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My Cat Has the Runs! Will Antibiotics Help Feline Diarrhea?

Cat DiarrheaNot all types of diarrhea are responsive to antibiotics.  Some are and some are not and it is not known why which is which. It is speculated that responsive diarrhea is because there is a bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. However, many vets are still reluctant to prescribe antibiotics as a treatment.

Why would there be a bacterial overgrowth?  The current theories as to its cause focus on the possibility of immune dysregulation possibly associated with abnormal CD4+ T cells (immune cells), IgA plasma cells (antibodies), and cytokine (a chemical messenger) expression.

Symptoms and Types

  • Small bowel diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Large amounts of diarrhea
  • Large bowel diarrhea
  • Straining to defecate
  • Blood in the diarrhea
  • Increased amount of defecation
  • Increased intestinal sounds
  • Gas

Causes

Unknown for sure but these bacteria are suspected:

  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Escherichia coli
  • Lawsonia intracellularis

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose you will need to give a full history of your cats health, the start of the symptoms and anything that may have preceded the condition. A series of diagnostic tests will be performed, which may include a physical exam, a blood test that include a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count an electrolyte panel and a urinalysis. Your vet may also do a fecal smear to rule out a parasite infestation. X-rays may be taken to rule out physical causes of diarrhea.

In order to make sure that antibiotics are the correct treatment course, your vet will have to diagnostically rule out all other potential causes.

Treatment

In conjunction with antibiotics you vet will help you plan out a proper diet based in low-fat, highly digestible food. If your cat is having absorption issues (a decreased cobalamin level), vitamin B12 supplements may also be prescribed until levels have returned back to normal.

The diet is only necessary during the treatment, though maintaining a low-fat diet is good for your cats health overall.

Left Over Valentines Chocolate? Effects Of Chocolate On Animals

dog_1After chocolate holidays like Valentines Day you may be tempted to share your left over chocolate with your favorite furry friend. But if you want to make your cat or dog your Valentine, it is best to keep the chocolate to yourself. If you suspect that your dog or cat has chocolate poisoning make sure to contact your vet right away.

 

Your pet may really love the taste and flavor of chocolates, but never let him have any. Chocolates are made from the roasted seeds of cocoa, which contains chemicals like caffeine and theobromine that are toxic to animals. If ingested, these two substances can cause several medical problems and might prove lethal for your pets. Chocolate can be risky for most animals like horses, dogs, cats and parrots since they’re unable to metabolize the chemicals effectively. Consumption of theobromine can result in poisoning and even death in certain animals.

Dogs are the most susceptible to chocolate poisoning because of their habit of rapid consumption. Also, theobromine can last up to more than 24 hours in a dog’s bloodstream. Cats are also vulnerable to chocolate poisoning for the similar reason dogs are. But cats commonly are not willing to eat chocolate, since they do not have ‘sweet’ taste receptors. Horses can take in a lot more theobromine than canines, regardless of how toxic it’s, because of their higher weight. In past times, theobromine has been utilized to improve a horse’s overall performance, and that’s why it’s prohibited in horse-racing.

Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Animals

In adequate amounts, the theobromine present in chocolate is dangerous to animals. If animals or pets are fed chocolate, the theobromine may possibly remain in the blood circulation for approximately 20 hrs.

Vomiting and diarrhea occur 3 to 5 hours after consumption, and chocolate in the throw-up may perhaps be obvious. Central nervous system stimulation triggers tremors, hyperactivity and seizures. The heart-rate becomes rapid and abnormal. Excessive urination might result from the “diuretic” action of the chocolate.

Further signs include firmness, excitement, seizures, and excessive response to light and noise. Urine may contain blood and the gums of the pet may turn into bluish hue after few hours of chocolate intake. Heart failure, coma, and death can also happen.

How To Treat Chocolate Poisoning

There is only a little you can do for your pet, especially in the home, to treat the poisoning of theobromine once it is mixed with the bloodstream. Therefore, the general treatments are usually ways to stop the ingested theobromine from getting in to the blood stream.

These include:

1. Induce vomiting instantly, which will help remove most of the chocolate.

2. After that, make your pet to eat a small quantity of activated charcoal, which can bind completely to the theobromine and retain it from getting into the circulatory system.

3. Try to get your pet to drink as much water as it can to keep hydrated.

4. At the veterinarian, specific drugs may be used to help the pet make it through, like anti-convulsants, which can help if the pet has seizures.

Make sure to call your vet if your dog shows signs of chocolate poisoning.

While a very little amount of chocolate would possibly not harm some pets, it is safest to avoid feeding it to them in any way. Remember to keep your chocolate, sweets, chocolate coated goodies and cakes safely far away from your pets. The most effective medicine in this case is prevention; An oz. of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

This article was written by Chocolate by Genevie – an online service that delivers artisan gift chocolates by mail. Genevie is a UK Chocolatier based in Edinburgh with a passion for cocoa and blogging. You can view some of the creations from Chocolate by Genevie on Pinterest.

9 Lives of Feline Dental Health

Cat-Dental-CareWe all know that dogs need to have their teeth brushed but did you know that your cat needs it too?

The idea of brushing your cats teeth may be daunting, but it can be much easier that you think. Here are some tips to get your cat

1. Bad breath or BAD breath?

Cat breath is not the greatest smelling thing in the world but it shouldn’t be offensive either. Take a quick whiff of your cats breath and if you notice an abnormally strong odor, he may have a digestive issue or a gum condition like gingivitis. So if your cat has super stinky breath it is likely time to take him to the vet.

2. Its in the lips

Lift up your cats lips and take a look at her gums. The should be firm and pink, not white or red. They should show no signs of swelling. The teeth should be white and clean of any brownish tartar, and they should not be loose or broken. If you see brownish tartar, swollen red gums or broken teeth, it may be time for a dental exam.

3. A problem mouth

These symptoms could indicate a problem with your cats dental health:

  • Dark red line along the gums
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Ulcers on gums or tongue
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive pawing at the mouth area

4. The Danger of Swelling

At any sign of gum inflammation, you should take your cat in for a veterinary exam. If left untreated, gum disease can develop, possibly leading to tooth loss or inability to eat. Inflammation may also point to an internal problem like kidney disease orFeline Immunodeficiency Virus.

5. The Lowdown on Tooth Decay

Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause a buildup on a cat’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss. Regular brushing and teeth cleanings can prevent tooth decay.

6. Your Cat’s Tooth Brush

All you’ll need to brush your cat’s teeth are cotton swabs and a small toothbrush and tube of toothpaste formulated for felines. You can also use salt and water. Ask your vet to suggest the brushing supplies that he trusts, and be sure never to use toothpaste designed for people-the ingredients can be unhealthy for your cat.

7. Brushing Your Cats Teeth

  • Get your cat used to the idea of having her teeth brushed. Start by gently massaging her gums with your fingers or touching a cotton swab to them.
  • After a few times, put a little bit of cat-formulated toothpaste on her lips to get her used to the taste.
  • Then, introduce a toothbrush designed especially for cats-it will be smaller than human toothbrushes and have softer bristles. There are finger-cot toothbrushes as well that may be easier for you to use.
  • Lastly, apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a gentle brushing.
  • A vet dental health exam beforehand may be helpful to find out if your cat’s gums are inflamed. Many cats have mild gingivitis and brushing too hard can hurt their gums.

8. Dental Diet

Your cats diet, much like your own, affects their dental health. Some cat food is high in ingredients that may cause tartar which leads to plaque and tooth decay.  If your cat has dental problems you may want to feed him food that will help prevent dental health issues like tartar and tooth decay. Talk to your vet about food options.

9. The Professional

After all the at-home care, sometimes you just need to get their teeth cleaned. Your vet can quickly, safely, and easily clean your cats teeth. It is a simple procedure done in the office.  It is a good idea to get your cats teeth cleaned annually. Call and make your appointment today and save $10!

 

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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.