The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

May 17, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Does your Cat Have a Weak Immune System? Here’s what you Should Know

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Your kitty’s immune system defends it from bacteria, parasites, and viruses from the outside world. When this defense system becomes weaker than usual, your feline friend is more vulnerable to illnesses which can be life-threatening.

Weak immune system is caused due to deficiency of phagocytes, a type of white blood cell. Phagocytes are vital to the immune system, as they swallow up any foreign particles in the blood. This process is known as phagocytosis. Cats with a low deficiency in phagocytosis are more prone to different types of health problems.

Symptoms

Cats with weak immune systems appear to be healthy for the first few months after birth. Once they pass the nursing stage, their bodies become more vulnerable to infections. The symptoms of a weak immune system are highlighted below:

  • Anorexia
  • Continuous illness
  • Lethargy
  • Mediocre hair coat
  • Recurring infections that don’t respond to conventional medicines
  • Stunted growth

There may be symptoms from contracted infections and viruses such as feline immunodeficiency, feline leukemia, and feline parvoviruses.

Causes

The causes for the weak immune system are the following:

  • The cats are born with immunodeficiency disorder, resulting in a low number of phagocytes.
  • The cats get infected with viruses such as feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus and feline parvovirus. These viruses attack the immune system which affects the count of phagocytes.

Diagnosis

The veterinarian goes through the medical history of the cat and will ask the owner further details about when the symptoms began. The vet will then do the following.

  • Conduct a physical examination
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Urinalysis
  • Biochemistry profile

Additional testing may be done based on the results of the previous tests.

Treatment

Cats who have congenital weak immune system have no known treatment or cure. Viruses that lead to weak immune system haven’t been caught early enough to effectively treat the problem. There is no effective treatment available that can cure the disease. However, supportive care is used to extend the feline’s life as long as possible.

The vet may resort to the following in order to treat the secondary conditions that come with the disease.

  • Antibiotics – bacterial infections
  • Antimicrobial medications – yeast/fungal infections
  • Chemotherapy

Recovery

The best way to keep your feline friends healthy is to be proactive. Isolate the cats from other animals and stop them from leaving your house. Vaccinations have to be administered at the correct time and the vet will give additional vaccines to help the cats. Secondary infections are quite common in this disease, so you will have to visit the vet for medical treatment.

The owners of cats who have weak immune system are requested to stay away from reproductive practices as it can be passed on to the next generation.

May 16, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Is Your Cat Stressed? 5 Signs That Might Help You Know

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Even though your feline friends may be going through episodes of anxiety and stress, they are masters of disguising their discomfort. Chronic stress makes cats vulnerable to a large number of diseases as it suppresses their immunity. To spot stress in your feline friends, here are five signs that will help you identify the problem.

  1. Aggression
    Even though cats love receiving attention from us, they are extremely particular about when and where they are petted. If they become aggressive towards other people or animals, you may want to get them checked. As cats have no other way of expressing physical and emotional stress, they tend to lash out as a way of communication.
  2. Excessive grooming
    The majority of the cats groom quite often but there can be an increase in this habit when they are under major stress. In order to differentiate between normal and excessive grooming, take a look at the areas they are cleaning. If there are any sore spots or abnormal hair loss, they are under large amounts of stress. The phenomenon is called feline psychogenic alopecia. Basically, cats will continue to groom excessively because of various stress factors in their environment.
  3. Loss of appetite
    Even though some cats are picky eaters, they eat their food when they are hungry. If you have noticed a significant reduction in the appetite of your cats or if they completely stop eating, they are under stress. When your feline friends stop eating, their body pushes the liver to consume fat for energy. This results in hepatic lipidosis, more commonly known as fatty liver. If this disease remains untreated, there are a 90% chances your cats may not make it.
  4. Hiding/Isolation
    Cats are a strange bunch. Some of them love the attention they get from various people whereas others prefer to keep human contact to a minimum. Regardless of the case, this behavior can change when your feline friends are under stress. Most of the time, cats hide when they are uncomfortable. However, if you notice your cat hiding even when it is their meal time, it is a sure indicator of something is wrong with your cats.
  5. Urinating outside litter box
    When cats urinate outside the litter box, they are trying to inform us about their happiness of the surroundings. Maybe they don’t like the way you set up the furniture, their environment is too loud or their litter box isn’t clean to name a few. Rather than scolding your cats for their mistakes, try to find out why they are doing this. It will not only help in dealing their stress, they will remain calm through the entire ordeal.

With these simple tips, you will be able to tell if your cats are depressed or not. As time goes on, you will find it easier to pick out stress indicators. Remember, a stress-free cat is a healthy cat.

May 15, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Are You Reducing Your Dog’s Life? Find Out Now

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We all want our pet friends to lead long, healthy and happy lives. This is why we make every possible effort to feed them nourishing foods, take them for walks, play ball with them and just give them a lot of love on a daily basis.
Research suggests that the busy lifestyles of modern pet owners often cause them to ignore some basic care measures which may elongate their dog’s lifespan. Being aware of these measures could help correct the situation and allow your dog lead a long, healthy life.

  1. Ignoring obesity in your dog
    Several dog owners allow their pets to gain a lot of weight and this could eventually lead to the onset of diseases and other serious medical problems. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention informs that approximately 53 percent of the dogs are categorized as overweight. Further, the majority of the dog owners (95 percent) are unaware of this fact and believe that their dogs are within the normal weight range.
    A good way to keep your dog’s weight in check is to reduce the quantities of human food offered to them and properly monitor their kibble intake. It is also important to increase the exercise routine of the pet, even if it means being more creative and including a greater amount of play activities.
  2. Missing pet visits
    There are some dog owners who feel that taking their pet buddies to the vet is a waste of money and time, especially if they seem absolutely healthy. Just like human beings, there are multiple symptoms of illness in dogs which cannot be spotted by the naked eye. Another problem with animals is that they cannot verbally communicate how and what they feel from the inside. So if you skip the annual pet visit, you might end up with a dog that has some undiagnosed ailment/disease which actually requires proper treatment.
  3. Ignoring dental care
    According to the American Humane Society, 85 percent of the dogs over 5 years of age are diagnosed with periodontal disease. The accumulation of food particles and bacteria in the gums is the primary cause of periodontal disease and could lead to various health issues like kidney infections and heart valve problems. Therefore, ignoring dental care in your pet isn’t a good idea if you wish for them to live a long, healthy life.
  4. Exposure to second-hand smoke
    If you thought that only humans suffered as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke, think again. Medical research suggests that a dog’s lungs aren’t built to handle smoke and the exposure could result in various kinds of respiratory issues and increased risk of cancer.

May 12, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Is Your Cat Not Able to Reproduce? Here’s What You Should Know

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A regular estrous cycle is fundamental for the reproductive health of a cat. Your cat will be able to give birth to kittens if it has a normal reproductive tract, stable reproductive hormone levels, normal ova or eggs, proper placenta placements and other healthy reproductive functions.

Causes of Infertility in Cats

Let’s have a deeper look at some of the common causes of infertility in cats:

Absent/Irregular cycles

When your cat is experiencing irregular or absent cycles, then it is likely to have problems giving birth. There could be an absence of cycle or very long gaps between successive estrous cycles. If you do not see a willingness to mate by the time the cat is two years old, this may imply that she could suffer from reproductive problems. It could also mean that the cat is not showing her estrus symptoms upfront and it is thus being ignored.

Cat owners must understand that the initial few estrus cycles in your cat will not lead to quality fertilization. Therefore, breeding at this point might result in pregnancy. When your cat gets older, it might not have regular reproductive cycles and this can also lead to poor fertility or infertility. It is natural for a cat’s fertility to reduce after it is 8 years old.

Cats that have reproductive tract related congenital defects or other genetic abnormalities like intersex might be diagnosed as sterile. This is due to the tract being dysfunctional or non-functional and exhibiting blockages. Absence of primary structures of malformation could be other causes of infertility in feline creatures.

Some of the other common causes of feline infertility include:

  • Hormonal imbalance/ deficiencies
  • Poor stimulus at the time of mating
  • Chronic endometriosis
  • Abnormal ovulation
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Infections affecting the reproductive system

Symptoms of Feline Infertility

Some cat owners feel discouraged when they see the inability of their pet to reproduce. It is important to know that a single attempt at mating may not result in pregnancy. This isn’t necessarily a sign of infertility in your cat. However, if your pet exhibits a consistent inability to reproduce, then there is likely a medical issue that needs attention.

Some of the common symptoms of infertility in cats are:

  • Conception failure
  • Little or no willingness to mate
  • Inability to mate
  • No pregnancy after repeated mating
  • Irregular mating cycles
  • False pregnancy
  • Late or early term loss during pregnancy
  • Fetal re-absorption

Some of the popular treatments adopted by veterinarians for treating infertility in cats include hormone treatments, antivirals, antibiotics and/or other medicines, surgery and breeding management.

May 11, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Does Your Cat Faint? This is What You Should Know

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If you’re constantly noticing fainting or a brief loss of consciousness in your cat, then it might be suffering from a medical condition termed as ‘syncope’. Syncope is usually a result of a temporary obstruction in the blood supply to the brain. This reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrition delivery to the brain.

Some of the common risk factors associated with this condition include heart disease and age-related factors. The treatment of syncope varies depending on the primary cause. It is more likely for older cats to suffer from syncope. It is usually characterized by a quick, spontaneous recovery.

Symptoms of Syncope

Physical abnormalities are usually the first signs of syncope or fainting in cats. You may notice that the reflexes of your pet have become slow and are sometimes even non-existent.
Several cat owners report that their pet seems dazed or has a ‘glassy-eyed’ look throughout the day. But it is important to know that not all cats lose consciousness (temporarily) or collapse. Some cats might be experiencing general tiredness and not syncope.

Some of the common symptoms of fainting in cats may include:

  • Unexpected falls
  • No response to touch or sound/voice
  • Sudden attempt to sit or lie down
  • Weakness or stiffness in hind legs
  • Resistance to movement
  • Loss of awareness or consciousness
  • Complete collapse

It can be difficult to make a distinction between fitting and fainting. The fundamental causes and the medical treatments for both these conditions are quite different. Also, certain other medical issues such as reduced blood glucose levels or muscle or nerve related diseases may cause collapse or weakness in cats. Therefore, it is vital to get a proper diagnosis of your cat’s condition by visiting a veterinarian.

Handling fainting in cats

Medical experts inform that fainting episodes in cats aren’t usually due to owner negligence. However, you could take certain steps and avoid this from happening too frequently. Ensure that you schedule routine health checkups for your cat with a trusted veterinarian. Also, keep a close check on drugs which could cause a drop in the cat’s blood pressure.
Other precautionary measures could include restricting the cat’s activity as much as possible until the underlying cause for the problem has been identified.

Which cats are prone to syncope?

Syncope could occur in any cat, irrespective of age or breed. However, certain breeds like Ragdolls and Maine Coons are more susceptible to HCM or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. HCM is a heart related condition that could result in fainting or symptoms that imitate fainting. This is the most commonly diagnosed heart condition in cats.