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cats

Nasty Nashers: Check those Chompers

Stephen Curtis's picture
A dog's mouth with brown calculus on the teeth and gingivitis

Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease in pets and is largely preventable. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque, a bacteria-nurturing gunge, that sticks to the teeth (that ‘furry’ feeling on your teeth if you haven't brushed for a while) and helps destructive bacteria to proliferate in the mouth. The plaque can then become mineralised, forming tartar/calculus that allows even more bacteria to attach and grow. While visible tartar is unattractive, it is the plaque and tartar that lies under the gum line that causes the real damage.

What is in a Cat's Vaccination?

Stephen Curtis's picture
a tortoishell cat in an opened carrier having a vaccination

In some way it would be great to wrap our pets in cotton wool to stop them getting hurt or sick. In my experience, there a few animal that this would be more difficult do with than a cat. Since bundling them up (not to mention herding them away from danger) is not really practical, we have to rely on other disease prevention strategies and the cornerstone of these is vaccination.

Ringworm - not a worm, not often a ring- Just a bad name really!

Stephen Curtis's picture
4 kittens with ringworm

Diseases have been around for a long time, longer even than microscopes and genetic testing. This has resulted in a number of names for illnesses that are not very helpful, some can be even misleading.

Misleading Names

‘Cat flu’, for example, is actually a number of different viruses and bacteria (none of them influenzas) that can cause similar symptoms in cats.

‘Kennel Cough’ is much the same in dogs and not many dogs that get it have actually been in kennels.

Trends in Tucker

Stephen Curtis's picture
Trends in tucker- a young tan golden retreiver cross eating dry dog food from a white bowl on grass

Food is something we think about a lot. TV shows, books and blogs all cover it from every angle and every celebrity has their own version of the optimum diet. So it should be no surprise that there are trends in pet food also...

These days there are multiple pet diets all spruiking their benefits because they are lower, higher, newer, older, rarer or more or less refined. It's hard to get a handle on!

Even when you start to get your head around it, a new diet comes up and it all starts all over again.

I’m a cat and I need meat!

Stephen Curtis's picture
Ginger cat eating out of a stainless steel bowl

Why there are no healthy vego cats out there

As a vet I see and hear a lot of opinions on how to care for animals. I hear from breeders, owners, lecturers, food reps and veterinary specialist among others. Often there is no ‘Best Way’ and what works in one situation or for one animal, might not work for an other. Rarely though, there are some instances where the answer is black and white and one of those is that cats need meat!

Cats and Lilies - a lethal combination

Stephen Curtis's picture
deadly pink tiger lilly

(Not like Sushi and Wasabi or Lamb and Rosemary either)

 

Cats, as a general rule, are not Hoovers (in the classic labrador-style sense) but some cats will eat random things and sometimes those things are bad things- Lilies are one of those bad things.

‘Lilies’ actually refers to a number of plants of a number of species, some of which are very harmful and others are not.

Cat Exercise - not an oxymoron

Stephen Curtis's picture
A cat looking stunned with the message "Exercise- you've go to be joking

Cats, Exercise- The two words are not often seen together, however exercise is important to your cat for a number of reasons.

Cats have not changed much in the 10,000 or so years since their domestication started. Until recently, they were roaming the countryside earning a living. For example, a scottish wild cat can have a territory of up to 40 square kilometers to patrol!

As well as food and exercise, this activity provides another essential component to cat welfare - mental stimulation.

Keeping your pets cool in the heat

Matt Young's picture
dog being cooled

 

 

Heat stroke (hyperthermia)

Heat stroke or hyperthermia is a really serious, potentially fatal condition that should be taken really seriously. The body is made to run at a safe temperature and if overheats the internal organs basically cook. Often the effects of excessive heat exposure aren't obvious immediately.

For example:

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