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Making a "Dental Difference" in your Cat's Life - by Liz Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Saturday, 27 July 2013 11:35

Dental disease affects approximately 85% of cats & dogs, over 1-yr old. As your cat's caregiver, there are many decisions to make, in order to keep your pet healthy & happy - and that includes proper dental health.  Your Veterinary Team will know whic complete dental-health program is best.  It may include:

A dental prophylaxis to remove tartar & plaque buildup and/or enhealthy teeth.

Scheduled overall health check-ups, including dental.

Instructions on how to brushing your cat’s teeth at home using a recommended brush & cat-approved toothpaste, as well as feeding Vet-exclusive, clinically-proven dental formula food

WHAT'S THE MOST-EFFECTIVE WAY TO BRUSH YOUR CAT'S TEETH?

Start by gently handling the muzzle area for a few seconds on a regular basis.  For best results, choose quiet times and end each session on a positive note.  The sooner you get your cat used to this action, the better it will be.  Starting this as a kitten, is best.

Next: introduce a small amount of toothpaste designed for cats, by putting it on your finger.  Start with the canine teeth, then gradually work your way around the whole mouth; be sure to include gums as well as teeth.

Introduce the toothbrush, by wetting the bristles, placing a line of toothpaste onto the brush, and pressing it firmly into the bristles.  Hold the brush like a pen, concentrating solely on the canine teeth to begin with.  Use gentle circular motions.

Now work your way slowly & gently around the rest of the teeth, towards the back.  It is not necessary to brush the inside surface, as most of the tartar accumulation occurs on the outer surface.

Finally, brush the front teeth by gently taking hold of the muzzle and lifting the upper lip, using an Up-&-Down motion.

The time & effort that you commit to this training process can make a significant improvement in your cat’s dental health. This will positively impact their quality of life, and will enhance the bond that you share with them.  Til' next time remember: "All you need...is LOVE!"

 
How to Transport your Cat calmly & comfortably - by Liz Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Saturday, 01 June 2013 11:51

Look for a carrier with proper ventilation, made of study plastic with a front door & ideally, a removable top. Place the open carrier in an undisturbed area where your cat likes to spend time. With time they will get used to it.  Place a piece of clothing with your scent, ON or IN the carrier; include soft bedding, their favorite treats, and a familiar toy.  Gently rub a cloth around your cat’s face; with the scented cloth, then rub it on carrier to make it smell like home.

To reduce motion sickness, avoid feeding your cat a few hours before the trip.  After placing your cat in the carrier, cover it with a towel; this will help keep them calm. Be sure to drive smoothly while In the car.  Instead of turning on the radio, reduce any jarring noises, by simply talking to your cat in a calm, reassuring tone. Remember: a cat’s sense of hearing is four times sharper than ours.

If your transportation was to the vet clinic, keep the carrier covered while in the waiting room - and as far away from any dogs as possible. After returning home (if other cats are around), take the cloth & rub the other cats, then  rub the returning cat with the same cloth; this can reduce conflicts.

Don’t worry if your cat seems unhappy after their trip; the minor stress experienced is not harmful to their health or your relationship with it.  When it comes to all of our pets, all you need is a little patience and of course heartLove!

 
Keeping Cats "Comfortable in their own Skin" - by Liz Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Monday, 01 April 2013 19:17

It starts with: Flea protection!  Fleas can be a real irritation, for you & your cat; but they don’t have to be! There are safe, easy & effective ways to protect your pet from bites, and your home from infestation. If fleas have your cat scratching, you need to act fast using a product that will kill fleas, break up the cycle, & kill the adults before they can lay eggs. Simple, monthly applications during warm weather months, will control fleas & help prevent secondary problems like Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD).

Fleas are MORE than just uncomfortable!

Imagine a mosquito bite that keeps on itching; that’s what flea bites feel like for your cat. If you don't kill them, the biting will continue. Untreated infestation can cause secondary skin irritations, tapeworms, anemia or FAD. FAD is a reaction to flea bites caused by an allergy to flea saliva. FAD causes pets to chew, lick & scratch, creating open sores & potentially serious skin infections. Speak to your veterinarian about which product is best to use for your pet; ensure it's safe, if your cat is pregnant or nursing.  For their comfort (and your peace-of-mind) you want something that will provide a fast, safe & effective treatment.

Breaking the life cycle:                

Fleas are one of the most common & irritating parasites affecting cats.  Adult fleas can live up to 100 days; during this time they bite & feed on your pet’s blood. After feeding fleas mate & the females produce eggs, these eggs will fall off your pet into the ground or carpet.  These eggs develop into larvae which then form a cocoon. New fleas then hatch from the cocoon & begin feeding, continuing the cycle.

REMEMBER: “Kill fleas before they can lay eggs, effectively breaking the cycle”.

When should you begin treatment?

Begin monthly applications in the spring when the ground begins to thaw.  Continue monthly applications into the fall, until there are several consecutive nights of frost; keep in mind in some areas of the country such as in parts of British Columbia flea season can last year-round.  Compliments of Bayer HealthCare

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 June 2013 11:51
 
Managing Acute Pain in Cats - by Liz Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Friday, 01 March 2013 20:50

Staying pain free on the road to recovery:  Cats just like people, can experience pain after surgery. To keep it under control & to ensure your cat stays as comfortable as possible, it's already been given a dose of pain relief (analgesia). This should provide comfort 'til the next day.

As required, your vet will also dispense follow-up pain relieving medicine. It's important to follow the dosage requirements. All being well, your cat will make a good recovery. However, if you believe your cat's uncomfortable, still in pain, or are worried in any way about his/her condition, please contact your vet.

Signs of pain or discomfort to look out for: Like in people, it's known that pain can persist for days following injury or surgery. Unlike people, cats cannot verbally tell you when they're sore, but they can tell you through their body posture & facial expressions. A pain-free cat will exhibit normal behaviour routine, including eating normally, moving about well & interacting with family members as she/he has done in the past.

Faces of Acute Pain:       

“THE HUMPY” A cat with a hunched back, legs straightened often sitting quietly at the back of the cage may be in pain. This cat also has droopy ears & slanted half closed eyes. This posture is often seen after abdominal surgery.

“THE SQUINTY” Cats with their heads down, ears droopy & eyes half closed & in a slanted position may be in pain. Note how a line drawn through the centre of the eyes makes a V shape.

“THE FLAT OUT” Recumbent, tense or rigid cats may be in severe pain. Cats with facial expressions of pain; droopy ears & slanted half closed eyes.

“THE UNTOUCHABLE” Previously friendly/easy to handle cats that hiss, snarl or flinch - try to claw or bite in reaction to gentle pressure to a wound.  Those that generally resent handling are probably in pain.  A reaction can be expected to be proportional to the amount of pain being experienced.


A Picture of Good Pain Control:

“THE CROISSANT”- The ears are (upright) & forward, the eyes are not slanted. A horizontal line could be drawn through the centre of each eye. The back is minimally hunched & the cat appears bright & alert. They'll display a relaxed, tucked in leg posture, resembling a croissant.

Note: While uncommon, medication can cause stomach or bowel upset. If you observe nausea (often seen as drooling), vomiting, or loose bowel movements (especially being off food), stop administering meds until you've consulted an expert. 

Compliments of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica 2010

Last Updated on Friday, 01 March 2013 21:16
 
FAT CATS - by Liz Gordon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Saturday, 02 February 2013 09:40

Without a doubt, "Garfield" is infamous for being the world's most-recognizable FAT CAT!  But in real life, Cat Obesity is no laughing matter.  Dr. David Summers, Ph.D. shares his feline weightloss methods with us.  

What to do?

No more free-feeding your cats; the nibblers will have to learn to meal feed. If your cats have had a communal feeding dish, the first step is to get separate dishes. A feeding schedule has to be established where everyone has their own dish, and their own space.  With some cats, it's best they be fed in separate rooms.

While most can be in the same area, don’t line up their dishes all together. You can use a baby gate to seperate dishes. Or if you have an aggressive-overweight cat, a feeding crate, where the entrance is small enough so they can't get into the crate or box. 

You could also go VERTICAL.  Most cats love to climb and will feel quite at home feeding in an elevated spot. Initially you will have to supervise their entire feeding, but your cats will soon learn when & where to eat.  Start by having the food available for 30 minutes then pick up any uneaten food. As they learn to meal feed, pick up their dishes after they walk away; don’t leave any food down.

Slow it down!

You can help them do just that, by using a bigger dish where the kibble is only one to two layers deep. This will make it harder for them to pick it up, therefore forcing them to eat more slowly. If you're feeding wet food, add some water to it to help pace their consumption - but not so much that they turn away from their food.

Sometimes separate rooms, partitions, or elevated dishes are not practical or possible.  There are foods that can help in these situations, because the same food can be fed to all cats. The most common are multi-cat foods, which have carnitine.  That helps burn more fat in an overweight cat and is still very healthy for any others. 

Recent research has shown cats fed lower carbohydrate foods are better at controlling their appetite, much like the Atkins diet for humans. Carbohydrate level is not something you'll see mentioned on the label. However, you can find a guaranteed protein level. For almost all foods there's an inverse relationship between the level of protein in food & the level of carbohydrates.

Higher protein cat foods tend to have fewer carbohydrates, but higher fat levels - which may seem counter-intuitive to what we normally think of, regarding weightloss. The amount fed, has to be LESS, but because the carbohydrate content is lower, the appetite is suppressed.  For this reason many cat parents have had success, by supplementing with wet food - that has high meat protein & moderate fat content. There are also dry cat foods that have higher protein levels.  Look for ones high in protein, and low in fat.

 
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