Why do cats get constipated?

May 29, 2012 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Health

The cats are lovely pets. The people just love this creature as they are attractive looking animals. The smooth coat of the cat is loved by one and all. As these creatures are small, the kids love to spend time with these animals. Unlike other pets, these cats are not intimidating any body in the house hold because of the small size. These cats are very affectionate with the family members and hence the entire family loves these creatures. The kids love to spend their leisure time with these playful animals as much as possible. The women in the house just love these creatures more than any other pets as these cats have very soft coat and are easy to handle.

The people in the house use these lovely looking tiny creatures as stress busters. Those who spend time with these affectionate animals will feel relaxed by spending time with them. Just like the other animals in the universe these cats too have so many health issues.  Let us discuss about constipation here.

If the owner is very clear of the cat’s habits, then it is absolutely easy to find out the changes in the bathroom routine. All one has to do is just have a look it the spot where the bath room routine happens. If the stool is not normal and if the stool is found to be harder than the normal, then there something wrong with the digestion of the cat.

What causes the feline constipation?

The cat may be finding it difficult to pass the stool due to illness. The same can happen due to injury, stress , change in food etc. the cat’s age is also one of the reason for constipation. In general the constipation is associated with cats that are old. The underlying cause for the constipation may be liver diasease, kidney disease, cancer, obesity etc. the cats that had incurred trauma can also getr this constipation problem according to dr.patrick mahaney . Dr Patrick is a veterinarian based in Los Angeles.

Other causes for constipation

Inadequate fluid intake is the other reason for cat’s constipation. Inadequate fluid intake leads to slow blood flow. This will result in reduced intestinal peristalsis. As the result the colon is not able to puss the faces out of the system. Muscle weakness can also cause constipation in cats. Electrolyte imbalance can also lead to constipation as it is often associated with dehydration. Constipation can also be caused by nervous system abnormalities. Intestinal obstruction is the other reason for the constipation.

Arthritic pain in pelvis or knees or the lower back can result in constipation. As this condition will cause discomfort to the cat while defecating and the cat will loss desire to pass the stool. Inflammation of the anal sac can also lead to constipation as this can also cause discomfort to the cat as the feces moves through the rectum. The ingested hair balls or the foreign objects can result in constipation. The diet that is low in fibre content can result in constipation.

Cancer Therapy in Cats

May 13, 2012 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Health

The cats are lovely pets. There are so many health issues in cats just like the human beings. The cancer problem is very common in cats. Let us discuss here about the treatment options available, the expected prognosis and the cat owners role etc.

The cancer treatments are in general time consuming and expensive. The cat owner must clear all his doubts before deciding about the treatment option. Of late the cancer treatment is very effective and there are very minimal side effects due to the advancement in the field of cancer treatment. The pain management and the nutritional support plays vital role in the out come of the cancer treatment.  Many cancer types can be cured completely if treated early. The lovely pet cats can live longer now days. The pet owner is also a part of health care team and hence the pet owner should under stand more about the cancer treatment options.

One should be aware that there is no single treatment for cancer. The cancer treatment plan varies from case to case and the treatment option needs to be customized. Cancer treatment is always a combination of treatment. This way the cancer can be treated quickly and the side effects can be minimized to a great extend.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy requires special equipment and not every hospital will have this. Hence it is the duty of the owner to enquire about the hospital before selecting the place of treatment. There are side effects in radiation therapy also. The side effects are because of the burn of the tissues that are located in the vicinity of the affected part. If the tumour is located near very sensitive tissue, then the radiation treatment is bit complicated.  The sensitive tissues will be damaged badly due to radiation and the side effect will be more severe. In general the affected good tissue will regenerate in due course and the normal function can be restored.

In radiation therapy the tumour cells are targeted and the radiation renders the tumour cells unable to multiply and as the result the tumour shrinks in size. Over the period of time the tumour cells will be completely destroyed and the tumour will disappear completely. The tumours that can not be removed by way of operation are treated with radiation. The cats are given anaesthesia while treating them with radiation in order to restrict the movement of the animal for better focussing of the targeted tissue.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is nothing but treating the tumour with chemicals. The chemotherapy is very effective but the side effects are very intimidating. At present different chemicals are used at very low frequency and dosage along with anti cancer agents to improve the efficiency of the treatment as well as reducing the side effects. The treatment is carried out in such a way that there is sufficient time gap between each administration. This will help the cat to cope up with the side effects. The possible side effects are poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, low white cell count, irritation at the sight of the injection, lethargy, poor immune function etc.

The chemicals that are used in the cancer treatment destroy the cells that are dividing faster. The cancer cells multiply faster and hence are targeted by the injected chemicals.  The side effects are because the normal cells that divide also get affected by the chemical used to destroy the cancer cells. The cells in the gut and immune system divide faster and hence are affected more during the chemotherapy as they are caught in the cross fire.

Surgery

Surgical removal of the tumour is very common practice. The external tumours are removed using the surgery. There are so many surgical techniques such as laser surgery, cryosurgery, radiosurgery and traditional scalpel surgery. The most difficult aspect of the surgical treatment is removing the tumour cells completely leaving nothing in the body. In general the surgeon will remove not only the tumour but also the tissue surrounding the tumour in order to ensure the cancer cells are completely removed from the body. The removed tissue will be sent to pathology lab for histopathological study to confirm the diagnosis. As it is not possible to remove the cancer cells completely using surgical technique, this treatment option will be combined with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Adjunctive care

The cancer patient should be given best nutrition. But extra nutrition needs to be avoided.  The food provided should be digested easily and ingredient provided should be of high quality. The cat should be hand fed to increase the appetite. At times the appetite stimulant also needs to be provided.

Night Vision in Cats

May 12, 2012 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Health

Many are not aware that the cats can see very clearly at night. This capacity is very useful for the cats for their nocturnal hunting habit. The cats will not be able to see thing clearly at complete darkness but these lovely creatures can see things clearly in very low light.

There are so many special anatomical features present in the eye of the cat which is responsible for the night vision in cats. The pupils of the cat are elliptical in shape and are oriented vertically. The elliptical pupils can open very wide than the round pupils which are present in human beings. As the elliptical pupils open wider, more light passes in, there by aiding the cat to see the things clearly even in low light.

There is yet another special anatomical feature present in the eye of the cat which is none other than a membrane called tapetum lucidum.  This special membrane is designed in such a way that the light that enters the eye is reflected back so that the retina gets more light.  The cat’s eye will flash at night, many could have witnessed this. The reason for the flash noticed is nothing but the work of the special membrane tapetum lucidum.

The cat’s retina is also specially designed with more rods and cones and as the result the cat can see very well even at low light. Rods are very effective in absorbing the lights than the cones. The cones are primarily responsible for absorbing the colour. The colour vision is very much limited in cats than human beings and the cones are present in less numbers in cats than human beings.

As discussed earlier the reflective tapetum and the wider pupil maximise the entry of light in to the eye. As the result the retina gets more light. Since the retina is provided with more rods that are very effective in absorbing the light, the cats are able to see well than human beings in low light.

Cat’s Eye with special emphasis on Night Vision of Cat

May 07, 2012 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

Cat’s eye

The human beings and the cats see the world differently. The anatomical features are different from eye of the human beings and that of the cat. As the needs of the human eye and cat’s eye are different, the anatomical features are also slightly different. Human beings evolved as fruit eating developed animal. The cats evolved as meat eating and nocturnal animal. The human being need to distinguish the colours efficiently. The cats require seeing more clearly in low light for hunting at night. Lets us discuss in details about the features of the feline eye to understand the night vision better.

The pupil

The light enters the eye through pupil. The pupil in the eye gets wider or narrower in order to let the light in according to the availability of light. The cat’s eye gets more light than the human beings. The pupil of the cat’s eye appears as vertical slit when it contracts. In human beings, the pupil will appear round at contacted position. The eye with slit pupil can be noticed in animals that have the nocturnal hunting behaviour. The slit pupil will allow more light in to the eye than the round pupil which is the reason for the night vision in those animals. But there is a disadvantage in slit pupil. The animal will find it difficult during perfect focus at slit formation as there will be optical interference.   

The lens

The lens is responsible for collecting and focussing the light, once the light enters the eye.  The lens is the cat’s eye is much larger than the lens present in the human beings. As the result more light is collected and focussed. The smaller lens can change the shape to focus the light to a great range of distance. But the larger lens could not change the shape and hence there will difficulty in focussing the light to variable distances. As the result the cats will find it very difficult in focussing the objects that are very closely located. Just as the case of older people finding is difficulty to see the person very close without the help of the reading glasses.

The Retina

The retina is the other important structure of the eye. The light that enters falls on the retina.  The retina is made up of cells that react to the light. There are so many factors involved in the functioning of the retina. One should know how well the image is focussed on the retina.  If the lens is found to be too strong for the distance at which the lens and the retina are located, the image will be focussed before it gets to the retina and hence will be defocused before it reaches the retina.  Likewise if the lens is too weak, the image will be unfocussed even when it reaches the retina. As far as most of the cats are concerned, the lenses are appropriately positioned and as the result the cats are neither farsighted nor near sighted.

 

If the lens are located at the farther distance to the retina and the retina is larger then the image farmed will be larger. The cats do have large eyes and the retinas are also appropriately sized. If the sampling grain is smaller in the retina and the image details will be very clear. The retina will have cells that are rod shaped and cone shaped.  The rods are responsible for absorbing the light. The cones are for differentiating the colour. The rods are present more in cat’s retina than the human beings. The cones are present in more numbers in retina of the human beings than the cats.

Cones and colour vision

In general the cats will have poor image details than the human beings. The reason for this is that the cats have rod rich retina where as the human beings have cone rich retina. The cats are not colour blind. The cats will have red- green colour blind generally termed as deuteranopia. This type of colour blind is very common among the human beings. These people can see blue colour verses other colours. But they will get confused in differentiating colours that are red through brown through and green. The root cause lies in presence of number of cones in the retina of the eye.

Night vision in cat

As the result of the special anatomical features such as vertical pupil [slit pupil], special reflecting membrane and rod rich retina, the cat’s can see better than human beings even at low light ,which helps them immensely for nocturnal hunting.