Hello Pet Parents,
It’s the start of Autumn although it still feels like blissful summer days! With warmer weather comes the “joys” for our precious pets of flea, ticks, snakes and even heat stress. Unfortunately, even with the cooler weather approaching we need to still stay vigilant. It is important to continue flea treatments through out winter. If you are in a tick prone area remember there is no such thing as tick seasons anymore. And never keep your cats, dogs or children or any living animal in a car alone.
The highlight of our media attention became reality with Dr Harry Cooper filming a segment on Divine Creatures for the Better Homes and Gardens Show. It was truly wonderful to hear Dr Harry tell Jules that Divine Creatures was “the best cattery he had ever seen”, from such a well traveled and renown veterinarian who also owned a cattery many years ago.
We had a lovely success story with our two kittens.
A really lovely lady who had wanted a cat for a number of years but was limited by rental regulations, fell in love with this adorable duo and took them home instantly.
A huge effort was put in on Facebook for these two – Thank you to everyone who shared our post and made it possible to find a forever home for these kittens! We couldn’t have asked for a better home 🙂
These 16week old girls must go together. Also one is all white and must be indoor cats only.
Is this you? Would you like to ditch the TV for these two characters?!
Please share the post to promote their chances of finding a forever loving home
We hope you have a very pleasant Easter filled with chocolates! Please always remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Whilst cats do not usually like chocolate, some cats do so best to keep all chocolate away from your feline friend. Most dogs really love chocolate. They can sniff out chocolate during Easter Egg Hunts, can easily rip open boxed eggs etc. Avoid a costly trip to the vets and hide the chocolates from the pets!
All the best,
Jules & Dr Katie;
Robyn, Bree, Emma, Silvie, Laura and Emily.
Do Cats and Dogs get Arthritis?
Yes cats and dogs get arthritis and it can be very painful for them. Arthritis should not be ignored with statements like “he’s just getting old.” While we can not make the arthritis go away, we can create a plan of action that makes our pets pain free and gives them the quality of life they deserve. This can be compared to the human situation where we now create asthma plans – the asthma sufferer will still be asthmatic but with the right combination of treatments we hope for less asthma attacks and that there are longer time intervals between attacks.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is defined as the progressive, permanent deterioration in the cartilage of joints. Cartilage covers the joint surfaces of bones and creates a smooth gliding surface.
What age do pets get arthritis?
This varies greatly and changes with breeds, size for dogs, and medical problems. Classically we think of arthritis as being a degenerative condition of older dogs and cats. For dogs the size and breed can make a huge difference in what vets classify as an older dog. For example, an 8 year old Great Dane or Bull Mastiff is likely to have arthritis and as vets we would classify this as an older dog. An 8 year old Chihuahua or Silky Terrier is just entering the prime of their lives and would be unlikely to have arthritis unless they had other medical problems, such as luxating patellas (knee caps that don’t run in the correct groove).
Breeds that have been bred for specific body shapes may be more likely to get arthritis and suffer earlier. Scottish fold cats have very cute bent ears but unfortunately the cartilage defect to produce this look, also makes these cats prone to early severe arthritis. Bulldogs with their twisted limb shapes put abnormal pressure on their joints and so arthritis is almost inevitable. If you are considering buying a new cat or dog please think very critically about what you are choosing – what may be an interesting “designer look” may in fact be a pet that suffers chronic pain for us owners to have a unique pet. As responsible owners, I know we do not want this. Do your research before purchasing and talk to your vet. A great documentary is BBC’s “Pedigree Dogs Exposed.”
Injuries such as torn ligaments, dislocations, or breaks may be mended and heal but result in either damage to the cartilage in a joint or instability to a joint and arthritis may occur at an earlier age.
Autoimmune diseases, where the body erroneously sees certain body components such as cartilage as foreign and attacks them, can also cause arthritis at any age.
Signs of arthritis
Arthritis is painful – this pain may be worst during the colder months of the year and often most painful when your pet has been resting and first sets off to move. Your pet may not cry out in pain as they have slowly been getting used to this condition. Often cats and dogs have reduced mobility – they may no longer be able to jump into the car, or jump onto the couch. Your cat may not climb trees anymore or sit in favourite high spots. Some larger dogs may rock to get themselves up. They may limp when they first get up but “warm out of it.” Dogs that go out for daily walks may start to slow up or need to rest more often. Some dogs will compensate for a painful joint and change how they move – dogs with arthritic hips may sway their bottom when they move forward. This moves their back rather than their hip joints. When running they may “bunny hop” with both hind legs moving together.
In some pets you may see a change in their demeanour. The old family dog may become snappy at children or Puss becomes antisocial. We all deal with pain in our own way.
In some cats the only obvious sign of arthritis is a change to their grooming patterns. Cats may stop grooming around their lower back and hind legs because their backs hurt too much to bend that way. The dead hair that would normally be groomed out can matt and need clipping. They may start to smell bad. Occasionally dogs will obsessively lick and suck on the skin around a sore joint. The saliva will stain this area a reddish brown colour.
The best way to diagnose arthritis is using radiographs (x-rays). However, as vets we often make a presumptive diagnosis of arthritis based on the information you give us (such as changes in activity), our examination of your pet’s joints (whether they are painful, swollen, sometimes there is even some cracking sensations when they move) and our observation in how they move.
We can not get rid of the arthritis. However we can improve the cartilage that is present and we can alleviate pain. There is no magic treatment but a number of treatments we can put together in a way that best suits each specific pet.
If there is a medical condition that is causing the arthritis, your pet may be a candidate for surgery. It is not unusual now for German Shepherds and other large breeds to have total hip replacements done. These can be remarkably successful and add years of quality life. Other dogs, typically small dogs, may need surgery on their knee to fix a luxating patella.
A drug called Cartrophen, and its equivalents, have been a revolutionary improvement in the way we treat arthritis. These drug help to preserve the cartilage present and improve joint health. Approximately 80% of dogs and cats with arthritis will see an improvement on this drug (remember though that it will not make the arthritis go away). It is given as a series of injections by your vet and is relatively inexpensive.
Pain relief is important. Much work has been done on safe pain relief for dogs, and now we even have some good pain relief tablets and drops for cats. Arthritis is painful and decreases your pet’s quality of life. Talk to your vet about what can be done to alleviate pain – some pets need continuous pain relief, others sporadic relief on “bad days” and some seasonal pain relief in winter.
Non Medical Treatments
There are many “non medical” treatments that can greatly assist arthritic pets.
Diets have been formulated that contain supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants to support cartilage health and also to maintain an optimum body weight. Hill’s Science Diet J/D has had some very favourable reviews.
Neutraceuticals – there are many supplements of the market, such as Osteosupport and Sasha’s Blend. While there may not be much scientifically supporting evidence for their use, I have many clients rave about their personal success with these products including Divine Creatures clients.
Fat dogs carry more weight on arthritic joints and so feel more pain. This stops them wanting to move so they get even fatter. Keeping your older dog an ideal weight is one of the kindest things you can do. Your vet can help if you have had problems getting the weight down.
If your dog is not accustomed to going out for walks, do not start once they are arthritic and painful. For those dogs that are accustomed to going out for walks, make the walk a daily event. It is better to have a short walk every day than one long walk on Sunday. For us humans, if we did not exercise all week then ran the City to Surf we would be very sore the next day. If we walked 2-4k each day we would probably be healthy and not sore.
If your cat or dog can no longer groom certain areas, help them out and brush them once or twice a week. If their nails grow long, trim them or have them trimmed by your vet. Overgrown nails and claws will just make it harder to walk.
Comfortable bedding and warmth in Winter can alleviate much arthritic pain. Older outdoor dogs may need to be allowed inside to sleep. Bedding should be padded and stable. Some old dogs no longer like their trampoline beds because they wobble under their already wobbly legs. Older cats (and younger ones) often really appreciate heat pads in their sleep areas.
It is unfortunate that we all grow older, including our cats and dogs. It is vitally important that we strive to always have best quality of life. Arthritis can not be fixed but it can be managed very effectively and we all want pain free pets.
Year of the: Monkey
04 Feb 1992 – 22 Jan 1993 (Water)
22 Jan 2004 – 08 Feb 2005 (Wood)
Cats born in the year of the Monkey
- Monkeys are fun and loving who are always cheerful and energetic.
- They are very intelligent, talented, creative, curious and generous.
- Loves to be center of attention. They have charm, humour and are sociable creatures
- Monkey can be deceptive and unreasonable at times but they don’t hide their emotion. You can probably tell how a monkey is feeling from miles away!
- Most Monkeys have one fetish – FOOD. They are not pigs, they don’t stuff themselves with food, instead, they just have this habit of eating snacks whenever they like, and wherever they like.
- Book a feline getaway between now and March 30th to receive one night free for every three nights booked!
- *Valid online for newsletter subscribers only
- Simply book online and mention this newsletter in the health notes section to automatically receive every fourth night free
- Only valid for bookings between 16th March – 30th March 2015 inclusively
- With high levels of Omega 3 (EPA, DHA & ETA) for joint pain relief for cats.
- Includes a natural source of glycosaminoglycans (Chondroitin 6 Sulfate) that are key nutrients required for cartilage production to aid joint care.
- Measured capsule dose that is easy to open and sprinkle on food, for even the fussiest of cats.
- Low cost daily dose starting from only 62 cents for cats.
- Every old cat deserves a massage!
- Provide cats with an oasis of calm and relaxation
- Variety of sculpted textures and surfaces,
- Provides a cat with the ultimate pampering and massage experience.
- Catnip can be added to heighten the sensory experience
- Significately slows eating time down aiding in digestion and weight control
- Side Cut-outs: Cat moves the food through the maze by pawing at it through the side openings
- Food Tray: As the food moves through the maze, it collects in the food tray at the bottom of the maze
- Varying levels of difficulty: rotating disc located inside the maze allow you to increase or decrease the openings for a more difficult challenge
- Accu-Pressure Mat: provides pressure point paw massage
- Specially formulation food to aid in both stages of aging.
- Both foods help support joints, aid digestion, prevent weight gain & loss, support brain and vitality function
- Stage I: For more active mature cats, preserve kidney function, enhances brain health, helps prevent urinary crystals
- Stage II: Meets the nutritional needs of ageing cats including being enriched with green-lipped mussel and reduced phosphorus content as well as helps maintain ideal weight