Monday, September 22, 2014

A Unique Keepsake Idea for your Passed Feline Companion

Wow! What a unique, creative keepsake idea for your lost, loved companion.

One of our clients commissioned an artist to paint a portrait of her cat using her cat's own ashes.

Thank you for the kind words Laura and Lee

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Double Whammy: When Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Hyperthyroidism Occur Together

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common cause of illness in cats, especially in older cats, and the incidence is increasing.  In 1990, for every 1000 cats admitted to veterinary teaching hospitals, there were 45 cases of CKD.  In 2000, the number increased to 96 cases per 1000 admissions.  In my feline specialty practice, CKD remains the most common illness we encounter, and the most common reason for euthanasia.  

Hyperthyroidism is the most common glandular disorder in cats.  It is mainly a disease of elderly cats, with cats typically being around 13 or 14  years of age at the time of diagnosis.  Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, located in the neck, secretes an excessive amount of thyroxine, the main thyroid hormone in cats.  (Thyroxine is commonly abbreviated as T4.)  Untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart failure and dangerous high blood pressure.

CKD is incurable.  With the exception of a kidney transplant, it is difficult or impossible to improve kidney function in cats with CKD.  The focus of treatment is to delay the progression of the disease, improve the cat's quality of life, and extend a cat's survival time.  This is usually achieved through a variety of dietary and drug interventions.    There are many treatment options for hyperthyroidism. In fact, depending on the treatment option, hyperthyroidism may be curable.  

Because both diseases are primarily found in older cats, it is not uncommon for both disorders to be present in a cat simultaneously.  In fact, most published reports indicate that about 10% of hyperthyroid cats have concurrent CKD at the time of diagnosis.  While the treatment of hyperthyroidism is fairly straightforward, and the methods for controlling CKD are well-established, treatment of thyroid disease in cats with concurrent CKD must be undertaken with caution.

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