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RSSFeline Health and Care

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 catmankeywest.com 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 Finder.com

Photo copyright and courtesy: Gatoteria

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 | www.felinepkd.com

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: http://www.craigmcfeely.force9.co.uk/Rameses/fck.html

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 – www.azreal.catz.co.za


Behavior of Cats

| December 20, 2011
Behavior of Cats

Cats are also wonderful animals. They are friendly and quite conscious in every act. Prior to buying cats as pets, it is advised to learn about their behavior and nature. They do have some behavioral issues like using the litter box, biting, being destructive with their claws, and excessive attention seeking problem. Always remember that cats are not at all bad in behavior, they are just uninformed a little in their nature and need care given to them.

Cats are also wonderful animals. They are friendly and quite conscious in every act. Prior to buying cats as pets, it is advised to learn about their behavior and nature. They do have some behavioral issues like using the litter box, biting, being destructive with their claws, and excessive attention seeking problem. Always remember that cats are not at all bad in behavior, they are just uninformed a little in their nature and need care given to them. You must try to solve their behavioral problems one by one so that your pet cat does not feel confused and frustrated. Here are some most referred to behavioral issues in cats:

Attention-Seeking Behavior:

Cats do have attention-seeking behavior as well as increased vocalization when together. The causes of these things may differ from one cat to another like emotional problems, physical pain, excessive punishment to the cat, and so on. If they are suffering from Rippling Skin Disorder, this may also result in howling in the night hours.

Feeling Aggressive Towards Other Cats:

When you have cats in pairs or own more than 2 cats at home, it may result in fights between them. In case the aggression is continuous and active between cats, it will turn out to be ugly and you will have to interfere. The aggressive behavior between cats may occur because of some fear, redirected ruthless behavior, or due to some territorial issue.

Aggressive Behavior towards Humans:

The cats may feel angry towards people because of their master’s poor training in the early years, fear, love and many other factors. You must be able to deal with such behavior of your cat. Try to curb their scratching and biting activities.

Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior in Cats:

Just like human beings, cats can also involve themselves in obsessive-compulsive behavior. They will show such behavior in acts like feeling hypertensive, wool sucking, fur pulling and extreme licking. If you will understand the cause and will try your best to eradicate the problem, this will ensure speedy recovery of your cat.

 

Destructive and Harmful Chewing by Cats and Kittens:

Destructive chewing by cats is undesirable, first, because of the potential of danger to the cat, and second, because of damage to family valuables. Causes of destructive chewing by cats can range from teething in kittens to curiosity or boredom, and even because of a nutrient deficiency.

Destructive Scratching by Cats:

Are you troubled by harmful clawing by your cats? Please don’t consider Draconian measures such as declawing a cat. There are a number of ways you can keep your cats’ claws happily engaged in legal clawing with these articles and aids, while protecting furniture and carpeting. Look into getting a scratching post or tree.

Cat Urine Problems:

Inappropriate elimination (litter box avoidance) is the number one reason cats are surrendered to shelters. By eliminating physical causes, such as urinary tract infections, then targeting other common reasons for litter box avoidance, you can help your cat overcome this undesirable behavior. Remember that cats don’t like to use a dirty toilet any more than you would.

Shyness and Fear in Cats:

Is your kitty a “scardy-cat?” Shyness and fear stem from a number of causes, but can be overcome with gentleness and patience, as these tips explain. It is always important to allow your cat to set his own pace, and to be patient if his pace is slower than you had hoped for.

Stress and Anxiety in Cats:

While stress itself is not of behavioral origin, it can lead to a number of problems often considered behavioral, such as litter box avoidance or depression. When behavioral problems suddenly appear, savvy cat owners soon learn to first rule out signs of health problems, and next for stress factors, such as changes in the environment.

Copyright & Credit:

Article Source: www.ArticleBlast.com About The Author: Derrick Anderson To keep your cat safe see our selection of cat enclosures. To keep your other small pets protected from your cats try one of our rat cages for sale.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Viv Choi

Benefits of Cat Ownership

| July 14, 2018
Benefits of Cat Ownership

Scientific studies over the last 20 years have shown that pet owners are generally healthier than non pet owners

Cats have been associated with humans for at least 4,000 years – in ancient Egypt, their role in controlling rodents in grain was so important that cats were even worshipped as gods.

These days, over 31% of Australian households own a cat, and this probably has more to do with their popularity as companions than their ability to answer prayers. Cat owners receive many benefits from that companionship.

Scientific studies over the last 20 years have shown that pet owners are generally healthier than non pet owners – they suffer fewer minor illnesses and complaints, have better phychological health scores, and generally an improved overall feeling of “wellbeing”. The recent National People and Pets survey showed pet owners also visit the doctor significantly less.

Children who are raised with pets have a higher self esteem, and learn nurturing and social skills, as well as a sense of responsibility for others. Pets have been used very successfully as adjuncts to therapy, and the benefits to an elderly person of sitting with a cat curled up on the bed cannot be overestimated.

But perhaps the most compelling evidence for the benefits of cats came from a study of over 5,000 people conducted by the Baker Medical Research Institue in 1992 which found that cat owners (and dog owners) have significantly lower risk factors for heart disease than non cat owners, and that’s despite the fact that they drink more alcohol.
The key to these benefits is to be found in their unique qualities as companions.

Cats are extremely tactile, or “touchy” animals, and love to be patted and stroked, or just lie contentedly in the lap of their owners. Touch is a basic requirement for humans, as it is for all social species, and the companionship of a cat can be especially important for people who live alone.

Cats are also very entertaining, retaining a kitten-like playfulness and curiosity well into adulthood. People gain hours of relaxing pleasure watching their cats play, or just sitting listening to them purr. This relaxation is probably one of the major clues to the cat’s health effects – cats provide an easy antidote to the stresses of modern life.

The relative ease of care of a cat makes it the preferred pet in many circumstances. Cats do not need formal exercise as they will exercise themselves during play, and they can live comfortably in much smaller spaces than most dogs. Add the fact that they are naturally clean and fastidious animals, and it can be seen they are ideal pets for busy lifestyles. Cats also sleep two thirds of the day and will save their active time for when owners get home – an added bonus.

The same advantages apply to the elderly or incapacitated, who may not be able to meet the care needs of owning a dog.

Of course, most people don’t own cats just because they are practical. Cats have a certain character or personality which is distinctly their own. They are friendly and affectionate, yet retain an individuality and grace. most people own cats for the sheer joy of their “catness”.

Copyright & Credit:

© CATMATCH Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from Catmatch www.cat-match.com.au CATMATCH began with an idea to help reduce the tens of thousands of cats and kittens that are put to sleep each year because they can’t find a home and someone to care for them. And yet there are people like you who would enjoy life with a cat.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Marcelo Camargo

Bladder Stones: An Uncomfortable Problem

| October 16, 2010
Urinary tract infections are a very uncomfortable problem for humans and animals alike. In pets, especially cats, urinary tract infections can sometimes be accompanied by bladder stones, which can both initiate and promote infection in the bladder.

Urinary tract infections are a very uncomfortable problem for humans and animals alike. In pets, especially cats, urinary tract infections can sometimes be accompanied by bladder stones, which can both initiate and promote infection in the bladder.

Urinary tract infections are a very uncomfortable problem for humans and animals alike. In pets, especially cats, urinary tract infections can sometimes be accompanied by bladder stones, which can both initiate and promote infection in the bladder.

Dr. Christine Merle, a veterinarian formerly at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana, says, “While dogs do get urinary tract infections, cats are much more susceptible.” Female cats are also more susceptible than male cats. This may be because the urethra (opening from the bladder to the outside world) is very short in female cats, and it is close to the rectum, where there is a large amount of bacteria. In addition, cats do more grooming than dogs, which can spread bacteria.

Dogs are usually housebroken, and because they go outside, there is more opportunity for an owner to notice when there is a problem. The owner may notice straining or blood in the urine sooner. Infections often go unnoticed in cats because the owner may not see the cat using the litter box. Often, cat owners don’t notice there is a problem until their pet stops using the box. Dr. Merle says, “While some cats stop using the litter box for behavioral reasons, it is important to rule out a medical problem before assuming that the cause is behavioral.”

Since urinary tract infections can be caused by a multitude of factors, it is often difficult to discover the cause. The origin of an infection could be as simple as an overgrowth of bacteria or as complicated as bladder stones.

The formation of a bladder stone is very much like the formation of a pearl inside an oyster. It often forms from a single irritating particle called a nidus, which consists of a tiny particle such as small bacteria. Minerals are deposited on its surface, and over time it grows larger and can become very irritating to the lining of the bladder.

In female cats, these stones can cause recurrent infections with signs such as straining and blood in the urine. Infections caused by bladder stones often respond to antibiotics but return once the antibiotics are discontinued. In male cats, stones can cause infection and, if a bladder stone becomes lodged in the urethra, make the cat unable to urinate. Such an obstruction can result in the accumulation of urine in the bladder, which can cause the bladder to rupture, a medical emergency that is fatal if untreated.

If bladder stones are suspected, it is a good idea to take X-rays and do an ultrasound examination. Some stones can be seen on a regular X-ray, while others require ultrasound in order to see them. Ultrasound can also identify the presence of sandy residue and thickening of the bladder wall, both of which are signs of possible bladder stone formation.

Because there are several kinds of bladder stones, it is important to find out what kind of stone an animal has before starting treatment. Some stones can be dissolved with medication and others, such as calcium oxalate stones, cannot.

The only treatment for some stones is surgical removal. Surgically removed stones should be analyzed so a plan can be made to avoid the recurrence of stones in the future. Prevention may include a change in diet, medication, and prevention of bacterial infections that can lead to the formation of stones. Chronic problems with stones and bladder infections that do not respond to standard treatments may require a consultation with a surgeon or specialist.

If you have any questions regarding urinary tract infections or bladder stones, please contact your local veterinarian.

Copyright & Credit:
Source:
Jennifer Stone
, University of Illinois – College of Veterinary Medicine
Photo copyright and courtesy: Agata Urbaniak
– stock.xchng

Blood Transfusions

| December 16, 2011
Blood Transfusions

In caring for sick animals, all veterinarians eventually find themselves faced with a patient that has anemia of such severity as to require a blood transfusion. Access to blood products has improved in the past few years.

In caring for sick animals, all veterinarians eventually find themselves faced with a patient that has anemia of such severity as to require a blood transfusion. Access to blood products has improved in the past few years. Veterinary blood banks can supply canine, feline, and even ferret blood within 24 hours via overnight mail. For animals that need blood more immediately, however, veterinarians have to be more resourceful. Canine blood is usually obtained from another donor dog, often a young, healthy large-breed dog owned by a member of the veterinary staff, such as a technician, receptionist, or doctor. Sometimes, the client of a dog requiring a transfusion offers the services of one of their other dogs in an attempt to provide the life-saving blood that their sick dog requires. Obtaining feline blood can be more of a challenge, as the demand for feline blood products is much greater than the supply. Some veterinary clinics utilize a so-called “hospital cat”. This invariably turns out to be a cat that was either abandoned by a client or left on the doorstep of the hospital. Rather than being surrendered to a local shelter, these cats, through their sweet dispositions, manage to win over the hearts of the hospital staff, becoming adopted mascots of sorts. They live a life of relative luxury at the hospital, entertaining clients and staff alike. Occasionally, they get called into duty, donating blood to a desperately ill patient in time of need. Unfortunately, most cats can donate only small volumes of blood (35 to 50 milliliters) every four weeks at maximum.

In human medicine, there has been an increased demand for blood and blood products. This demand has been driven by the need to support procedures with heavy transfusion requirements, such as total hip replacement, organ transplantation, and coronary bypass surgery. The need for blood for sophisticated procedures, coupled with the risk of viral transmission via transfusion, has led to a quest for a blood substitute in human medicine. This endeavor has been beneficial for veterinary medicine. In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Oxyglobin. Manufactured by Biopure Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Oxyglobin is the first “blood substitute” approved for use in the dog.

Hemoglobin is an iron-containing molecule found in red blood cells that is responsible for binding oxygen. Oxyglobin is a purified hemoglobin solution. It has the ability to deliver oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Because Oxyglobin does not contain red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or clotting factors, the term “blood substitute” is somewhat of a misnomer. The preferred term is “hemoglobin based oxygen carrier”, often abbreviated as HBOC.

As with any therapeutic product, there are both advantages and disadvantages to its use. Advantages include the fact that blood-typing and cross-matching is not required before administration. Adverse transfusion reactions occur because the red blood cells of the donor are incompatible with those of the recipient. Oxyglobin contains hemoglobin only; red blood cells and membranes are removed during ultrapurification, eliminating the need for typing and cross-matching and eradicating the occurrence of adverse transfusion reactions. Another advantage is the long shelf life: Oxyglobin can be stored for 36 months without refrigeration.

Oxyglobin has some disadvantages that veterinarians and clients need to be aware of. When administered, Oxyglobin expands the total blood volume, and close monitoring is necessary to prevent development of pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and pleural effusion (fluid in the chest cavity), both signs of fluid overload. The distinct purple color of Oxyglobin will temporarily impart an unusual color to the gums and the urine. Some blood parameters may be affected after administration of Oxyglobin, temporarily affecting our ability to use these parameters as a diagnostic or monitoring tool. Despite these shortcomings, Oxyglobin has become a useful product in canine transfusion medicine.

As a veterinarian, I was certainly thrilled when news of the availability of this product was announced. As a cat specialist, however, the first thing I focused on was the labeling: Oxyglobin is approved for use in dogs only. Despite the label, when faced with a cat that is imminent danger of dying from severe anemia and with compatible cat blood not readily available, my colleagues and I have found ourselves cautiously reaching for the Oxyglobin. As with any off-label usage, we inform our clients that the product is not approved for use in cats, warn them of the potential risks and benefits as best we can, and obtain their written consent before proceeding. With no reason to suspect that Oxyglobin would work differently in cats compared to dogs, but with limited experience using the product in cats, I still find myself asking the basic questions: is Oxyglobin useful in cats? Is it effective? Is it safe? According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the answer to these questions is a qualified “yes”. The article, entitled “Use of a Hemoglobin-based Oxygen Carrier Solution in Cats”, details the results of a review of the medical records of 72 cats that received Oxyglobin. Ninety-seven percent of the cats receiving the Oxyglobin were anemic and most often received it because compatible blood wasn’t available. Thirty-seven of 43 cats that were monitored very closely showed improvement in at least one evaluation parameter, such as increased body temperature, blood hemoglobin concentration, blood pressure, appetite and activity. A significant number of cats, however, showed adverse events following administration of Oxyglobin, including discoloration of mucous membranes and urine, vomiting, pleural effusion, and pulmonary edema. Overall, 49 cats, all severely ill, died or were euthanized, however, 23 cats survived and were discharged to their owners. The authors concluded that administration of a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier solution may provide temporary support to anemic cats, however, they remain somewhat reluctant to recommend routine usage in cats pending further investigation of some of the complications that may be associated with its use, such as pulmonary edema and pleural effusion.

One exciting possibility that is currently being investigated is the use of Oxyglobin in non-anemic patients with other disorders requiring increased oxygen delivery to tissues, for example, restoring oxygen supply to tissues that have suffered oxygen deprivation. This may have application for cats with aortic thromboembolism, a devastating complication that sometimes develops in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle.

We still have much to learn about the clinical use of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers. Studies in which HBOCs are compared to blood are difficult to interpret because HBOCs do not have many of the properties of blood and cannot be considered to be equivalent to transfusion with red blood cells. It would be like comparing apples and oranges. It would be even more difficult to perform studies comparing HBOCs to no transfusion at all, as it would be ethically questionable to deny a pet a transfusion when medically necessary. We can, however, continue to make observations regarding which species might benefit from these products, and which diseases and conditions might improve with their use. Hopefully, HBOCs will allow us to treat a myriad of diseases for which current therapy is limited.

Copyright & Credit:

Article Source: Dr. Arnold Plotnick is a board-certified veterinary internist and feline specialist. He is the owner of Manhattan Cat Specialists, http://www.manhattancats.com , a full-service veterinary facility located in New York City. Dr. Plotnick is the medical editor of Catnip magazine and is a medical advice columnist on CatChannel. He authors his own blog “Cat Man Do” http://catexpert.blogspot.com .

Photo copyright and courtesy: Marissen

Blood Transfusions for Pets

| October 16, 2010
Blood Transfusions for Pets

Blood Transfusions for Pets

“A number of animals who come in for emergency care at veterinary clinics wouldn’t survive surgery or trauma unless blood was made available for them,” says Kristi Stasi, veterinary technician at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. “The process of collecting and transfusing blood is very similar in veterinary and human medicine.”

Blood is species specific-dogs can receive only dog blood and cats can receive only cat blood. In addition, dogs and cats have blood types just as humans have blood types. Cats have A, B, and AB groups with specific factors within these groups that further differentiate
them. Dogs have eleven different blood groups; the most important one is the A1/A2 system. Dogs that are A negative are considered universal donors. Cats do not have a universal donor; therefore, it is especially important that donor and recipient are cross-matched.

Multiple transfusions can also be a problem. Even though the donor and recipient may be compatible originally, the recipient’s immune system may build up a sensitivity to a specific donor. “Thus, every time you transfuse, you need to cross-match to make sure that your donor and recipient are compatible,” explains Stasi.

There are two types of cross-matching tests: major and minor cross-matching. “For major cross-matches, red cells from the donor are mixed with serum from the recipient. We observe to see if there is a reaction; the recipient may attack donor cells and not accept them. If you have a major cross-match incompatibility, unless you are desperate, you shouldn’t do a transfusion,” explains Stasi. In a minor cross-match, the recipient’s red cells are compared with the donor’s serum. Usually, in minor incompatibilities, parts of the donor’s blood can be given to the recipient but not the blood in its entirety.

The different blood components-red cells, plasma, and platelets-can be separated if need
be. “Red cells are given to a patient that may be anemic due to trauma or due to a treatable disease. Plasma is used to build up blood volume in situations when the animal is not making enough or is losing too much protein. Platelet-rich plasma is for those patients whose platelets are depleted or dysfunctional,” says Stasi.

As with human blood donors, animal donors are tested to make sure blood values are high
enough and no infectious disease is present before blood is drawn. Donors must meet
weight requirements-10 pounds for cats and 50 pounds for dogs. Fluid is replaced after
blood is drawn, and the body compensates by producing new red blood cells. Also similar
to human donors, there must be a waiting period of at least two months before blood is
collected again.

Private veterinarians sometimes use their pet dogs or cats as blood donors when
emergencies arise. The University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital relies
on one of a small number of canine blood banks in the United States to meet the needs of
most of its patients.

For further information about pet health, contact your local veterinarian.

Copyright & Credit:
Source: Sarah Probst,
University of Illinois – College of Veterinary Medicine
Photo copyright and courtesy:  David Oito Percebes
– stock.xchng

Can My Houseplants Or Landscaping Poison My Puppy Or Kitten?

| November 2, 2013
Some signs of animal poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal urine, salivation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and dizziness.

Some signs of animal poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal urine, salivation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and dizziness.

The answer to this question is an emphatic yes, many plants can sicken or even kill your pets. I sincerely feel that stores and nurseries that sell plants should abide by some kind of national label system to identify potentially poisonous plants. For example, deer ate and killed one of my landscaping plants last year and we replaced the plant with a beautiful rhododendron this spring, purchased from a very reputable and knowledgeable nursery. We made sure that we planted our rhododendron where it has the proper amount of light and shade, we used a whole bag of the correct acid fertilized soil and we have been making sure it is properly watered. The plant is doing great. Now that we have a new puppy that chews on everything including tasting all landscaping plants, I come to find out that this plant is very toxic to dogs. What the heck, I feel that we should have been warned.

Some signs of animal poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal urine, salivation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and dizziness. If you think that your pet has been poisoned contact your veterinarian immediately. If he is unavailable, you might want to contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The Animal Poison Control Center is a valuable resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make the call that can make all the difference. (888) 426-4435. A $55 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

If you can figure out which plant your pet ate, which part of the plant he ate and how much he may have eaten, that will help your veterinarian. If you have the time, take a sample of the plant with you to the veterinarian for identification. This might be very helpful.

I include a list of toxic plants. Not all plants will kill. Some pets will completely ignore plants, others will chew on plants every chance they get. The degree of toxicity of plants also depends up the season, the part of the plant eaten and the size of the pet and quantity eaten. Also different pet species and even different pet breeds may be affected differently. There are a lot of variables. It may be about impossible to fully protect your pet but as you buy new plants and add them to the backyard or house, you should have access to enough knowledge to avoid future potential problems. You may also want to give away some of the more dangerous houseplants to friends without pets.

One thing to keep in mind is that even if a plant if toxic, it is not necessarily fatal. Other symptoms can be much less severe. Some toxic plants can cause rash and irritation, some can make your pets lips and tongue sore, some may produce abdominal pair and diarrhea, some vomiting, and cramps, others hallucinations, tumors, heart and respiratory problems and kidney problems. The following lists are not complete by any means.

POTENTIALLY TOXIC HOUSEPLANTS
Aloe Vera, Burn Plant
Amaryllis
Flamingo Lily
Angels Wings
Chrysanthemums, Mums
Kaffir Lily
Croton
Cyclamen
Angels Trumpet
Dumb Cane
Crown-Of-Thorns
Poinsettia
English Ivy
Hydrangea
Devils Backbone
Ceriman,
Philodendron
Azalea
Jerusalem Cherry

POTENTIALLY POISONOUS OUTDOOR PLANTS
Apricot
Azalea
Baneberry
Buchberry
Buckeye
Castor Bean
Choke Cherry
Daffodil
Daphne
Foxflove
Hemlock
Hens-and-Chicks
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Jonquil
Lily-of-the-Valley
Mandrake
Mistletoe
Morning Glory
Nightshade
Oleander
Poinsetta
Pokeweed
Red Sage
Rhododendron
Rhubara
Sweet Pea
Tulip
Wisteria
Yew

Copyright & Credit:
About the Author: Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com  is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Red~Star

Can You Clicker Train Your Cat?

| December 27, 2011
Can You Clicker Train Your Cat

Clicker training is a reinforcement or reward for a cat when training them. Clickers are use most often for support when training a cat for a reward. Cats associate the clicker with a good behavior they will use for a long time.

Clicker training is a reinforcement or reward for a cat when training them. Clickers are use most often for support when training a cat for a reward. Cats associate the clicker with a good behavior they will use for a long time. Clicker training is associated with classical condition were they associate the sound with food. and operant conditioning (cat will do certain movement to receive food).

Why use a clicker and not tell a cat or make a sound to get your cat to do a trick? A clicker has a sound a cat can hear and associate good behavior. With words, our tones in our voice can change from time to time, which a cat can become confused with the training. With talking for the commands, a cat could mistake the commands. With using a clicker, it is more of a training tool to get the behavior started with the cat. Then you can put the clicker away for that behavior or trick once a cat has learned the behavior

When taking the cat out for a walk or on a trip, the clicker is a good item to carry along with you. Cats can get distracted with other people, or animals in the area. With using the clicker, it will reinforce the behavior that you have taught them. In addition, a clicker can help you with having your cat walk with you instead of wondering around.

With the clicker, a cat can be trained using three easy steps: Get a behavior, mark a behavior, and reinforce the behavior. Get a behavior is the first step. A good example would be for the cat to jump a hoop. The cat will have to know that when you click that they get a treat. Start with very small treats in your pocket. Clicks, Treat, Click Treat do this for a few times until you see the cat coming for the treat on the click.

Next marking the behavior: You will have to show the cat the hoop. Once the cat touches the hoop, click, treat. Then show the cat to go though the hoop once it does click, treat. Continue to do this until the cat goes though the hoop on its own or your command. Reinforce the behavior Remember to have snacks handy so when you do see your cat go though the hoop a snack is available.

Training a cat with a clicker can be fun for both you and the cat. Taking steps in training will be rewarding to you and the cat. Try not to rush a cat in training, as they can become confused especially if they did not get the step before down. The training will take time and steps to achieve this behavior. Patience, love, and rewards will be the key factor in training your cat.

The clicker is a good exercises tool for a cat. 10 to 15 minutes a day you should get your cat to exercises. For exercising, you can have the cat use a hoop, play with a toy, and climb on the scratching post or something that focus on the cat getting exercise. Exercises will help the cat to stay healthy and help to keep it out of mischief.

Clickers can come with books to help you train, treats, and a clicker. Clickers come in many different size shapes, and color. You will want to research the clickers out. Check out a pet store, Internet sites give lots of information on training and using a clicker. Check out companies that make the clicker by using Internet to see what kind they offer and any additional information that you might need to get the process of training done. Check out articles about the clicker. Talk to someone that has used one. Talk to your area veterinary about training with a Clicker

Once you have used a clicker, the cat will get good exercise and be a healthy cat. The cat will be happier and you will be happier with the new behaviors that you have taught your cat.

To sum up training your cat, important things to remember is have patience, love and the use of the clicker.

NOTE: This article is for information only. See your veterinarian for medical advice.

Copyright & Credit:
Article Source: www.animalpetsandfriends.com | We plan to post articles that are informative and helpful to other cat lovers. Having been “owned” by cat for years, we know they can be demanding, but also be very entertaining and fun. Please visit our site for a wide array of products that will make “His Majesty” very happy – Best House Cat Care, or our blog for more information – Best House Cat Care.
Photo copyright and courtesy: Arne Larsen

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