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Vet Clinic, Five Most Common Cat Ailments

Friday, 9 October 2009

Today we're joined by Vet Liam Moriarty who'll be running through the five most common ailments that cats suffer from.

Many people end up going to their vets with problems that they can solves themselves, thus paying money for something they may have been able to solve themselves.

Liam Moriarty, Our Vet!
Liam Moriarty originally from Celbridge qualified from UCD Veterinary College 2001. He has worked in a number of veterinary practices in the UK and Ireland prior to establishing Hermitage Veterinary Clinic in 2005.

He has an interest in all pets and has two dogs "Robin" a golden retriever and "Bobo" a border collie. Liam (and the two dogs) can be found most days at Hermitage Veterinary Clinic in Lucan and is available for consultation by appointment!

Top five main issues for cat owners

. Viral infections
. Cat fight injuries
. Parasites
. Kidney disease
. Overactive thyroid glands

. Viral infections
Mainly cat 'flu, Feline Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (cat aids)
Probably prevention better than cure - we can prevent cat 'flu and feline leukaemia with vaccination, unfortunately there is no vaccination for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
These infections can be picked up by fighting, sharing food bowls with infected cats.

If your cat has Cat Flu it's eyes may be running and also it may have some nasal discharge. Unfortunately with the other two ailments there are no real signs or symptoms, they can lie dormant for many years in cats. With these ailments there a few preventative measure such as neutering your cat helps prevent straying and fighting. Feed cats indoors and do not leave food out for feral (semi- wild) cats.

. Cat fight injuries
Ever heard the expression to fight like cats? They get injuries and infections from fighting a lot. This includes abscesses, and the infections listed above. Neutering your cat will help prevent your cat fighting as they are more docile when neutered. Cats can be very quiet when bitten and bites may not show up or be noticeable for a week or so after the fight.

Liam is also keen to point out that he advises cat owners to let their cats out of the house. He thinks they have a better quality of life when let outside as it gives them a chance to climb and hunt.

. Parasites
Fleas and worms. Your cat can pick up fleas and worms from other cats and also from mice they may have hunted. They are a pretty clean animal however your cat may come into contact with feral cats who wouldn't be as clean and may pass on fleas to your own cat. The tell tale signs your cat has fleas or worms is that they may be scratching. They may also be shaking their head from side to side continuously or scratching their ears if they have fleas in their ears.

Their coat may also have flea dirt on it. Flea dirt is dried blood and appears as a black colour. This may easily be confused with dirt so an easy way to check if your cat has flea blood on its coat rather than dirt is to put the dirt onto wet cotton wool. If the dirt goes a rusty red colour well then its flea blood, if it doesn't then its dirt.

. Kidney disease
This disease is very common in older cats. Usually we check cats who would be aged 8 years and older for kidney disease. The main signs your cat may be suffering from kidney disease is if they are losing weight and not eating much food. They may also be drinking lots of water which can be a very misleading sign. Many owners will look at their cat and be happy that its drinking plenty of water but its important to keep an eye on this.

. Overactive thyroid glands
Again this is something that will affect older cats aged 8 years and older. I this instance your cat may be eating and drinking lots which again can be misleading for owners who think their cat may be perfectly well when in fact the overactive thyroid will be instead will be increasing their metabolism. This can lead to heart problems for your older cat.

Older cats can also be helped with therapeutic diets and medications. These help with quality of life and length of life. I have often treated cats into their late teens and early twenties!

Top 3 health tips for winter would be
1. Keep vaccinations up to date.
2. Treat for fleas and worms. These are available from your local vet.
3. Neuter your cat.

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