What's New at KVC
Our very affectionate clinic cat, Cleo, has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. She is well at the moment and making the most of all the extra pats and food we have giving her. Please feel free to give her an extra pat next time you are in the clinic - she will never say no!
CASE OF THE MONTH
Abscess in a Rat
"S" is a 7 month old standard white rat who quickly developed a large swelling behind her left ear. Aspiration of the lump with a needle and syringe confirmed it was a deep abcess filled with thick white pus.
"S" is a healthy young rat with most of her natural lifespan (2-3 years) ahead of her, so we decided to removed the abscess surgically, as it was too deep to drain naturally through the skin.
Rats commonly develop swelllings on the body and are prone to cancers as well as abscesses, from an early age.
"S" was given an anaesthetic and the abscess carefully dissected away from the deep tissues in her neck.
The wound was stitched internally and the skin glued so there were no external stitches for her to scratch or chew, and she made an uneventful recovery.
However several days after surgery the tip of her tail started to die. Ringtail syndrome in rats is death of the tip of the tail due to poor circulation and was likely secondary to prolonged anaesthesia for Sugar.
She had a second surgery to remove the affected tip of the tail and has recovered without any further problems.
PET CARE FACTS
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
Feline idiopathic cystitis (also known as feline lower urinary tract disease) is inflammation of the bladder with no known cause.
Cats with this condition will visit the litter tray frequently, strain for long periods of time and produce no or small amounts of urine (which may be bloody).
They may start to urinate in different places in the house.
It can cause obstruction, where the urethra becomes blocked by crystals; or it can be non obstructive, where there is no obstruction but the cat has persistent signs of straining to urinate.
Both male and female cats are affected but males are more likely to develop an obstruction due to the narrower size of the urethra.
Cats are more at risk if they have a diet consisting mostly of dry food, however just feeding dry food does not cause the problem, so we know that there must be an underlying cause.
Overweight cats that live indoors and use a litter tray are also more at risk.
Although diet alone does not cause the condition, the condition can be managed with a prescription diet.
The diet has 3 aims:
1. To dilute the urine (thus stopping crystal formation and reducing irritation of the inflammed bladder by urine)
2. To restrict the minerals that cause crystal formation
3. To reduce inflammation of the bladder with high levels of fatty acids.
Most cats with this condition will respond quickly to the change in diet, although dietary management will have to be lifelong or the signs will return.
Some cats with the non obstructive type of cysititis may also need intermittent anti-inflammatories to help with the pain and discomfort.