How much to feed depends on what kind of food you are feeding your pet. Many commercial cat foods have a list on the can or bag describing the recommended amount per weight, such as “for a 10-pound cat, feed X cups/cans a day.” These recommendations are general guidelines from the manufacturer, but not an exact recipe for success for all cats.
Make sure you are feeding the amount your cat needs for a healthy weight (which should be determined by your veterinarian), not what the cat currently weighs. For example, if your cat weighs 17 pounds but should weigh 12 pounds, slowly adjust the amount of their food to an amount for a 12-pound cat. Note that if your cat does need to lose weight, discuss your concerns with a veterinarian before starting a diet/calorie restriction plan.
It is also important to measure food correctly. Be sure to use a measuring cup rather than estimating the amount. Feeding just 10 extra pieces of dry kibble a day can contribute to 10% weight gain in a year, which is equivalent in most cats to an entire pound of body weight! (VIN veterinary partner)
Always discuss your pet’s nutrition concerns with your veterinarian. Veterinarians are trained in nutrition and understand the delicate balance of nutrients needed to keep a pet healthy. Your veterinarian can make food recommendations based on your pet’s personal physical examination and health status.
In addition, certain prescription and commercial diets have been formulated to address medical problems in pets. Some medical disorders that can be helped with specific diets include renal or kidney disease, dental disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, urinary tract disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, and pancreatitis. (VIN veterinary partner)
The La Crosse Veterinary Clinic carries a large variety of prescription diets from Royal Canin and Hill’s, and we are able to special order other brands of prescription and maintenance diets to ensure your pet stays healthy.
You can also order your pet’s diet through our online store and have it delivered directly to your home.
Some common signs of pain in animals include limping, decreased activity, panting, shifting weight a lot, and difficulty getting comfortable when lying down. It’s important to note that sometimes, signs of fear can be mistaken for pain. Use the guides below to determine if your pet’s behaviors are rooted in pain or fear.
Halitosis, also called bad breath, is an offensive odor emanating from the oral cavity. Bad breath is a common presenting pet odor complaint. Common causes may be related to the mouth or, rarely, related to other health problems.
What causes halitosis?
The most common cause of halitosis is periodontal disease caused by plaque (bacteria). Bacteria is attracted to the tooth surface within hours of teeth cleaning. Within days, the plaque becomes mineralized, producing calculus. As plaque ages and gingivitis develops into periodontitis (bone loss), bacteria change from somewhat irritating strains to bone-destroying types that produce hydrogen sulfide, causing halitosis.
Other causes of bad breath in pets include eating malodorous food; metabolic disease (diabetes, uremia); respiratory disease (rhinitis, sinusitis, neoplasia); gastrointestinal (megaesophagus, neoplasia, foreign body); dermatologic (lip fold pyoderma); dietary (fetid foodstuffs, eating stool); non-periodontal oral disease (orthodontic, pharyngitis, tonsilitis, neoplasia); foreign bodies; trauma including electric cord injury; open fractures; caustic agents; infectious agents including bacteria, fungi, and viruses; autoimmune diseases; and eosinophilic granuloma complex.
Periodontal disease is painful. Some dogs and cats will have problems chewing hard food, others will paw at their mouths. Unfortunately, most will not show any signs.
Halitosis is easily diagnosed by smelling your dog or cat's breath. If there is a disagreeable odor, halitosis is present. A veterinary examination is necessary to diagnose the specific cause of bad breath. If the diagnosis is not obvious after oral examination, blood tests will be taken to check for internal disease.
How is halitosis treated?
Halitosis treatment depends on the cause. There are four recognized stages of periodontal disease. The first two (early gingivitis and advanced gingivitis) are treated by professional teeth cleaning. As the disease advances bone loss occurs, causing periodontitis, which may require surgery or tooth extraction.
Another option is the use of zinc citrate to neutralize the odor of hydrogen sulfide.
What is the prognosis for halitosis?
Once the underlying disease has been treated, halitosis will disappear. If it is due to periodontal disease, daily tooth brushing will help maintain good oral health and fresh breath.