Lynwood Veterinary Clinic
568 Metcalfe Rd
Ferndale, WA, 6148

reception@lynwoodvet.com.au
www.lynwoodvet.com.au
Phone: 08 9451 3575
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Hello everyone!. We hope everyone is enjoying the gorgeous spring weather. October's newsletter has some great tips on bathing and grooming your pets so if they are in need of some spring cleaning read below! There is also an article on kidney disease which is an essential read for all, though especially those owners with middle aged and older cats. We'd also like to introduce you to Manson, a 13 year old Birman who was diagnosed with kidney disease 2 and 1/2 years ago and is still going strong thanks to the care and dedication of his owner.

Spring Bunny
Contents of this newsletter

01  Kidney disease is thirsty work

02  Meet Manson!

03  How to take a spa bath

04  Top tips on bathing your dog

05  Can I bathe my cat?

06  Creating the best cat toilet

01 Kidney disease is thirsty work
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If your pet is thirstier than usual it could be a sign of kidney disease. Sometimes the increase in thirst can be subtle but if you find yourself filling up the water bowl more regularly, or notice your pet drinking from the shower or toilet, you should arrange a check up with us.  

The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called nephrons and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can't regenerate. As a result, the body doesn't conserve enough water so your pet will need to drink more to stay hydrated.

Toxins, drugs, diseases or even just old age can harm the nephrons, and your pet may not show any signs until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.

Other than increased thirst watch out for:

  • increased urination
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • lethargy

Many other diseases present with similar signs to kidney disease (such as diabetes) so it is important that we investigate further. Measuring your pet's water intake over 24 hours and bringing us a morning urine sample are two things you can do to get the investigation process started. A blood test, urine testing and a measure of your pet's blood pressure may then be necessary.

If we detect that your pet's kidneys are not working properly, the earlier we initiate treatment the better.

It's best to arrange an appointment with us as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your pet's thirst. 

02 Meet Manson!
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Manson

Manson is a beautiful Birman boy who has been coming to the Lynwood Vet Clinic since 2004. In 2013 when he was 11 years old he was brought in as he was quieter than usual, and off his food and possibly drinking more. Blood and urine tests were taken. The blood tests showed an increase in urea and creatinine, which along with a poorly concentrated urine sample, confirmed kidney disease. Manson was started on medication to help slow down the progression of the kidney disease and try to keep the kidneys functioning as well as possible.

Over the years Manson has been coming to see us, his owner would occasionally see blood in his urine. When this was investigated, sometimes he had a bladder infection which was treated but at other times no cause was found and the inflammation in his bladder was presumed to be stress related. When this occurred again soon after diagnosis of the kidney disease, an ultrasound was done to rule out bladder stones or tumours, and to further look at his kidneys. The ultrasound showed that one of Manson's kidneys was very small and likely not working at all. The other kidney was a little swollen probably due to an infection (which was confirmed by further lab tests). It was likely that the recurrent kidney infections were the underlying cause of the kidney disease, rather than the normal age related kidney disease that older cats usually get. The ultrasound really highlighted how important it was to try to keep Manson's only functioning kidney as healthy as possible.

Manson is still prone to pyelonephritis (kidney infection). His owner is very observant and can now pick up the subtle signs of infection straight away - often the only sign is Manson urinating in his tray more frequently than usual. By treating these infections early, and continuing medications and renal diet food, Manson is continuing to enjoy a happy and active life.

03 How to take a spa bath

We've found a dog who loves a spa bath more than most people! 

Click here to watch Cuzzie the Puggle in action! 

04 Top tips on bathing your dog
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While we are on the topic of spa baths we thought we'd share our top tips for making bath time easier with your pooch. 

1. Choose the right shampoo - never use human shampoo (even baby shampoo) as it's the wrong pH for your pooch. If your dog is itchy, oily or has sensitive skin, we can recommend the most suitable shampoo for your dog. We have a fantastic range of all natural shampoos from Paw by Blackmores in stock.

2. Pop some cotton wool in your dog's ears to prevent any water sneaking into the canal - don't forget to take it out after you've finished.

3. Provide a non slip surface - put a towel on the bottom of the bath, or a non slip mat to help your dog feel more secure and prevent slipping. 

4. Place a towel over your dog to prevent water going everywhere when the inevitable shake occurs.

5. Jam some steel wool in the plug hole to catch the wet fur and make cleaning up easier.

If you need any more information about bathing your dog you can always ask us for the most up to date advice. And don't forget our hydrobath service on Saturday where Zakara, our trainee vet nurse, will wash and towel dry your dog for you. All money raised from our hydrobaths is used to support Free the Bears. We'll even make sure your dog is clean enough to sleep in your bed!

05 Can I bathe my cat?
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When it comes to cats and water, things can get pretty hairy! Most cats hate being immersed in water and find the bath an incredibly stressful experience.

Thankfully you don't really need to bathe your feline friend as they are equipped to take care of their own personal hygiene. They have a rough surface on the top of their tongue that acts as a brush.

Having said that, some cats are better at grooming themselves than others so you may need to groom your cat from time to time to help remove dead hair and prevent matting. There is a rinse free mousse cleanser from Paw that can be used to remove dirt or soiling from your cat's coat. Regular brushing is advisable especially with longer haired cats. Matting can cause pain and discomfort, and in some cases, your cat may need sedation to have any matting clipped off safely.

Some tips to remember:

  • Always check for matting in the armpits and around the bottom
  • If your cat is overweight or arthritic she may not groom herself properly
  • A decrease in self grooming can be a sign of illness or pain - call us if you are concerned

You should NEVER wash your cat in a flea shampoo as these are almost always pyrethrin based and ARE POISONOUS TO CATS. You should also be aware that dogs bathed in pyrethrin shampoos can be a source of poison for your cat if she licks and grooms your dog. It is best to avoid using flea shampoo if you have a cat around.

Call us if you think your cat might have some grooming issues - we are always happy to help. 

06 Creating the best cat toilet
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Photo credit: Marie Hennessy

When it comes to the loo, cats can be fastidious. They tend to like a quiet and private area (who doesn't?) and most prefer plenty of soil to cover things up.

If your cat uses a litter tray, there are some golden rules you should follow to help prevent any problems. 

  1. Provide a tray for every cat in the house plus an additional tray -  two cats should have three trays
  2. Place the tray in a quiet area 
  3. Remove faeces daily and change the litter entirely every 2-3 days
  4. Never use cleaning chemicals in the tray - rinse with warm water
  5. Don't use fragranced litter or plastic liners as cats hate these
  6. Some cats hate a covered tray as it traps the smell, while others prefer the security, so you might need to see what works for your cat

Remember that cats are very clean creatures and prefer deep litter and a large tray to toilet so they can bury their urine and faeces - this is usually why a sandpit is very attractive.

Finally, if your cat isn't using the litter tray correctly you should ask us for advice. There may be other medical issues such as a urinary tract infection complicating the problem or in some cases anxiety, both of which need veterinary treatment.