Arthritis in Cats

Do you have an older furry feline companion at home that seems to be not quite so agile as they used to be? Maybe they’ve stopped walking outside with you to collect the mail. Don’t play in the garden quite so much as they used to? Feline arthritis (osteoarthritis) is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions in our feline friends.

Arthritis is usually a result of ongoing wear and tear and instability in joints with the most affected joints in the cat being elbows, hips and spine. Arthritis occurs when joint cartilage deteriorates and synovial fluid (the fluid in our joints) loses its lubricating properties so the movement of bone becomes less smooth, leading to discomfort and reduced mobility.

Signs of arthritis in cats can include:

  • Reduced movement – not wanting to jump up and off beds, sleeping in lower positions, inability to crouch or squat to urinate and defecate, sometimes leading to toileting accidents
  • Changes in grooming behaviour – reduced grooming that can cause a matted or ‘scurfy’ coat, or overgrooming leading to hair loss or self-trauma
  • Changes in personality – more aggressive or not wanting to be patted or brushed
  • Changes in activity levels

There are several treatment options for older cats with osteoarthritis including weight management, disease modifying osteoarthritic drugs (cartrophen), anti-inflammatories and pain killers as well as neutronceuticals and prescription diets, all which can play a role in keeping your feline companions more comfortable in their older years and colder months.

If you feels that your cat is exhibiting any of these symptoms please don’t hesitate to arrange an appointment with one of our veterinarians.

Everything You Need To Know About Ehrlichiosis

The new emerging tick-borne disease Ehrlichiosis has been coming up in conversations lately, and we thought we might put a few facts together to help everyone with what it is, what to look out for and what to do if you suspect your dog may have the disease. It’s also really important to consider additional protection if you’re taking your dog into areas where the disease is known to be present.

Ehrlichiosis is a disease that affects dogs and is caused by a tick-borne bacteria called Ehrlichia canis which is found in the Brown Dog Tick. The Brown Dog Tick has a worldwide distribution, including Australia. In 2020 E.canis was detected in WA and the NT and has since been spreading through these states rapidly especially in the remote communities. A case has now also been found in QLD and SA.

Infection can occur if your dog is bitten by a Brown Dog Tick that contains the E. canis bacteria. Not all Brown Dog Ticks have this bacteria. Infected dogs do not transmit Ehrlichosis to people or other dogs.

Symptoms of Ehrlichiosis in dogs can include:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling of chest or front legs
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Cloudy eyes or conjunctivitis
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Bleeding disorders such as nosebleeds or bruising on the gums or belly, caused by a lack of platelets (thrombocytopaenia)

Advice for owners to prevent this happening is an effective tick control program. If you are travelling to an area where Canine Ehrlichiosis is of concern, it is important to use oral tick prevention (such as Simparica, Nexgard) AND a tick collar to repel the ticks and stop them from biting your dog. The brand of tick collars recommended are “Seresto” tick collars.

Canine Ehrlichiosis can be deadly if not treated. Treatment usually requires long term antibiotic therapy. If you suspect that your dog is showing any symptoms of Ehrlichiosis please contact us for advice.

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Phone: 07 5494 3622

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