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INFORMATION TO MAINTAIN THE HEALTH OF YOUR CAT

This page is a composite of information for you to consider and discuss with your veterinarian.  There are many opinions on these subjects regarding the importance of diet and vaccination protocol.  I have been breeding Siamese and Oriental cats for many years and have noticed that the quality of the commercial cat foods is not meeting the needs of our meat eating animals.  For many years I thought vaccines were necessary throughout a cats life.  This is not the case since the duration of immunity is 7 years or more for distemper and additional vaccine does not boost the immune system.  Our world is filled with chemicals, insecticides, plants, cleaning products, and foods that are toxic or deadly.  This page is filled with links to the sources so you can read more about health concerns and the illnesses of improper diet and immune system failure.  So, how can we keep our cats healthy? 

 

The foundation of a healthy cat is its immune system.

 

How do cats maintain a healthy immune system? 

William Pollak D.V.M. - "In the wild, no one cooks for the coyote or wolf; no one brushes their teeth. Their foods are raw and unprocessed. 

Processed foods and drugs have seriously depleted the natural vitality and immune systems of many pets. Whereas large amounts of red meat can cause cancer in humans, a lack of RAW red meat in an animal's diet can lead to serious health problems. Animals require the enzymes, amino acids and other nutrients in the raw meat in order to stay healthy. “

Additional links:  raw vs cooked , nutritional information,  ZORAN’s article nutritional requirements of a cat ,   healthy diet information for dogs and cats,  My web page: How to feed your cat      

What causes the immune system to fail?  Immune system failure is caused by processed foods, improper diet for carnivores, lack of taurine, toxin/vaccination reactions, etc.

 

PROCESSED FOOD:

 

http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/animals.htm  “Optimum Pet Nutrition and Disease Prevention – The only real defense against cancer is the immune system.  If your animal's immune system is working properly, cancer cells are killed or reabsorbed by their defense system before they begin to grow and threaten their health. Learn to recognize and to eliminate the cause or origin of your animal's cancer and how to strengthen its immune system. 

Recent studies have shown processed foods to be a factor in increasing numbers of pets suffering from cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease and heart disease, comments Dr Wysong. Dull or unhealthy coats are a common problem with cats and dogs and poor diet is usually the cause, according to many veterinarians and breeders. “

"The results of a clinical trial suggest that 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be eliminated without medical intervention over a period of one year with proper diet modifications and an understanding of the healing process as exhibited through healing episodes. Approaching disease from the perspective of health is the most powerful means of eliminating disease. Poor fuel makes for little momentum in life. The commercial food we are feeding' is the disease we are treating---so treat on and on, curing one disease after another, again and again." William Pollak DVM. 

http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/jesse.htm  “A growing number of veterinarians state that processed pet food (kibbles and canned food) is the main cause of illness and premature death in the modern dog and cat. In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food suppresses the immune system and leads to liver, kidney, heart and other diseases. Dr. Kollath, of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, headed a study done on animals. When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods they initially appeared to be healthy. However, as the animals reached adulthood, they began to age more quickly than normal and also developed chronic degenerative disease symptoms. A control group of animals raised on raw foods aged less quickly and were free of degenerative disease.” 

 

TAURINE DEFICIENCY: Taurine is destroyed by heat so processed cat food is deficient.   You may want to sprinkle some additional taurine on your cat’s food.  

The link for quote no longer available: “Furthermore, a number of studies have shown that immune responsiveness can be adversely affected by inappropriate taurine levels. Studies have shown that there are changes in the host defense mechanisms in cats fed diets deficient in taurine. These host-defense mechanisms are present to protect individuals against infections with pathogenic organisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites) and against the development and spread of malignant tumors. Histological changes in the spleens of taurine-depleted cats were consistent with depletion of B-cells and T-cells and follicular center reticular cells. Lung lavage fluid from cats fed taurine-deficient diets also contained a reduced proportion of neutrophils and macrophages which produced increased quantities of reactive oxygen intermediates associated with lower Taurine concentrations.”

 

VACCINE REACTIONS:

 

“Anytime you inject anything into a patient you have the potential of killing them”. Prof. Ron Schultz, DVM.

 

“Immune-mediated hematological disease and transient bone marrow failure are increasingly recognized sequelae of...vaccination. ... Postvacinal polyneuropathy is a recognized entity associated with...vaccines. ...Adverse reactions to vaccination have also recently been reported with increasing frequency in cats." (Dr. Dodds, 1990)

The one-year rabies vaccine is the same as the three-year vaccine, except that it has more adjuvant to stimulate the immune system to give longer protection.  It is more dangerous.  Always use single dose vials so the correct amount of adjuvant is in each dose.  Vaccine from a 10 dose vial adds to the risk because the adjuvant may not be equally distributed.  Adjuvant is a substance added to a vaccine to improve the immune response.

 

There are many vaccine protocols, so learn what is best for your kitten/cat. Some clinics use a one-year rabies vaccine in kittens and puppies, and then a three-year vaccine a year later. Others use a three-year vaccine for a four month old kitten, and a year later repeat with the three-year vaccine. Very few clinics use the safer Merial Purevax Rabies non adjuvant vaccine, so find out what your clinic’s protocol is before your appointment so that you protect your kitten/cat from a possible reaction. However, none of the vaccines are without risk.

Label information:

Description

IMRAB® 3 contains the same virus strain that is used in the Pasteur Merieux Connaught human vaccine. The virus is grown in a stable cell line, inactivated, and mixed with a safe and potent adjuvant. Safety and immunogenicity of this product have been demonstrated by vaccination and challenge tests in susceptible animals.

Precautions

Store at 2-7°C (35-45°F). Do not freeze. Do not vaccinate food producing animals within 21 days prior to slaughter. Shake well before using. Use entire contents when first opened. Do not use chemicals to sterilize syringes and needles. Contains gentamicin as a preservative. A transient local reaction may occur at the injection site following subcutaneous administration. Some reports suggest that in cats, the administration of certain veterinary biologicals may induce the development of injection site fibrosarcomas. In rare instances, administration of vaccines may cause lethargy, fever, and inflammatory or hypersensitivity types of reactions. Treatment may include antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, and/or epinephrine.”

 

RABVAC 3  Precautions

“Store between 2° and 7°C (35° and 45°F). DO NOT FREEZE. Shake well before use. The use of a biological may produce anaphylaxis and/or other inflammatory immune-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Antidote: Epinephrine, corticosteroids, and antihistamines may all be indicated depending on the nature and severity of the reaction.”

 

Read Regina’s testimony about her cat’s reaction to a RABVAC 3 vaccination on my vaccine page.

 

A SAFER ALTERNATIVE IS TO USE A NON ADJUVANT RABIES VACCINE

http://www.critteradvocacy.org/Conclusions.htm : 

“PCR  Purevax rabies vaccine, because it is not  adjuvanted, will mean less risk of developing injection site  fibrosarcomas. Risk of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia and allergic reactions are reduced by less frequent use of vaccines as well as by avoiding unnecessary vaccines such as  Corona virus, Leptospirosis, and  Lyme disease for dogs. The risk of Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcomas can be reduced by avoiding adjuvanted vaccines and unnecessary vaccines like chlamydia for cats, and ineffective vaccines such as FIP and FIV.”  Dr. Bob Rogers

 

If you must give your kitten a rabies vaccination, use only Merial Purevax. VACCINATION PROTOCOL 

VACCINES ARE NOT HARMLESS

 

Are vaccinations necessary?  http://www.holisticat.com/vaccinations.html 

http://www.dogsadversereactions.com/scienceVaccineDamage.html   “It is also widely acknowledged that vaccines can cause a fast-acting, usually fatal, disease called autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). Without treatment, and frequently with treatment, individuals can die in agony within a matter of days. Merck, itself a multinational vaccine manufacturer, states in The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy that autoimmune haemolytic anaemia may be caused by modified live-virus vaccines, as do Tizard's Veterinary Immunology (4th edition) and the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.(6) The British Government's Working Group, despite being staffed by vaccine-industry consultants who say they are independent, also acknowledged this fact. However, no one warns the pet owners before their animals are subjected to an unnecessary booster, and very few owners are told why after their pets die of AIHA.

Vaccines Stimulate an Inflammatory Response

The word "allergy" is synonymous with "sensitivity" and "inflammation". It should, by rights, also be synonymous with the word "vaccination". This is what vaccines do: they sensitize (render allergic) an individual in the process of forcing them to develop antibodies to fight a disease threat. In other words, as is acknowledged and accepted, as part of the vaccine process the body will respond with inflammation. This may be apparently temporary or it may be longstanding.

Holistic doctors and veterinarians have known this for at least 100 years. They talk about a wide range of inflammatory or "-it is” diseases which arise shortly after a vaccine event. Vaccines, in fact, plunge many individuals into an allergic state. Again, this is a disorder that ranges from mild all the way through to the suddenly fatal. Anaphylactic shock is the culmination: it's where an individual has a massive allergic reaction to a vaccine and will die within minutes if adrenaline or its equivalent is not administered. “

“Modified live-virus (MLV) vaccines replicate in the patient until an immune response is provoked. If a defense isn't stimulated, then the vaccine continues to replicate until it gives the patient the very disease it was intending to prevent.

Alternatively, a deranged immune response will lead to inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, pancreatitis, colitis, encephalitis and any number of autoimmune diseases such as cancer and leukemia, where the body attacks its own cells.“ Catherine O'Driscoll

A DANGEROUS SITUATIONS:

Rapid weight loss and not wanting to eat .

Because of an upper respiratory infection, stress, or another health issue, a cat may stop eating or not eat enough food to maintain the body's requirement.  If this occurs, seek medical help immediately.  In a short period of time, hepatic lipidosis can develop.

 

Feline Hepatic Lipodosis or “fatty liver syndrome”

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1327&articleid=217 :

Holly Nash, DVM, MS 
Veterinary Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc

“Feline hepatic lipidosis is a common condition in cats in which the liver accumulates a large amount of fat and the liver cannot function normally. It is a very serious disease, and unless treated aggressively, can be fatal.

What causes feline hepatic lipidosis?

Feline hepatic lipidosis can occur because of nutritional, metabolic or toxic injury to the liver. Feline hepatic lipidosis has been associated with diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, kidney disease, chronic feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) (now called FUS), chronic upper respiratory disease, cancer, and pancreatitis. Approximately 50% of cases, however, are called 'idiopathic,'

 

Laboratory Findings: The diagnosis of hepatic lipidosis is supported by blood tests included in a chemistry panel, which indicate the liver is damaged. The liver enzyme SAP is usually markedly elevated. Other liver enzymes such as ALT (SGPT) and AST (SGOT) are usually increased. The bilirubin (a breakdown product of red blood cells, which is normally eliminated by the liver) can be increased above normal as well. High cholesterol and ammonia levels are common. The results of a bile acid test would be abnormal.

What is the treatment of feline hepatic lipidosis?

The keys to successful management of cats with lipidosis are early diagnosis and intensive nutritional support.

Change in Diet: Cats will need to have nutritional support for 3-6 weeks. The cat is fed a high-protein, calorie-dense food. Because these cats are already very ill and stressed, extreme care must be taken to not stress the cats further by force feeding.

Feeding Tubes: In almost all cases, a feeding tube needs to be placed. This tube can be inserted through the side of the cat into the stomach, through the nose and into the stomach, or into the esophagus and down to the stomach. The type of tube used depends on the size of the cat, the seriousness of the illness (can the cat be anesthetized?), and the preference of the veterinarian and owner.”

Link: detailed information about Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

 

Toxic plants, cleaning products, pesticides, foods, second hand smoke, etc.

We all know to keep hazardous things away from children but may not realize that cats can ingest or inhale toxins. Some toxins are not eliminated and accumulate causing organ failure months later. 

PLANTS: There is not a single source for the listing of toxic plants.  Many of the plants we have in our outdoor garden are toxic as well as many holiday favorites.  Begonias and violets are safe houseplants but ivy, lilies, azaleas, and many tropical plants are not safe to eat.  Plants with a milky sap are toxic.  Plants with a square stem are in the mint family and are safe so let your kitty nibble fresh catnip. 

Helpful links: dangerous plants, Cornell list of toxic plants, poisonous plants with pictures includes heliotrope, which is deadly to cats.

NOTE: Just because a plant is not on the toxic plant list does not mean that it is safe….

Did you know laundry dryer sheets and flea collars are toxic?  Household cleaning products with “sol” and “quat” in the name are also toxic. 

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