Category: Health

Do cats have tooth decay? Symptoms and treatments

If you notice symptoms in your cat such as bad breath, mouth discomfort, aversion to certain foods or less hunger it could be related to periodontitis. Periodontal disease is a condition characterised by the loosening and breakdown of tooth structure at or below the gumline, resulting in painful, bleeding lesions and destruction of the entire tooth structure. Untreated periodontitis can cause the disease to worsen with age.

What are cavities?

A caries problem involves the breakdown of enamel and demineralisation of teeth. In cats, decay is not as common as in dogs because of their natural diet, but some kittens are more susceptible to decay because of their diet or lack of oral hygiene.

The breakdown and demineralisation of enamel is caused by bacteria present in the mouth that break down carbohydrates and sugars left in the mouth after each meal, releasing acids that dissolve calcium salts in the teeth. Infections caused by damage to the enamel can progress and damage deeper structures such as the pulp and dentine, which can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Causes of dental caries in cats

Sugars and carbohydrates are the main causes of tooth decay, which is not common in cats because they are animals that get their energy and nutrients from meat, which is high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. However, there are some cat foods, such as wet food, that contain a higher percentage of carbohydrates than they need. This puts them at risk of developing caries.

Other causes of tooth decay in cats include the following:

  • Viral diseases such as leukaemia, immunodeficiency, rhinotracheitis and calicivirosis.
  • Expulsion of hairballs from the stomach (due to acid pH).
  • Diet low in calcium or diet with excess vitamin D.
  • Periodontal disease or chronic gingivostomatitis in cats due to bacterial fermentation.
  • Dental fractures.

Symptoms of caries in cats

Caries can be detected with the naked eye by opening the cat’s mouth to see the structures inside. However, there are some clinical signs that indicate that our cat has caries or is suffering from some other dental or oral problem, such as periodontal disease, calculus or chronic feline gingivostomatitis. The most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Anorexia or difficulty chewing.
  • Weight loss
  • Toothache
  • Tartar
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Hypersalivation (salivation)
  • Lethargy or apathy
  • Receding gums Yellow teeth
  • Inactivity
  • Bleeding of the teeth
  • Fever

If your cat is showing these symptoms, it may also be related to an eating disorder. See your vet for any symptoms to prevent serious health problems.

How to treat tooth decay in cats?

Depending on the severity of tooth decay in cats, treatment varies. If the tooth has one or more small cavities that do not extend deep into the tooth, a filling may be recommended to remineralise and rebuild the tooth, along with a dental cleaning to preserve the rest of the tooth. However, if the dental x-ray shows that the dental pulp has been damaged, the tooth should be extracted or root canal treatment should be performed.

How to prevent tooth decay in cats?

It is very important to maintain good oral health in cats by brushing their teeth with a cat-safe toothbrush and cat-safe toothpaste. You should never use human toothpaste to brush your cat’s teeth.

The best way to keep your cat’s teeth healthy is to give him hard food that he can chew to break down and then swallow. This is thought to happen because the friction created when the cat breaks down the hard food on the teeth acts like a brush or squeegee for the dirt on the teeth, preventing tartar and food from building up between the teeth.

It is also important not to feed cats too many treats and not to spoil them with carbohydrate-rich treats to reduce the sugar content, which can serve as a substrate for acid-forming bacteria in the mouth. However, it is a good idea to give them snacks or foods specifically designed for oral hygiene.

Wet food is not only good for your cat’s kidneys, but also provides more moisture in the diet, which is especially important as some cats drink very little water each day. Mixing wet food with low-quality dry food can make them susceptible to tooth decay, as it tends to contain more carbohydrates than dry food. Therefore, it is best to feed wet food once a day, preferably in the morning, and dry food the rest of the day.

 

Using homemade food is also beneficial to your cat’s health. However, your vet should closely monitor this diet to make sure it contains all the ingredients and minerals it needs to stay healthy.

Why do Maltese dogs have dark patches in their eyes?

There are several small white dog breeds that have become very popular as pets. Such as Maltese dogs, which not only make wonderful companions for all kinds of families, but their beautiful white coat makes them aesthetically very nice.

Unfortunately, such a brilliant whiteness requires special attention, as it stains easily. Many white dog breeds, apart from the Maltese, have the same problem when it comes to their eyes. The natural leakage of tears from their tear duct creates dark spots around the eye in their white coat. Let’s find out a little more about it!

Why does my Maltese have tear stains around his eyes?

While white dog breeds have the most visible tear stains around the eyes, they are not the only ones prone to this condition. Yorkshire Terriers (or Yorkies) are also known to suffer from this problem. In fact, many dogs of many breeds have some form of spotting around the eyes, but they are simply not as visible as a white-coated dog such as a Maltese.

The dark spots that occur around the eyes of the Maltese are usually not serious and the major result is the effect on their physical appearance. The fluid in the tear ducts will leak out, leaving traces of iron, magnesium and other minerals that make up part of the tears. When the tear fluid comes into contact with air it oxidises, leaving brown stains that can give the dog a rather sad appearance.

Problems occur when the tearing is excessive or the hair around the eyes is always wet. It can cause fungus and bacteria to grow. Both make the patches darker and pose a potential health threat if the eye becomes infected.

Increased tear duct leakage leading to staining can be due to a number of reasons, including:

  • Allergies: As with people, dogs can be allergic to almost anything. Allergies affect dogs in a number of ways, but increased tearing is one possible symptom. You can also look for other symptoms such as excessive scratching. If you think your dog has allergies, you should take him to the vet to determine the cause and get him away from whatever is causing his allergy.
  • Blockage of the nasolacrimal duct: Something may be blocking his tear duct, a relatively common problem in the Maltese breed. Regular cleaning of the eye area will help prevent this problem, whether you do it at home or ask the groomer to take care of it.
  • Loss of baby teeth: In Maltese puppies it is very common for the loss of baby teeth to squeeze the nasolacrimal duct and cause more tears. If this is the reason, it is likely to stop when all the permanent teeth have developed.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: What your dog eats and drinks is vitally important to their health. If they are not getting the right amount of vitamins, protein and other nutrients they need to stay healthy, this can affect their eyes.

These problems can happen to almost any dog, but we may not notice the spots around their eyes as easily. To prevent these spots from getting worse and causing an infection in your dog’s eyes, don’t hesitate to see your vet for a check-up and prescribe the best products to heal your dog’s eyes.

My dog complains when I touch his belly, what’s wrong?

Abdominal pain is a frequent reason for veterinary consultation among small animals. Since dogs are experts at hiding their pain, we need to be sensitive to certain cues. A common symptom is trembling in the area, usually when your dog tries to avoid being touched. In more acute cases, howling, whimpering, depression, or even reduced mobility can indicate a problem causing pain in the dog’s belly area.

If you notice that your dog’s belly hurts when you touch him, it is important that you take him to a veterinary consultation. Next, we will talk about the possible causes of this abdominal pain in dogs.

Gastric torsion

Gastric torsion in dogs, also known as stomach torsion, is a pathology that affects the stomach. It is the result of the excessive accumulation of gas and liquid in the stomach that causes subsequent distention or dilation. Once this dilation increases to a certain point, the organ will rotate and cause a torsion. When this happens, the dog will present the following signs:

  • A very distended abdomen.
  • Strong colic pain.
  • Great nervousness.

It is a disease that most often affects large and giant dogs. Although the precise cause that triggers this disease is not known, there are certain predisposing factors that have been related to the development of gastric torsion in dogs:

  • Aerophagia: the dog swallows and swallows a lot of air, usually presenting with dyspnea (difficulty breathing). It is one of the most determining factors of this disease.
  • Eating: Rapid intake of a large amount of food will often occur before the dog develops gastric torsion.
  • Loss of appetite: Once gastric torsion occurs, they will not be able to eat or keep food down.
  • Eating from an elevated bowl: Dogs with megaesophagus are more predisposed to developing gastric dilatation/torsion. For this reason, if a dog is susceptible to this condition, it is recommended that they eat from the ground.
  • Stress: especially when several dogs live together and there is competition for food.
  • Exercise: although the practice of exercise before or after meals has traditionally been associated with the onset of this disease, recent studies call this into question.

Regardless of its cause, gastric torsion is a life-threatening disease with rapid progression. It requires immediate veterinary attention. When the rotation of the organ occurs, necrosis of the stomach and the rest of the organs that rotate together with it begins to occur. Consequently, there are:

  • Hypovolemic shock: due to vascular compromise.
  • Endotoxic shock: due to tissue necrosis.
  • Septic shock: if the stomach is perforated, it can have fatal consequences for the animal if it is not treated in time.

Antral gastritis

In general, any gastroenteritis can cause abdominal pain in dogs. However, there is a pathology that is especially associated with a very intense pain that appears when touching a dog’s stomach. Antral gastritis is an inflammation of the “pyloric antrum” of the stomach or the distal part of the duodenum. It is usually secondary to duodenitis (inflammation of the duodenum).

Antral gastritis presents with bilious vomiting on an empty stomach (usually in the morning). In some cases, chronic diarrhea with weight loss may occur. In patients affected by this disease, it is characteristic to observe an unnatural posture called “prayer pose”. The animals adopt this strange position to relieve abdominal pain. In addition, when the pain is very intense, attacks of abdominal pain may appear that can be confused with epileptic seizures due to their severity.

Gastric ulcers

Gastric ulcers are injuries that occur in the mucosa of the stomach as a result of multiple factors. These include foreign bodies, anti-inflammatory drugs, kidney failure, etc. These injuries can be superficial (erosions) or can affect the entire gastric wall, causing perforation of the stomach.

These patients, in addition to abdominal pain, usually present:

  • Lethargy.
  • Anorexy.
  • Vomiting with or without digested blood.
  • Presence of digested blood in the stool (dark stool).

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic inflammatory process that can affect both the small intestine and the large intestine. In both types, the predominant clinical sign is diarrhoea. It is an idiopathic pathology (that is, of unknown origin), although it seems to have immunological, allergic, dietary or even parasitic influences.

In the specific case of inflammatory bowel disease of the small intestine, attacks of acute abdominal pain are relatively frequent. When severe, these episodes can be confused with epileptic seizures (as occurs in antral gastritis).

Intestinal obstruction

Most intestinal obstructions occur in the small intestine due to its smaller diameter compared to the colon. The causes that can produce a clinical picture of intestinal obstruction are:

  • Foreign bodies: specifically, those that are capable of passing through the stomach, but are trapped when they reach the small intestine.
  • Neoplasms or granulomas in the intestinal wall: depending on their size, they can cause total or partial obstruction due to abnormal cell proliferation.
  • Invagination or intussusception: consists of the entry of a segment of intestine into the lumen of the immediately posterior segment (as if it were a sock that folds on itself).
  • Incarcerated hernia and strangulation: When loops of intestine protrude through a hernia, they can become blocked and imprisoned in such a way as to cause intestinal obstruction and cut off the blood supply to the intestine. You can see that the dog’s abdomen is in severe pain when touched due to inguinal hernias in dogs.
  • Mesenteric volvulus: the mesentery is a fibrous network that is responsible for keeping the intestine in its proper position, adhering to the abdominal wall. In volvulus, the mesentery turns on itself. In turn, this causes acute intestinal obstruction with infarction and intestinal necrosis.

Regardless of the cause, dogs with intestinal obstruction present with severe abdominal pain. Their abdomen is often impossible to touch, since the pain makes them hunch over and they can even be aggressive if we try to touch the area.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis consists of an inflammation of the exocrine pancreas, that is, the tissue responsible for producing and releasing the pancreatic juices necessary for digestion to the intestine. Although its specific etiology is unknown, there are a number of risk factors that predispose to its appearance. These include obesity, high-fat diets, and side effects of some medications.

Regardless of the cause, most dogs with pancreatitis experience vomiting and abdominal pain. If any dog ​​feels pain when you touch its stomach, pancreatitis should be included as a possible differential diagnosis.

Peritonitis

The peritoneum is the serous membrane that internally lines the abdominal cavity and surrounds the viscera. When this serous membrane becomes inflamed, peritonitis occurs. Since many different causes can lead to inflammation of the peritoneum, it can be classified into different types of peritonitis:

  • Infectious.
  • Chemical.
  • Neoplastic.
  • Traumatic.
  • Post surgical.

However, all types of peritonitis usually present with moderate to severe abdominal pain. This may be accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, depression, etc.

Diseases of the genitourinary system

As you have seen, there are various digestive diseases that can make your dog feel pain when you touch his belly. However, there are other diseases outside the gastrointestinal system that can also cause abdominal pain.

The following pathologies affect the organs of the reproductive and urinary systems of dogs:

  • Urinary obstruction: especially due to the presence of stones in the urinary tract, something that we usually see with crystals in your urine.
  • Pyometra: a uterine infection that results in the accumulation of pus in the uterus.
  • Prostatitis: inflammation of the prostate.
  • Tumors: ovarian, uterine, urinary bladder, etc. To find out more about tumors in dogs that can affect this area, check out our article on why a dog has a lump near the anus.

Throughout this article we have pointed out the processes that can most frequently cause clinical pictures of abdominal pain in dogs. However, other possible processes should not be ruled out. There are many other pathologies that can cause discomfort or abdominal pain in our pets.

In any case, whenever you detect any symptoms of abdominal pain in your dog, do not hesitate to go to a trusted veterinarian as soon as possible. As you have seen, some of the processes described in this article require urgent veterinary attention, so it is important that you act quickly to ensure a good prognosis.

My cat’s paw is swollen: what’s wrong?

Depending on how much fur your cat has on her paws, it can be hard to tell which one of them is swollen. However, once the swelling has developed sufficiently, it will soon become apparent. Even if you can’t see the swelling itself, there will be other symptoms depending on the underlying cause. This inflammatory process can be part of a localized problem such as a skin allergy or trauma. There are also systemic diseases that can cause inflammation of various parts of the body, including the cat’s paw.

In this article we will discuss why a cat’s paw may be swollen.

Feline plasma cell pododermatitis

A cat’s paw has keratinized pads on the base and toes, both on the forelimbs (palmar or metacarpal pad) and hind limbs (plantar or metatarsal pad). When the swelling is localized to the foot pads, it is possibly due to a little-known pathology such as plasma cell pododermatitis (feline plasmacytic pododermatitis).

This disease is believed to have an immune-mediated origin due to the existence of hypergammaglobulinemia. This is a condition that affects lymphocytes and the deposition of immune complexes (antigen-antibody) with response to treatment with glucocorticoids. However, other factors must be involved in its origin, since it also responds to surgical treatment without the use of immunosuppressants such as glucocorticoids.

Cats with feline footpads present with tenderness and swelling of the pads of either pair of feet. They will also show signs of pain, or may have edema, discomfort, licking of the affected area, and lameness.

Feline Plasma Cell Pododermatitis Treatment

Treatment should include antibiotics such as doxycycline, glucocorticoids such as prednisolone. In more advanced cases, surgical removal of the ulcerations may be necessary.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a general term for various disorders that affect the joints and cause swelling. Inflammation of a joint can be due to infectious or non-infectious causes. When several joints are affected, it is called “polyarthritis”.

The causes of arthritis in cats are varied. It can be the result of bite wounds in fights or accidents, as well as autoimmune or rheumatoid causes, viral infections (leukemia and feline immunodeficiency), osteoarthritis, bacterial infections, falls, trauma or sprains.

Cats with arthritis may exhibit the following clinical signs:

  • Inflammation of the joint, causing a lump or swelling of the affected leg.
  • Reduction or loss of mobility of the affected area.
  • Decreased physical activity and movement.
  • Joint pain.
  • Joint crepitus (screeching sound).
  • Depression.
  • Muscular atrophy.
  • Spend more time resting.
  • Increased temperature in the area of ​​the affected joint.
  • Limp.
  • Redness of the affected paw.
  • Feline arthritis treatment.

Treatment of feline arthritis should include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and pain in the joints. This will help improve the symptoms of the affected cat. Supplements that help the joint, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, can also be used. In the most severe cases of arthritis, surgery may be considered as a last option.

Bone tumors

A cat’s swollen paw can sometimes respond to a bone tumor of one or more limb bones. The four main bone tumors are osteosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is the most common of these types of feline cancer.

These tumors can be primary if they arise directly from the bone, or secondary when they are produced by metastases from other tumors. These cancers that lead to secondary tumors include multiple myeloma of the bone marrow or transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. Fortunately, bone tumors in cats are less aggressive than in dogs and are usually not primary tumors.

Treatment of bone tumors in cats

Primary osteosarcomas can metastasize to the lungs and lymph nodes, although not always. When the tumor is located only in the affected limb, amputation is required. In other cases, chemotherapy and radiation therapy must be used.

Trauma

Falling from great heights, having a traffic accident, fighting with other cats, are situations that can cause trauma to the cat. Even relatively superficial wounds can become infected and cause inflammation. However, fractures and sprains can cause significant swelling that can cause significant discomfort. Without treatment, they may limp.

Bacterial infections can develop into abscesses where pus builds up causing swelling. In these cases, the swelling may go down after the infection resolves, but they may also need to be drained. The infection should never be allowed to spread due to the risk of reaching the blood and causing septicemia.

Treatment of trauma in cats

If your cat has a swollen paw due to trauma, treatment will depend on the type of trauma and the extent of the damage. Small wounds on the paw or leg can be left to heal on their own, but may require antibiotic treatment and/or drainage. For breaks and sprains, the area may need to be supported with a splint or cast. In severe cases, the cat may need to stay in the hospital due to difficulty keeping it stable.

Allergic reaction

Another common reason a cat’s paw may be swollen is due to an allergic reaction. Cats can be allergic to just about anything in their environment, but their paws can be particularly affected. If the cat has a skin allergy to something that may be on the ground, contact with its paws can cause localized inflammation.

They will often play with their intended prey by hitting it with their paws. If this prey is an insect, it can bite or sting your leg, which can also lead to an allergic reaction and swelling of the area.

In some cases, these can be very serious. For example, if the cat is playing with a poisonous spider, the spider bite can lead to necrosis, poisoning, or even infection of the bite wound. When this occurs, the cat’s paw swelling will not be the only symptom.

In the case of bee stings, the swollen leg will be sore, sore, and swollen. It can also produce a general allergic reaction with changes in heart and breathing rhythm. In severe cases, this can lead to blocked airways with fainting and a bluish tongue. Treatment should include antihistamine therapy in addition to removing the stinger.

When you don’t know the cause of the bite or sting, but you know there are potentially poisonous creatures in the area, you should take your cat to the vet. This is especially the case when there are systemic symptoms such as lethargy, slow breathing, excessive salivation, or seizures. Pay attention to the symptoms that your cat may have!

Malaltia hepàtica en gossos

El fetge és l’òrgan intern més gran del cos dels carnívors. Com a òrgan que realitza nombroses funcions, el fetge té una gran capacitat demmagatzematge i una reserva funcional. A més, es pot regenerar a si mateix. Quan el fetge del teu gos no funciona correctament, causa problemes amb la digestió i la coagulació de la sang i pot provocar malalties. Tot i això, la malaltia hepàtica sovint és tractable i controlable.

El següent article tracta sobre la malaltia hepàtica en gossos, les causes, símptomes, diagnòstic i tractament.

Causes de problemes hepàtics en gossos

Per comprendre les causes de les malalties hepàtiques, primer hem d’aclarir que les malalties hepàtiques es poden dividir en quatre grans grups:

  • Alteracions del parènquima hepàtic: tant inflamatòries (hepatitis amb cirrosi o sense) com no inflamatòries (amiloïdosi hepàtica, lipidosi hepàtica i hepatopatia esteroidea).
  • Malalties tumorals: Limfoma, carcinoma hepatocel·lular, colangiocarcinoma o metàstasis hepàtiques.
  • Alteracions en el sistema biliar: Colangitis, colecistitis o mucocele.
  • Trastorns vasculars del fetge: Derivacions portosistèmiques i congestió hepàtica.
    Símptomes dels problemes hepàtics en gossos

La presentació clínica dels problemes hepàtics en gossos, com en altres espècies animals, ve determinada per dues característiques bàsiques del fetge:

  • La seva capacitat regenerativa: La regeneració del fetge és el procés pel qual el fetge és capaç de reemplaçar el teixit hepàtic perdut pel creixement del teixit restant. El fetge és lúnic òrgan visceral que té la capacitat de regenerar-se.
  • La seva gran reserva funcional: El fetge no necessita utilitzar tota la seva capacitat per fer les seves funcions. Només cal el 30% del fetge per mantenir els nivells normals d’albúmina, per la qual cosa el fetge té una capacitat del 70%.

Per aquestes raons, és comú observar pacients amb lesions hepàtiques que romanen completament asimptomàtics, ja que aquestes lesions encara no han provocat cap canvi funcional al fetge. Quan s’observen símptomes suggestius d’un problema hepàtic, generalment s’afecten més del 70% del parènquima hepàtic.

Després de conèixer aquests detalls sobre el fetge, t’explicarem les tres situacions que ens podem trobar en gossos amb problemes hepàtics:

Pacients asimptomàtics

Són aquells que es troben a les primeres etapes d’una malaltia crònica. Atès que són asimptomàtics, només podem determinar la presència d’un problema hepàtic mitjançant una anàlisi de sang amb un perfil hepàtic, que generalment es fa quan els gossos estan sota anestèsia general per alguna altra raó mèdica.

Pacients amb signes inespecífics

En aquests pacients inicialment s’observen signes clínics inespecífics, és a dir, no indiquen a priori cap malaltia hepàtica. Els símptomes que podem veure en aquests gossos són:

  • Signes digestius: vòmits biliosos i diarrea.
  • Signes urinaris: poliúria, polidípsia, hematúria i disúria.
  • Anorèxia i pèrdua de pes.
  • Condició corporal baixa.
  • Apatia i depressió.
  • Pacients amb signes suggestius de malaltia hepàtica.

Són pacients amb malaltia hepàtica avançada en què s’ha superat la capacitat de reserva funcional del fetge. Encara que l’animal pateixi una malaltia crònica, els símptomes solen aparèixer de forma aguda en el moment en què el fetge ja no pot fer les seves funcions perquè se n’ha excedit la reserva funcional.

Els signes clínics que podem observar en gossos en aquestes condicions són:

  • Icterícia: coloració groguenca de les mucoses. Es deu a un excés de bilirubina (un pigment groc) dipositat als teixits. En els gossos, en general es nota primer a l’escleròtica.
  • Ascitis: dilatació abdominal a causa de l’acumulació de líquid a l’abdomen.
  • Encefalopatia hepàtica: quan el fetge perd la capacitat de neteja, l’amoníac ingressa al torrent sanguini i, finalment, al sistema nerviós central, cosa que provoca una afecció neurològica. Els signes que poden ocórrer en aquests gossos inclouen un estat alterat de consciència (letargia, estupor i eventualment coma), debilitat o atàxia, pressió del cap contra la paret o el pis, donar voltes i convulsions.
  • Tendència a sagnar: ja que el fetge s?encarrega de la síntesi dels factors de coagulació.
  • Signes urinaris: com a disúria (micció dolorosa) i hematúria (orina amb sang). Solen ocórrer en gossos amb derivacions portosistèmiques, com a resultat de la formació de càlculs d’urat d’amoni a l’orina.

Diagnòstic de problemes hepàtics en gossos

Un protocol de diagnòstic per a gossos amb problemes hepàtics inclou els elements següents:

  • Història i examen general: en gossos asimptomàtics o gossos amb només signes inespecífics, és difícil sospitar un problema hepàtic. En gossos amb signes suggestius de malaltia hepàtica, és més fàcil fer-ne el diagnòstic. No obstant això, cal tenir en compte que els signes són molt similars a la majoria dels problemes hepàtics, per la qual cosa el quadre clínic no sol aportar informació sobre la malaltia hepàtica concreta. A més, no és possible determinar a partir dels símptomes si el cas és agut o crònic, ja que, com ja hem explicat, els signes en pacients amb malalties cròniques solen aparèixer de manera aguda, quan se supera la capacitat funcional del fetge.
  • Anàlisi de sang: si els signes clínics de l’animal suggereixen malaltia biliar, cal fer una anàlisi de sang per determinar valors com proteïnes totals, albúmina, enzims hepàtics, amoníac, glucosa i àcids biliars.
  • Examen d’orina: cal mesurar la densitat de l’orina i la bilirubina, especialment si l’orina és molt espessa i pigmentada. També és útil examinar el sediment d’orina a la recerca de vidres d’urat d’amoni.
  • Altres proves de laboratori: a més, es poden realitzar proves de laboratori més específiques, com ara el mesurament d’àcids biliars en dejú o la prova de sobrecàrrega d’amoníac.
  • Ecografia abdominal: aquesta prova d’imatge pot avaluar el parènquima hepàtic, el sistema biliar i el sistema vascular. Es pot utilitzar per diagnosticar algunes malalties hepàtiques, com ara derivacions portosistèmiques o obstrucció biliar extrahepàtica. Tot i això, una ecografia negativa no descarta la presència de malaltia hepàtica perquè els canvis en el parènquima hepàtic no produeixen una imatge ecogràfica diagnòstica.
  • Radiografia abdominal: la radiografia ha de donar informació sobre la mida del fetge, ja que l’ecografia sol donar una idea una mica subjectiva. En patologies agudes, la mida del fetge és normal o augmentada, mentre que en casos crònics està disminuït.
  • Ressonància magnètica: aquest estudi avançat d’imatge és especialment útil per al diagnòstic de patologies vasculars del fetge, patologies del sistema biliar i tumors.
  • Procediment d’aspiració amb agulla fina: s’utilitza per fer citologies. Aquesta prova pot detectar anomalies en els hepatòcits (cèl·lules del fetge) com ara lipidosi, fetge esteroideu, amiloïdosi o tumors. Tot i això, en gossos, aquesta prova és diagnòstica només en el 30% dels casos.
  • Biòpsia: l’anàlisi hematològica es realitza en gossos per als quals la PAF no és diagnòstica. La mostra s’obté per via percutània amb agulles de biòpsia o quirúrgicament (via laparotomia o laparoscòpia).
    Tractaments per a problemes hepàtics en gossos

El tractament de problemes hepàtics en gossos pot incloure un o més dels següents:

  • Tractament mèdic: depenent de la patologia concreta, pot caldre corregir els desequilibris hidroelectrolítics amb fluidoteràpia. També és recomanable complementar les carències vitamíniques (amb vitamina K, tiamina, cobalamina), així com per tractar trastorns digestius i/o signes neurològics. Alguns casos requereixen administrar medicaments hepatoprotectors com l’àcid ursodesoxicòlic.
  • Control dietètic: en general, cal administrar una dieta ben digerida, rica en carbohidrats de fàcil assimilació i baixa en greixos. Els nivells de proteïna, sodi i coure a la dieta s’han d’ajustar segons la patologia específica del gos.
  • Tractament quirúrgic: caldrà en algunes patologies com shunts portosistémicos o tumors hepàtics.
    Prevenció de problemes hepàtics en gossos

Per prevenir possibles problemes hepàtics als gossos, cal tenir en compte els factors següents:

  • Vacunació i desparasitació: com ja hem explicat, hi ha nombrosos microorganismes i paràsits que poden causar malalties hepàtiques. Per això, és important mantenir actualitzat el programa de vacunació i desparasitació canina per prevenir aquestes malalties.
  • Control d’altres patologies: Cal mantenir sota control les patologies que puguin ser secundàries a canvis hepàtics.
  • Control de tractaments farmacològics: En pacients tractats amb fàrmacs hepatotòxics, cal realitzar controls periòdics i mantenir la dosi dins dels límits terapèutics.
  • Prevenció d’intoxicacions: per micotoxines, plantes hepatotòxiques, etc.

Les revisions mèdiques són molt importants als nostres animals. Si creus que el teu pelut pot estar patint una malaltia hepàtica, no dubtis a portar-ho a la nostra consulta per determinar-ne un diagnòstic i trobar el millor tractament per a la seva malaltia.

Why is my cat panting like a dog?

Panting is a behavior we most often associate with dogs, not cats. Although dogs of all sizes pant, it is often more common in large dogs that they pant with their tongues sticking out. By comparison, a cat sticking its tongue out and panting isn’t something we associate as much with cats. When we see a cat panting like a dog, we can think that something is wrong. Although a cat can pant due to environmental factors, there are some diseases and conditions that have panting as a symptom.

In this article we help you understand when this is normal behavior and when it could be a sign that they need veterinary help.

Normal panting in cats

If you see your cat panting like a dog, there are times when this is considered normal. Panting is dyspnea (difficulty) and excessive breathing that requires the mouth to be open. Cats breathe rapidly when they pant, usually with their tongues sticking out. Cats normally breathe through their noses, which means that normal panting is usually due to one of the following causes:

  • Excitement or exercise.
  • Birth.
  • High temperatures.
  • Fear or stress.

Why is my cat panting like a dog?

If your cat is panting like a dog, that is, panting a lot, it may be cause for concern. Not only can they be affected by the acute problems noted above, but it could possibly be a symptom of a certain disease. Often these illnesses are respiratory and cause shortness of breath, but not all of them do. Anemia, heart disease, hormonal imbalance, and endocrine disorders are some others.

Respiratory diseases

One of the most common respiratory illnesses that cause panting in kitties is feline asthma. You may notice this first by other symptoms, such as wheezing when breathing. Asthma symptoms are due to constriction of the lower respiratory tract that makes it difficult for air to pass through. The cat will pant as a means of opening its airway.

Asthma isn’t the only respiratory disease that can cause dog-like panting. Pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid in the space between the lung and its covering membrane, known as the ‘pleura’. This fluid can be blood (hemothorax), water (hydrothorax), or lymphatic fluid (chylothorax). It can be the result of high blood pressure, infectious peritonitis, or other causes.

Severe anemia

Cats can suffer from various types of anemia, some of which are very serious. They reduce the hematocrit (percentage of red blood cells in the cat’s blood volume) and cause poor oxygenation of the tissues by the blood cells. Signs associated with anemia in cats are tachycardia, increased respiratory rate, panting, weakness, and pale mucous membranes.

Heart disease

Heart disease is another clear cause of pathological panting in cats. Among them, congestive heart failure stands out. It is often caused by a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sometimes related to feline hyperthyroidism or restrictive cardiomyopathy.

Poisoning

Some drugs, foods or plants that are toxic to cats can affect the animal’s respiratory center. This affects the correct lung expansion for gas exchange and causes respiratory distress (dyspnea). Panting like a dog is the result of this distress.

Diaphragm herniation

Cats may also pant when the thoracic space for lung expansion is reduced by the presence of abdominal viscera in the thoracic cavity, such as occurs with a diaphragmatic hernia. In diaphragmatic hernias, there is a discontinuity of the diaphragm, a structure that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity. This can cause viscera such as the stomach, spleen, liver, or intestine to enter the wrong cavity, causing gasping.

What to do if my cat is panting a lot?

When the cat has a pathological problem whose symptom is panting like a dog, the treatment will correspond to this problem. However, there are ways we can help the cat avoid panting due to various environmental and physiological factors. They include:

  • Keep your cat hydrated.
  • Avoid ingesting toxic substances.
  • Control your weight.
  • Regular appointments with the veterinarian.

We are experts in respiratory problems, so we encourage you to take your pet to the vet if he suffers from any condition or pain, whatever its origin. In case of any doubt, we are here to help you.

Neurological problems in cats

Neurological disorders are those that affect the central and/or peripheral nervous system of cats. They can be the result of acquired diseases, trauma, genetic inheritance, and other causes, some of which are idiopathic.

Today we look at the different types of neurological disorders in cats. We understand its different causes and symptoms, as well as looking for the best methods to treat the neurological problems of our feline friends.

Vestibular syndrome

Cats can have two types of vestibular syndrome: central and peripheral. The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is part of the auditory system, along with the cochlea. It is involved in maintaining balance and orientation, something very important in cats that are characterized by their agility. Your body is highly coordinated, and the vestibular system helps each part know where to be in relation to the other. Vestibular syndrome can be unilateral or bilateral, depending on whether it affects one or both ears, respectively. Treatment of vestibular syndrome in cats will vary depending on the underlying cause. There is no specific and generic treatment for all cases. It is essential that we go to a veterinarian if we suspect that our cat may have vestibular syndrome of either of the two types.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in cats, in part because it refers to a group of conditions rather than a specific disorder. Epilepsy is defined as periodically repeated seizures. Between the seizures, the cat appears completely normal. Epilepsy causes a sudden activation of a group of neurons that cause overexcitement and agitation of the cat’s body. It acts on a specific muscle group (focal epilepsy) or on the whole body (generalized epileptic seizure).

The causes of epilepsy in cats can be idiopathic, that is, without apparent origin. It can also be the result of diseases that affect the brain, vascular disorders, hypoxia, liver or kidney disorders (hepatic or uremic encephalopathy), or thiamine deficiency.

Epilepsy treatment should include medications such as phenobarbital to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures. It will also help prevent continuous seizures that last more than 10 minutes. Prolonged seizures can cause a rise in body temperature (hyperthermia) that can be fatal.

Spinal diseases

The spinal cord is divided into four functional units: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and lumbosacral areas. Depending on the affected area, they produce combinations of upper and lower motor neuron syndromes in the forelimbs and hindlimbs.

Thoracolumbar or lumbosacral spine disorders

Clinical signs likely to indicate spinal cord impairment include paresis (partial motor failure) or paraplegia (total motor failure). This can occur in one or more limbs, depending on the disease and the location of the spinal cord injury.

If the affected area is the thoracolumbar area (behind the T2 spinal cord segment to the lumbar segment), the paresis is of the upper motor neuron, where the reflexes are opposite or are normal or increased in the hind legs.

The causes of these disorders of the thoracolumbar or lumbosacral spine are hernias, fobrocartilaginous embolization, neoplasms, spondylosis, disc spondylitis or degenerative lumbosacral stenosis, among others.

Cervical spine disorders

The most severe form occurs when the spinal problem is localized to the first segments of the spine. These are located in the neck and go back to the T2 spinal segment. This results in ataxia and paralysis of all four limbs. When the lesion is located in the first half (segment C1-C5), an upper motor neuron syndrome occurs in all four limbs. If it occurs in the C6-T2 segment, a lower motor syndrome occurs in the forelimbs.

The causes are cervical disc disease, cartilage embolization, atlantoaxial subluxation or Wobbler syndrome (cervical spondylopathy), among others.

Diseases of the meninges

Another area that can be affected is the meninges. These are the membranes that cover the central nervous system and the spinal cord. The meninges are three-layered.

The meninges can be affected in various ways and the location of an infection helps determine the disease:

  • Meningitis: when the meninges become infected in isolation
  • Meningoencephalitis: when it also infects the brain.
  • Meningomyelitis: when the spinal cord is also infected.

The most typical symptom of meningeal infections is pain, which causes acute cervical stiffness and tenderness of the neck and spine. The cat may also have seizures and behavioral disturbances, as well as fever, anorexia, and lethargy. Another problem with inflammation of the meninges is that it can cause hydrocephalus by reducing the absorption of cerebrospinal fluid in the subarachnoid space and venous sinuses.

Cranial nerve diseases

In cats, cranial nerves exit the cerebrum or brainstem and innervate structures in the head. When damaged they can also produce signs of neurological disorders in cats. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Damage to the trigeminal nerve (pair V): innervates the head, causes lack of sensitivity and hinders the muscles necessary for chewing. For this reason, you may find that the cat does not eat as much.
  • Damage to the facial nerve (nerve VII): causes the ears and lips to loosen, the tear ducts to leak, and the dexterity of the tongue to be reduced. Damage to this nerve can be caused by otitis media or inner ear infections.
  • Damage to the glossopharyngeal nerve (pair IX), the vagus nerve (pair X) and the accessory nerve (pair XI): these are responsible for controlling the motor activity of the esophagus for swallowing. The result is usually difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, changes in vocalization, dry mouth, inspiratory dyspnea, cervical muscle atrophy (in case of accessory nerve injury), etc.
  • Damage to the hypoglossal nerve (pair XII): innervates the tongue producing paralysis and atrophy, making it difficult to eat food.

Although these are the most common neurological disorders in cats, there are many more that can affect the central nervous system, causing other serious signs such as stroke. For this reason, it is essential to carry out adequate preventive action and go to routine controls to detect any anomaly as soon as possible. If you notice any of the neurological symptoms mentioned, do not hesitate to take your cat to the nearest veterinary center.

How to reduce stress in a dog?

We don’t like to think that our dogs get stressed. They are often our own anxiety relievers and can be amazing pillars of support. Although they do not face the same problems as humans, dogs can be seriously affected by stress. In chronic cases, it can be very detrimental to your health. For this reason, we must determine why a dog gets so stressed.

We look at the main reasons why a dog is stressed, what symptoms dogs with stress exhibit, and what we can do as caregivers to relieve their stress.

Why do dogs get stressed?

To understand why our dog is stressed, we need to understand what he is experiencing. Stress is an automatic response generated by the dog’s body to a specific stimulus. Such a stimulus can be many things, including or especially things that we don’t necessarily interpret as stressors. For a dog, it can be another dog, a person, a car, or even an environment they don’t like.

Stress is an important part of a dog’s body. It sends signals to your body that can help if you are really in danger. For example, when a dog sees another dog, the release of adrenaline accompanied by stress can help it to evade the situation or defend itself. However, when the stress is excessive, it means that his body is negatively affected for no reason.

These negative reactions are often related to feelings of insecurity.
There are several factors that contribute to a dog’s well-being. These are represented in the five freedoms of animal welfare:

  1. Free from thirst, hunger and malnutrition.
  2. Freedom from discomfort.
  3. Free from pain, disease and injury.
  4. Freedom of expression.
  5. Freedom from fear and stress.

When the first four freedoms are fulfilled, the dog is more likely to be free from fear and stress. However, there are some specific reasons why a dog may be stressed.

Common causes of stress in dogs

Here are some specific reasons a dog may become stressed:

  • Inadequate Socialization: How a dog relates to others is a vital part of maintaining his well-being. This is especially so when they are young, as their early experiences will define them in many ways. If this period of socialization is neglected or if they have negative experiences, it can lead to stress in the future.
  • Lack of basic care: When dogs are not provided with shelter, food, exercise, companionship or some of their basic needs, they will feel insecure and develop stress. Our responsibility in adopting a dog is to satisfy his needs, something that requires capital, commitment and time.
  • Inadequate education: we can educate and train our dog in different ways and each dog will have its individual needs. However, negative reinforcement of education is never recommended. When we scold, yell or use physical violence against a dog it will be counterproductive to their learning and is likely to lead to stress and behavioral disturbances.
  • Environmental changes: Changes in the environment can lead to feelings of stress due to fear of the unknown. Bringing a new dog into the house, changing addresses, having a baby, or making any changes can be stressful, especially if the dog is not supported throughout the process.
  • Trauma: if the dog has suffered an accident, has been attacked by another animal or suffers some type of trauma, he may suffer stress. More anxiety can be provoked if they encounter some stimulus that reminds them of their trauma.

Symptoms of stress in dogs

Signs of stress in dogs include:

  • Stereotypes: these are repetitive behaviors or movements that have no obvious function. A common stereotype in kennels can be seen when dogs walk in circles for prolonged periods. They may also obsessively lick patches of skin, eat foreign objects, or display other behaviors that can lead to physical harm.
  • Aggression: When a dog is in a stressful situation, he may fear his safety is being compromised and become aggressive in reaction. When stress is prolonged, aggressive behavior can intensify.
  • Apathy: As stated above, dogs are individuals. Not everyone will react to stress in the same way. While some can become aggressive, others can withdraw into themselves and eventually become apathetic and depressed.
  • Excessive activity: it must be distinguished from a naturally hyperactive dog. The latter can be due to various reasons, not necessarily unhealthy. However, a stressed dog may find it difficult to relax.
  • Fear: Pervasive fear is a common result of stress. When the dog is in non-threatening environments, he may show signs of fear due to other stressors.
  • Excessive expression: Stressed dogs are more likely to respond to stimuli unnecessarily. When they hear a noise or feel a disturbance, a stressed dog is more likely to bark or growl. They can also bark when we are not around or generally make a lot of noise.

How is stress treated in dogs?

The first thing we need to do when we see signs of stress in our dog is to understand the underlying cause. The above reasons for canine stress may provide some help, but it is important that we take them to a veterinarian to differentiate if their behavior is related to physical discomfort or illness, or if it is emotional.

Once you’ve assessed your dog’s specific needs and implemented education and training plans to help alleviate stress issues, there are also some basic steps you can take at home to help reduce stress.

They include:

  • Meet the dog’s basic needs: review the dog’s care and make sure he is receiving the right type of food at the right time. Make sure he gets adequate levels of exercise and this is another reason to visit the vet as he will also be able to help determine if he suffers from any nutritional deficiencies.
  • Provide more education: If the dog has had training before, reinforcing his education will have a positive effect. It allows the dog more opportunities to spend time socializing, provides exercise, rewards and cognitive stimulation, all factors to improve the feeling of stress.
  • Environmental enrichment: If lack of stimulation creates stress, an important way to help a dog is by improving her environment. Provide toys, intelligence games, a cozy resting area and other accessories that will help the dog in her well-being.
  • Spend time together: Even if you can’t be around each other all the time, you should make your time together special. More than taking them for their necessary walks, giving them massages, petting them regularly, encouraging them in general and looking for activities that you can do together. All of this will go a long way in eliminating your dog’s feelings of stress.

Understanding why a dog is stressed is very important to continue advancing his well-being. Once you’ve ruled out a physical problem and tried the steps above, you should improve your quality of life and relieve stress. Remember to know the dog and act according to his individual needs. If you’re still stressed after all, it may be time to talk to a professional.

Hookworms in Cats: What are they? Causes, symptoms and diagnosis

Similar to tapeworms and worms, hookworms are a group of blood-sucking parasites that can live in your cat’s digestive system. They belong to the genus Ancylostoma. These parasites affect a wide variety of mammals, not just cats. They are known as “hookworms” due to the hook-shaped mouth with which the parasites anchor themselves to the intestinal walls.

Read on to learn more about hookworms in cats, their possible causes, the most common symptoms, how to treat them, and how to prevent them in the future.

What are hookworms in cats?

Feline hookworm is a parasitic disease caused by worms belonging to the Ancylostomatidae family, which includes several species. Cats are most affected by Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Ancylostoma braziliense, and Uncinaria stenocephala. Compared to dogs, cats tend to harbor relatively few hookworms, and these are generally less aggressive than the species found in dogs.

Cats become parasitized when L3 larvae (third instar larvae) enter their bodies. This can happen through ingestion, by penetrating your skin, or by consuming the milk of an infected mother. The larvae settle in the feline’s small intestine and continue to develop until they reach their final adult stage.

This type of parasite has teeth to adhere to the wall of your cat’s small intestine, causing extensive damage to the intestinal lining. The disease often progresses to traumatic ulcerative enteritis, and the most common symptoms include anemia, progressive wasting, and dramatic weight loss.

Causes of Feline Hookworms

Generally, hot and humid environments create the perfect conditions for hookworm proliferation, especially in areas where there is overcrowding and poor sanitation. Female hookworms lay thousands of microscopic eggs that end up in the cat’s feces. The larvae will eventually hatch from the eggs and remain alive in the soil for weeks or months. The most common routes of transmission are the following:

  • Percutaneous: the larvae enter the body through the cat’s skin in areas without fur.
  • Oral: usually occurs when the cat grooms its paws after having been in contact with the larvae.
  • Mother’s milk: Kittens become infected through ingestion of milk from a parasitized mother.

Pathogenesis of hookworm in cats

Once the parasites reach the intestine, they will latch onto the intestinal lining with their large, serrated mouth. This will cause traumatic intestinal inflammation, which will cause the cat to start losing blood. The parasites also secrete anticoagulant substances that prevent the blood from clotting, ensuring a constant blood flow. This produces anemia and general weakness in the affected cat.

Symptoms of hookworm in cats

Most of the visible symptoms of feline hookworm infection are a consequence of the traumatic intestinal inflammatory process that begins once the parasites have latched onto the intestinal walls. These are the most common clinical signs that hookworms are affecting a cat:

  • Dermatitis
  • Itchy feet
  • Weight loss in adults.
  • Reduced growth in kittens.
  • Intestinal ulcers.
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition.
  • Progressive anemia.
  • Pale mucous membranes.
  • Tachycardia.
  • Respiratory insufficiency.
  • Poor coat quality.

If you notice any of the clinical signs listed above, you should contact your vet immediately. Keep in mind that kitties with parasites are extremely susceptible, and these parasites can be very debilitating, even deadly.

Diagnosis of Hookworms in Cats

It is possible to diagnose a hookworm infection before the appearance of the first symptoms by means of a parasitological test. Most of the symptoms listed above are non-specific and can be attributed to various feline diseases or infections. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to a vet for diagnosis.

The most common parasitological test to detect this type of parasite is done through a technique called fecal flotation. This technique involves mixing a small amount of cat feces with a special solution. This causes the hookworm eggs to float and stick to a glass slide, where they can be easily identified under a microscope.
Treatment of hookworm in cats
The first thing to do if a cat is affected by this parasite is to stabilize the cat. This is done by providing adequate nutrition, administering fluid therapy to correct electrolyte imbalances or dehydration, and assessing whether a blood transfusion is necessary. An antiparasitic medicine called an anthelmintic should also be given.

Most anthelmintics can kill adult larvae but are ineffective at treating early-stage larvae. For treatment to be successful, another dose should be given every 2 weeks. In this way, the drug is able to kill the adult larvae that matured after the previous treatment.

Prevention of hookworms in cats

The best way to prevent parasites in cats is through regular deworming.

In the case of pregnant cats, it is advisable to deworm them at the end of pregnancy in order to reduce the chances of transmitting the infection to the kittens through milk. As for the puppies kittens, they must be dewormed at 6 weeks. Then the treatment should be repeated every 2 or 3 weeks up to 3 months. Thereafter, preventive internal and external deworming is recommended every 3 months.

Strict hygiene in the home is especially important if the cat can go in and out of the house. Proper disposal of cat feces is important, as feces must be removed from litter boxes every day.

Can humans get hookworms from cats?

Yes, feline hookworms are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted to people. Hookworms do not infect humans internally like they do in cats or dogs, but they can cause a skin disease called cutaneous larva migrans. This can only occur if humans come into contact with a parasitized cat or litter contaminated with its feces. The infection causes a mild dermatitis accompanied by an itchy sensation.

My cat eats flies. Is it bad?

A common phenomenon in cats is sitting by a window and making a chattering sound. The exact reason for this sound is unknown, but it occurs when they see potential prey. These prey can vary in size and species. They can do it when they see a bird, a rodent, or other small mammals. However, they can also do it when they see small insects like flies. Although it may not happen all the time, when the fly is around, they can spend a lot of time chasing it and wanting to catch it.

Although we feed our cat well, it is common for us to see it eat flies regularly. Is it bad for them to eat flies? We discuss it below.

Why do cats hunt and eat flies?

Even at home, cats are still predatory animals. They have a hunting instinct that leads them to adopt a hunting behavior. Their wild counterparts survive on prey that often consists primarily of small mammals and birds, but also includes reptiles and even insects. This is because they all contain the protein necessary for the cat’s body to survive.

A house cat does not have to hunt prey in the same way as a wild cat. We provide them with food. Although they may be nutritionally satiated, their hunting instinct does not stop. This is important, as the cat will need to find a way to survive if he is to be separated from his guardians for any reason.

Despite the possible need to hunt, it is important to note that the need to hunt also exists regardless of hunger. Even if a cat has eaten, you may see it chasing and hunting potential prey, including flies. The sounds mentioned in the introduction are not fully understood, but are part of their hunting behavior.

We can also see that the cat can move its head from side to side. The purpose is to calculate the distance that separates them from the prey so that they do not get lost when they attack. If we are concerned about the type of prey the cat is going to chase, we must bear in mind that cats generally do not attack prey that is larger or more dangerous than they are. However, we must know that there are some potential risks even with small dams.

Why do cats play with flies before killing them?

In addition to trying to obtain food, hunting has other important functions in cats. We can see this when the cat catches a fly, but does not eat it immediately or does not eat it. In these cases, we often see the cat stun the fly and then play with it. They can allow the fly to drift away a bit before pouncing on them again and then repeating this action. This may seem cruel, but it serves important purposes for the cat. The reasons for this behavior include:

  • Skill Development: Kittens have an innate hunting instinct, but they must also hone this instinct by developing skills. Their mother will teach them certain techniques, but they will also practice with her siblings to better understand abilities and limits. When the cat is separated from its mother and siblings, they will find other participants to keep these skills honed. These could be other companion animals in the home, their human companions, small critters like flies, and even inanimate objects.
  • Health: hunting in this way is also important for well-being. If a cat does not have the opportunity to use his instinct, he will feel physically unstimulated and emotionally bored. When this happens, behavior problems will develop and they may even become aggressive. This is one of the reasons why the cat will not only try to eat flies, but will spend a lot of time doing it and playing with its prey.
  • Maternal instinct: It is known that female cats tend to play with their prey more than males. The reason behind this is believed to be the maternal instinct that cats have to care for their kittens. Since kittens need to learn by themselves, mother cats often bring partially live prey to kittens so that they can practice hunting. Males do not care for kittens in the same way, although they may play with flies before eating them.
  • Safety: Finally, the cats will also prolong their hunt to make sure they are not in danger. Although cats will try to hunt smaller creatures, some prey can cause them harm. For example, rats have sharp teeth and bees have stings. For this reason, the cat will need to stun the prey before approaching to kill. This hesitancy can even apply to flies if the cat is not completely sure of its safety.

Is it okay for cats to eat flies?

As we have seen, it is not uncommon for our cat to hunt and eat a fly. Due to their small size, eating small insects should not cause them any harm. In fact, the fly can add some natural protein to its diet. But there is concern about whether the fly will carry certain pathogens that can damage the cat’s immune system. In this sense, the flies that carry certain diseases can do so in such small quantities that they do not pose any health problem.

However, there are some circumstances in which the fly can cause harm to the cat after ingestion. It is possible that there are powerful bacteria and microbes that can harm the cat’s body after ingestion. Parasites can also be present in the fly, which then infest the cat’s gastrointestinal system. This is because cats can get worms from eating flies. There are even some flies that act as parasites by burrowing into the cat’s fur, such as bot flies.

Whether we see our cat eating flies or not, we must be on the lookout for any symptoms of digestive problems. These include vomiting and diarrhea, in addition to noticing the presence of eggs in the stool. If you think your cat has a disease from eating flies, talk to your vet right away. Deworming and vaccinating your cat is also vital to prevent diseases that can occur from eating flies. Follow vaccination and deworming programs closely!

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