This is a message to anyone still using GS- 441524 (commonly called “GS”) in Australia.
Back at the start I supported you when you were breaking the law. I even put my reputation on the line and stood up for you against threats of prosecution. My attitude was “let them try; they wouldn’t dare.”
One of the saddest things I see are cats with breathing difficulties. That’s because they’re almost always brought to the vet too late. In fact, by the time their owners notice, they often don’t survive the car trip.
Here I’m going to give you a very simple trick to recognise when a cat is struggling to breathe. If you do it successfully, your cat will probably be OK.
I want to share with you a very sobering paper that should make us think harder anytime we feel a lump in a cat’s belly.
Five cats were presented to a veterinary teaching hospital with abdominal masses that could be felt during a routine exam. They all had the classic signs of intestinal obstruction: vomiting, listlessness and not eating.
The two eldest cats died. One, because her owner thought it was cancer and had her put down. The other, due to a delay in treatment, most likely due to a similarly fatalistic attitude.
The diagnosis in these five cases was a hairball. A thoroughly treatable problem.
The nightmare is almost over. Until very recently, a diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis was a death sentence. Either a slow, lingering decline or a decision to euthanase and spare the suffering. This happened to around 1% of cats, most of them kittens.
Then it was discovered that certain antiviral drugs could not only improve the symptoms, they could actually bring about a cure. But there was still a hitch.
There is a very good reason why so many kittens come with sneezes, runny eyes or coughs. This is true whether a young kitten with continuous symptoms, or an older cat where the problem seems to get better and then come back.
Once you know it, a lot of other common cat illnesses start to make sense.
To understand the special nature of cat diseases, you need to look at how they began. So stick with me! What I’m about to discuss could be the most important health issue of cats.
Much has been said about a recent false positive test for COVID-19 in Australia. What is missing from the conversation is how normal this can be. Test accuracy is an everyday problem for all health professionals.
If you understand why that is you will be much better equipped to talk to your vet about any tests on your pet.
There is a good reason why I had written 500 pet health articlesbefore broaching the subject of diarrhoea in cats. It can be extremely frustrating. There is also a lack of good quality information for cat owners.
First a description, then a logical treatment plan.
There’s just one common cause of a lump on a cat’s face. Have a look at the picture above. I hope you can see that the left cheek isn’t chubby, it’s swollen. This is an abscess and it needs veterinary attention.
Have a look at the picture above. You could be forgiven for thinking that Barlie’s gums are just the result of a good chew on a bone. But hang on: why are there red spots a long way from the gumline and even on the tongue?
The answer is a disease you won’t easily find if you look up the causes of bleeding gums in dogs. Even though what Barlie had could have killed her.
When I was young, like all kids, I wanted to know why everything happened. Having vets as parents, I can distinctly remember asking why male cats needed to be desexed.
“It’s because otherwise they fight so much that they get run down and die early.”
With the benefit of hindsight, this is pure folk wisdom. People could see that fighting was associated with sickness, but not yet why. Then, in 1986, hot on the heels of the discovery of the human AIDS virus, researchers in the USA put two and two together and found a feline AIDS virus in cats like these. We call it FIV.
For a variety of reasons, lip and mouth problems are common in both kittens and cats. Most are easy to fix, but beware: they are hard to tell apart and some are extremely serious. Here are the essential facts for cat owners.
Many of our cat-owning clients will already know how much we hate the name ‘cat flu’. The name comes from a time when we didn’t fully understand what these viruses were. These are serious diseases with often lifelong consequences for the infected cat. Here are the stories of four such cats: Felix, Sooty, Princess and Twitch.