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Canberra Cat Vet Blog

The 12 Dangers of Christmas

Thursday, November 29, 2018

                                    Less than a month to Christmas! Watch out for these 12 Dangers of Christmas. 

  1. Pine Christmas tree fronds, tinsel, ribbon and ornaments - cause upset stomachs or blocked intestines
  2. Christmas lights are not toys!
  3. Onions and garlic - cause anaemia, but you don't see signs for a few days
  4. Chocolate - makes little hearts race, sometimes too fast for their own good
  5. Alcohol - not even in moderation, makes cats vomit, become incoordinated, have seizures, go into a coma or even die
  6. Dried fruit, especially sultanas, currants and raisins, Christmas cake and pudding, and grapes cause kidney damage
  7. Cooked turkey or chicken bones can block the intestines or pierce the stomach
  8. Liquid potpourri ulcerates and irritates the tongue and throat and if swallowed can cause muscle twitches, weakness, and collapse
  9. Flower arrangements containing lilies are deadly to cats. Lilies like Easter lilies, Tiger lilies and Day lilies damage kidneys
  10. Your medicines including Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, any heart medicine, any anti-depression pills, the morning after coffee!
  11. Xylitol - the artificial sweetener you put in that morning after coffee! Also in chewing gum, breath mints and other fun things to bat around the kitchen
  12. Lithium ion disc batteries in Christmas toys - the electric current flow in the stomach leads to perforation of the stomach wall


Sore eyes

Thursday, November 22, 2018
                        Poor Mali's eye started running within days of arriving in his new home. His carers noticed that he was squinting and sad so they brought him in for a check.
It is very common for kittens and even adult cats to get one or two sore eyes when they are stressed. Mali had left his mum and brothers and sisters as well as his first home. Despite lots of love and care his new home was strange to him and he was understandably a bit stressed. Cats don't like change!
The feline herpesvirus behaves a bit like the human herpesvirus except that it hides out in the nerve to the eye. When the cat is stressed the virus is activated and moves to the window of the eye, the cornea. Human herpesvirus usually moves to the lips causing cold sores. Both human and feline herpesvirus lesions cause a lot of pain.
The feline herpesvirus produces ulcers on the surface of the cornea. The eye becomes red and watery, and the cat squints in pain. With veterinary care the ulcers usually resolve but occasionally they may rupture the eyeball or produce brown scabs on the cornea disrupting vision.
Mali's eye responded to treatment and he settled into his new home very well. Occasionally if something new comes into his environment his eye runs again but his carers know what to do and the virus rarely gets out of hand.

Suffering in silence

Friday, November 16, 2018

Beware of snakes

Tuesday, November 06, 2018
            Molly is our Heroine of the month! She ducked under a shrub when she was outside with her Dad and came out with a Brown Snake!
The emergency centres were full of cats and dogs bitten by snakes last weekend - but Molly bucked the trend. She bit the snake! Fortunately her Dad was there to help and relocated the snake to a safer - for all - place.
Snakes like to hide in long grass, leaf litter, under low lying shrubs, in brambles, and under logs and rocks. They are particularly venomous at the beginning of the warmer weather. Keep your cat inside or under strict supervision outside.
A snake with a lot of venom at the beginning of spring can kill a cat within minutes. Once the venom load is less, cats will survive with antivenom and a drip.
Signs of snake envenomation include weakness and paralysis, a mournful cry, dilated pupils, bleeding from the bite site or in urine and faeces (with some snake species). Soon after the bite the cat may collapse, vomit, have diarrhoea, tremble, or fit. Often carers don't notice that a cat has been bitten until they become partly paralysed.
The sooner the cat presents to the vet the better the chances of complete recovery.

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