include the most modern high tech diagnostic and treatment equipment; cat medicine when necessary; special attention to cat illnesses, pregnancy, and kitten care; and an approach that understands that your cat’s symptoms are indicators of bigger problems.

Veterinary medicine frequently lays the groundwork for human medicine’s developments, so it’s only reasonable that your cat should gain from those advancements.

Your role in your cat’s health care includes making ensuring that he or she is examined every year by a veterinarian, undergoes suitable and punctual pet immunizations, and that his or her teeth are kept clean with brushing every day.

To give your friendly feline still more, ask a vet in your district if their animal hospital takes advantage of the latest medical equipment for the care of your cat. Doing so will make certain that your cat is given optimal care, and that he or she can join the animal doctor in pouncing on, and capturing, robustness.

Copyright & Credit:
About the Author: Dr. Omaboe has been practicing veterinary medicine for over a quarter of a century. His animal hospital, Cabinet Veterinaire International offers the most up to date treatment options available for cats. To learn more about what those treatment options are you are encouraged to visit the Cabinet Veterinaire International website.

Photo copyright & courtesy: – stock.xchng

Anyone who has ever owned a cat will have experienced this

| June 28, 2015

BATHROOMS – Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.

DOORS – Do not allow any closed doors in any room. To get the door open, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an “outside” door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season.

CHAIRS AND RUGS – If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so it is as long as a human’s barefoot.

HAMPERING – If one of your humans is engaged in some activity, and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called “helping,” otherwise known as “hampering.” The following are the rules for hampering:

A. When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook.
You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.

B. For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book unless you can lie across the book itself.

C. When human is working at computer, jump up on desk, walk across keyboard, bat at mouse pointer on screen, and then lay in human’s lap across arms, hampering typing in progress.

WALKING – As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.

BEDTIME – Always sleep on the human at night so he/she cannot move around.

LITTER BOX – When using the litter box, be sure to kick as much litter out of the box as possible. Humans love the feel of kitty litter between their toes.

HIDING – Every now and then, hide in a place where the humans cannot find you. Do not come out for three to four hours under any circumstances. This will cause the humans to panic (which they love) thinking that you have run away or are lost. Once you do come out, the humans will cover you with love and kisses, and you probably will get a treat.

ONE LAST THOUGHT – Whenever possible, get close to a human, especially their face, turn around, and present your butt to them. Humans love this, so do it often. And don’t forget their guests.

Sent in By Jacquie Bate

Are These Five Killers Chasing Your Cat?

| October 27, 2010
Are These Five Killers Chasing Your Cat?

As a cat owner, your first responsibility is to keep your pet healthy. However, even with balanced nutrition and a good amount of love and attention, cats can still get sick.

As a cat owner, your first responsibility is to keep your pet healthy. However, even with balanced nutrition and a good amount of love and attention, cats can still get sick. Learn about the most common ailments that affect cats so you can try to prevent them or cure them quickly with the proper medical care when you first spot the symptoms.


Although cats and dogs can live with fleas, flea infestations should be controlled for several reasons. The most common flea, the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) may carry the Dipylidium caninum tapeworm larvae. If cats eat fleas during grooming, they may become infested with these tapeworms.

Fleas could also transmit other infectious agents to both you and your pet. If kittens are exposed to fleas, they may become anemic. Cats can also develop an allergy to flea bites, resulting in excessive scratching or possibly skin disease. Finally, humans are also susceptive to itchy flea bites, usually on the ankles.

You may suspect your cat has fleas if he seems particularly itchy, or you see bites on human members of your household. To check if your cat has fleas, groom him over a sheet of white paper. Look for a few fleas caught in the comb’s teeth or flea dirt on the paper. Flea dirt is actually excrement of undigested cat blood, and appears black and comma shaped to the naked eye. If you place it on damp cotton wool, the flea dirt dissolves into bloody streaks.

To control fleas, all mature fleas must be killed and reinfestation prevented. Many commercial products are available both to kill adult fleas and remove fleas from the environment. Ask your vet for specific recommendations. Make sure what you use kills both the adult mature fleas, as well as the eggs left behind, usually on carpet and bedding. Nothing is worse than to think you have conquered the problem, than several months later to have your family and pets attacked by blood hungry new hatchlings.


When cats cannot digest hair and food debris, they regurgitate hairballs. Hairballs are formed either at the back of the throat or in the small intestines. Hairballs not only sound disgusting while your cat is producing them for you, but they also make an unsightly mess on your carpets and floors. Any cat owner who has had the thrill of watching their pet suffer through the process of hacking up fur balls will be highly motivated to prevent new ones from forming.

The simplest method of hairball prevention is grooming your cat to remove excess hair. The next step involves many products already on the market to prevent hairball build-up such as oils, treats, and diets. If your cat vomits frequently and the problem isn’t resolved with regular brushings, you should consult with the veterinarian to be certain that a more serious problem is not the cause.

Overactive thyroid

Overactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, is a condition where the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and produces excess amounts of thyroid hormone. The condition is often provoked by a benign tumor on one or both lobes of the thyroid gland. The good news is that thyroid tumors have only a 2-5% chance of malignancy.

Symptoms of an overactive thyroid include: increased appetite or thirst, unexplained weight loss (particularly muscle mass), nervousness or irritability, frequent vomiting, lethargy and weakness, diarrhea, or a coat that looks ungroomed. A cat with the condition may not present every symptom, but the presence of two or more should prompt a visit to the veterinarian’s office.

At the vet’s, your cat will be given a physical exam. If she notices enlarged glands, a CBC (blood panel) and a thyroid-specific test can make the diagnosis more conclusive. There are three treatments that offer a good chance for your cat’s full recovery: anti-thyroid medication, surgery, and radioiodine treatment. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you should learn more about the disease and its treatments and discuss your options with the veterinarian before making a decision.


Feline Diabetes can affect cats of any age, but is most common in older, obese cats—typically males. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 is caused by insufficient insulin production while Type 2 results from a body’s inability to handle insulin effectively. Another type of diabetes, secondary diabetes, occurs as a side effect of drugs or diseases that impair the natural secretion of insulin or its effects in the body.

The symptoms of feline diabetes include vomiting, dehydration, weakness and loss of appetite, increased thirst and urination, weight loss, breathing abnormalities, and an unkempt-looking coat. If your cat has any or several of these symptoms, take him to the vet. The vet will test for blood sugar levels and sugar levels in the urine. Doing both tests rules out an increased blood sugar level due to the stress of the office visit.

If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, it is usually treated through one or a combination of five methods: diet and weight control, insulin injections, oral medications, monitoring glucose and insulin levels, and nutrient and botanical supplements. Each method of treatments has unique benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to decide on a treatment plan with your veterinarian.

Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)

This disease is a painful inflammation of the lower urinary tract that has the potential to be fatal. Feline lower urinary tract disease has a number of causes from decreased water intake and urine retention to viruses, bacteria, or diet. Symptoms that your cat may have FLUTD include inappropriate or difficult and frequent urination, appetite loss, listlessness, blood in the urine, or frequent licking of the genitals.

Vet treatment for FLUTD can include catheterization, fluid therapy, antibiotics, or even (rarely) surgery. At home, cat owners are often encouraged to change their pet’s diet and style of feeding (more frequent, smaller meals). It is also important for your cat to drink plenty of water.

We all want to keep our cats healthy and with us for as long as possible. Understanding and being on the lookout for these common ailments will allow the discerning cat owner to take action before a small health problem turns into something more serious. Using good observation skills to evaluate any potential change in your cat’s condition will allow you to take simple steps to keep your cat healthy, happy, and disease free. If you notice a continuing pattern of symptoms that may point to flea infestation, hairballs, an overactive thyroid, urinary tract disease, or even diabetes, timely consulation with your vet will allow you both to plan the best course of action. Your happy, healthy cat will thank you.

Copyright & Credit:
Author’s Resource: Romi Matsushita craves constant close contact with her calico cat. Find great tips, articles, and cat care advice at

Article Source: Article Dashboard Visit Animal Pets & Friends for more pet and animal articles.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Christa Richert – stock.xchng

Are You Experiencing A Hard Time Training Your Cat?

| December 27, 2011
Are You Experiencing A Hard Time Training Your Cat

Successful cat training involves a lot of time playing with your cat.


This article  shows how important it is to play with your cat  while in the training process. It highlights  the circus act of one Mr. Dominique LeFort, a Key West, Fl. entertainer who has gained a national reputation for his ability to train normal household cats to become outstanding performers.

If you are experiencing a tough time training your cat then read the following very carefully . Successful cat training involves a lot of time playing with your cat. The playing should be gentle and regular as it helps with bonding and loving each other.  Most cat training e-books tell you that the food reward or treat is an important factor, but so is the love and trust factor. The cat has to want to please you.

The very best example I have ever seen of domestic cat training was at a sunset celebration in Key West. The celebration is of tourists enjoying various entertainment acts put on by the locals.  It was a drop some money in the hat if the performance pleased you.  There w as a man by the name of Dominique Le Fort who had beautiful long hair, white cats.The cats each had a carrier for when they weren’t doing their thing.  When they were performing, they each had a simple bar stool that they sat on.  Unfazed by the crowd and all the noise, they would leap from stool to stool, through hoops and do all kinds of other neat tricks. It was truly incredible to watch.  He had to have spent many hours, days and months in training them. The cats were a delight for the big crowd.  Mr. LeForte and his cats are still performing at the Hilton Pier in Key West.

Most of us will be happy if we can get our cat to respond quickly, to our summons or when we tell them no.  First they must learn  their name so use it often.  They must also learn your language, both verbal and  physical body.  For each thing you try to teach  them, use a food treat/reward.   Give them lots of praise when they do  what you want correctly.  Do things in brief segments  because their attention span is short, if they aren’t in the stalking mode.  Make sure that what you are  trying to get your cat to do, is safe for the cat’s well being, or you will  ruin the trust factor.

Playing with your cat is  relaxing and can be accomplished in a couple of minutes here and there.  A TV commercial is an excellent time.  Make sure that the toys are safe.  Each cat seems to like different items to play with.   Our two cats have been rescued and they have very different requirements for what will get them to play.  They may  not want to play with a toy after awhile and then you must find something new.  We have one cat who could be on a soccer team, she loves to play with a soft kids ball, but she wants to hide behind a curtain and bat the ball out to you.  Our  latest rescued cat loves bottle caps [food safe] which he directs under the pantry door.  Then he opens up the door and bats it back out.  He also likes us to use the back scratcher to gently scratch his back and tickel his tummy.  They have both become experts at opening our pocket doors, when they want out of a room.  Trial and patience’s will help you discover what your cat likes and enjoys.

A vigorous  play time before your bedtime can help to ensure a good nights sleep.  The more jumping and running the better you will sleep.   If your cat is tired and well fed at night it will more likely sleep through the night.  Remember that a bored cat is a mischievous cat .  It will find something to do. Playing with your cat, gives it a good outlet for it’s mental and physical needs and also helps to keep it healthy, because it is exercising. Don’t just toss it a toy and ignore it.  A cat needs some show of love and attention.  It will also relieve your stress and gives you some exercise.

Please use a lot of common sense in choosing your cat’s  play things.  They must be safe. A good guide is would they be safe for a kid under three years of age .  Stuffed toys should be machine washable and be very careful about what they are  filled with.  No nut shells or polystyrene beads. Cat nip is a mind altering drug.  YarnHealth Fitness Articles, ribbons and strings can be chewed and ingested.  Put them away when play time is finished. Vets are  very expensive these days and you don’t want to harm your cat.  Be safe not sorry!


Copyright & Credit:

Source: Free Articles  |  Author: Judy Jantzen – My husband and I have owned cats for the past 25 years. Currently have a orange tabby and a black short hair. All the cats we have owned have been strays. For some of the finest cat goodies available anywhere including cat collars, cat carriers, fur ball remedies, return address labels and cat training e-books  check out our web site Cat Goodies

Photo copyright and courtesy: Gatoteria

Are You Getting Ready To Travel With Your Cat?

| October 5, 2010
Are You Getting Ready To Travel With Your Cat?

Are You Getting Ready To Travel With Your Cat?

Traveling with your cat is sometimes your choice and sometimes a necessity. Lots of decisions and thinking can make it a safe and non freak out event. Cats like a stable and same old routine type of life. When you have to go away, then you have to decide what is best suited to your cats well being. What is easy for you, is not necessarily what is best for your cat.

Have a secure cat carrier, soft or hard. Soft is nice because it offers some give and is easy to hold in your arms, when your cat is frightened. It works very nicely in car travel. Hard is good for commercial travel, because it protects your cat from bumps and rough handling.

With either cat carrier take an old T-shirt that you have worn, that has your bodys scent on it and put it in the carrier. A favorite small blanket or something that will fit in the carrier, is also a good idea. It will help to calm the cat.

Remember that while you know what is going on, your cat is surrounded by new noises, scents, and people it does not know. It will also sense your nervousness of getting there on time and checking in.

Take your cat in for a check up with the vet. Make sure all shots are up to date and that you carry the paper work to prove it, in case there is a problem while traveling.

Make sure your city/ county registrations are up to date. That the harness or collar has them attached. A tag with your name, address and phone number is a good idea, in case the cat should get loose. Marker pen this information and your destination information inside the cat carrier.  Take along small plastic bowls/tubs. Recycled little sour cream containers work nicely.

Your cat probably will not eat or drink until you get to your destination, but you should be prepared in case you run into unexpected problems such as flight delays or car problems. Take along a back up supply of dry food in a ziplock bag and a small bottle of water. With flights you can dump the water out before going through clearance and refill it on the other side at a water fountain.

One very important thing to have on hand is those great wipe its, just put some in a ziplock bag. Do the same thing with a few paper towels and then you can deal with most messes. that can occur.

It is a good idea not to feed your cat for several hours before leaving home, because this helps the nevervous cat, not to throw up. Please remember that cats can develop serious medical problems, if they are forced to go too long without water or food.

Be sure to check with your host or hotel before hand to make sure your cat is welcome. When you arrive at your destination, secure the cat in your room and let it get use to the new space on its on terms. Leave the carrier open and available for its sense of security. Give it water and food right away. Put its litter box in place and put the cat in it, so that it knows it is available. It will probably hop right out, but it will know where it is. Spend at least a few minutes in your room, so that you get your scent on things to make things more familiar.

When traveling by car, it is a good idea to find a spot for the litter box and the cat to have easy access to it. Especially, if you are going to be driving for long hours. We cover our back seat with plastic garbage bags and then cover that with an old sheet. We put the litter box on top and the carrier next to it. It is seldom used, but when it is needed it is there. We carry a scooper and recyled grocery bags for a quick clean up. The scoopable/ lumping type litter works nicely. Be sure to pack some extra for freshness, on your return trip. A can of room fresher spray is also a good idea for the car and your room.

Be sure to secure the carrier between something, so that it does not roll over during curves or sudden stops. Proper preparation before a trip can make all the difference between a pleasant trip and one that you would just as soon forget about. Remember – if your cat travels with you, you know it is safe and well cared for.

About the Author: Judy Jantzen – my husband and I have owned cats for the past 25 years. Currently have two short hairs – an orange tabby and a black cat. Brought to you by Cat Goodies where you can choose from over 12,000 cat related items including cat carriers, cat litter boxes and cat litter

Photo copyright and courtesy: Rebecca Richardson –

Articles by Sandy Robins: Writer for Cat Fancy Magazine & MSNBC News

| October 19, 2010
Sandy Robins: Writer for Cat Fancy Magazine & MSNBC News

Sandy Robins

As one of the USA’s leading multi-media pet lifestyle experts and authors, SANDY ROBINS documents the wonderful relationship that we have with our pets highlighting trends and innovative ideas as they happen. –

Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney disease in Persian and Exotic Cats

| October 16, 2010

Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited kidney disease that has been found in Persian/Exotic cats

Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited kidney disease that has been found in Persian/Exotic cats

What is Polycystic Kidney Disease – PKD?s

Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited kidney disease that has been found in Persian/Exotic cats. Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) has been reported sporadically in the literature since 1967, but actual study into this renal disease did not begin until 1990. In 1990 an affected female Persian was referred to the Ohio State University teaching hospital with symptoms of renal failure. Offspring of this female were used to start a colony and begin research into this condition.

How is PKD diagnosed?

PKD is most easily diagnosed by ultrasound, which can identify the disease very early in its course. All that is required is a mid-ventral abdominal area hair-clip and a short time period for imaging to detect the possible presence of cysts. It takes a few minutes, with little or no sedation needed. It is very important that experienced personnel and proper equipment perform the ultrasound! When so, ultrasound diagnosis is 98% accurate after approximately 10 months of age. The frequency of the transducer has to be 7,5 MHz – 10 MHz, with a greyscale of 256. The higher frequency, the better details. A DNA-test for ADPKD in cats is not available at this time.

What does this disease cause in cats?

Polycystic Kidney Disease is a slowly progressive disease. It clinically shows up later in life (late onset), with enlarged kidneys and kidney dysfunction on average at seven years of age. The condition is inherited and cysts are present from birth. The size of cysts can vary from less than one millimeter to several centimeters, with older animals having larger and more numerous cysts. Problems occur when these cysts start to grow and progressively enlarge the kidney, reducing the kidneys’ ability to function properly. The ultimate end is kidney failure.

Some of the clinical signs are depression, lack of or reduced appetite, excessive thirst, excessive urination and weight loss. There is a marked variability in how quickly individual cats succumb, with the possibility of the symptoms of PKD developing late enough in life that the cat can die of other causes before kidney failure. However, kidney failure is certain when and if the cysts grow and cause problems.

How does a breeder eliminate PKD from a breeding colony/cattery?

As PKD is the result of an autosomal dominant gene, it is relatively easy to track and eliminate from the breeding population. All breeding animals need to have an ultrasound to detect the possible presence of kidney cysts. The quickest way to eliminate the problem is to neuter or spay the affected individuals and only breed from PKD-negative cats. A PKD-negative cat is also genetically PKD-free!

If a particular breeding stud or queen is extremely valuable, there is still a possibility to produce PKD-negative kittens. To achieve that, one parent has to be PKD-negative and the other parent heterozygous in its gene. Please, read more about this in the article «Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease in Persian Cats», by Dr David S. Biller, Dr Stephen P. DiBartola and Wilma J. Lagerwerf. The article was published in the Cat Fanciers’ Magazine, Feb 1998, and can also be found on the CFA home page.

Other reference articles are: Biller DS, et al; «Inheritance of Polycystic Kidney Disease in Persian Cats», Journal of Heredity, 1996 Jan; 87(1): 1-5 and Eaton KA, et al; «Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease in Persian and Persian-cross Cats», Vet Pathology 1997, Mar; 34(2): 117-126.

What can YOU do?

It is theorised that PKD is more common in Persians/Exotics than what is currently diagnosed. With more studies and published information about this disease, breeders and veterinarians can work to establish PKD-free breeding programs.

You can help in this! You can have your breeding cats ultrasounded, and aim to breed from PKD-negative individuals as soon as possible.

Copyright & Credit:
Source: David S. Biller, DAVM, DAVCR, Kansas State University, USA, and Marie Thiers, S*Sequoyahs Persians, Sweden |

Bakari’s Story – diagnosed with Flat Chest

| October 6, 2010
Bakari Flat Chest Russian Kitten

Bakari's Story - Flat Chest Russian Kitten

16/09/2005: Bakari arrived in this world quite normally, he was first born and there was no indication that there were any problems. Thembi my queen is quite small and we were not expecting 5 kittens from her, my vet had said 3 maximum but all the babies arrived very easily within an hour and a half. Bakari’s birth weight was average in the litter and average from my experience of 3 litters. He did not struggle to find a teat and latched on perfectly well. His weight gain was excellent in the first few days. Between 16/09 and 21/09 he had gained 62 grams but on the 22nd he only gained 6 grams and I noticed his chest seemed squashed. At that stage I thought perhaps his mother had laid on him.

I took Bakari to the vet on 22/09 and he was diagnosed with Flat Chest. My vet’s treatment was to Elastoplast Bakari’s two front legs together just above his elbows to pull his little legs underneath his body to prop him up off his chest and encourage him to lie on his side. At this point Bakari should have been put into a splint but I was yet to learn more about his affliction. My vet gave him a shot of anti inflammatory and discussed hand feeding with me. On arrival home I put him back with his mother, later I attempted hand feeding but he was not impressed with me, he appeared to be suckling from Thembi.

The next morning (he was now 1 week old) he had lost 16 grams in 24 hours. Bakari refused to bottle feed or syringe feed; I was very worried that I would cause more damage as I had never been faced with hand feeding anything so tiny. I contacted the cat list that I belong to and received some wonderful suggestions from other breeders. I eventually managed to get a few ml of food into him at around 11am. I was a total wreak and had tears just streaming down my face when he eventually stopped resisting me.

From 23/09 till 27/09 I hand fed around the clock at 2 to 3 hour intervals. By 27/09 he was 184 grams and I started skipping some of the late night / early morning feeds. I started adding Glucose to his feed (the tip of a knife’s worth). At that point it was two steps forward one step back but at least he had slowly gained to 320 grams on 14/10. There were many dark days when I felt completely helpless and depressed his breathing appeared labored so I wanted to try splinting him after reading up on various websites about FCK.

I took him to the vet again on 13/10 to get the go ahead for splinting him as I was concerned that he may have pectus excavatum. My decision was that if he did have that I would let him go and have him put down. My vet X-rayed him and he did not have pectus excavatum, simply a flat chest.  In his chest cavity his heart was pushed to the one side on the other side he had a functioning lung but the other was squashed by his heart.

The decision was made to try splinting him at three weeks old although I now know that this should have been done much earlier. I initially tried a toilet roll but he grew out of it within days, I then took plain card board and fashioned this with a thin layer of sponge inside. Once the splint was on his breathing became better and his food intake increased dramatically. Bakari’s splint stayed on for 2 weeks, he just became way too active and the splint was hindering his mobility. He would throw tantrums and howl as his siblings were starting to explore. I took him again to the vet at 5 weeks and we were both very relieved at his progress, his heart had started shifting to the center of his chest and his second lung had started functioning. He was around 400 grams at this stage his siblings were a full 100 grams heavier than him.

I hand fed Bakari till the end of October he was over 6 weeks old when he first started lapping milk out of a bowl, his siblings were already eating kitten kibble. I had to bribe him just to drink out of a bowl by holding his syringe in the milk. At around 7 weeks old he ate his first bites of solid kitten food.

Bakari was examined by my vet again at 8 weeks when he went for his inoculations and although the vet did not want to give me any hope that this little precious fur ball would make it, he said that there had been a vast improvement. Bakari is now over 10 weeks old and although smaller than his siblings he is one of the most active, curious and feisty babies. His chest has started to look/feel more normal and there is every indication that he will live a long and happy life. Of course Bakari has stolen our hearts and will remain with us as a pet. He has already chosen my husband as his special person.
Through this experience I have gained a new respect for the struggles of the veteran breeders, many of whom know Bakari’s story and have been through what I have, through their support and encouragement, the e-mails of heart break and tears Bakari survived. I have them and my wonderful vet who refused to give up on this tiny silver boy to thank for the liquid eyed kitten love that I now have the privilege of knowing.

My biggest concern was that FTC was genetic but from what I have researched and discussed with other Russian Breeders around the world this is possibly the first case of FTC in a Russian. The normal mortality rate in kittens is around one out of three, Russians however are a healthy hearty breed and Bakari has the heart of a fighter.

I have been in contact with FCK specialists in England and their diagnosis is that it is environmental i.e. Bakari’s mother being so small and having such a large litter, Bakari did not receive enough nutrients & minerals in the womb. My queens are now receiving extra vitamin supplements with their high quality vet food.

Please go to this site to read up more of what Flat Chested Kitten is all about:

A very special thanks must of course go to my husband for his love, patience and comfort through some very depressing moments. For holding my hand and for wiping away my tears. For never giving up on my ability to heal Bakari and mostly for his calming nature, with out Justin I would not have managed through this entire time.

Copyright & Credit:
Leanne Hewitt –

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