The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

May 10, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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All You Need to Know About Feline Hematoma

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The accumulation of blood in the ear flap of a cat is the primary cause of ear hematoma. It occurs when there is rupturing of a blood vessel causing the collection of fluid in between the cartilage and skin. This condition is also often referred to as ‘aural hematoma’ or ‘auricular hematoma’.

The main symptom of ear hematoma is swelling in the ear flap. Incidentally, it is likely for ear hematoma to occur in just one ear; though some cats may exhibit hematoma in both ears too. Ear hematoma can cause the cat to suffer from extreme pain. The ear may show mild to severe swelling in just a few minutes following the rupture. The avoidance of immediate treatment could cause permanent deformity.

Causes

Medical experts inform that there is almost always a medical condition preceding ear hematoma. Some of the most common causes of ear hematoma include:

  • Ear mites
  • Chronic infections of the ear
  • Immune disorder
  •  Chronic allergies
  • Trauma to the skull
  • Blood clotting

Diagnosis

It is usually possible for a veterinarian to diagnose the condition of ear hematoma by just examining the ear with the naked eye. But it is important to know that abscess and tumors could also exhibit symptoms similar to those of ear hematomas. Therefore, the veterinarian would need to use his expertise and experience to make a distinction between these ear conditions.

Veterinarians sometimes perform ‘needle aspiration’ which involves the extraction of some fluid accumulated in the ear. This fluid is then analyzed under a powerful microscope. The presence of blood in the fluid confirms that the cat is suffering from ear hematoma. The veterinarian will also work towards diagnosing the underlying cause of the ear hematoma (e.g. parasites, ear infections, allergies etc.)

Treatment

Cat owners are advised to seek immediate veterinarian attention if they suspect ear hematoma in their cat. Prompt treatment usually helps achieve complete recovery in a shorter span of time.

Large hematomas generally demand surgical intervention. During the surgical treatment of ear hematoma, a veterinarian may create an incision and drain out the blood clots and fluids from your cat’s ear. This incision is usually left a bit open as it allows any remaining fluid to leak out as well. Alternatively, a vet may put a drain in your cat’s ear.

The surgery is completed with the placement of multiple sutures or by bandaging the ear. This helps prevent additional damage and allows the re-adhering of the tissues while avoiding the recurrence of the ear hematoma.

The choice of treatment usually depends on the extent to which the ear has been affected.

May 9, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Here’s What You Should Know About Excessive Blood Clotting in Cats

Image Source: Cats.org.uk

Healthcare research suggests that there could be various medical conditions responsible for excessive blood clotting. Also, blood clotting is usually related to heart disease. “Saddle Thrombus” is a common blood clot found only in cats. This kind of blood clot could interfere with the leg movement of a cat and also causes excruciating pain in the animal.

Symptoms

When a blood clot causes blockage in the lung arteries, it could lead to serious breathing problems. Some of the common symptoms of this type of blood clotting may include poor energy, fever and rapid breathing. When a blood clot obstructs the blood flow via the aortic artery (major artery carrying blood from the heart to different body parts), the symptoms include sudden paralysis or weakness, cold limbs, weak/no pulse, pain in limbs and purple/blue colored nails.

It is possible for a blood clot to be formed inside a blood vessel (thrombus) or the heart. It may travel inside the bloodstream-a condition termed as ‘embolism’. When the entire blood clot or a part of it gets dislocated from its original position and starts travelling inside the bloodstream, it is possible for it to get settled in another location. This scenario is also termed as ‘thromboembolism’.

As far as cats are concerned, the most commonly identified blockage point is in its lower abdomen. It is here that the aorta disintegrates to offer blood supply to the hind legs.

Causes

Excessive blood clotting (hypercoagulability) could be due to abnormally sticky blood platelets. Other causes of excessive blood clotting may include:

  • Antithrombin deficiencies- a naturally occurring anticoagulant which prevents blood clotting in veins and arteries
  • Defective fibrinolysis
  • Protein-losing nephropathy- protein loss in the intestines resulting in lack of anticoagulant/anti-clogging proteins
  • Under functioning of the thyroid gland
  • Pancreatic inflammation
  • Parasite infection, especially with Dirofilaria

Diagnosis and Treatment

The veterinarian will do a thorough examination of your cat to diagnose a blood clot. Diagnostic imaging and lab work are usually performed for accurate diagnosis of a blood clot. These exams may also help identify any underlying heart-related condition and for eliminating other potential health problems.

To put it simply, a comprehensive diagnostic exam may include the following:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)-helps detect blood-clotting factors and anemia
  • Biochemistry profile
  • Chest x-rays-for evaluating lung condition and heart size
  • Urinalysis
  • Doppler test-for checking blood flow in the hinds

The veterinarian may advise hospitalization for the cat (if necessary) in order to implement fluid and anticoagulant therapy. Your cat might be restricted from all kinds of activities till there is a reversal of the condition. Bed rest is highly recommended when there is a blockage in the artery due to a blood clot.

May 8, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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All You Need to Know About Ethanol Poisoning in Cats

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Ethanol is a common substance found in households. It is a prime ingredient in alcoholic beverages and it is used as a solvent for medicines. Even though we enjoy having the occasional glass of wine or beer, it is vital that we keep them away from our cats. Cats can’t process ethanol and can have severe implications when exposed to it through the skin or orally.

What causes ethanol poisoning?

Cats suffer from ethanol poisoning when they consume the following substances:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Antifreeze
  • Medications containing alcohol
  • Mouthwash and perfumes
  • Uncooked pizza or bread dough
  • Varnish and paint

The gastrointestinal tract of cats quickly absorbs ethanol and sends it to the brain. N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors found in the brain get inhibited. Communication between brain cells gets blocked because of the impact on production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate.

Symptoms of ethanol poisoning

The following symptoms occur within an hour after ingestion:

  • Ataxia
  • Dehydration
  • Hypothermia
  • Lethargy
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Sedation
  • Vomiting

As ethanol poisoning can affect the central nervous system, the cat can become unconscious and experience respiratory depression. If your feline friend ate uncooked pizza or bread dough, the abdomen can swell up. They can also suffer from kidney failure about 12 – 24 hours after ingesting ethanol. If you see your cat exhibiting the above-mentioned symptoms, take them to the vet immediately.

Treatment

The main factor for determining the type of treatment depends on how much time has passed since the cat ingested ethanol. Treatments aim to decrease the rate of absorption of ethanol in the intestines.

If the cat has been taken to the vet within an hour or two, induced vomiting is one type of treatment. If ethanol has already been absorbed by the intestine, liquids will be administered to increase production of urine and prevent dehydration. To ensure fluid therapy is going according to plan, a venous catheter will be placed.

Within the next fourteen hours, they will undergo eight to nine treatments. To maintain good levels of pH in the urine, sodium bicarbonate will be given. Medicines will be administered intravenously during all treatments.

If the body absorbed ethanol, the chances of kidney failure increase. Electrolytes, fluids, and even dialysis will be given at this stage to treat the kitty.

Recovery

If the cat received treatment within three hours, the chances of full recovery are good. Once the initial treatment has been successful, the symptoms should recede within eight to twelve hours. The vet will monitor blood, body acidity, and urine pH measurements till the cat is completely out of danger. Make sure that your cat gets all the necessary nutrition after the recovery.

As cats are extremely curious animals, we need to keep ethanol products from them as far away as possible. Lock the products away in containers or cabinets to prevent cats from getting their ‘paws’ on ethanol.

May 5, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Is Your Cat Suffering From an Enlarged Liver? This is What you Should Know

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When a cat has an enlarged liver, it usually points towards a swollen organ. This condition is termed as ‘hepatomegaly’ and is commonly seen in older cats. It is necessary to take your cat to visit a vet if you notice a swollen abdomen. A detailed medical examination is important because an enlarged liver condition could lead to malfunctioning of organ parts.

Causes of Enlarged Liver in Cats

Various medical conditions/diseases could cause a cat to have an enlarged liver. Some of the common causes of hepatomegaly include the following:

  • Hepatitis or liver infection
  • Heart disease
  • Cirrhosis (chronic liver disease)
  • Liver neoplasia
  • Accumulation of extra blood around the liver
  • Heartworm disease
  • Diaphragmatic hernia
  • Liver cyst
  • Metabolic product deposition in the liver tissue

Enlarged Liver Symptoms

How do you identify an enlarged liver condition in your cat? Well, if your cat has an enlarged liver, you might be able to notice certain symptoms that can help diagnose the condition. Even if you have a minor suspicion that your cat may in fact have an enlarged liver, it is best to visit a vet immediately. Some of the common symptoms of an enlarged cat liver include the following:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Inactivity/lethargy
  • Poor appetite and weight loss
  • Pain and discomfort related to movement
  • Heightened thirst
  • Jaundice
  • Increased urination

Diagnosis

When you visit the veterinarian, they will likely ask you to provide a detailed medical history of your pet, including the nature and onset of symptoms and potential incidents that could have caused the enlarged liver condition. A detailed physical examination will be performed by the vet for evaluating the body systems and they would also conduct a complete blood profile along with a urinalysis.

An enlarged liver might show in the abdominal X-rays and the vet may also identify displacement of kidneys or the stomach. On the other hand, chest X-rays are helpful in diagnosing any tumor metastasis in the chest cavity. They may also show any lung or heart related disease.

Jaundice

An enlarged liver is often accompanied by symptoms of liver damage and/or liver failure. It might be possible for enlarged livers to be functional, but they are usually disturbed by various kinds of chemical disparities. This means that your cat’s liver might not be able to produce sufficient liver enzymes as are needed for the normal functioning of the organ. In such a situation, it is possible for the cat to become jaundiced.

A treatment of antibiotics, abstinence from food, intravenous fluids and other techniques may be used for treating the problem of enlarged liver in your cat. Other treatments might be administered if the problem is severe.

May 4, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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All You Need to Know About Breeding Timing in Cats

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Breeding timing in cats refers to a specific period wherein a female cat achieves maximum fertility. This is when the cat’s chances of achieving pregnancy are at their highest. Some of the signs of breeding time include meowing constantly at higher volume and yowling. The female cat might also roll on the ground, rub against its owner’s legs or other items, and knead with her back feet etc.

These are basically indicators of the female’s readiness to mate. She uses these signs to communicate the fact to male suitors. In scientific terms, this “breeding time” is referred to as “Estrus” and in common terms, as “heat”. Estrus first occurs in female cats older than 4 months. At this time, mating with a male cat will likely lead to a successful pregnancy. Many breeders and pet owners try to determine breeding time in order to initiate a successful pregnancy.

How Is this Done?

To improve the chances of conception through the identification of breeding time, the day of ovulation is first pinpointed. As we mentioned already, the female cat displays certain signs that make the job of determining the day of ovulation relatively easy. Another sign would be the presence of male cats that show interest. But, timing isn’t the ultimate factor in successful breeding among cats. A lot depends on the luteinizing hormone, which is released through the stimulation of the female’s vagina and cervix. Progesterone testing is also done to determine the ovulation cycle and it is considered to be the most effective method present today. Apart from encouraging reproduction, breeding timing is practiced to help overcome a history of failed conception

Diagnosing Breeding Time

Veterinarians are trained to determine breeding time in cats. This is usually done by conducting physical examinations, measuring body temperature, and observing the typical signs of Estrus. The veterinarian might also collect vaginal secretions for progesterone testing. Another method used is having an Ultrasound. Veterinarians will likely question you regarding the cat’s age, the onset of Estrus, and existing health issues to determine her viability for breeding. He/she will also look at the cat’s records to check for pre-existing conditions and vaccination history to make sure everything is fine.

Even genetic testing might be carried to rule out the possibility of defects in her offspring. However, this is done only for specific breeds of cats that have been known to possess congenital problems. For owners who prefer not to have their cat bred, the option of an ovariohysterectomy may be suggested. Ovariohysterectomy is the medical term for spaying. It’s a simple procedure, done under general anesthesia that basically results in the removal of the female’s reproductive organs. On the whole, the procedure lasts no longer than 30 minutes and recovery normally occurs within a week or two.