Glenvale Veterinary Clinic
Winter 2011 Newsletter

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Feline toilet habits vs UTI


Providing your cat with the ideal toileting set up indoors can be a challenge.

If your cat prefers to urinate in the shower or bath there may be something your cat doesn't like about his or her litter tray. Loud noises such as the washing machine or clothes dryer can be enough to discourage a cat from using the tray.

The golden rule is to provide a tray for every cat in the house plus an additional tray. That means, if you have two cats, you should have three trays. The litter trays that can be purchased from the supermarket are too small; the ideal litter tray would be approximately 60cm long X 40cm wide. Litter trays with a cover or hood or that contain a tray liner are not recommended as often most cats prefer an open tray. There are various types of kitty litter on the market; you may need to experiment with clumping clay litter, paper, sand and crystal to see which litter your cat prefers.

Provide an area that is your cat's 'domain' where it can eliminate in peace. Be careful not to place food and water too close to the tray, as cats don't like to eliminate where they eat. Try using different rooms or areas where the food, water and bedding are in one room and the litter tray in another. If your elderly cat is missing the litter tray this can be due to them having difficulty squatting caused often by arthritis. Medication can be offered to alleviate some of the discomfort caused by arthritis.

Don't forget, abnormal elimination can be an indicator of more serious medical problems, such as an inflamed urinary tract or a urinary infection.

Symptoms that may indicate your cat has some urinary tract disease:

  • Pain while urinating – meowing/crying
  • Straining – Bladder irritation, Urinary obstruction, Diarrhoea, Constipation
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Noticing smaller amounts and more frequent urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Abnormal smell of the urine
  • Urinating outside the litter tray can indicate that they prefer that place better than the litter tray and litter (Large volume of urine) or is territory marking for possibly anxiety reasons (Small volume of urine)
  • Excessive grooming of genitals

Common causes of unusual urinating behaviours are:

Infections, stones or crystals in the urinary tract, anxiety (separation from owner or anxious about another close by animal) or your cat doesn’t like the litter tray.

A good urinary behaviour history, physical examination of the cat and urine test will usually determine the cause. Appropriate treatment can only be given once a diagnosis is made. We must appreciate that urine territory marking is normal cat behaviour.

This problem is the most common reason for cat euthanasia so please speak to Dr Nicholls or the nursing staff if you have any concerns about your cat’s urinary health.

Attacking arthritis this Winter

How can you help your arthritic pet at home?

  1. Keep their body weight under control: carrying extra kilos are detrimental and are known to speed up the disease process.
  2. Keep your pet warm: especially at night, the cooler weather exacerbates joint pain. Keep them inside at night and try a padded dog coat when outside
  3. Supply a soft a comfy bed that your pet can 'sink' into. A covered foam mattress is perfect.
  4. Keep up daily exercise but don't allow over exertion as this may flare up an arthritic joint, consistency is the key.

How can we as the vet help?

Disease modifying agents: Cartrophen is a proven treatment that relieves pain, helps slow cartilage breakdown and increases lubrication in the joint. Weekly injections for 4 weeks are required and then repeated every 6 months. (Monthly injections can be given if needed).

Diet supplements: Glucosamine, Chondroiton sulfate, essential fatty acids and fish oils can help. We have supplements specifically suitable for your pet.

Anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications: if your pet is really struggling, ongoing medication may be necessary to improve your pet's quality of life. Don't let your pet suffer from arthritis this winter. Ask us for help!

Digitty Dog Facts

  • The most popular name for a dog is Max, other popular names include Sam, Molly and Jessie.
  • A dog's brain is specialised for identifying scents. The percentage of the dog's brain that is devoted to analysing smells is actually 40 times larger than that of a human! It's been estimated that dogs can identify smells somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans can.
  • When it comes to what dogs see, we know that dogs see in colour, but not the same way that we do. Dogs can see bluish and greenish shades but not reddish ones. To a dog, a bright orange ball on a grassy lawn appears as a light greenish ball in greenish grass.
  • Greyhounds are the fastest dogs on earth, with speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
  • Dog’s nose prints are as unique as a human’s finger prints and can be used to accurately identify them.
  • Dogs’ sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than a human’s
  • Newfoundland’s are great swimmers because of their webbed feet & Basset Hounds cannot swim.
  • Dogs sweat through the pads of their feet.

confused dog
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