immagine La tubercolosi del cane e del gatto: che cos'è e come prevenirla

Tuberculosis in dogs and cats: what is it and how do we prevent it

Tuberculosis is known to be one of the most common diseases. For centuries now, health authorities achieved a minimized number of infections and installed safety precautions to avoid it. 

However, during the last years, migration from highly infected countries such as Africa have increased the chances of getting tuberculosis and since this is a disease that affect both humans and our animals, it is important for us to know how to prevent it. 

immagine La gravidanza isterica del cane, cos’è e come si cura

Phantom pregnancy in dogs, what is it and how do we treat it

False pregnancy or phantom pregnancy is very common in female dogs. However, rumors and false myths about this situation circulate around the internet. Lets find out what this is really about.

immagine Insufficienza renale cronica, cosa fare quando i reni del gatto non funzionano bene

Chronic renal failure, what to do when our cats kidneys stop working properly

Chronic renal failure is a common problem in every cat, besides its species and age. Today we will be talking about a pathology that has to be treated with the right precautions, as it can also lead to very severe symptoms. Let’s investigate what we can do when out cats kidneys stop working properly.

What is chronic renal failure?

Renal failure is a pathology that affects out cats kidneys.

To understand what is going on, we must understand the role of the kidney in the body first.

Kidneys are two identical organs that connect to the bladder through some thin tubes called the ureters. Their main role is to act as a blood sieve to clean it and obtain useful substances.

reni del gatto urine

Inside the kidneys, there are blood vessels, which are constantly flooded by all the blood content present in our body.

This blood is filtrated by some specific structures inside each of the kidneys, also called nephrons. We count approximately 200.000 of these in our cat and their role is to grab all of the waste products from the blood every day and eliminate them through urine.

Therefore, the main role of the kidneys is to eliminate all of the useless substances present in the blood through urine. An excess of these substances can be dangerous such as urea or creatinine.

Besides this role, the kidneys also have to regulate the correct water balance, salts, phosphate, calcium, potassium and other substances diluted in blood names electrolytes.

Other than that, kidneys also produce a very important hormones named renin. This hormone collaborated to maintain a controlled blood pressure level. If we have a blood pressure fall, the kidneys will produce more renin to increase it again and regulate it. 

In renal failure, your cat’s kidneys will start to damage gradually. In particular, nephrons start to turn off, just like a switch, until the levels of active nephrons will reduce even more every time.

If fewer nephrons are available to filtrate the blood, the more effort the active ones will have to put in order to filtrate the blood. This does not lead to optimal results.

At this point, we would come across an accumulation of waste deposit in the blood, which is unable to be eliminated by the kidneys. Electrolytes would also undergo a change in their balance.


The main problem with renal failure is that symptoms are not always immediately visible in our animal. They could only be visible when the kidneys are compressed at about 2/3 of their total functionality.

The most common symptoms mentioned by owners of cats are:

gatto con insufficienza renale cronica

  • Drinks much more water;
  • Urinates often;
  • Vomits frequently;
  • Sometime he eat more and sometimes less;
  • Refuses to eat;
  • Loses weight quickly;
  • Always tired and poorly active ;
  • Fur seems dry and bristle;
  • Has some wounds on the mouth;
  • Breath smells something like urine;
  • Breathes heavily.

When the situation is beyond saving, the kidneys are severely damaged and are unable to produce urine. Therefore, the waste substances in the blood will accumulate in the body until serious consequences.

At the last stage of this failure, your cat might experience coma, convulsions and tremors.


Renal failure usually does not have a specific cause but some different factors might increase the probability of experiencing it:

  • diet full of proteins and sodium;
  • poor quality diet with dry products only;
  • Does not eat enough wet products nor water;
  • Bacterial gingivitis, which might contaminate the blood, ending up in the kidneys;
  • Renal traumas ;
  • Tumors ;
  • Already existing diseases such as FIP or immune-mediated glomerulonephritis;
  • Renal infections;
  • Leptospirosis;
  • Urinary track stones ;
  • Genetic predisposition ;
  • Specie predisposition, especially in Siamese, Birnani, Balinese, Abyssinians.


An early diagnosis is the best weapon we can use against renal failure in these cases. By doing this, we allow our pet to life a healthy and long life, besides this problem.

From the start of the symptoms, the vet will proceed with some blood and urine tests to analyse the electrolytes and to analyse the eliminated substances from the kidneys such as urea and creatinine. The amount of urine released is also taken into consideration; if the urine mass is less than expected, there are probably not enough waste products eliminated which means there are more left in the body.

In some cases, an ultra sound or radiography is also needed to evaluate the kidneys dimension. As well as presence of cysts, tumors or traumas in the nearby area.

gatto insufficienza renale flebo

The treatment

Renal failure can be treated successfully if the functionality of the kidneys are still at 80-85%. In the rest of the cases, we must appeal to a maintenance treatment to keep the problem under control.

The main therapies provide:

  • vomiting medications;
  • Forced hydration by intravenous or subcutaneous drip;
  • Vitamin B supplements;
  • Medicines to control blood pressure.

The last resource available to treat renal failure would be haemodialysis and kidney transplantation. Vets rarely suggest these options as they can lead to various problems.

Firstly, we are not ready scientifically to obtain organs from donating cats.

Haemodialysis is the process of renewing all of the blood content in the body with the use of a specific machine to clean it. In the veterinary field, this is still very rare, due to the machinery costs and because it is quite difficult to keep the cat still for a long time during the process.

For this reason, many vets suggest rich periodic intravenous insertions of rehydrating substances, which enables to dilute the blood, helping the production of urine.

What do I do?

The best tip for an owner of a cat with this problem is definitely to encourage a larger water intake and to provide a specific diet.

Try to purchase a small water fountain for animals to encourage them to drink fresh and clean water everyday thanks to special active filters.

Choose a specific diet for animals with this problem. It must have some specific features as well as being of an excellent quality brand.  

By doing this, you will assure a good and long life expectancy for you cat, learning to live with this problem.


immagine La febbre negli animali: cause, sintomi e diagnosi

Fever in animals: causes, symptoms and diagnosis

Fever is one of the main reasons why we bring our pet to the vet. But what exactly can the symptoms be? lets investigate what are the causes and the treatments to fever in our pets and how we measure an animals body temperature. 

immagine Fiori di Bach per gli animali: cosa sono e come funzionano

Bach flowers for animals: what are they and how do they act/work

During the latest years, there have been various discussions on alternative medicines. In particular, many people tend to go for Bach flowers: a natural remedy both for us and for our animal

immagine Il tumore della mammella nel cane e nel gatto

Breast cancer in dogs and cats

Breast cancer is one of the most common tumors that can streak dogs and cats. According to recent statistics, they are the first most common cancer in female dogs and third in female cats.

Animals which are not castrated between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, are more likely to get a cancer. Almost all the cases of breast tumors have a hormonal change reason behind them. Once your pet starts to produce the useful hormones for pregnancy, and start their period, the chances of getting a tumor are more elevated.

According to some previous studies on the matter, it is proven that castrating your pet prematurely (before the first menstrual cycle), decreases the chances of getting a breast cancer. The percentage of risk of cancer in prematurely sterilized dogs and cats is situated close to zero, so it has almost no risk. Chances of getting a cancer will increase to 8% once the first period starts and up to 26% after the second one and so on.

What is breast cancer

A tumor can be defined as the presence of unstable and crazy cells in the organism. All of the organs and structures in our body, including skin, bones and muscles are made up of cells. These cells multiply constantly, following the same features and scheme, almost as if they had an identical print as a reference.

tumore mammella cagna

Some factors might interfere with the multiplication of cells, drastically changing the characteristic of the new cells. These cells will be produced in an altered form.

In breasts, this can also happen. Cells in the breast can be produced in a different way than the usual form they should have. In this case, there will be nodules formed inside of the breast.

These nodules can be easily identified by touching the area. There can be just one of them or multiple of them with variable dimensions. They can affect either breast or just one of them.

Breast tumors can have very different features. One of the main criteria to take into consideration is the examination of the tumor to identify if it is a good or bad tumor in the organism.

Good tumors have a slower progression and do not give metastasis (in other words, they do not diffuse in other parts of the body). On the other hand, bad tumors expand rapidly and grow in other parts of the body as well. They especially tend to expand in the lungs.

We must consider the fact that a good tumor might also degenerate into a bad one.

Fatal consequences are the most important aspect of tumors in our pets. A good tumor will not be extracted through a surgery. Instead, it will grow until it might produce some wounds on the skin and you might even notice some pus and blood coming out. A bad tumor is much more dangerous as it will expand in other organs. For example, if the tumor expands to the lungs, the animal will not be able to breathe any more.

Diagnosis process

We can easily identify a tumor in out pet by simply touching the area and noticing a nodule or lump under the skin. When we are trying to look for the tumor, we must be accurate and check all of the areas. If we come across some wounds or lumps that seem unusual and not normal, we should definitely go the vet to confirm or deny the presence. Besides that, you will not be able to identify the type of tumor just by touching. In this case, the vet will proceed with some deeper exams and tests.

mammelle nodulo tumore palpazione

The typical tests your vet will do to identify the type of tumor your pet is experiencing are:

  • Rib cage x-ray: especially useful to identify the presence of metastasis in lungs;
  • abdominal ultrasound:  evaluates the presence of tumors in the area inferior to the breasts;
  • blood test:  identifies some potential other malfunctioning in other organs;
  • Biopsy:  after removing the tumor, a section of the material extracted will be sent to a lab to have an insight of the cell types.


How do we treat it

In case of a tumor in your pet, the first thing that your vet will recommend is to intervene with a surgery to remove it. The removal of the infected breasts must be immediate in case it’s too late.

In case of metastasis, the situation would be more complex as it is impossible to remove the tumorous tissue completely.

In pets where the risk of damaging tissue due to metastasis is elevated, your vet will recommend proceeding with chemotherapy.

How do we prevent cancer in our pet?

The best tip to prevent cancer is to sterilize your animal as soon as possible. The ideal period is around 6 months, preferably before the beginning of the first menstrual period.

Besides all of the ethics behind not wanting to sterilize your animal, if you have no intention whatsoever of mating your pet or induce pregnancy, a useless period multiple times will be counterproductive.

We must also keep an eye on our pet’s breast and belly to be sure if we notice some anomalies.

Make sure to remember that prevention is the first step to avoid the risk of tumors in your animal.