Archive for November, 2012

Obesity and Diabetes

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common medical conditions occurring in the cat at a rate of 1 in 300. Diabetes mellitus is the inability to properly absorb glucose following a meal.

The clinical signs consist of weight loss, drinking excessively, urinating excessively and in the more advanced stages
vomiting, lethargy, and weakness.

Obesity, age, and gender are risk factors for diabetes mellitus in the cat. The male cat has a 50% greater predisposition for developing diabetes than the female.

Diabetes is classified similarly to humans, with most cats having type II diabetes. These patients generally have a decrease in insulin levels and decreased sensitivity at the insulin receptors. (more…)

Periodontal Disease in Dogs and Cats

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Periodontal disease is the altered state of the periodontium, or the structures which surround the tooth which include the gingiva, the periodontal ligament, and the bone which surrounds the tooth. Periodontal
disease is caused by plaque, which encourages the growth of bacteria on the tooth and gingiva.

These bacteria cause significant inflammation of the periodontal tissue which then leads to gingivitis, pocket formation between the gingiva and the tooth, and bone loss around the tooth.

If left untreated, periodontal disease not only causes bad breath, but can ultimately lead to the loss of teeth, loss of appetite and trouble eating. The toxins and bacteria involved in periodontal disease can also negatively affect the liver, heart, kidneys, and lungs over time.

Periodontitis is the most common disease seen in dogs and cats. One study indicated that periodontitis was seen in 80% of the dogs and 70% of the cats over 2 years of age. (more…)

Study Links Feline Hyperthyroidism to Flame Retardants

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Feline hyperthyroidism (FH) is a frequently seen disease in elderly cats. These cats present with the symptoms secondary to the adverse effects of
excessive circulating thyroid hormone such as weight loss, vomiting,  diarrhea, uncharacteristically crabby and an elevated heart rate.

Mysterious cases of Feline hyperthyroidism among pet cats may be linked to exposure to dust from flame retardants in household carpeting,
furniture, fabrics, and to pet food, according to a study in a recent issue of Environmental Science & Technology, the journal of American Chemical
Society.

The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine & the EPA report evidence linking the disease to the exposure of environmental
contaminants polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which researchers found elevated in blood samples of hyperthyroid cats. PBDE levels were three times as high in hyperthyroid cats as those in younger, non hyperthyroid cats. (more…)

Xylitol (A Sugar Substitute) Causes Low Blood Sugar & Liver Failure

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that has been recently introduced into the United States. It has been used in Finland since World War II. Xylitol is chemically processed from extracted D-xylose from wood chips, corn cobs, & other plant material. It has been advocated for use by human diabetics and low-carbohydrate dieters.

Xylitol is found in baked goods, desserts, toothpaste, other oral care products & sugar free gum and candies.

When ingested by a dog, Xylitol causes a severe & rapid rise in their insulin causing a low blood sugar. The initial signs may consist of vomiting, weakness, wobbly gait, and or seizures within 30-60 minutes. Within days some patients progress to liver failure.

Dogs have shown symptoms from eating cupcakes or muffins sweetened by Xylitol, chewing gum, Xylitol powder, or Xylitol sweetened candies or gum.

Please call our office immediately if your pet ingests Xylitol & please attempt to avoid exposure to Xylitol containing products if at all possible.