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My young cat seems ill
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a serious and most often fatal disease affecting cats. It is most commonly seen in young cats between the ages of six months and two years. It has been found to affect male cats more commonly than females and purebred cats particularly the Asian breeds are more susceptible. It is characterised by fluid build-up in body cavities such as the chest and abdomen and neurological signs. It can affect all major organs and inevitably results in death. It may be referred to as Feline coronavirus polyserositis (wet or effusive form) or granulomatous feline infectious peritonitis (dry or non effusive form). Read more
Can humans get worms from dogs and cats?
Have you ever wondered if humans can get worms from dogs and cats? You don’t have to wonder any longer, the answer is ‘yes’. In this overview we look at which worms can be transmitted between pets and humans, what diseases they cause and how to prevent this potential health risk. Read more
My pet has red urine - what does it mean?
Bladder stones is a condition that occurs in dogs and cats of various ages, sex and breeds. Bladder stones are also called urinary calculi or uroliths. These are mineral like formations that form anywhere in the urinary tract, including kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The most frequent location is the bladder. Read more
My cat is eating like crazy but stays thin - What is the deal?
Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland can be considered the engine room of the cat's body, which is responsible for the metabolism in the body and responsible for determining the speed at which all processes in the body works. It is an important part of the endocrine or hormonal messenger system in the body and affects all the organ systems including the liver, kidneys, heart, nervous system, intestines and even the skin. Read more
Understanding congestive heart failure in your pet
Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a very common condition affecting our pets, and is more often seen in dogs than cats. Although it is a serious condition, and a major concern for a pet owner, it can be easily diagnosed and once diagnosed, it can be managed effectively. The important thing is to make an early diagnosis and start treatment immediately. Read more
When is it more than just a tummy ache?
Pancreatitis The pancreas is a small gland that is situated next to the stomach and first part of the small intestine in the front of the abdomen. As in humans, it performs two main functions in dogs and cats. Read more
Kidney Failure
The kidneys are very important organs of the animal body and play an important role in the normal day to day functioning of the body. They act like a specialised type of filter by retaining the appropriate amount of different salts (electrolytes) to maintain fluid balance in the body. They secrete a hormone which is involved in the production of red blood cells. Read more
Ear Infections in Your Pet
Ear infections are common in dogs, and to a lesser degree in cats. The anatomy of the animal predisposes them to this condition. The ear canal of the dog and cat follows the shape of an "L", going first downwards and then horisontally. This shape makes it difficult for debris and water that go into the ear to come out, against the force of gravity. Read more
Do cats get colds?
Just like humans and most other domestic animal species, cats can also catch colds. In cats, this disease is referred to as Snuffles - quite an apt name for all the sniffing and snorting associated with this disease. The learned name for this disease is Feline Rhinotracheitis. This name describes the disease well; Read more
Do Dogs get colds?
Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, or as it is more commonly known, Kennel Cough, is an upper respiratory tract disease of dogs that is found throughout the world. Breaking down the names of disease gives an indication as to how, and which parts of, the respiratory tract are involved. Read more
The Hype about Hyperadrenocortism
Hyperadrenocorticism, or Cushing's Disease, is a condition whereby the level of cortisol in the body is too high. It is a condition which is also found in humans and the name Cushing's Disease or also commonly known as Cushing's Syndrome comes from Harvey Cushing, who in 1912, was one of the first physicians to report a patient affected with excessive cortisol hormone also otherwise known as glucocorticoid. Read more
My pet is having a fit! - Seizures in Pets
Anyone who has ever seen an animal experiencing a seizure will know that it is a "hair raising" event. Seizures or "fits" is a well described phenomenon in domestic pets. The way in which a fit or seizure presents can vary significantly, from what seems to be a brief moment of absent mindedness to full blown body contractions where the animal is semi-conscious and lying on the ground shivering, shaking and convulsing, Read more
Cancer in pets - Part 1 of 2
The battle against cancer in humans is as old as mankind itself. Since veterinary medicine became a fully-fledged discipline in the previous century, this battle has been extended to animals, and more so than any other area of veterinary medicine, to our pets. Many animal owners who are confronted with cancer in their pet for the first time, are somewhat surprised to find out that cancer is as prevalent in animals as it is in humans. Read more
Frequently Asked Questions about Rabies
How often must I vaccinate my dog? Puppies should be vaccinated at 3 months old with a booster vaccination required a month later and a booster given within 12 months of original vaccination . Thereafter animals who live in Rabies endemic areas like KwaZulu Natal should be given a rabies vaccination every year and animals living in non-Rabies endemic areas every 3 years by law, but preferably also yearly. Read more
Rabies
Rabies, a fatal disease of humans and all other mammals, is caused by a virus which has been associated with animal bites for more than 3 000 years and it is the oldest infectious disease known to medical science. Dogs have long been recognised as the main transmitters of the disease to people. Read more
Poisoning in Pets - Part 2 of 2
We know that rat poison will kill a rat, but..., "Will it harm my cat or dog?"people often ask the vet? The answer is an emphatic YES. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few other common household items which can be lethal for dogs, cats, pet birds and pocket pets like hamsters and mice. Read more
Poisoning in Pets - Part 1 of 2
"Surely if a medicine is safe for use in humans it should be safe for use in my pet", vets often hear from pet owners. Nothing could be further from the truth and some human medicines and even some fruit and vegetables and sweets daily eaten by humans, can be deadly to our dogs, cats, pet birds and pocket pets like hamsters and mice. Read more
A killer disease with a misleading name
The name of a particular disease is often influenced by the circumstances around the original occurrence of such a disease. For example "sleeping disease" in humans was originally associated with the green fever trees found in low lying areas around South Africa. Read more