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Cats

  • Aortic stenosis is a heart disease that is present at birth. Cats affected with aortic stenosis have a narrowing at the aortic valve of the heart. This narrowing forces the heart to work abnormally hard to force blood through the narrowed valve. The clinical signs of aortic stenosis vary depending on how severe the stenosis is; some cats remain asymptomatic throughout their life, while other cats begin showing clinical signs at an early age and can experience sudden death. The treatment of aortic stenosis depends upon the severity of the condition.

  • An aortic thromboembolism results when a blood clot is dislodged and travels through the aorta, becoming lodged in a distant location. This causes severely reduced blood flow to the tissues receiving blood from that particular part of the aorta, leading to decreased oxygen in the tissues. Mixed breed cats, Abyssinian, Ragdoll, and Birmans are the most commonly affected. Sudden paralysis and pain, usually in the rear legs, are the most common clinical signs of aortic thromboembolism, although weakness and lameness may be seen. Other signs may include decreased or absent pulses in the femoral arteries of the rear legs, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, vocalization from pain, vomiting, and the nailbeds and footpads may be pale or bluish. Initially, cats may need to be treated as inpatients. Drugs to prevent platelets from clumping together will be prescribed. The expected course of this disorder is days to weeks for full recovery of function to the legs, but the prognosis in general is very poor.

  • In order to properly treat inflammatory or infectious ear conditions, topical ear medications are often necessary. Instilling ear medications into your cat's ears can be a challenging task, especially if they are uncomfortable. Have patience and contact your veterinarian if you are having difficulties.

  • The proper administration of eye medication is critical in helping your cat quickly recover from an eye injury or infection. Gently clean away any debris around your cat's eyes with warm water and a washcloth. Hold the bottle using the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand with the tip pointed downwards. Use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid. Place your remaining fingers under the cat's jaw to support the head. The lower eyelid will act as a pouch to receive the drops. DO NOT touch the eye's surface with the applicator. Aiming for the center of the eye, squeeze the desired number of drops onto the eyeball.

  • Applying eye ointments to your cat's eye(s) can be a challenging or easy task. The proper administration of eye medications is essential for your cat's prompt recovery. It is important to use the medication as directed for the full duration and contact your veterinarian if you have problems. The tips and instructions in this handout may make administering your cat's eye ointment easier.

  • Applying topical medications to your pet can sometimes be a challenge. Creams, ointments, and lotions are for external use only. It is important to prevent your cat from licking and swallowing any of these external preparations as they may contain ingredients that could be harmful if swallowed. Most topical preparations work better if they are gently massaged in for a few moments after application. It is always a good idea to get someone to help hold your cat, especially when applying medications on a sensitive or painful area. If you still have trouble keeping your pet from licking the medication, please contact your veterinarian to get your cat fitted for an Elizabethan collar.

  • Primary vaccination is essential in order to prevent the return of the once common deadly infectious diseases in kittens and cats. Recent research indicates that not all vaccines require yearly boosters. However, there is no evidence that annual booster vaccination is anything but beneficial to the majority of cats. Ultimately, how frequently your cat should be vaccinated is determined by your cat's lifestyle and relative risk. Ask your veterinarian about the type and schedule of vaccines that is appropriate for your cat.

  • Approximately 20% of cats across all ages suffer from painful osteoarthritis in one or more joints. The incidence of osteoarthritis increases with age. Because cats are living longer, it is more likely than ever that every cat owner will face the issue of osteoarthritis at some point.

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex condition involving inflammation and degeneration of one or more joints. Cats with OA experience pain and inflammation in various joints that interfere with the activities of daily living.

  • Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive therapy that is used to examine, diagnose, and treat diseases and conditions that affect joints. It requires a specialized piece of equipment called an arthroscope which will allow your veterinarian to look inside the joint using a small fiber optic camera that is hooked up to a monitor. It often requires general anesthesia; however, small incisions in the joint allow for a quicker recovery than traditional methods allow. The recovery time will depend on the extent of the injury, but compared to traditional surgery, recovery time is generally much shorter.

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