Aug 162016
 

naturea 2

We are excited to be adding a new natural pet food to our range, the entire range includes no corn, no wheat, no soy and no gluten.

 

Unlike herbivores and ruminants, carnivores have a short, rather acidic digestive system, designed to digest meat and not grains. In truth, grains are included in the diets of dogs and cats due to their low cost. But this can take its toll on your pet, seeing as grains are the main culprits of problems such as obesity and skin allergies.
Naturea follows a Naturally Appropriate line of thinking, creating foods based on what your furry friend really needs. We use no grains, and only include ingredients that have been approved for human consumption. The Naturea diet’s main ingredients are meat or fish, complemented with sweet potatoes, fruits, vegetables, aromatic herbs and seaweed, and are low in carbohydrates.
The physical well being of your dog and cat is proportional to the quality of its diet. By feeding your pet Naturea, you are offering it a balanced, healthy life.

naturea

The fresh meat and fish used in the Naturea Naturals, are removed from the bones and carcasses with a special machine for mechanical separation. After the separation process, they are refrigerated in stainless steel containers between 0º and 2º Celsius. By not freezing the meat we keep all the essential vitamins and amino acids, increasing the diets’ palatability. Fresh deboned chicken, lamb and salmon are delivered just in time for production and used up to 24 hours maximum and added to the other ingredients of our diets. With this high rigorous process and the freshness of protein sources we are contributing to your furry friend’s healthier and longer life.

 

naturea 1Talk to us today about your pets diet and we can advise you on a food that may better suit their needs.

 Posted by at 1:53 pm
Aug 162016
 
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NEXGARD SPECTRA®  combines two active ingredients to offer broad spectrum control of the most common external and internal parasites of dogs in one convenient monthly treat. 
 nex 2
This new soft, beef-flavoured chew represents the next generation of the popular NEXGARD® Chewables for fleas and ticks, now with the added benefit of treatment for roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.
NEXGARD SPECTRA treatment comes in the form of a highly palatable chew that is readily consumed by dogs when offered as a treat. Created with soy proteins and braised beef flavouring, NEXGARD SPECTRA features a beefy aroma that dogs love; and, because it is vegetable-based it won’t trigger beef allergies. 
NEXGARD SPECTRA is safe for all breeds and puppies from 8 weeks of age and 2kg or more.
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ADMINISTRATION
NEXGARD SPECTRA Chewables can be given with or without food. A convenient single chew suitable for all dogs in everyday situations. 
As NEXGARD SPECTRA is an oral treatment, dogs may be handled immediately following administration and there are no restrictions on swimming, bathing and shampooing before or after administration.
PACK SIZES
NEXGARD SPECTRA is available in five chew sizes and comes in single packs and packs of three chews:
  • Very Small Dog for dogs weighing 2-3.5kg
  • Small Dog for dogs weighing 3.6-7.5kg
  • Medium Dog for dogs weighing 7.6.15kg
  • Large Dog for dogs weighing 15.1-30kg
  • Extra Large Dog for dogs weighing 30.1-60kg*
For dogs over 60kg administer the appropriate combination of whole chewables.
 Posted by at 1:52 pm
Aug 162016
 

 broadline 3Most owners and vets alike will tell you that treating your cat for parasites at home can be very difficult, Broadline is an exciting new product that is applied to the skin at the base of your cats neck avoiding hiding tablets in food and struggling with your cat during parasite control treatments.

BROADLINE is a topical solution containing fipronil, (S)-methoprene, eprinomectin and praziquantel available in two volumes: 0.3mL to treat cats from 0.8 – 2.4 kg and 0.9mL to treat cats from 2.5 kg – 7.4 kg.

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BROADLINE controls flea bite hypersensitivity by flea control and will kill newly acquired fleas within 8-24 hrs.  It prevents flea eggs from hatching and can be used for the treatment and control of tick infestations, biting lice, roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.

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This product can be used on kittens from 8 weeks of age.

Watch des talk about Broadline and show you how to apply the product below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WhCZeBZeIc

 Posted by at 1:52 pm
Aug 122016
 

We stock a wide range of parasite control products and we are continuously adding to our range.

Check out our range below

Nexguard Spectra- a chewable tablet for dogs which kills internal and external parasites

Fleatix- a spot-on treatment for cats and dog for the treatment of external parasites

Boradline- a spot on treatment for cats which kills internal and external parasites

Milbactor- a tablet for dogs for the treatment of internal parasites

Endoguard –  a tablet for dogs for the treatment of internal parasites

Profender – a spot-on for cat for the treatment of internal parasites

Frontline – for the treatment of external parasites

Bravecto – a chewable tablet for the treatment of external parasites

milbactor cat milbqctor 2 bravecto 1 broadline 1

nex guard spectra

 Posted by at 2:40 pm
Aug 122016
 

fiv cat 2 (260x194)

 

What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?
Virologists classify feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) as a lentivirus (or “slow virus”). FIV is in the same retrovirus family as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), but the viruses differ in many ways including their shape. FIV is elongated, while FeLV is more circular. The two viruses are also quite different genetically, and the proteins that compose them are dissimilar in size and composition. The specific ways in which they cause disease differ, as well.

How common is the infection?
FIV-infected cats are found worldwide, but the prevalence of infection varies greatly.  Rates rise significantly-15 percent or more-in cats that are sick or at high risk of infection. Because biting is the most efficient means of viral transmission, free-roaming, aggressive male cats are the most frequently infected, while cats housed exclusively indoors are much less likely to be infected.

How is FIV spread?
The primary mode of transmission is through bite wounds. Casual, non-aggressive contact does not appear to be an efficient route of spreading FIV; as a result, cats in households with stable social structures where housemates do not fight are at little risk for acquiring FIV infections. On rare occasions infection is transmitted from an infected mother cat to her kittens, usually during passage through the birth canal or when the newborn kittens ingest infected milk. Sexual contact is not a major means of spreading FIV.

What does FIV do to a cat?
Infected cats may appear normal for years. However, infection eventually leads to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat’s ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment–where they usually do not affect healthy animals–can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FIV.

What are the signs of disease caused by FIV?
Early in the course of infection, the virus is carried to nearby lymph nodes, where it reproduces in white blood cells known as T-lymphocytes. The virus then spreads to other lymph nodes throughout the body, resulting in a generalized but usually temporary enlargement of the lymph nodes, often accompanied by fever. This stage of infection may pass unnoticed unless the lymph nodes are greatly enlarged.

An infected cat’s health may deteriorate progressively or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body.
•Poor coat condition and persistent fever with a loss of appetite are commonly seen.
•Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis) and chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract are often present.
•Persistent diarrhea can also be a problem, as can a variety of eye conditions.
•Slow but progressive weight loss is common, followed by severe wasting late in the disease process.
•Various kinds of cancer and blood diseases are much more common in cats infected with FIV, too.
•In unspayed female cats, abortion of kittens or other reproductive failures have been noted.
•Some infected cats experience seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders.
How is infection diagnosed?
Antibody tests detect the presence of antibody in the blood of infected cats.

Positive results
•Because few, if any, cats ever eliminate infection, the presence of antibody indicates that a cat is infected with FIV. This test can be performed by most veterinary diagnostic laboratories and also is available in kit form for use in veterinary clinics. Since false-positive results may occur, veterinarians recommend that positive results be confirmed using a test with a different format.
•Infected mother cats transfer FIV antibodies to nursing kittens, so kittens born to infected mothers may receive positive test results for several months after birth. However, few of these kittens actually are or will become infected. To clarify their infection status, kittens younger than six months of age receiving positive results should be retested at 60-day intervals until they are at least six months old.
Negative results
•A negative test result indicates that antibodies directed against FIV have not been detected, and, in most cases, this implies that the cat is not infected. Nevertheless, it takes eight to 12 weeks after infection (and sometimes even longer) before detectable levels of antibody appear, so if the test is performed during this interval, inaccurate results might be obtained. Therefore, antibody-negative cats with either an unknown or a known exposure to FIV-infected cats-such as through the bite of an unknown cat-should be retested a minimum of 60 days after their most recent exposure in order to allow adequate time for development of antibodies.
•On very rare occasions, cats in the later stages of FIV infection may test negative because their immune systems are so compromised that they no longer produce detectable levels of antibody.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are designed to detect short segments of a virus’s genetic material. While antibody-based tests are ideal screening tests for infection, in certain situations (such as confirming infection in antibody-positive kittens or determining infection of cats vaccinated with antibody-producing FIV vaccines), PCR-based tests, in theory, would be superior. Although PCR testing methods offer promise and are being actively explored, at this time unacceptable numbers of false-positive and false-negative results prevent them from routinely being recommended.

How can I keep my cat from becoming infected?
The only sure way to protect cats is to prevent their exposure to the virus. Cat bites are a major way infection is transmitted, so keeping cats indoors-and away from potentially infected cats that might bite them-markedly reduces their likelihood of contracting FIV infection. For the safety of the resident cats, only infection-free cats should be adopted into a household with uninfected cats.

I just discovered that one of my cats has FIV, yet I have other cats as well. What do I do now?
Unfortunately, many FIV-infected cats are not diagnosed until after they have lived for years with other cats. In such cases, all the other cats in the household should be tested, as well. Ideally, all infected cats should be separated from the noninfected ones to eliminate the potential for FIV transmission. If this is not possible-and if fighting or rough play is not taking place-the risk to the non-infected cats appears to be low.

How should FIV-infected cats be managed?
•FIV-infected cats should be confined indoors to prevent spread of FIV infection to other cats in the neighborhood and to reduce their exposure to infectious agents carried by other animals.
•FIV-infected cats should be spayed or neutered.
•They should be fed nutritionally complete and balanced diets.
•Uncooked food, such as raw meat and eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products should not be fed to FIV-infected cats because the risk of food-borne bacterial and parasitic infections is much higher in immunosuppressed cats.
•Wellness visits for FIV-infected cats should be scheduled with your veterinarian at least every six months. Although a detailed physical examination of all body systems will be performed, your veterinarian will pay special attention to the health of the gums, eyes, skin, and lymph nodes. Your cat’s weight will be measured accurately and recorded, because weight loss is often the first sign of deterioration. A complete blood count, serum biochemical analysis, and a urine analysis should be performed annually.
•Vigilance and close monitoring of the health and behavior of FIV-infected cats is even more important than it is for uninfected cats. Alert your veterinarian to any changes in your cat’s health as soon as possible.
•There is no evidence from controlled scientific studies to show that immunomodulator, alternative, or antiviral medications have any positive benefits on the health or longevity of healthy FIV-infected cats. However, some antiviral therapies have been shown to benefit some FIV-infected cats with seizures or stomatitis.

How long can I expect my FIV-infected cat to live?
It is impossible to accurately predict the life expectancy of a cat infected with FIV. With appropriate care and under ideal conditions, many infected cats will remain in apparent good health for many months or years. If your cat has already had one or more severe illnesses as a result of FIV infection, or if persistent fever and weight loss are present, a much shorter survival time can be expected.

My FIV-infected cat died recently after a long illness. How should I clean my home before bringing in a new cat?
Feline immunodeficiency virus will not survive outside the cat for more than a few hours in most environments. However, FIV-infected cats are frequently infected with other infectious agents that may pose some threat to a newcomer. Thoroughly clean and disinfect or replace food and water dishes, bedding, litter pans, and toys. A dilute solution of household bleach (four ounces of bleach in 1 gallon of water) makes an excellent disinfectant. Vacuum carpets and mop floors with an appropriate cleanser. Any new cats or kittens should be properly vaccinated against other infectious agents before entering the household.

Can I become infected with FIV?
Although FIV is a lentivirus similar to HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) and causes a disease in cats similar to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in humans, it is a highly species-specific virus that infects only felines.

A number of studies have failed to show any evidence that FIV can infect or cause disease in people.

Why should I have my cat tested?
Early detection will help you maintain the health of your own cat and also allow you to prevent spreading infection to other cats.

Under what circumstances should FIV testing be performed?
•If your cat has never been tested.
•If your cat is sick, even if it tested free of infection in the past but subsequent exposure can’t be ruled out.
•When cats are newly adopted, whether or not they will be entering a household with other cats.
•If your cat has recently been exposed to an infected cat.
•If your cat is exposed to cats that may be infected (for example, if your cat goes outdoors unsupervised or lives with other cats that might be infected). Your veterinarian may suggest testing periodically (yearly) as long as your cat is exposed to potentially infected cats.

 Posted by at 2:07 pm
Aug 122016
 

fiv cat 1 (213x236)

 

What is feline leukemia virus?
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV), a retrovirus, so named because of the way it behaves within infected cells. All retroviruses, including feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), produce an enzyme, reverse transcriptase, which permits them to insert copies of their own genetic material into that of the cells they have infected. Although related, FeLV and FIV differ in many ways, including their shape: FeLV is more circular while FIV is elongated. The two viruses are also quite different genetically, and their protein constituents are dissimlar in size and composition. Although many of the diseases caused by FeLV and FIV are similar, the specific ways in which they are caused differs.

How common is the infection?
FeLV-infected cats are found worldwide, but the prevalence of infection varies greatly depending on their age, health, environment, and lifestyle. Rates rise significantly—13% or more—in cats that are ill, very young, or otherwise at high risk of infection.

How is FeLV spread?
Cats persistently infected with FeLV serve as sources of infection. Virus is shed in very high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions, but also in urine, feces, and milk from infected cats. Cat-to-cat transfer of virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (though rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes. Transmission can also take place from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before they are born or while they are nursing. FeLV doesn’t survive long outside a cat’s body—probably less than a few hours under normal household conditions.

What cats are at greatest risk of infection?
Cats at greatest risk of infection are those that may be exposed to infected cats, either via prolonged close contact or through bite wounds. Such cats include:
•Cats living with infected cats or with cats of unknown infection status
•Cats allowed outdoors unsupervised, where they may be bitten by an infected cat
•Kittens born to infected mothers
Kittens are much more susceptible to infection than are adult cats, and therefore are at the greatest risk of infection if exposed. But accompanying their progression to maturity is an increasing resistance to FeLV infection. For example, the degree of virus exposure sufficient to infect 100% of young kittens will infect only 30% or fewer adults. Nonetheless, even healthy adult cats can become infected if sufficiently exposed.

What does FeLV do to a cat?
Feline leukemia virus adversely affects the cat’s body in many ways. It is the most common cause of cancer in cats, it may cause various blood disorders, and it may lead to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat’s ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment—where they usually do not affect healthy animals—can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FeLV.

What are the signs of disease caused by FeLV?
During the early stages of infection, it is common for cats to exhibit no signs of disease at all. However, over time—weeks, months, or even years—the cat’s health may progressively deteriorate or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Signs can include:
•Loss of appetite
•Slow but progressive weight loss, followed by severe wasting late in the disease process
•Poor coat condition
•Enlarged lymph nodes
•Persistent fever
•Pale gums and other mucus membranes
•Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis)
•Infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract
•Persistent diarrhea
•Seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders
•A variety of eye conditions
•In unspayed female cats, abortion of kittens or other reproductive failures
I understand there are two stages of FeLV infection. What are they?
FeLV is present in the blood (a condition called viremia) during two different stages of infection:
•Primary viremia, an early stage of virus infection. During this stage some cats are able to mount an effective immune response, eliminate the virus from the bloodstream, and halt progression to the secondary viremia stage.
•Secondary viremia, a later stage characterized by persistent infection of the bone marrow and other tissue. If FeLV infection progresses to this stage it has passed a point of no return: the overwhelming majority of cats with secondary viremia will be infected for the remainder of their lives.
How is infection diagnosed?
Two types of FeLV blood tests are in common use. Both detect a protein component of the virus as it circulates in the bloodstream.
•ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and similar tests can be performed in your veterinarian’s office. ELISA-type tests detect both primary and secondary stages of viremia.
•IFA (indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay) tests must be sent out to a diagnostic laboratory. IFA tests detect secondary viremia only, so the majority of positive-testing cats remain infected for life.

Each testing method has strengths and weaknesses. Your veterinarian will likely suggest an ELISA-type test first, but in some cases, both tests must be performed—and perhaps repeated—to clarify a cat’s true infection status.

How can I keep my cat from becoming infected?
The only sure way to protect cats is to prevent their exposure to FeLV-infected cats.
•Keep cats indoors, away from potentially infected cats that might bite them. If you do allow your cats outdoor access, provide supervision or place them in a secure enclosure to prevent wandering and fighting.
•Adopt only infection-free cats into households with uninfected cats.
•House infection-free cats separately from infected cats, and don’t allow infected cats to share food and water bowls or litter boxes with uninfected cats.
•Consider FeLV vaccination of uninfected cats. (FeLV vaccination of infected cats is not beneficial.) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of vaccination with your veterinarian. FeLV vaccines are widely available, but since not all vaccinated cats will be protected, preventing exposure remains important even for vaccinated pets. FeLV vaccines will not cause cats to receive false positive results on ELISA, IFA, or any other available FeLV tests.

I just discovered that one of my cats has FeLV, yet I have other cats as well. What should I do?
Unfortunately, many FeLV-infected cats are not diagnosed until after they have lived with other cats. In such cases, all other cats in the household should be tested for FeLV. Ideally, infected and non-infected cats should then be separated to eliminate the potential for FeLV transmission.

 Posted by at 2:01 pm
Jul 182016
 

harvest mite 3

 

The larvae of harvest mites can cause seasonal skin problems in dogs and cats, particularly during late summer and autumn. This six legged harvest mite larva feeds on tissue fluid and may cause considerable skin itch and discomfort to both dogs and cats. This article tells you how to avoid them, and what you can do if your dog or cat does get attacked by them.

Where do you find them?

The large orange/yellow larvae are widely distributed in ireland. Heavy infestations may be sharply localised – even to the extent of being abundant in one garden and absent from others in the same area. It is also found in town gardens and parks.

When they attack

The first active stage in the life cycle of the harvest mite is the six-legged larva – this is the only stage which attacks dogs and cats. These larvae congregate in large groups on small clods of earth, long grass, matted vegetation and even on low bushes and plants. They are active during the day, especially when it is dry and sunny. When they come into contact with any warm blooded animal they swarm on and congregate in areas where there is little hair and the skin is quite thin.

Harvest mite larvae feed by thrusting their small hooked fangs into the skin surface. The larvae do not burrow into the skin or suck blood. They inject a fluid containing powerful digestive enzymes which break down the skin cells. The resulting liquefied skin tissues are then sucked back into the digestive system of the larva.

 

harvest mite 2

Signs of infestation

The larvae can be recognized as clusters of small red-orange coloured “dust” attached to hairs on the body.

The larvae will inject and suck for two to three days at the same site until it is full and has increased in size three to four times before dropping off the host, leaving a red swelling on the skin that can itch severely.

The itching will usually develop within 3 to 6 hours of exposure, but can continue for several weeks afterwards. This can lead to rubbing, biting and scratching, and can lead to scurf and hair loss in a few cases. If the skin is damaged due to scratching, these areas can also become infected with bacteria.

harvest mite 1

 

Prevention / Avoidance

Harvest mite larvae are only active during the day. If you can exercise your pet early in the morning before they become too active, this can help reduce the risk of infestation. If possible, avoiding long grasses and vegetation can also help, and keep moving – the worst infestations will occur when sitting down or laying down in a sunny spot in the middle of the day!

Treatment

Spraying tour pet with frontline spray is the most effective treatment. A lot of pets will show an allergic response to harvest mite bites and will require further treatment which may include antibiotics and or a steroid treatment.

If your pet is in need of treatment please contact us.

 Posted by at 2:10 pm
Jul 132016
 

Well done to all who attended and won prizes at this years French Festival dog show, there was lots of entrants and everyone had a great day.

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 Posted by at 11:07 am
Jul 012016
 

cat kidney 2

Some cats develop microscopic crystals in their urine. These may or may not be associated with a urinary tract infection. These crystals, which are like very fine sand, irritate the bladder. In male cats, the crystals may plug the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder, through the penis, to the outside of the body). This is a life-threatening condition, since the cat would be unable to urinate.

In some cats, larger stones can develop. These are called urinary calculi and the condition is referred to as urolithiasis. Stones may actually form anywhere in the entire urinary tract. The urinary stones in cats can be found in the kidneys, ureters (tiny tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), bladder, or urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside of the animal). They can also obstruct the outflow of urine.

Signs and diagnosis of bladder stones in cats

If your cat is straining to urinate and produces little urine or no urine at all, it is considered an extreme emergency.

Cats with bladder stones may have blood in their urine and may urinate frequently, passing only small quantities of urine each time. Often, they will strain while urinating, holding their body in the urinating posture for much longer than normal. They may lick their genital area more than usual. If your cat is straining to urinate and produces little urine or no urine at all, it is considered an extreme emergency.

Some cats with bladder stones may show no signs at all, and the stones are discovered while palpating the abdomen during a routine physical exam.

Several types of bladder stonesIf the stones cannot be diagnosed through palpation, the diagnosis of bladder stones in cats is made or confirmed with abdominal x-rays or ultrasound. Most stones are radiopaque, meaning they show up on the radiographic film as obvious white circles or shapes just as bones do. A few are radiolucent, where the x-ray beams pass right through and therefore, they do not show up on the finished film. To confirm the presence of these types of stones, a special dye is passed into the bladder and it outlines the stones in the x-ray. With this method, we see a white area (the dye in the bladder) with a black hole in the center (the stone).

cat kidney 1

How bladder stones are formed

Bladder stones are formed by minerals, which first precipitate out in the urine as individual microscopic crystals. Over time, these crystals unite and small grains of sand-like material may be formed. Once these first grains are present, additional precipitation forms on their surface and the tiny specks are gradually built into stones that sometimes reach over 1″ in diameter.

The effect of diet on urinary stone and treatment

It appears that diet may increase the risk of a cat developing urinary crystals, stones, and urethral plugs. The development of crystals and stones is mostly dependent upon the:

  • Urine pH
  • Concentration of minerals in the urine

Whether a cat is allowed to eat throughout the day (free choice or ad libitum feeding) or has specific mealtimes may influence lower urinary tract health. Genetics also appears to play a role.

Three common crystals (and stones) in cats are struvite, oxalate, and urate.

Struvite Crystals and Stones

Formation

Struvite crystals are made up of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate. The crystals and stones are more likely to develop in alkaline urine. The main dietary factors which appear to affect the development of struvite crystals are urine ph and water consumption. In the past, crystals and stones made of struvite were more common in cats. As a result, diets were developed to minimize the risk of forming struvite. These diets were low in magnesium and cats eating them produced an acidic (low pH) urine. As more cats were fed these diets, both for treatment and prevention of struvite, the percentage of cats with struvite stones decreased, but the incidence of calcium oxalate crystals and stones increased. Struvite is still, by far, the most common component of urethral plugs.

cat kidney 3

Treatment and Prevention
The treatment of struvite stones may include surgical removal, urohyropropulsion (both described in more detail at the end of the article), dietary changes, or a combination of techniques.

Surgery: If there are urethral plugs or any other type of urinary obstruction, we cannot wait for special diets to dissolve the stones, but must quickly surgically remove the stones or use urohydropropulsion (detailed below) to eliminate the stones.

Cats who are on diets designed to acidify the urine should NOT be given additional urinary acidifiers.

Diet Modifications: When struvite is a problem, special diets are available to make the urine more dilute and more acidic. Too much acidification of the urine can result in serious health problems, so urinary acidifiers should never be used in conjunction with diets that are formulated to produce an acidic urine. Since the safety of these products for kittens and pregnant or nursing queens has not been established, it is recommended that these products not be used for these life stages.

Those diets that are designed to actually dissolve urinary stones include Hill’s s/d, Royal Canin Dissolution, and Royal Canin Urinary SO. Hill’s s/d should only used on a short-term basis, however, since it is not balanced for long-term use. Those diets that are available to help prevent stones and crystal formation in cats that are susceptible to them include Purina CNM UR-Formula, Royal Canin Urinary SO, Royal Canin Control, and Hill’s c/d, w/d, and r/d. All of these diets have a balanced level of the minerals that make up the crystals such as magnesium and phosphorous. In addition to being formulated to produce an acid urine, they are also formulated to produce more dilute urine, so crystals are less likely to form. The diets are available through your veterinarian.

Prior to the development of specialized diets, urinary acidifiers such as vitamin C or dl-methionine were sometimes used to lower the pH of the urine in cases of struvite stones, for example. Specialty diets are now preferred since they alter not only the pH, but the concentration of stone-forming constituents. Remember: Do NOT give urinary acidifiers when you are using one of the specialty diets that also acidify urine.

Feeding methods: It is recommended that cats who are at risk for developing struvite crystals or stones should be fed ad libitum. After eating a large meal, the pH of the urine usually becomes more alkaline. By eating small meals throughout the day, the urine pH will stay more acidic.

Increased Water Consumption: An important influence on the development of urinary crystals and stones is the consumption of water. As more water is consumed, the urine is less concentrated, and crystals are less likely to form. Also, since there is more urine, the cat will urinate more frequently, and the urine will be present in the bladder for a shorter period of time. This also decreases the chance of crystal and stone formation. Provide fresh, clean water at all times, and preferably in several areas around the house.For some animals with a history of urinary tract infections or crystals, a canned diet is recommended. Canned diets contain larger amounts of water and may help dilute the urine and make crystals less likely to form.

The Formation, Treatment, and Diet Modifications for Urinary Stones and Crystals in Cats
Type of stone Tends to
form in:
Initial treatment Diet recommended for dissolving stones** Diet recommended for crystal/stone prevention in cats susceptible to them**
Struvite Alkaline urine Diet to dissolve stones unless there is an obstruction; surgical removal or urohydropropulsion if there is an obstruction Hill’s s/d
Royal Canin Dissolution
Royal Canin Urinary SO
Hill’s c/d, w/d, or r/d
Royal Canin Control
Royal Canin Urinary SO
Purina CNM UR Formula
Oxalate Acidic urine Surgical removal or urohydropropulsion Hill’s c/d or x/d
Royal Canin Urinary SO
Purina CNM UR Formula
Urate Acidic urine; cats with certain liver diseases Surgical removal or urohydropropulsion; treat any liver disease Hill’s k/d or l/d*
Royal Canin Renal LP*
*No specific diets are available; these diets are lower in protein, which is recommended.
**With all diets, it is extremely beneficial to also increase the amount of water consumption.

Oxalate Crystals and Stones

Formation
Oxalate crystals and stones are more likely to occur in acidic urine and if the cat has high calcium levels in the blood. This could be caused by excessive intake of calcium, protein, sodium, or vitamin D. Some metabolic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism, some cancers, and Cushings disease may also contribute to the development of oxalate stones. Unfortunately, oxalate stones often occur in cats with normal blood calcium levels, as well.

Treatment and Prevention
Surgery: Surgical removal or hydropropulsion (described in more detail below) are the only available treatment for oxalate stones. There are no diets that will dissolve them.

Diet Modification: Special diets are available that decrease the probability of oxalate crystals and stones forming in the urine. These include Hills x/d, Royal Canin Urinary SO, and Purina CNM UR-Formula. Urinary acidifiers should not be used with these diets since the goal is to make the urine more alkaline.

Increased Water Consumption: As with struvite, another goal of therapy is to produce dilute urine, so any method to increase water consumption should be used. Again, canned diets may be recommended.

Urate Crystals and Stones

Formation
Urate stones are more common in certain breeds of dogs, such as Dalmations, although they have been diagnosed in cats. They are more likely to occur in acidic urine. They can also be seen with some liver disorders and metabolic diseases.

Treatment and Prevention
Surgery: If there are urethral plugs or any other type of urinary obstruction, we cannot wait for special diets to dissolve the stones, but must quickly remove the stones by surgery or urohydropropulsion (see description later in article).

Diet Modification: There are no specific diets for urate stones in cats, however diets lower in protein are often recommended. These include Hill’s k/d or l/d, and Royal Canin Renal LP. Urinary acidifiers should also not be used with these diets since the goal is to make the urine more alkaline.

Increased Water Consumption: Again, increase water consumption as much as possible and use canned diets as recommended.

Other treatment techniques

Surgery
The surgical removal of stones within the bladder is referred to as a cystotomy, meaning an opening of the bladder. With the cat under anesthesia and lying on his back, an incision is made through the abdominal wall in front of the pelvis. The bladder is exposed and lifted out through the incision. Urine is collected for culture and analysis. The bladder is then opened and the stones are removed. The bladder and urethra are flushed with sterile saline solution to wash out any small or microscopic particles. The bladder is then closed with sutures as is the abdominal wall. The patient is placed on antibiotics and usually sent home the following day. The bladder stones are sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine their chemical make-up and the remainder of the therapy will vary depending on the results.

Urohydropropulsion
To perform urohydropropulsion, the cat is anesthetized and a urinary catheter is placed. Through the catheter, the bladder is filled with sterile saline. The cat is then held in an upright position and, by hand, the veterinarian compresses the bladder, forcing the solution back out, and with it, the stones. Urohydropropulsion is used when the stones are very small and are sure to pass through the urethra.

Emergencies

In situations where a stone has lodged in the ureters or urethra, the condition is a life or death matter that must be resolved immediately. Urinary obstructions lead to kidney shut down and death. If there are stones or crystals caught in the urethra, which is especially common in male cats, the veterinarian would first provide pain medication and intravenous fluids. The cat is anesthetized and the veterinarian will try to back-flush the plug or obstruction into the bladder before it is opened. If this cannot be done, a very small endoscope may be used to try to remove the obstruction. In the rare case where stones are lodged in a ureter, an incision would have to be made at the site. This is extremely delicate surgery since the ureters is such a find tube-like structure.

 

 

 Posted by at 1:50 pm