Cat Rabies –an Overview

September 29, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Health

Cat Rabies is a deadly dangerous disease causes by a virus. As the disease can spread to the human beings also, one should understand the symptoms of this dangerous disease so that he can approach the veterinary as soon as possible.

Transmission of rabies

Rabies disease is transmitted by the bite of the infected animal such as cat; dog etc. rabies can also spread through aerosol or placental connection. The rabies virus is seen in saliva in large numbers. The one character of the virus that makes it very dangerous is that this virus can live longer out side the host unlike many other viruses.

Signs and symptoms of cat rabies

In this disease the virus spreads only in the nerve and reaches the brain. This virus can not travel fast in the nerves and hence for the virus to reach the brain it takes about 2 -6 weeks. From the brain the virus reaches to saliva through salivary gland. As soon as the virus reaches the brain of the cat, the symptoms are exhibited. There are three different phases of the disease; they are prodromal phase, furious phase, dump or paralytic phase

Prodromal phase

This phase lasts for a day or two in cats. The cats will show fever like symptoms and the behaviour may be erratic. There will a drastic change in the cat’s behaviours all of a sudden. The active cat may become dull or vice versa. There can be dilated pupil, snapping at imaginary objects, excessive drooling etc

Furious phase

At this phase there will be exaggerated response any stimuli. There will be abnormal change in the appetite of the cat.  The cat will start eating anything and everything such as sticks and stones. There will be change in the voice of the cat. The cat will wander aimlessly and may bite itself. The cat will start behaving violently towards the owner too.

Paralytic or dump stage

The cat at this phase will be very depressed. The mouth of the cat will be open and the tongue will be seen protruding. There will be progressive paralysis in the cat. The cat will slowly become week and soon the respiratory problem will follow. This phase will be soon followed by death.   

Diagnosis of cat rabies

As soon as the symptoms discussed above are noticed, the cat should be rushed to the near by vet clinic. The vet will be require the history of the cat from the owner and will study the clinical signs exhibited. The diagnosis can be confirmed only after the demonstration of the negri bodies in the brain smear. The cat rabies can be confirmed by the histopathology of the central nervous system of the cat ,  biological test , skin biopsy, polymerase chain reaction performed on corneal impressions.

Prevention and control of cat rabies

There is no treatment for this deadly dangerous disease and hence one should concentrate on prevention and control. Rabies killed vaccine should be administered intramuscularly when the cat is 8-10 weeks old. The same vaccine needs to be repeated after a month’s time. The same vaccine should be repeated once in a year. The cat that is exposed can be treated with serum and vaccine. The bite wound on the cat should be completely washed with soap and water and the cat can be administered anti rabies serum 6 doses on 0, 3.7, 14, 28 and 90 days after the bite. Read more about cat rabies Here…

How to Choose your Cat Vet?

September 25, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - General, Health
Are you a perfect cat owner? Then, choosing a cat vet is a Herculean task. It is the biggest challenge each and every cat owner facing. That too if you have moved to a new place your job is further complicated. For those people here are few tips to make the choosing process go smoother. While choosing a cat vet one must consider three important things. They are-

  • The Phone call
  • The first impression of the cat vet
  • The vet clinic facilities.

Each of the three things mentioned are very important to make the animal as well as the owner comfortable, hence pay full attention all these.

The phone call

For this you should have the list of phone numbers of all the vets in your area. You have to make a phone call to find out how busy they are. Once you had selected the doctor to visit, please be prepared. You should have set of questions ready to ask the veterinarian to decide about.

Here are few questions that need to be asked. What type of animals do you treat? Will you treat cats?  Do you have qualified staffs that have experience in treating the common ailments of the pet? How long have you been practising? How many doctors are working in the hospital? How long those doctors are working with you? How many specialists do you have?  How many technicians are there in the hospital? Can the pet be treated as in patients? What is the cost of the medicines and vaccines? What is the charge for the x ray facility? What are the work timings? How quickly you can attend the case in case of emergency call? Is he good cat vet

If you are not satisfied with the answer you get, just strike it out from the list. You need to compare the charges and the service facility of one hospital with the other to select the right vet for your lovely pet.

First impression

Reach the hospital on time for the meeting with the doctor short listed. This is the best chance to you to discuss in detail with the vet because the pet won’t be around and hence you can concentrate on the job in hand. Just observe the behaviour of the staff of the hospital. The hospital should look clean. The staff should greet you on arrival. The clinic should have patients and should be bustling with activity. The staffs should be at work and should not be chit chatting with one another. You should observe how the staffs are talking to the clients over the phone. You also should make a note of your waiting time. 

Facility tour

Checking on the tour facility is the most important thing in choosing the veterinary doctor for your pet. See the boarding facility your self, observe the cleanliness of the area have a close look at the water and the food provided to the animals. Have look at the equipments they have and do ask them questions about the utility of the same. Talk to the animal care taker and find about his passion about his job. He should be animal lover himself only then you can be sure of the service provided to your pet.

Based on the things discussed one can choose right cat vet. Last not but least, ask the fellow cat owners to know about a best cat vet in your new area. Good luck to you.

 

The Sick Cat in My Life…

September 21, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases

All most all the cat owners love their pet cat, so also me. I had three lovely cats, not just one. It was so unfortunate that all three cats of mine developed three different health problems. Here is the story of my sick cats. One should understand the fact that death is inevitable to all the pets. It does not matter how strong they are at present.

My first cat’s name was Alex and he was a lovely looking black cat. Alex was so strong and active day in and day out to make one think that Alex can successfully fight a bear. My dear Alex had a bad habit of sneaking out of the house when no one notices him for a while. In one such instance he got in to antifreeze that was seen in the porch of my neighbour who is less friendly with me. As the result, the kidney of the Alex got completely damaged and he passed away few weeks before Christmas. In spite of our best efforts to save him, Alex passed away after long painful struggle.

Shortly after our dear Alex passed away, I adopted Alan and max. Just like Alex, Alan and max very also very playful and energetic. Max was naughtier than Alan. Though max was more active and naughty than Alan, Alan got in to trouble soon. The weight of the Alan was fluctuating too wildly and when we took Alan to the near by vet clinic, the lovely cat was diagnosed for diabetes and thyroid problem. Alan is still living but the problem is that he requires insulin injection every day and he is on restricted diet and he can not relish on food that is rich in carbohydrate. His back leg is not normal and hence he is walking around like a bunny.

Max gave different type of head ache to me. Max developed tumour in the digestive system as big as soft ball. Probably he was not interested in our trip to Disney land as his tumour was diagnosed as we were all planning to leave to Disney land. We had to cancel our trip and rush the cat to vet clinic and spend all the money we saved for our vacation. At the end of this entire exercise vet told us the max can live for maximum of 6 months to one year. We were very sad when we heard the news but we are smiling now, because the lovely cat, max is still living with us. He is 8 years now and is still going strong. The vet does still not believe us and is feeling that we are showing different cat, not max.

With all that trouble mention, the fact of the matter is, I enjoyed my life with the cats. These lovely little creatures are worth the time and money I spend on them. Disney land trip, I could complete few years after that, but I was happy that I could save max. The purpose of my story is informing the readers not to get disturbed by the health problems of your lovely pet and also to wish them not to get troubles like me.

Cat First Aid Kit Preparation

September 20, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Health

You can expect emergency at any time from your cat. Hence it is mandatory to keep a cat first aid kit ready at any time in your home. Before subjecting your cat for treatment for such emergency, you can perform first aid with the help of your cat first aid kit.

Generally feline first kit should contain the following items:-

  • A Container for your First-aid Kit supplies
  • Emergency Phone numbers of local vet and ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435
  • Topical Antibiotic Ointment
  • Sterile Saline Eyewash
  • Betadine or similar Antiseptic Scrub
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Grooming Clippers
  • Needle-nose Pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Surgical Gloves
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Cotton Balls
  • Non-stick gauze pads and stick-to-itself tape
  • Pen torch
  • Rectal Thermometer
  • Blanket
  • Eye dropper
  • Large animal hypodermic syringe without a needle
  • Unflavored Pedialyte in a separate cupboard to check the dehydration

You can get the above items from drug stores. Once you filled your cat first aid kit with these items, you can keep it in a safe place. In an emergency, having the proper supplies can save your cat’s life.

Every home with a feline should have one of these!! Make sure each family member knows where the Feline First Aid KIT is located.

Preparing Yourself to Give First aid to Your Cat

Keeping every thing in a cat first aid kit will help you to attend the injured cat and asking some one to fetch the feline first kit immediately. More over, you should know hoe to medicate the injured cat immediately. All these items will be useless if you are not prepared to give first aid treatment to your cat. If you don’t know how to use the cat first aid kit, you can read the cat health books available online to get necessary inforamtion about feline first aid. You should not treat the cat yourself thinking that first aid is more than sufficient. You should seek out veterinary help as soon as possible in spite of using your cat first aid kit.

The importance of annual wellness examination and testing in cats

September 15, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior, Home Remedies

The cat owners in general have the habit of taking the pet cat to near by vet clinic only when the cat is sick. This is not all recommended. The cat must be taken to the vet clinic for complete check up at least once in a year for the well being and the longevity of the cat. Annual wellness examination of cat is mandatory for all cats.

As per the research papers submitted in the field of immunology ten years ago, the feline vaccines that are administered annually, can actually be done once in three years, especially for the cats that stay indoors most of the time. The pet owners thought that they can take the cat to the vet clinic once in three years.

As the result so many felines missed the opportunity of getting tested once in a year to find out anomaly, if there are any, at a very early stage. This is a great injustice done to the feline friend by the pet owners. This is like we, the humans going to the clinic once in ten years. Very bad, is it not? On the contrary if you are subjecting your cat annual wellness examination,  then the vet will take the history of the cat from you and will completely check the cats part by part to find out any abnormality.

The veterinarian will like to know from you the cats age, food, breathing, litter box habits, life style, exercise, general health, vaccinations etc. He will also like to know whether the cat stay indoor or out door. The general examination is nothing but the observation of the physical appearance, examination of the chest using stethoscope, specific parts palpitation etc.

The faeces and the urine sample will be examined for colour, consistency etc. The faeces will be examined for finding out the parasite infestation. At times the feline heart worm test may also be conducted by the vet. As soon the cat attains 7-8 years of age, which is generally called as middle age for the cat, the chances of developing serious health problem increases.

The most common health problems that one can expect at this age are hypertension, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, heart disease etc. At this age during the physical examination the vet will test the complete blood count, biochemistry profile, analysis of urine and thyroid test. This way one can find out the diseases at a very early stage so that the treatment or prevention is very easy. But once the disease sets in, and then the treatment is difficult and costly.

One can avoid this danger by annual wellness examination and testing. In case, the test conducted reveals any medical problem, the cat should be subjected to re-examination to confirm the result before attempting the treatment. Once the test result is re confirmed the treatment needs to be started at once to prevent the health issue reaching the advanced stage.

If required the feline friend should be admitted in the hospital for further treatment. This way the annual wellness examination and testing is very good for the cats and such examination saves the life of many more cats every year.

Cat Pet Insurance and other Fallacies

September 07, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - pet insurance

Last week while I was travelling in the car and I had a close look at the small but curious creature called cat. What I understood in the next 20 minutes made me to feel that the cat accessories and the cat insurance are just not required. Cats make their own laws to themselves. These are the cunning animals and try to treat all other creature with utter disdain.

You may have cat proof fencing which does not deter them any way. This smooth operator knows the ways and means of entering the house and does all the damages they can. On that day, I was just relaxing myself in the car. I still remember that it was winter but the sun was very bright on that day. All of a sudden I could hear thud sound in the bonnet of my car. I jerked out to see what it was? I saw a black cat with green eyes preening. The cat started licking the haunch one after the other. Then it looked around suspiciously. It licked the lower leg as if it is massaging the leg with the tongue. Next the belly was licked and the hair in that area got straightened by the moisture in the tongue.

The cat was not taking any notice of my presence. I was hardly three feet from that cunning creature and only the wind screen was separating the cat and me. I was thinking that the glare of the light must have prevented the cat from sensing my presence. The preening of the cat was going on for some time. The cats at that point of time looked at me. There was no fear in its eye or the behaviour. The cat lifted the head in the cool winter air and started grooming again. I was totally amused by its behaviour as there was complete indifference to the surroundings and me. The cat was very calm and not at all perturbed. Finally, the cat jumped out of my bonnet and reached a door that was open where senior denizen was waiting for the cat with smile and a plate of milk.

I started wondering about these cunning creatures of the god and how they enjoy their life. On the contrary I had to work hard for my weekly quota of my groceries and provisions as they do not come reach me with ease. I need to year sufficient money to find a roof over my head. Whereas the roof, food, water and others requirements reach the cat with ease.

The cunning creature, I mean the cats are seen since sphinx and beyond. Of yore these animals were worshiped by a section of society. I was just wondering because of that old exalted position; the cats still enjoy the comfortable life in the modern world. Now the question that haunted me is that do these animals require insurance? Do they get sick very often? The pet insurance companies confirm that these animals get sick and require insurance to meet out the expenditure. Cats are highly prone to asthma and so many other health issues and it is very much safe for the pet owners to have one as the veterinary health care is as costly as human health care.

Different Types of Cat Litter

September 06, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

Cats are lovely pet animals and the owners like to provide the best possible treatment to their loved one. Let us discuss about cat litter material here .There are many different types of litter material are available for the pet owner to choose from. Selecting the good litter material for the cat is very important to keep the cat happy and healthy. the litter should not smell offensively.

Of yore, the litter boxes will come with sand filled in it. But of late so many litter materials are used in the litter box of the cat. These materials absorb the urine and other things very effectively and keep the litter box clean always. Traditionally clay based litter material is being used. The clay based litter material is very good as it absorbs the urine quickly and hence the urine smell will be very much reduced in the litter box. The one problem with the clay based litter material is that it should be replaced frequently. As the clay based litter material needs to be replaced at least 2 times in a week, you will end up spending more buy way of frequent purchase of litter material.

Scooping/ clumping cat litter is also very popular now. The biggest advantage of this litter material is that it need not be replaced as frequently as the clay based litter material. One may wonder why it is so. The reason is that as soon as the litter material gets soiled there will be a clump formation and the clump can be removed easily instead of replacing the entire litter material. This is much more convenient, is it not? However the whole litter material needs to be replaced at least once in three weeks time only then the cat will remain healthy.

Crystal based silica gel litter is very commonly used now days. This litter material will absorb the water in any form very quickly and retain them inside without any foul smell for long time. Replacing this litter material once in a month is more than sufficient. But the only disadvantage with this type of litter material is that it looks very hard at the time of removing and the care should be taken not to allow the cat to lick the litter material. Few cats does not like to use this litter material because of its hard texture as the cats in general prefer litter material that has finer texture just like sand.

Biodegradable cat litter is all the rage at present. The litter material can be flushed very easily and there is very less dust formation and there is very little chance for the cat to have asthma. As this litter material is very costly, many cat owners hesitate to buy this. In United States of America the clumping cat litter is very famous because it needs to be replaced once in a month only and there is less messy affair. Those who are rich and do not mind about the cost of the litter material go for biodegradable litter material.

Cat Scratch Disease—from Claws to Humans

September 03, 2011 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Uncategorized

Cat scratch disease is of course spread by the cats but the real sufferers are human beings. The symptoms of disease are more noticed in the winter and the experts find it very difficult to explain why it is so. Probably during this part of the year cats stay indoors and the humans are exposed to the feline attack more.

This disease is caused by bacteria known as bartonella henselea. These bacteria live in the mouth of the cat. The bacteria reach the claw of the through grooming. The cat bite never causes cat scratch disease, but only the scratch causes it, quite surprising, Is’nt?

Most of the Americans citizens are exposed to this cat scratch disease and nearly five percent of the population has antibodies in their blood which confirms their exposure to this disease. These people would not have got clinical symptoms but must have exposed to the milder infection. Or these persons would have ignored the symptoms thinking that it is that of the common flu. 

As discussed earlier the symptoms of this disease resemble the flu symptoms. The affected person will have fever, chills, lethargy etc. but these symptoms disappear soon within two or three days. The symptoms last much shorter than flu’s. In severe condition there will be anorexia, fever, swollen lymph nodes, general weakness etc. the lymph nodes in the groin and armpit region are most affected. At times the swollen lymph nodes may rupture. At times the doctors may open the swollen lymph nodes to drain out the fluid found inside, thus mitigating the pain.

The most severe form is commonly noticed in children, old people and persons whose immune system is weak. The persons who are under chemotherapy and those are infected with HIV are highly prone for severe form of cat scratch disease. The worst case scenario the affected person may die.
The affected person responds very well for the antibiotic treatment. But the diagnosis of the cat scratch disease is not all that easy as the symptoms exhibited by the person resembles of that of the flu. Generally people miss or over look the earlier symptoms and they become serious only when the lymph nodes are involved. As discussed earlier the disease spread mostly through cat scratch which does not rule out the possible spread through bite. In few cases the disease spreads to human with out any noticeable cause.

Cat scratch disease spreads mostly through the scratch of the kittens, that are 3 weeks old or below. This does not means that the scratch of the adult cat can be taken lightly. The kittens who are carriers can be diagnosed with simple blood test. Such kittens should be separated and should be under antibiotic treatment. The kittens can be de-clawed at an early stage in order to prevent the spread of cat scratch disease. De-clawing should be taken after detailed consideration as the cats will be affected psychologically and may pave way for unwanted complications such as arthritis to the cat. Besides the kittens can not venture out without its claw which is nothing but a forceful confinement, is it not?