In Kidney Disease (renal failure) in cats and dogs, a large amount of kidney function can be lost before your pet shows any outward signs, and before even a blood test is able to pick it up. Once kidney function has been lost, it cannot be replaced – it is gone forever. The earlier that we can detect kidney disease, the earlier that we are able to act to protect the kidney function that remains and hopefully give your pet a longer and healthier life.
Traditional kidney blood tests rely upon creatinine increasing. Creatinine only starts to increase when 75% of kidney function has been lost – that means that effectively only half of one kidney is still working when it is first possible to find the disease using creatinine!!!!!
SDMA is a biomarker that we can test that allows us to find kidney disease earlier. SDMA increases when 40% of kidney function has been lost – so much earlier than creatinine. At this stage we have more kidney to protect and hopefully more success with our treatment.
For the month of November, we are able to offer SDMA and creatinine testing for just $10 (usual price $50) when blood is taken during a consultation. If your pet is due for vaccination or you have other concerns, why not ask if testing for SDMA would be appropriate for your animal?
- Worm twice, ten to fourteen days apart, to stop the cycle of worm infestation.
- Feed puppy/kitten food for the first year of life.
- Neuter/Spey at six months old.
- Microchip pups at 3 months
- Vaccinate twice at eight and twelve weeks of age.
- Socialise with humans as soon as possible, dogs after vaccination.
- Register dogs with council at three months old.
Excess drinking, more than 100mls per kilogram of bodyweight, may be the beginning of a number of internal problems. These range from diabetes, kidney failure to liver disease. Blood tests are the best way to find out about these problems.
Sometimes pets with good, clean teethe may eat something that gives them bad breath. Compare this to people who eat garlic and their breath smells the next day. However, it may also mean there are bad teeth, gingivitis or other mouth disease.
An examination by a veterinarian is recommended which may include blood tests.
Although worms may cause this it is far more likely that the anal glands are blocked.
Occasionally, it may be that the glands have abscessed or a growth is present. These smelly glands are located right on the anus and are emptied when the dog passes a motion. If affected, they are very sensitive and irritate the dog. Your vet can rectify this problem easily.
This is a painful condition of a joint, or joints, on a cat or dog. Sometimes hereditary, it can also be caused through over use, overweight, trauma or just plan wear and tear. There are several good methods of treatment, depending on the cause and the affected joints, although a cure is not always possible. X rays help decide the severity and the treatment of the condition.
Without doubt, the most common cause of lameness in cats is the result of a bite from fighting. These bites quickly turn into abscesses and need drainage and antibiotics. Cats do suffer from arthritis but not as often as dogs.
Both cats and dogs have diseases which, in the past, have killed large numbers of pets. We don’t have the big outbreaks of cat flu and distemper, hepatitis or parvo of yesteryear because of the high proportion of pets that are now vaccinated. However, these diseases do still kill our pets. The logical thing is to vaccinate as recommended by your veterinarian. Dogs are vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, parvo and kennel cough. Cats are vaccinated against feline enteritis (cat flu) and snuffles. Other vaccines such as leptospirosis, FIV and leukaemia are available.
Cats and dogs both have worms. These can only breed in animals but do occasionally affect people. Dogs have four types of worms (round, hook, whip and tapeworm). It is important to wash your hands between handling pets and eating food, especially if you have a puppy or kitten. These are the most likely to be carrying worms. The wormer you use should treat all worm types for each animal type. Fleas and feeding rabbit or hare meat are among the common ways pets get tapeworms.
There are many specialty feeds for pets. Each is made for a specific purpose ranging from diseases such as arthritis or kidney failure to weight loss or growth in young animals. Puppy or kitten foods have all the ingredients needed for growth. Bone growth and extra energy requirements are all provided including calcium and other minerals, in the correct proportions, to ensure strong bone development. In the past, rickets was a large problem in puppies and kittens. With the development of correctly proportioned foods, we rarely see this calcium deficient disease.
Do not pet or approach strange dogs, especially if they are tied up!
If threatened “make like a tree”, stand still, avoid eye contact.
If attacked, place something between you and the dog such as clothing, a newspaper, a bag, put it in the dogs face so it will grab this rather than you.
Places to go
Shirley Veterinary Centre
- Monday- Friday 8am – 7pm
- Saturday & Sunday 9am – 3pm
Outside of these hours
The After Hours Veterinary Clinic
- 90 Disraeli St Phone
- 03 366 1052
Signs to worry about
- Trying, unsuccessfully, to urinate
- Not able to stand
- Bloated abdomen, groaning
- Hit by car, especially if not using a leg, gums are very pale, not standing
- Puppies with vomiting and diarrhoea
- Bitch, or queen, not having pups/kittens after pushing for an hour
This is not a complete list, please ring for advice.
Because we now travel in cars, with our dogs, a few problems have arisen.
The first, and most serious, is the effect of a hot day, on a dog, in a hot car. It does not take long for a car, in full sunlight, with the windows closed, to get so hot that a dog may get heat stress and die. Unfortunately, this does occur every year, in New Zealand. When parking your car, with your dog inside, put the car in the shade. Have all the windows down enough so cool air can circulate across the car. Leave water in the car if possible. You can buy metal slides that go in the car windows that allow the air flow but prevent people from accessing your car. Consider leaving your dog at home on hot days.
A number of dogs get over excited in the car. Barking, constant movement, head out the window and even jumping into the driver’s lap all occur.
Talk to or hire a dog trainer to help solve these problems. A dog seat belt, to restrain your dog to the middle of the back seat, is a good start.
If you require more information, please contact us.
There are several places to adopt pets from
- The SPCA will adopt out cats and dogs. These are usually de sexed, wormed and de flead.
SPCA Phone 03 349 7057 or for emergencies 03 366 3886
- The Christchurch Pound has dogs for adoption at times.
Phone 03 941 6886
CATS PROTECTION LEAGUE
- The Cats Protection League has cats for adoption.
GREYHOUNDS AS PETS (GAP)
- Greyhounds can be adopted from
Greyhounds as Pets (GAP)
Susan Sinclair Phone 03 327 0009 or 021 1922911
National Office Phone 04 528 0460 or 027 4474765
HOUNDS FOR HOMES
- Hounds for Homes