Cat Health: December 2008 Archives

basket_reaching.jpgI found this article just before I took Neo in to the cat hating vet in Richmond Hill, Ontario named Dr. John Mollard. The information is excellent. The article was written by John Paduchak.

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Boy, did I learn a valuable lesson. My cat was acting lethargic and strange so I got worried and took her to the veterinarian. Turns out she had a urinary tract infection that had traveled up to her kidneys! My veterinarian told me that if I had waited any longer, my poor cat would have died. That was a wake-up call for me and made me realize that in order to keep my cat safe, I needed to learn what the signs and symptoms of cat urinary infection were so I could spot it quickly. Here are 8 ways to tell if your cat has a urinary infection before it's too late.

1. If your cat is cringing in pain while urinating, this is a definite sign of cat urinary problems. It's important to know how your cat normally behaves in order to detect any unusual behavior.

2. Excessive grooming of the genitals can possibly be a sign of cat urinary infection, especially if your cat is crying while grooming.

3. Is your cat urinating more or less frequently than usual? Take note of any changes in urination patterns.

4. Dehydration can be one of the first signs of cat urinary problems so if you notice your cat drinking more water than usual, your cat could possibly be suffering from a urinary tract infection.

5. Let your cat urinate on a light-colored surface. If you see traces of blood in your cat's urine, it is most likely a sign of cat urinary infection. Take your cat to a veterinarian for immediate diagnosis.

6. If your cat is urinating outside of its litter box, it is a sign of cat urinary problems. This happens because your cat associates the pain of urinating with the litter box and therefore tries to avoid it all costs.

7. If your cat has a fever, and tender abdomen when you pick it up this is also a uti symptom you should be concerned about. Lethargy is a sign of the later stages of uti.

8. If your cat stops urinating altogether, it is a serious red flag and you should take your cat to the veterinarian immediately. If your cat goes even 3 to 4 days without urinating, it can be fatal.

Pictures_cats_picking_names.jpgIn conclusion, if you want to treat your cat's urinary tract infection before it's too late, it's important to keep abreast of these signs and symptoms. Cat urinary infection can be fatal if not treated in time. The best way to treat these symptoms however is at home with a homeopathic remedy before they spiral out of control. Your first step should be to go to a veterinarian and get a correct diagnosis. Then you can administer a homeopathic remedy and make some important lifestyle changes. By doing so, you can kill two birds with one stone and treat the infection while preventing recurrence.

John Paduchak is a pet enthusiast and webmaster of Pet Bladder Health and Marie's Pet Shop Throughout his life, John grew up on a 140 acre farm in upstate NY and had pet friends of many varieties. Now he currently has 3 cats, freshwater tropical fish, & 4 hermit crabs that he shares with his daughter, Marie. A strong supporter of naturopathy for pets he publishes articles on their care and training.

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basket_comfortable.jpgI promise, I won't bring it up again after today, but I am still upset about Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada for torturing Neo. When I think about how Neo fought so hard against them that he was weak when he came back to me, it just makes me get angry again.

Well, more confused than angry now. Confused as to why someone who is supposedly there to help animals would want to inflict that much pain on an animal in his care. It's just baffling to me.

I've been replaying the whole appointment in my head and going over what I said about Dr. John Mollard in my previous post about Dr. John Mollard and about Neo's test results. I am still very angry about how he treated Neo and how he didn't explain to me what he was going to do exactly.

Even though I was angry when I wrote it, I still feel I was fair in my criticism, I know he said catheter to me a couple times, but never did he say, in another room and no anesthetic - I think my post explains my problem with him clearly.

There was a man there in the waiting room who had been taking his dog there for 12 years who told me to trust him, that he is experienced, blah blah blah - but I had no reason to trust Dr. Mollard and it turns out I was right not to trust him.

desk_napping4.jpgDr. Mollard even took that man's dog "into the back" to administer treatment - that man was ok with it, but I was not. Everyone has different standards, if you're a hands on owner, you're not going to like this reticent style of treatment... Maybe some people are fine "trusting" the supposed expert but now a days people are taking a more hands on approach to their own health and the health of their loved ones and pets are included too.

Doctors make too many mistakes on people and on animals so you need to be there - no one looks out for you and yours except you and yours. Just because he's a doctor doens't meen you accept his dianosis or procedure... I don't mean to come down on all doctors, they do a great job for keeping animals and people alive, but all I'm saying is they don't know you and they don't know your pet like you do. So find a doctor you can relate to and who communicates clearly.

So it's so important to choose your cat's health care provider carefully. Look out for a follow up post on specific questions to ask a vet, before you make an appointment. I hope that with my bad experience, you won't make the same mistake that I made with a very bad veterinarian, Dr. John Mollard in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

Neo_pillow.jpgI am still angry at Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada for torturing Neo yesterday. Even after I've had some time now to think about it, and even in the cold light of day, I am stilling thinking about how badly he treated Neo.

Like I blogged about yesterday, Neo had been peeing on the floor so I had to take him in to see a doctor. So aside from the obvious abuse at the hands of Dr. John Mollard, his urine analysis came back negative. No sign of bacterial infection, no sign of crystals or kidney stones, no obvious signs of an infection. The concentration was good, which means Neo is getting enough water in his diet and the PH was an 8, which according to Dr. Mollard was fine.

Neo did, however, have additional skin cells in his urine, which Dr. Mollard said could be from anything - "Some cats just have dirty urine"... yeah.. right... you're telling me my cat has dirty urine? Those extra skin cells in the urine have nothing to do with your barbaric catheter inserting skills?

Personally, I do not believe Neo has dirty urine. I feed him high quality canned cat food, Medi-Cal, which is a Canadian pet food only available through vets and is subject to rigorous testing. He also gets kitty cookies made by the same company as his treats. He's always got fresh, clean water to drink, usually from my glass. I think those extra skin cells appeared when Dr. Mollard shoved that catheter up Neo's urethra.

basket_upside_down.jpgI'm getting angry again... give me a minute to cool off...

Ok.. I'm good now. So Dr. Mollard suggested I give Neo antibiotics anyway because even though he didn't see any bacteria, there is still something irritating Neo and making him pee outside the litter box. He said the antibiotics will catch anything that might be starting.

Another reason why Dr. Mollard wanted me to give him antibiotics is because of the rash he gets on the back of his legs from his allergies. Dr. Mollard believed that the rash is getting infected because it keeps returning.

I'm not sure I agree with all of that, giving antibiotics is not something to take lightly for humans or animals. They disrupt the intestinal flora - which btw, Dr. Mollard didn't think was an issue but I know from personal experience that antibiotics can wipe out the healthy bacteria too.

So I am left with a bit of a dilemma, I do not want to give him antibiotics because there is no sign of infection in his bladder, and as for the skin irritation, it has come and gone for years, I don't think bacteria does that. But the thing that made me pull out the dropper was the reality of the fact that Neo had a foreign object shoved up his urethra and that act in itself can cause infection. So here I go, to give him the antibiotic against my better judgement.

desk_lamp.jpgI'm supposed to follow up with Dr. Mollard in a couple weeks. I'll give Dr. Vandenbrink a call instead. I think a 30 minute car ride is worth it for a compassionate, humane veterinary visit. But I won't be taking Neo back to Dr. Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada ever again. That's for sure.

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Other posts I think you might like:

A Veterinarian in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Dr. John Mollard Tortured My Cat Today

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

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I_can_has_treats_please.jpgI took Neo to a horrible vet named Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada today. I am almost too ashamed to tell you what I let him do to Neo! But I have to get this off my chest and hope that you will be smarter and more prepared than I was.

Neo had a wonderful vet. As a matter of fact, Dr. Vandenbrink is Maddy's vet also. Maddy (Wendell's cat) had a lot of medical issues when she was a kitten so Wendell found a really gentle, loving vet for her. He made sure that Maddy was in good hands. So when I got Neo, the choice of vets was clear. I kind of forgot that not all vets are as caring as Dr. Vandenbrink.

Here is an example of what he's like. When you go in, he talks throughout the visit, explaining exactly what it is he is doing, what medications he's using, and why he needs to do what he is doing. He also asks lots of questions about food, water, litter box habits. He checks through his fur, feels around on the stomach and internal organs, listens to his heart, lungs and checks ears, eyes, nose and throat. That's all before you get to the real reason for why you are there!

Then he asks for details about the problem. Neo has had teeth pulled, shots and a host of other medical reasons to visit Dr. Vandenbrink and every time, I got a thorough explanation of what he had to do to help Neo, and what my options were in terms of tests and types of medicines, and he'd also let me be involved. Dr. Vandenbrink felt strongly that a cat behaves better for most treatments if his owner is there. So I was used to being in on most medical procedures (not when he was neutered though, because that is surgical)

We'd see Dr. Vandenbrink often. Neo has allergies and gets an inflamed scalp on the back of his right leg and sometimes in his mouth so we'd see Dr. Vandenbrink every 3 months or so for a shot. I saw Dr. Van more than I saw my family!

On_my_shoulder_can't_lift_head.jpgThen, this summer, I get the devastating news that Dr. Vandenbrink is moving his offices further away from my house. That means that Neo would have to endure a 30 minute car ride to see him! So I made a few calls and decided to take him to a new vet. Dr. Mollard, who knew Dr. Vandenbrink and who seemed experienced and caring, just like Dr. Vandenbrink. I even followed Wendell's advice for picking a new vet. But...Well...here's what happened....

About two weeks ago, Neo started peeing on the floor outside his litter box, which is a sure sign that something is not right in his life. Sometimes he is just telling me he is angry he can't go outside, and other times it's a not so subtle reminder that the litter box needs cleaning. But this time, it was persistent, every time he had to pee, it was outside the litter box. I knew that something was up. So I took him to this new vet.

At first, the appointment was going well, Dr. Mollard was feeling around on his belly for sigs of inflammation and did an overall exam. But then he said, he had to get a urine sample. To me that meant, catching some urine as he went pee. For Dr. Mollard it meant sticking a catheter up Neo's penis and extracting urine.

Then without me really knowing what was going on. He took Neo out of the exam room, to another room, way in the back somewhere before I could even ask a question or even really agree to the procedure. So there I was, completely dumbfounded and shocked about the fact that he was gone. I said to the receptionist, "I am not comfortable with this, this is my first visit here and my cat is taken away from me. Why does have to be taken away and why can't I go with him?"

Get this, her reply was, "Owners make the cats feel more stress so the doctor takes them into the back so they'll be more compliant"

Unbelievable! Again, I was shocked and speechless.

To me, her response translates to, "we don't like you to see how we bully your pet while we do a painful procedure without anesthetic."

Then, the next thing I hear is the sound of Neo screaming, no, not howling, not murmurs. not meowing....screaming. I can only imagine the medieval torture he endured in that back room.

A minute or two later, the vet returns and brings a very shaken up Neo back to me. Dr. Mollard has a vial of urine and he shows me the catheter and brags... oh you'll love this too... he said, "Most vets can't insert a catheter without anesthetic." Like that is supposed to impress me. Again, I was too shocked for words. Then he went to go analyze the urine.

Most vets care about inflicting pain on their patients so they give an anesthetic not because they are bad at inserting catheters but because they are humane vets and don't want to hurt their patients. I couldn't believe that he was actually proud of the fact that he didn't use an anesthetic. There is a reason you are supposed to use anesthetic. It hurts!.

If he'd only explained to me what the situation was and what he had to do, I would have asked for the anesthetic. My vet bill was already up to $300.00 for this escapade with the catheter, lab costs, and Neo got his shots too, so if I'd been asked, I wouldn't have started to nickel and dime him now. But he didn't say anything. He just did it like my opinion didn't matter.

So now the vet is gone and Neo is coughing and salivating, like he'd just been choked and he can't stand up. He falls over onto his side on the dirty floor. I pick him up and hold him, but he is too pissed off and in too much pain to accept my attention. I don't blame him, I feel so sorry for him. He'd obviously been held down very roughly, so roughly that he can't stand or breathe properly. I opened the carrier and he went inside and laid down. I stroked his head and talked to him and he just closed his eyes.

pictures_cats_neo_Melanie.jpgWhen the vet came back, I tried to be diplomatic, I tried to listen to what he said, but I have to admit, it was very hard, I had to sit down and be far away from him, because I was feeling like maybe Dr. Mollard would like a catheter without anesthetic ... and I was prepared to do it.

Anyway, I kept my cool and he prescribed some antibiotics, and I paid and left and will never return. I'll tell you more about Neo's urinary tract infection tomorrow. Right now, I just want to go cuddle with him and tell him again how sorry I am for taking him to that barbaric, unsympathetic, crude, pathetic excuse for a veterinarian, Dr. John Mollard at the Richmond Hill Veterinary Clinic in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

The video below is one of the top cat videos online today. It features a cat that is trying to jump to a cluttered desk only to realize that the paper that she was aiming for wasn't supported by anything; the cat ends up falling to the ground violently. Apparently the cat is fine and it's kind of funny to look at but it brings up an important point to consider if you're a cat owner. Making your home safe for your cat will go a long way to preventing any serious injuries.

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Here are a couple of tips:

  • Don't leave papers hanging over the edges of tables. Watch the video and you'll get my point.
  • It's Christmas time and and that traditionally means people get poinsettias for their homes. Poinsettias are pure poison to cats. Don't bring them into your home if you're a cat owner.
  • Don't leave chocolate lying around. Chocolate has an chemical within it that will kill your cat.
  • If you have any balconies that overlook another floor, be careful not to leave any decorations that your cat is inclined to play with. Cats typically get injured by shorter falls as apposed to longer falls. Shorter falls (two floors or less) don't always give your cat enough time to have all paws pointing to the ground.
  • Get a knife holder for the kitchen, an unsuspecting cat may get hurt by jumping on to a counter top or by simply marking the knife accidentally. This is rare but it happens.
  • During the holidays, watch your electrical cords. If you see that your cat is gnawing at the cords, you might want to consider taking the decoration down or moving it. Cats have been known to electrocute themselves on christmas light decorations.
  • Curtain cords are extremely dangerous to a cat's health. Cats will play will play with them and there is the possibility that your cat could strangle itself. It happens so be careful.
  • If you have any other tips that might be helpful. List them below, we'd love to hear from you.

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    pictures_cats_healthy.jpgChange your thinking about these pet care myths and watch your pet enjoy better health!

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    1. Feeding a pet a homemade diet, especially a raw diet, will kill your pet

    This is true IF you feed bad food, an improperly balanced diet, or raw food as contaminated with deadly bacteria. However, if you feed a properly balanced diet, add supplements to the diet, and properly handle all food, a homemade diet can even be more nutritious for your pet than many of the processed foods on the market.

    2. Frequent bathing would dry out your pet's skin or coat

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Unless you are using harsh shampoos, or products made for people, frequent bathing is necessary when treating pets with skin problems. The more frequently the pet with a skin problem is bathed, the less conventional medications must be used to help cure the problem. Even pets without skin diseases can benefit from bathing weekly or more often.picture_of_cat_bath_in-sink.jpg

    3. Older pets have a higher risk of side effects including death when put under anesthesia

    Not only is this incorrect, but it discriminates against our senior citizens of the pet world. Age has nothing to do with safety of anesthesia. As long as the pet is healthy, the appropriate anesthetic agents are used, and the pet is carefully monitored during the anesthetic procedure, it is no more risky to anesthetize an older pet than a younger one. And because older pets tend to have more problems that require anesthesia to correct, they usually require anesthesia more often than younger pets.

    4. Dental disease is no big deal

    Dental disease is much more than a cosmetic problem. It is the most common infectious disease in dogs and cats, and must be treated aggressively as you would with any infection. Pets with dental disease are more likely to develop heart problems, kidney problems, liver problems, and diabetes. Whenever I see in older pet who is eating less, sleeping more, and is not feeling too good, I always examine the pet's mouth. Usually the pet has dental disease, and once the teeth are cleaned, it's amazing how much better they feel! This should be no surprise since dental disease causes chronic inflammation and chronic infection in the pet's entire body.

    5. Pets need annual vaccinations

    Probably the biggest myth is that every pet needs vaccinations at least once per year. Some doctors even recommend vaccinating pets every six months! Research shows that few if any pets need vaccines throughout their lives. The vaccines currently on the market are so good that most pets buildup an immunity that can last many years or even a lifetime. The best way to determine what vaccines your pet might need is through a simple inexpensive blood test called a vaccine titer test. Using this test in my own practice has shown me that most of my patients hardly ever need a vaccine.

    images.jpgFor more information, visit Dr. Shawn's website Pet Care Naturally

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.

     

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