Cat With Trouble Breathing? Here’s How To Tell

cat sitting on chair

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.

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A Lump In Your Cat’s Belly Is Not Always Cancer

cat lying on carpet

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.

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The Outbreak Of Ehrlichia In Australian Dogs

dog ehrlichiosis australia

Canine ehrlichiosis is cause for considerable alarm for the millions of dog owners around the country.

ABC News 27/1/2021

The arrival of Ehrlichia in Australia has been devastating for some remote dog communities. However, there is no reason to panic, and prevention is easy.

Here I’m going to help Australian dog owners to understand the risks, and know how to easily prevent it.

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Treatment with Remdesivir for FIP in Cats

FIP antiviral treatment

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.

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The Cause Of Sneezing & Watery Eyes In Kittens

kitten eye infection

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.

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Help! My Cat Has A Bloated Stomach

cat swollen stomach

Essential facts (details below):

Causes Of A Swollen Belly In Cats

There are five likely causes for an enlarged abdomen in a young cat:

  • Intestinal worms, especially in untreated kittens up to three months of age
  • Pregnancy, in undesexed, free-roaming female cats
  • Abdominal fat deposition, which is usually easy to identify
  • Excessively large meals (swelling should come and go)
  • Feline infectious peritonitis or FIP
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Your Dog or Cat & Coronavirus COVID-19

kitten with interferon

Find the facts below about dogs and cats and coronavirus COVID-19. Keep checking this page for updates on the situation.

Vets across Australia are open as normal. Walkerville Vet requests that clients:

  • Maintain 1.5m from staff and other clients (nurses will hold your pet for examinations)
  • Do not pay with cash
  • Not attend the clinic if in isolation or even mildly unwell
  • Wait on the front lawn if there are 6 or more people in the waiting room
  • Come to the clinic alone whenever possible, and without children

Now dive deeper…

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It’s True, Cats Get Parvo Too

Kitten face closeup

News Flash: Since writing this, there have been increasing reports of feline parvovirus outbreaks in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

A few years ago I started getting questions about a new cat viral outbreak called cat plagueCat plague? I may have been seeing cats for 25 years, but this was news to me too.

A quick google and it all became clear: this is a new name for an old disease. It goes by all these names:

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5 Causes Of Bleeding Gums In Dogs

dog bleeding gums

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.

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Causes Of Sneezing In Dogs

dog sneeze

Does your dog do this? When mine gets excited or playful he starts sneezing.

Sneezing during play isn’t well understood, but it’s clearly one of the least serious causes of sneezing in dogs.

I’ll take you through the other common reasons, from minor to major. As nearly every one is associated with a runny nose, I’ll also describe the nasal discharge that goes with it.

By the time you make it to the end, you’ll be an expert!

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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus & Your Cat

cat FIV infection

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.

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Respiratory Infections In Backyard Chickens

chicken with sinusitis

What if I told you that your backyard chickens are carrying a respiratory illness? Even if they look perfectly fine. You’d have every right to be offended.

Well the truth is that most flocks carry more than one disease, and yet many never seem to have a problem. You’re about to find out why. You’re also going to learn what to do when one breaks out.

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Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

dog snorting gagging

‘Emergency Care’ (details below)

How to Tell Reverse Sneezing from Choking

  • Reverse sneezing causes minimal distress and gums remain pink
  • It can usually be stopped if you call or distract a dog
  • The dog is 100% fine immediately before and afterwards

If in doubt, see a vet immediately. True choking is often fatal. No vet will criticise you for being careful, even if there is nothing wrong.

Now dive deeper…

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K5 Rabbit Calicivirus

rabbit calicivirus vaccination

UPDATE 2018

  • It now seems clear that the K5 release was not very significant to pet rabbits (as we predicted!)
  • There is more evidence that the current Cylap vaccine is effective. A further study (reference below) has demonstrated 100% protection in a small group of rabbits experimentally exposed to K5 virus.

In early March 2017, the new K5 strain of calicivirus is planned to be released at 600 sites across Australia and 45 in South Australia. Here’s what pet rabbit owners need to know.

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Update On The Rabbit Calicivirus Outbreak

rabbit calicivirus vaccination

Update 2018:

To those who love rabbits it’s been a tough few years.

On the 24th of February, 2016 we were notified that the new strain of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus called RHDV2 had reached South Australia and was causing deaths around Adelaide.

We posted an alert on our Facebook page, and only then did the true horror of what was happening become clear.

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