"The Willow Veterinary Clinic Taking General Practice to a Higher Level"
Willow veterinary clinic has recently received Bronze Cat Friendly Clinic status at our Endon branch. This is a scheme run by the International Society of Feline Medicine (the veterinary division of International Cat Care), to help veterinary practices cater for the unique needs of cats. We aim to provide an excellent standard of care to all of our feline patients, whilst also adhering to the principles of the scheme.
One of the main aims of the scheme is to reduce the stress that cats may experience during a visit to the vets. We promise to handle cats with gentleness and respect at all time in order to minimise fear and anxiety during handing, examination and procedures. We also ensure that cats that need to stay with us in the clinic are hospitalised in a cat-friendly environment.
We are able to offer cat-only appointments for nervous cats. If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact the surgery and speak to our Cat Friendly Advocate, Janet Carroll. Alternatively, please visit www.icatcare.org to find out more.
Congratulations to our RVN Janet Carroll who has gained her diploma in feline nursing with a merit! We are proud to have a nurse with the ISFM DipFN qualification in our nursing team, and we're sure that our feline patients will appreciate her skills and expertise.
Janet is our Cat Advocate for the ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic scheme, ensuring that cat's needs are met by the practice. Well done Janet!.
Did you know that kidney disease affects up to 50% of cats over the age of 15 years?
Athough kidney disease also effects dogs it is seen about three times more frequently in cats.
Unfortunately this is a progressive disease and clinical signs only appear once the kidneys have
already lost the majority of normal function.
Signs can include-
* Weight loss * Poor appetite * Lethargy * Increased thirst * Increased urination
* Poor coat condition * Vomiting * Halitosis (bad breath)
Although there is no cure early diagnosis enables supportive treatment to be administered which can
help to arrest the progression of the disease giving your pet a better quality of life.
For further advice please contact the surgery to book a free of charge geriatric clinic with our
Feline Diploma nurse, Janet.
Please be careful with human medicines!
Just one 500mg paracetamol tablet is enough to be toxic and fatal to a cat.
This includes flu capsules that contain paracetamol.
Occasionally a curious cat will play with and chew a tablet or capsule that hasn't been stored out of reach, on other occasions it has been a well-meaning owner that has given the tablet.
Cats are very sensitive to paracetamol, much more so than humans and dogs. When the drug is broken down by the liver in a cat a toxic chemical is produced which results in several complications.
These include severe liver damage and a reduction in the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body.
Signs of paracetamol toxicity include:
* Gums becoming a bluish colour
* A very fast heart rate
* Becoming very quiet and depressed
* Difficulty in breathing
* Passing dark brown urine
* Skin may start to look yellow
* Swelling of the paws and face
Prognosis depends on how quickly the cat is taken to the vets and how much paracetamol has been ingested. Unfortunately due to the toxic effects on cats it is highly possible they may not survive.
Written by Janet
Bringing your cat to the practice
By nature cats are independent, territorial animals that need to be in control of their surroundings. They are very sensitive to different smells, sounds and sights. All of these different senses can make bringing your feline friend to the practice a very stressful experience.
Tips to help reduce stress can include:
* Making sure you use a good carrier, top opening ones are easier as the cat can be lifted out gently.
* Familiar smells can help:
* Keep the carrier out at home. This enables the cat to use the carrier as a bed and feel at ease around it. * Don't introduce the carrier only when there is a visit to the vet.
* Place bedding or clothing that smells of home into the carrier.
* Spray the carrier with Feliway, a pheromone calming spray, 30 mins before using it.
* If your cat becomes very stressed try wrapping them in a thick towel and place them in the carrier.
* Avoid loud noises such as the radio.
* Cover the carrier with a blanket or towel during the journey to make them feel more calm.
* Secure the carrier in the foot well so the carrier isn’t likely to move.
* Hold the carrier carefully and securely and avoid swinging.
* Take you cat to a veterinary practice that has been recognised as Cat Friendly.
Written by Isabel.
Arthritis in cats
Until relatively recently arthritis in cats was not commonly recognised or treated. Cats are masters and disguising pain, probably due to their natural survival instinct.
A recent study showed that 90% of cats over 12 years of age had some form of arthritis.
How to tell if your cat is affected
* Hesitant when jumping up or down
* Jumping from lower heights
* Difficulty with going up or down stairs
* Stiffness especially after sleeping or obvious lameness
* Difficulty using the litter tray
* Difficulty in get through the cat flap
* Reduced activity
* Sleeping in different places, usually easier to access
* Increased grooming over specific places or inability to groom
* Irritable and grumpy when stroked or picked up
If you suspect your cat could be arthritic it is essential they have full check by a
veterinary surgeon so medication can begin.
To help at home
* Place food and water in easily accessible places
* Provide easily accessed comfortable warm beds
* Ensure cat flaps are easy to open
* Use lower sided cat litter trays for easier access
* Spend time grooming them if it has become difficult for them
* Regular clipping of any over growing nails.
Written by Janet.
As the weather is getting colder, antifreeze poisoning in cats becomes more common. The toxic substance is ethylene glycol and is found in products such as screen washes and de-icers. Cats are attracted to the 'sweet' taste in this product and even a small amount can cause severe kidney damage and be fatal.
Clinical signs you may see include:
* Excessive drinking
* Excessive urination or no urination
If not treated promptly this can be fatal. If you think your cat could have ingested antifreeze contact your vet as soon as possible .
Written by Katie
Our New Cat Friendly Ward
We have recently finished our brand new cat ward at our Endon practice.
This is a room that has been designed following the ISFM feline friendly guidelines to provide the very best accommodation and stress free environment for our feline patients.
We have kennels that are spacious, allowing plenty of room to keep the sleeping, litter and food/water areas separate. For long stay patients we have the ability to open a ‘cat flap’ between the kennels providing double the amount of space. The fronts are tinted glass allowing the patients to watch the goings on without looking through bars and the rest of the kennel is made from a specialised plastic - preferable to stainless steel, keeping them warmer and without a reflection which can cause stress.
We have also recently purchased some ‘cat hides’ that allow our patients to hide under them or sit on top, helping them to feel secure and safe.
Not only is this room used for accommodation but we also take blood samples, perform full clinical examinations, take blood pressures, and take temperatures solely in this room. This also helps our feline patients stay calm and relaxed as they’re kept in one location instead of being moved from room to room.
We understand the importance of providing the best possible care and we’re always striving to improve our facilities to achieve this.
For help or advice with any feline problems we provide feline nurse clinics with our cat friendly nurse Janet. Please ring the surgery to book an appointment.
Introducing Our New Cat Friendly Ward
We have now opened a 'Cat Friendly Ward" at our Endon Practice. Please scroll down for more details