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The Refined Canine



  Veterinarian Q & A

Dr. Julie Pomerantz D.V.M, is veterinarian practicing in New York City.

Feel free to submit your questions to Dr. Pomerantz and we will email you when they are posted. Because of the volume we can not answer all questions received.
Click here to submit your question

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This information DOES NOT replace professional veterinary care. It is intended solely for educational purposes. Your pet's medical condition should be evaluated by a veterinarian before implementation of any medical or husbandry changes.

If there is a potentially life-threatening emergency involving your pet, take your pet to a veterinarian or veterinary facility IMMEDIATELY!!!! Responses can take 1-2 weeks.

July 2009

Kathleen asks:
My cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease one vet said it was about 65% and it would help to feed beef cat food to get weight up a little. He would not eat Renal feline dry food at all. Another vet said the beef diet was not good. I do not have the hundreds of dollars to treat my cat can you suggest food and or treatment that may help for a while I would really like to get his weight up

The kidneys are responsible for eliminating the waste products of protein metabolism from the bloodstream and their excretion in the urine. Healthy kidneys do their job without wasting too much water but as their functional capacity deteriorates they must use more water causing the animal to pass larger amounts of less concentrated urine. The animal will drink more water to make up for the loss but there is a limit to how much they can compensate in this way.

An older theory suggested that increased protein intake may force the kidneys to work harder but in fact it has now been demonstrated that cats with kidney failure live longer on restricted protein diets that do not increase the burden on the kidneys. There are many different renal diets available in both canned and dry formulas, ask your veterinarian for samples of different kinds or prescriptions to order them. Cats will generally accept these foods if introduced very gradually - start by mixing with the current food. Other treatments which may be beneficial for your cat depending on her particular problems may include medication to decrease phosphorus in the bloodstream, stomach acid blockers, learning to administer subcutaneous fluid therapy at home and measurement of blood pressure and management of hypertension if present.

Allison inquires:
I like to travel a lot to see family, who live out of town. I'd love to take my kittie friends with me (currently have four cats) but my one cat gets terrible cat carrier sickness. As soon as I put him in the carrier he starts growling. Then before you know it he is vomiting and even losing control of his bowels. I tried giving him cat nip to take the edge off but it didn't work. Any suggestions?

Unfortunately, most cats simply aren't good travelers. Cats are territorial and really prefer to stay on their own turf. In addition, many cats also experience motion sickness. If you must take your cats along then the most important thing is to work on desensitizing them to travel. Begin by leaving the carrier out at home, leave some food or treats in it. Once the kitty is brave enough to go in the carrier then calmly close the door, only for a moment at first then gradually longer as long if she remains calm. Gradually work up to sitting in the car and then short, gentle car trips. This process must be done slowly - it may take weeks or months. The motion sickness medication dimenhydrinate (often sold under the trade name "Dramamine") can also be a help for many cats. Please consult your cat's veterinarian to see if motion sickness medication would be safe for your cat and to determine the correct dose.



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