Pet Medicine for Cats









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From Barnes&Noble, The Nature of Animal Healing by Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM

The Nature of Animal Healing

This is a compelling and complete guide defining what Holistic Medicine is. DVM written, it helps pet owners understand ailment recognition and treatment. The Holistic approach is a preferred way for providing good health through a healthy environment for your pet



































































Authur: Gattou/Lucie


"I really don't feel so good, maybe I need some pet medicine"



Pet Medicine... Sometimes it's Needed
Cats, just like humans, or other pets in your home, are vulnerable to diseases, and need injury repair from time to time. Pet medicine, whether it's developed in a scientific laboratory, or from the emerging natural/holistic markets, may be required when there's a disease attack on her immune system, an injury or infection from quarreling with another cat or animal, or ailments resulting from natural disasters. These are situations that call for intervention on your part... to provide aid when your cat is in need. A responsible new cat owner will arrange for the necessary vaccinations to immunize her from common cat diseases. Immunization from these diseases is a good place to start a discussion of pet medicine. The following is a list of these diseases:

  • Feline herpes virus 1 (FHV1)
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV)
  • Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV)
  • Rabies

Vaccinations for the above diseases are known as a cat's Core Vaccines. They're not optional and should be started in kittens at around 8 weeks of age, with booster shots in two week periods. Your adult cats, if you don't have any medical records for them, should receive these shots immediately. In addition, there are feline Non-Core Vaccines available for cats that are "at risk" for the following diseases:

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Giardia spp

Non-Core Vaccines are recommended for cats who'll spend a lot of time out doors where they have the opportunity to be in contact with other cats. Consultation with your veterinarian will help to decide whether these pet medicine Non-Core Vaccines are necessary.

Cats are very agile, balanced and coordinated animals. They're very well equipped to hunt and defend themselves. The cat's teeth, sharp claws and the requisite speed to effectively use these assets can be adequately demonstrated. You won't find a cat injured because she slipped on a banana peel or stupidly fell out of a tree. Well, maybe she did once when she was a kitten. I know they have this propensity to run in front of moving cars, sometimes. Which I just don't understand because I know they're very smart creatures and don't put themselves in unnecessary danger, most of the time. Usually, though, they'll receive an injury from fighting over territory, mating rights (they should be spayed or neutered), self-defense (dog attack), and in some cases from being annoyed, tormented or teased (people?).


Things That Go with Just Being a Cat
Just because she's a cat, she'll more than likely have to deal with some or all of these things at some point in her life, and proper pet medicine will need to be administered.

Hair Balls - Cats have backward facing hooks on their tongue so when they self-groom hair collects on the tongue and what they can't spit out is swallowed. If the hair doesn't pass through to the litter box, it's balled in the stomach and regurgitated. Not pleasant cat or human. The best pet medicine to control hair balls is to brush kitty on a regular basis. See Cat Grooming

Bad Breath - Bad breath other than "tuna breath", in which case the best pet medicine is a good tooth brushing, bad breath might be an indicator of an oral disease such as:

  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Abscessed tooth or teeth
  • Bone, hair or other foreign bodies stuck in mouth
  • Oral ulceration
  • Oral neoplasia (tumors of the mouth)
  • Lung diseases, such as lung cancer
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the tooth)

These are the signs of oral problems you should look for:

  • Oral discharge
  • Oral pain
  • Bloody oral discharge
  • Drooling
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Difficulty eating
  • Depression

Training cats to accept a regular tooth brushing when they are kittens, will make life a lot easier when they get older, especially senior cats who might be more prone to mouth diseases because of their advanced age. In any case, chronic bad breath and signs of oral disease needs to be looked at by a veterinarian.

Fleas - Although there are around 2000 species of fleas worldwide, the most common flea in the U.S. is the 'cat flea'. It is found on both cats and dogs. Fleas are capable of transmitting diseases such as plague, but mostly fleas are no more than a nuisance because they feed on any warm-blooded animal (yep, they'll bite people, too). Flea collars and combs can offer control for individual fleas, but are not effective in controlling an infestation. The best pet medicine is a full-on flea shampoo bath to remove dried blood and skin flakes which provide food for the larvae, and destroy the larvae themselves. What to avoid at all costs is a flea infestation. To find out how you'll have to handle a flea infestation, Click Here

Ticks - As your cat is walking through tall grass or brush, she might... well, she probably will, pick up ticks. Once on the cat the tick will bore it's head into the skin and begin to feed on your cat's blood. Some ticks carry Lyme Disease and that's not good. Remove a tick by dabbing it with rubbing alcohol which is good pet medicine to fight infection. Then take some tweezers and grasp the tick by the body as close to the head as possible. Pull it straight out, being sure the head comes with it. Leaving the head under the skin may cause inflammation and possibly infection. Call your vet if the tick bite doesn't heal quickly. If your cat enjoys the outdoors, good preventive pet medicine means you should give her a regular check-over (once a week at least, and more often in tick season) to detect the presence of any ticks. Flea and tick baths, as well as wearing a flea & tick collar will help keep these pests to a minimum.

Ear Mites - If your cat Is shaking her head a lot, it may be a sign that she has ear mites. Cat ear mites not only live in the ears, but on the head of the cat, and sometimes on the body, too. As with fleas, an infestation will require treating the total environment of your cat including the yard, house and any other animals in the home with an appropriate pet medicine. Mites are very contagious and can cause severe inflammation of the ears. Flea products that kill adult fleas will kill ear mites, also. When a pet medicine is used for treating mites, be sure to treat her hair coat with a flea bath, as well.

Eye Infections - Chemical irritants, trauma (cat fights) and foreign bodies in the eye can cause a condition known as 'conjunctivitis'. This infection is signaled by a clear, sometimes thick discharge particularly from the corner of the eye. The eye may be reddened, swollen and the eyelid may be half closed. Immune system diseases, such as Feline immunodeficiency Virus or FIV, can also cause conjunctivitis and to determine the problem your cat may be having, diagnosis by your veterinarian is essential. In most cases, the veterinarian will prescribe a topical pet medicine that you can administer with eye drops.

Vitamin Deficiency - Cats are descended from meat eating carnivores of the desert. Their bodies require nutrition from animal tissue. When they lived and hunted in deserts, they got most of their water needs from the fresh meat of their prey. In addition to having high requirements of some amino acids and vitamins, cats need an energy source from the proteins of animal tissue. They can't convert plant beta carotene into vitamin A, and they can't convert biotin into niacin. Any diet for your cat has to take all this into consideration. If your cat is experiencing vitamin deficiencies, it's most likely due to the quality and quantity of the cat food she's being fed. See our Cat Food page for a detailed discussion on the subject of healthy food for your cat. If she is showing signs of vitamin deficiency due to illness or stress, your vet may have you provide vitamin supplements as part of a pet medicine regimen.

Motion Sickness When Traveling - If your cat is not used to travel, whether by car, or in the cargo hold of an aircraft, she will probably experience some discomfort associated with motion. Usually, the discomfort eases as she gets used to the motion. Over the counter pet medicines are available to help calm her until she overcomes any travel related uneasiness.

Kitten Health - Kittens are very vulnerable, especially during the first 8 weeks of their life. Their small bodies cannot produce the antibodies which could protect them from disease and infection. At the same time, most medications either OTC or prescribed are too intense for kittens young systems and could prove to be fatal. In the first 24 hours after birth, kittens get the antibody protection they need from colostrum which is found in their mothers milk. After 8 weeks, they're on their own since mom will begin to wean them and they begin to produce their own antibodies. At that time you will want to begin their vaccination program, too. Pet medicine might be necessary to deal with ear mites, conjunctivitis or other litter related health problems. But, kitten systems are very sensitive and any pet medicine should only be administered at the direction of a veterinarian.

Senior Cat Care - A cat's physiology begins to show signs of aging at around 10 years. She will age slowly, but some things will definitely change.
As her metabolism slows, she will tend to put on weight. The best pet medicine in that case is to put her on a strict, controlled eating regimen. That shouldn't be hard knowing how cats love routine. But, if she progressively loses weight it could be a sign of something more serious.

  • As she ages she will be less able to deal with stress. If she becomes ill, that in itself can be very stressful for her. As she ages her personal space will probably shrink. This will allow you to provide a stress-free environment that doesn't extend down the neighborhood for 6 or 8 blocks.
  • As she ages, bringing home a new kitten may not be good for her stress level, nor the pet medicine that you think might inspire the kitten that you know stills lives in her tired body.
  • Cataracts, diminished eyesight and hearing are all natural for aging cats. Try to avoid startling a hard of hearing cat by walking up from behind her suddenly. Tooth and gum disease are also more prevalent in older cats. Hopefully, you started a tooth brushing program with her when she was a kitten.
  • Excessive water drinking, frequent urinating and accidents outside of the litter box are indicators of kidney disease. Loss of energy, coughing and labor in breathing are indications of heart problems. Constipation isn't unusual in aging cats. In all cases you should be in close consultation with your veterinarian and provide the proper pet medicine he prescribes.

Behavior Problems - Bad behavior can have two different problem sources. If medically based, the bad behavior is a symptom of something more seriously wrong with your cat physically. Attempting to correct the behavior is useless. A medical diagnosis is needed to correct the physical ailment and it should be done along with your vet. In the other case, bad behavior is a question of proper Cat Training. It will be up to you to give careful consideration as to what the root of your cat's bad behavior is. Remember, she isn't out to make your life miserable on purpose. But, she does need for you to understand what exactly is going on, which can be the best pet medicine you can administer.


What Else Can Go Wrong?
In addition, here are some more things that can adversely affect your cat's health:

Feline Asthma and Respiratory Diseases - "Asthma is a recurring respiratory compromise that occurs when the lung airways constrict either spontaneously or in response to stimuli which normally should not cause a reaction. Excess mucus forms, airways swell with inflammation and can actually ulcerate, and the airway muscles go into spasm leading to constriction. Airway constriction leads to inability to draw a deep breath, intolerance to exercise, coughing, and musical sighing sounds called "wheezes". Not all of these signs need be observed; sometimes only a low grade chronic cough is the only sign but it should be remembered that an acute asthmatic crisis can arise at any time and can represent a life-threatening event." - Thanks to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center.

Some contributing factors to feline asthma might be a result of breathing concentrations of airborne chemicals like hair sprays, cigarette smoke or plain old smog. Air purifiers can help, but if she has trouble breathing, your Vet may again have to prescribe a suitable pet medicine.

Urinary Tract Infections - "Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease" or FLUTD is a term used to describe a cat with the following signs:

  • Bloody urine.
  • Straining to urinate (can easily be mistaken for straining to defecate).
  • Urinating outside the litter box in unusual places.
  • Urinary blockage (almost exclusively a male cat problem).
  • Licking the urinary opening (usually due to pain).

Treating a cat with FLUTD is dependant on which of many possible causes is present. As it turns out, different diseases are common in different age groups of cats that show any of these symptoms.

The average age of a cat with FLUTD is 4 years. Of all cats with FLUTD:

  • 50% won't have a cause that can be determined.
  • 20% will have bladder stones.
  • 20% will have a urethral blockage.
  • 1-5% will have a true infection.
  • 1-5% will have a urinary tract cancer.
  • 1-5% will have had trauma to the urinary tract (i.e. have been hit by a car etc.).
  • 1-5% will have a combination of a bladder stone and an infection

For cats over age 10 years of age, the diagnostic possibilities are completely different. In this older group:

  • 50% will have true urinary tract infections.
  • 10% will have bladder stones.
  • 17% will have a combination of infection and bladder stone.
  • 7% will have urethral blockage.
  • 3% will have urinary tract cancer.
  • 5% will have a cause that can't be determined.

In addition:

  • 66% of these older cats will be in some stage of kidney failure.
  • 5% will have urinary incontinence.

In younger cats, there's a 50% chance that testing will be fruitless. Testing beyond an examination and urinalysis probably won't happen unless the syndrome is recurrent.

If your cat is 10 years or older, it's important to look for a diagnosis. Performing a blood panel, urinalysis and urine culture will detect the 50% of cats who have urinary tract infections and the 66% that are in kidney failure. Bladder Stones can be detected with Radiographs.
- Thanks to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

Heart Worms - Spread by mosquitoes, the heart worm is a nematode, a type of roundworm, long and thin in appearance. Though not common in cats, they can become infected and it is fatal within 2 - 3 years. Symptoms of the presence of heart worms are non-specific and your cat might show no symptoms at all. Diagnosis is difficult and not 100% reliable. The best pet medicine is preventative and there are several products on the market to aid you with this. Before using a heart worm medicine, you should consult with your veterinarian.

Fungal Infections - There are many rarer fungal diseases, but the most common is Ringworm. The fungus is transmitted through direct contact of infected spores by a healthy animal. These spores can be found on infected animals, on infected grooming equipment or brushes, in contaminated boarding facilities or kennels, or an environment where an infected animal has visited. The fungus thrives mostly in hot, humid climates, but can be found world-wide. The spores can live up to 18 months and symptoms might never show in adult fungal resistant cats. This makes determining the source of an infection difficult. Young cats under 1 year old are most often infected. Cats with suppressed immune systems or overuse of steroids are also more susceptible to contracting the disease. The best and most accurate way to identify a ringworm infection is to perform a culture on the collected scales and crust from the skin and coat of your suspected cat.

Pregnancy Threats to Women - Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that poses a danger to pregnant women. The primary carrier of the parasite is the domestic cat. Animals are infected by eating infected meat, by contact with cat feces, or by transmission from mother to fetus. The most common means of transmission to humans is through raw or undercooked meat and/or handling infected cat feces most likely from contact while cleaning the litter pan . The parasite can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and neurological diseases and can affect the heart, liver, and eyes. This doesn't mean that the cat has to go if a woman becomes pregnant. But the following should be observed:

  • Feed your cat only dry or fully cooked foods, as in a can.
  • Keep indoor cats inside to reduce contact with infected animals.
  • Change the litter daily. Wear gloves to change the litter and wash your hands when your done.
  • If you have a weakened immune system have someone else change the litter pan.
  • When you work in the garden, wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Keep away from favorite scratch areas such as sandboxes and avoid stray cats and kittens... sure, no problem.

Cats Need Lots of Water - Cats as you know evolved from desert animals. Their intake of water was obtained through the digestion of their prey. There just weren't many puddles and streams to drink from. Your house cat may develop constipation because she isn't drinking enough water, or maybe because she has a diet heavy with kibbles. Of course you may not need a pet medicine because you can compensate for this dehydration by feeding her wet canned cat food and canned fiber sources such as pumpkin, squash or rhubarb. If that doesn't work, you may have to resort to over-the-counter bulk formers.

Obesity - Indoor cats can tend to be over-weight. This in turn can lead to arthritis, diabetes and degenerative diseases. Always keep your cat on a healthy, controlled diet with healthy treats. And, provide cat furniture and cat toys for her to get the exercise she needs to stay active. If you don't and she's diagnosed with these problems, then your veterinarian will prescribe an expensive pet medicine for you to give her.

Lawn Fertilizers - Be careful with allowing your cat to come into contact with lawn fertilizers and pesticides. These kinds of chemicals can cause grave problems for her. If your cat spends any time outside, most likely she will in close contact with your yard and lawn. Running, walking, chasing and laying in it often. Proper yard care by not overusing fertilizers and herbicides coupled with keeping the cat inside when you're using these products until they neutralize are important steps to not damaging her sensitive metabolism.


What Are Your Choices?
Laboratory designed pet medicine is manufactured for use by your cat... and only for your cat. Don't try to self-doctor and administer pet medicine designed for other animals or humans. You'll only be asking for trouble... and your cat will pay the price. Many advances have been made in pet medicine design over the last few years, with a fairly impressive success rate. But, there's good argument for natural cat medicine and holistic cat health care. Natural products are those that do not contain substances that could be considered dangerous, carcinogenic, unhealthy, or harmful to the environment. That's a self-validating definition. A holistic approach to pet medicine is one that considers your pet as a complete entity. Her mind, body and her entire environment is thought of as a single unit. Theoretically, you can't treat one aspect of her health without it affecting every other part of her existence. Most laboratory pet medicine has some kind of side effect and you will want to consider this when opting to dose your pet. But, sometimes you might be faced with a decision that only allows you the choice of a pet medicine with bad side effects and one with really bad side effects. When faced with this kind of reality the most important thing you will need is information, information and more information. And if one medication isn't working then you may need to try something else. The best way to decide on proper pet medicine is to have a heart to heart talk with your veterinarian.


What Should You Do?
It's impossible to list all the things that might be a threat to your cat's health. Once you find that a pet medicine might be needed for a health related reason involving your kitty, the next step is to decide upon a course of action and a source for pet medicine supply. But, a word to the wise... do nothing that hasn't been discussed with your veterinarian first.

"This site does not attempt to provide diagnosis and/or dispense treatment for your cat".

On the contrary, your veterinarian is the only authority you should rely on to determine the state of your cat's health. Through regular visits and the care that arises as a result from a good relationship with your cat's doctor, you'll be best informed concerning your pets health. Then you can make good decisions about your cat's pet medicine needs. Whether you decide on providing a laboratory designed cat medicine, or prefer a natural, holistic method of treatment, your veterinarian is your best consul. The emphasis here is on discussion. Many go to professionals with questions and only look for magic bullet answers. In reality the knowledge you possess of your cat's basic characteristics and habits is the most essential ingredient to understanding a problem. Relevant answers to questions are best arrived at after a give-and-take discussion of any problems that consider your input and understanding of your cat. While in many cases problems can have straight forward solutions, many others may not have a magic bullet answer. Therefore, no question is dumb and all information is relevant.

Consult your veterinarian about your cat's health concerns. If pet medicine is opted for, searching online is easy and delivery is fast, other than for emergencies. If a prescription is required, it can be faxed to the pet medicine retailer. The prices are competitive and the convenience is unsurpassed.

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