immagine Artrite e artrosi nel cane e nel gatto

Arthritis and arthrosis in dogs and cats

The joints of our four-legged friends are the engine of their liveliness. However, some problems such as arthritis and arthrosis can reduce the dog's and cat's ability to run, play and even walk, forcing them to live a sedentary life, struggling with the constant pain caused by these problems. In this article, we will try to explain what arthritis and arthrosis are, the differences between the two, and the remedies to alleviate them.

Arthritis or arthrosis?

The two terms, apparently similar and often used improperly, present great differences between them. In order to be able to explain them clearly, we must first of all understand how a joint is made. We speak above all of the joints of the hind legs, therefore between two long bones such as the femur and tibia. The ends of the two bones are not in close contact with each other, but are still anchored by the articular cartilage, rich in elastic substances, such as collagen, which serve precisely to guarantee a wide resistance to traction and constant stresses.

In addition to the cartilage, we also find a capsule that covers the entire joint, with the synovial fluid that flows inside, which nourishes and protects all internal components from impacts and external traumas.

articolazione cane femore tibia cartilagine glucosamina artrite

When we talk about arthritis, we refer to an inflammation of the joints, caused by age, by a hereditary predisposition rather than genetic. It mainly manifests itself with severe pain, often accompanied by swelling of the area, redness and stiffness.

On the contrary, arthrosis is a degenerative disease, which involves the wear and tear of the articular cartilages, which worsens out more and more, until the bone remains on its own without protection. This is how the two bony ends that make up the joint begin to rub together, causing pain, stiffness and lameness.

In our animals, we speak more frequently of arthritis, although the two problems are in most cases concomitant. It can happen, for example, that long-term inflammation turns into a degeneration of the joint. Both problems can also occur simultaneously, so in most cases arthrosis is simply called osteoarthritis.

Amongst the causes of this problem, we find above all hereditary and genetic factors, in particular related to race. The most affected dogs, in fact, are those of large size, such as the San Bernardo. In cats and other dogs, on the other hand, it is mainly a consequence of aging, obesity or the outcome of recent or remote trauma. Other joint problems, such as hip dysplasia, can also lead to arthritis.

The symptoms of arthritis

To understand if our friend suffers from arthritis we have to check some aspects, such as:

  • Limping
  • Walk staggering
  • The pace is rigid and difficult
  • Does not feel like walking, running and playing
  • Refuses to go up and down stairs
  • Cannot get on and off the bed alone
  • He gets up with difficulty after sleeping
  • The joints appear swollen and warm
  • Is isolated and does not want to be touched by us or other animals
  • If we touch the paw, it complains or becomes aggressive
  • The cat no longer covers its needs in the litter box

If the dog or cat experience one of these symptoms, it will be advisable to talk to the veterinarian, to receive precise diagnosis. The procedures are mainly x-rays and joint manipulations, which will be able to determine the presence of arthritis and which therapy to administer. In addition, the veterinarian may request a synovial fluid sample to understand the nature of the disorder.

cane uomo bagno nel mare artrite artrosi

Cures and remedies

Drug therapy is mainly based on the administration of anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids, which however cannot be taken by the animal for too long, but only when the pain and inflammation are really acute.

It is, in fact, a chronic problem, and therefore must be treated as such. In this regard, it is essential to be able to follow a series of tips that protect and repair the joint day after day.

Firstly, we must always try to keep the weight of our friend constant, from the first years of life. Avoiding overweight, but especially obesity, in order to prevent a large number of conditions and diseases, including arthritis. A joint that must support an excessive weight will have to work harder, getting tired, inflamed and consumed.

In addition, a fundamental remedy is exercise. However contradictory it may seem, a rigid joint does not require absolute rest, on the contrary. It is important to talk about it with your veterinarian or with a physiotherapist, to understand what movements the animal must make every day. Many dogs are able to relieve pain especially with aquatic training.

As far as therapies are concerned, we should especially consider the specific supplements and specific foods for arthritis, enriched with "chondroprotectors", which are substances that protect and strengthen the joint cartilages, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. The Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are also excellent, already present in many foods, but which often require additional integration for the well-being of the joints.


immagine La gravidanza e il parto nella cagna e nella gatta

Pregnancy and birth in dogs and cats

Pregnancy is one of the most important moments in a female’s life. At the same time, it also very touching and exciting for pet owners who must also be aware of the essential knowledge.

Therefore, let’s understand what happens during an animals pregnancy and what things an owner needs to be aware of.


Pregnancy is the process that starts with fertilization and ends with birth. Once the sperm cells have reached the egg cell in the female during mating, a zygote is formed. The zygote will grow and transform as it proceeds along the way in the females reproductive system.

Once the zygote reaches the uterus, the fertilized cell implants on the walls, where the placenta will form. The placenta is essential and it acts as a future connection channel between the uterus and the fetus, it also guarantees the exchange of nutrients and oxygen from the mother to the baby.

Once the fertilized egg is implanted on the uterus walls, pregnancy can proceed to allow the embryo to become a fetus and further on, a small puppy or a small kitten.
cagna gatta incinta gravidanza

Pregnancy both in dogs and in cats is about 60 days long.

You can identify the presence of pregnancy throughout an ultra sound after 21 or 25 days from fertilization. Through this exam, you can not only identify the presence of pregnancy, but also visualize the number of fetus present.

However, the animal might show some symptoms such as:

  • eats more;
  • sleeps more;
  • belly grow gradually bigger;
  • becomes suspicious;
  • Finds a warm and isolated place to give birth.


At the end of pregnancy, the fetus will have developed all of the essential organ systems. Therefore, it will become independent and won’t need the mother uterus to grow and eat anymore. The babies become too big to remain in an enclosed and crowded place like their mother’s womb; at this point lungs are ready to breathe fresh air

Moreover, when the babies are ready, there will be a series of changes in the mother’s hormonal balance as well as physical changes, which will vary to prepare for birth. At this moment, your animal might become unease, nervous, restless, refuses to eat, shiver and might vomit.

At this point, you pet will chose the place they want to give birth and will refuse to more from there. The body temperature will decrease one degree, so you can notice that by monitoring her during the pregnancy.

A few days or hours before birth, your animal will lose her vaginal mucus plug, a sticky white substance that seals the fetus and all of the content in the uterus during pregnancy.
cagna con cuccioli parto allattamento

Right before giving birth, the waters will break. Moreover, the animal will expel a colorless liquid, which will indicate imminent birth

The cat will start to purr and will dispose herself as if she was defecating, whilst she will breathe heavily.

You can notice contractions on your pet’s belly, which indicate the push needed to give birth to the babies.

From this moment on wards, you can encounter your little friend coming out of her mother. The length of the birth process might be very long. Usually, in cats, it might last for 5 to 6 hours. For a dog, which usually have more than 10 puppies, it might take the whole day to give birth to all of them.

Contractions will stop once the mother has given birth to all of her babies. The mother will cut the umbilical cord of each puppy and will free them from the placenta; in most of the cases, she will eat it. Just after that, she will start to take care of her babies.

Your cat will immediately begin to purr to call them towards the breast. A dog will usually bring them physically towards her. The mother will start taking care of the puppies or kittens from this moment on wards.

When do we need to get worried

Pregnancy and birthdays are phases that animals can handle in total autonomy, without any particular issue. However, some problems might hinder the growth or birth of the fetus:

  • The fetus will remain blocked in the birth canal;
  • The babies are too big and the mothers dilatation is too small;
  • It is the mothers first birth;
  • One of the fetus is dead during or after birth;
  • The mother is unable to remove the placenta from the baby; in this case, you should rip it off yourself without hurting the baby.

cagna mangia placenta cucciolo

All of these situation mentioned above can have these types of symptoms mentioned below;

  • green-like mucus plug: indicates pain during pregnancy or birth;
  • birth is too slow: there is probably something wrong and the babies are unable to get out;
  • absent contractions beyond 60 days; fetus might be dead;
  • interrupted birth:  some of the babies are born whilst others are still blocked in the birth canal;
  • After birth, your cat will seem to be sick and will refuse its own babies.

In any of these cases, you should definitely contact your vet; they will be able to tell if it is better to intervene with a caesarean.

immagine Olio di Neem, l’alleato naturale contro pulci e zanzare

Neem oil, natural remedy to fight mosquitoes and fleas

Summer is undoubtedly one of our favourite seasons, but certainly a little less for our four-legged friends, that have to deal with heat, parasites and annoying insects, such as mosquitoes. In the last period, alongside the traditional anti-parasite products, natural ones have spread more and more. In first place we find a remedy based on Neem oil, a plant with portentous effects, completely harmless for dogs and cats.

What is Neem oil?

Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tree native to India, where it is known as a nim. Since ancient times, Neem leaves have been widely used by Indian populations, who use them mainly to ward off insects.

olio di neem nim azadirachta indica

Neem, in fact, is one of the most common remedies of Ayurvedic medicine, an oriental discipline that involves the use of plants, metals or minerals for cosmetic and curative purposes. Not surprisingly, according to the sources handed down a long time ago, the nim was already known in two thousand BC as the "Arishta", or in other words "the tree that free from diseases", or in Arabic "Shajar-e-Mubarak" , "Blessed tree".

To come across the interesting properties of this tree was firstly a German entomologist, who in the late 1950s, in an attempt to end an invasion of locusts in Sudan, noticed that the only plants immune to these fearsome insects were those of Neem.

Every single part of the plant, from the roots up to the leaves, including seeds and fruits, have very useful properties, which make it an effective remedy against various problems, even for our four-legged friends. In particular, the most used parts since ancient times are the leaves and seeds, from which a precious and useful oil is extracted.

The plant, in fact, would contain several substances belonging to the group of so-called "limonoids", including salannine, nimbidine, nimbine, but above all azadiractin, widely used in agriculture to remove annoying insects and pests. In fact, a great advantage of Neem oil-based plant products is the low level of toxicity, which makes them harmless to humans, animals and even to the environment.

What can we use it for?

Neem oil can have a large number of beneficial properties, both for us and for our four-legged friends. In particular, it can be used in dogs and cats in the case of:

  • Mites: dogs and cats can often come across mites, such as those of the ears or the mites responsible for the so-called sarcoptic mange. A few drops of pure Neem oil can be applied on the affected area, whilst a solution of Neem oil diluted in water can be sprayed on all parts of the house where the animal spends more time, such as beds, pillows, blankets and rugs;
  • Fleas: Neem oil is extremely precious against fleas, considering that it eliminates both the adult parasite and the larvae. You can apply a few drops of pure oil or diluted in water, directly spraying it on the hair. The use of oil is also very useful to make protective collars against fleas. We can pour a few drops of pure oil on our friend's collar, or we can dip a strip of fabric in the oil that we will wrap around the neck of the dog or cat;
  • Mosquitoes and sand flies: many Neem oil-based products are used to make natural repellents against the so-called "sand flies", which are insects that sting (similar to mosquitoes) but much more dangerous as they can transmit Leishmaniasis, a very harmful infectious disease especially for dogs. We can apply a few drops of Neem oil along the back of the animal, and massage it on the skin, or make a do-it-yourself flea repellent collar, also excellent against sand flies. In fact, Neem oil has a very strong smell, which recalls that of garlic, particularly unpleasant for insects. An excellent advice is to use a few drops of Neem oil in all the stagnant water deposits inside and outside the home, such as saucers and gutters. You will eliminate any mosquito larvae and prevent new insects from approaching;
  • Mosquito bites: If mosquitoes or sand flies have already stung the dog or cat, we can massage a drop or two of Neem oil on the sting. In a few minutes itching, redness and swelling will disappear, giving relief to our friend;
  •  Respiratory tract infections: Neem oil has an excellent balsamic effect for respiratory tract infections, very frequent especially in cats. Pour 2-3 drops into the environment where your pet lives, perhaps in a small bowl with water, to help him breathe better;
  • Joint pain: Neem oil is an excellent natural anti-inflammatory remedy, so it can also be used to relieve pain caused by arthritis, arthrosis, rheumatic pain and trauma, massaging a few drops on the painful area;
  • Wounds: bites, scratches and any infected wounds can be adequately treated with Neem oil, which will be able to accelerate the healing process of the skin, also helping to eliminate and prevent infections by bacteria;
  • Dermatitis: many skin problems, such as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) or food intolerance dermatitis, can be treated with Neem oil, which relieves itching and redness. Excellent also in case of dandruff. Of course, in these cases the original cause of the problem must also be treated;
  • Gingivitis: dogs and cats with inflamed gums can find relief by brushing their teeth with their usual toothpaste, to which we will add a drop of Neem oil.

These are just some of the possible uses of Neem oil for dogs and cats, especially for those who prefer to avoid resorting to drugs and chemical substances.

cane annusa vasetto olio di neemNeem oil, in fact, has a very low level of toxicity, so it is harmless for our animals. To avoid problems, however, we recommend applying it first on a small part of the animal's skin, which we will monitor during the day. Any redness or swelling may indicate an allergic reaction, so we will have to wash the area immediately with water and a neutral soap for animals.

If we opt for pure Neem oil, we must ask our trusted herbalist, verifying that it is actually a pure product, without solvents and chemical preservatives. Pure Neem oil has a very dense consistency, so it is preferable to warm it in a bowl of hot water before applying it.

To create a solution of Neem oil and water, we must wait before it becomes a little more liquid by slightly heating it with warm water, then pour a tablespoon of oil in about 200 mL of distilled water. We put everything in a spray bottle and remember to shake well before use.

Alternatively, a very wide range of products is available on the market, entirely based on Neem oil, from shampoo to spray lotion, up to spot on and collars.

In any case, we remind you that it is always advisable to hear the opinion of our veterinarian before resorting to natural remedies.


immagine Come proteggere cani e gatti dal freddo

How to protect your pet from cold environments

At the gates of winter, when temperatures begin to drop, our four-legged friends - but above all their owners - try at all costs to protect themselves from the cold. Let's try to understand what are the useful precautions to prevent the dog and the cat from catching some seasonal ailments.

Protect them: yes or no?

Although there are still many people - especially the elderly - who remain faithful to the idea of ​​cats and dogs are naturally protected from the cold, thanks to the fur and the genetic predisposition for outdoor life, in reality it is not always like this.

As we have explained several times, it is unthinkable to compare the animals that live with us today to those of dozens of years ago. The problem arises from the fact that very often we tend to forget about a very important concept: adaptation. Dogs, in particular, but also cats, over the years have been "promoted" by animals useful to humans to hunt and keep rats away instead of real life companions.

cane con maglione seduto

As we well know, nature is able to regulate itself to all changes, precisely to avoid something that is no longer useful, promoting something else that perhaps could really be useful. To further understand this concept, we must consider that our pet has adapted to home life by getting rid of the thick fur and has developed a nice warm undercoat. (certainly less imposing than that of a wild wolf from the snowy forests.)

A different situation may be that of the cat, who is often used to living in an apartment, with very limited possibilities of going out. In this case, he will probably develop a rather warm, but not excessive, winter undercoat. On the contrary, cats used to living in the garden or in any case were used to go out and would defend themselves with a nice warm fur.

In any case, the most important aspect to take into consideration is that very cold outside temperatures, especially during the night when humidity increases, certainly do not benefit our pet.

The problem is not so much the cold itself, unless it is extreme temperatures. As mentioned before, excessive humidity, a particularly harsh cold, snow, rain and wind can also be responsible for colds, bronchitis and even pneumonia.

The issue is even more complicated in puppies, in elderly, sick, weak animals, but also in all breeds of dogs and cats that are not naturally equipped with adequate fur. We speak above all of the Sphynx cats and the Chinese crested dog, which are completely hairless, and therefore very sensitive to cold. At the same time, even short-haired animals, such as Dachshund, Beagle, French Bouldogue, Boxer, Bracco and many others, will be more exposed to low temperatures.

The right tips

There are many tricks that we can put into practice to help our four-legged friends to spend a peaceful winter.

Regardless of any attempt to stir guilt, when it is really cold, would we like to go to sleep in the garden, besides being well dressed, whilst everyone is comfortably in front of the fireplace? Basically, the same thing applies to our four-legged friends, we must avoid freezing cold temperatures. Therefore, we try to be very careful, especially at night, following some of the tips that we will see later.

If we do not have the opportunity to host our pet in winter, we can alternatively opt for the garage or at least a well-sheltered place in the garden or courtyard. This means that the place where we are going to place the dog's bed must be exposed as little as possible to wind and rain, which in winter can become very traumatic for everyone.

The dog’s bed is a rather particular topic, because we often have the impression that buying a beautiful wooden construction is already more than enough. Actually, not all beds are suitable:

cuccia cane ideale inverno

  • Size: we must make sure that they are large enough to accommodate our dog, but not too large to disperse the heat. The size must be adequate for the build of the animal, to make it feel more protected;

  • Blankets: we put nice heavy blankets on the bottom in the kennel, in order to make the impact of the abdomen with cold and damp wood less traumatic;

  • Raised from the ground: the pouring winter rain can reach the bottom of the kennel in a few minutes, impregnating the wood. So let's lift it from the ground a few centimetres with suitable supports;

  • Insulated is better: comfortable insulated kennels are easily found on the market, made with materials that insulate the interior and exterior from rain and cold. Alternatively, we can easily do it alone, by applying polystyrene plates inside, to be covered with a wooden plate (otherwise the dog or cat could eat it), a bituminous sheath, a Plexiglas panel and many other solutions available in any hardware store or home improvement store.

If, on the other hand, our friend lives in the house, it is not said that any place is fine. Animals love to be warm, so let's offer them well-sheltered places, close to heat sources.

If we have the classic radiators, a very nice idea for them is to place some comfortable hammocks suspended on the radiator grills, but obviously not to close. A blanket or a basket on the floor will also be fine.

cane cappotto impermeabile bassotto

For those who have the comfort of heated floors, everything will be much easier, but remember that sometimes the excessive heat can be unwelcome. Therefore, we must leave some baskets or blankets at his disposal also in raised places from the floor.

Heated blankets and heating pads is a particular chapter. Remember that our four-legged friends unfortunately have the habit of "letting go" with pee and vomit. Suppose they had to do it right on the electric heating pad while they are still sitting on it. This is a situations that we would want to avoid.

The discussion about the coat also deserves a more in-depth discussion. Concisely, we can say that the coat can be useful for very thin and short-haired animals, in puppies or in the elderly, and also in those of a smaller breed as  they disperse heat more easily. However, even long-haired animals may need extra protection, especially in case of rain and humidity, so raincoats are absolutely approved. However, they must also protect their abdomen.

In any case, the ideal coat should always be waterproof, especially in the part of the abdomen and chest, more sensitive to cold and humidity. In addition, for the situations we listed above, an interior lining in cloth or other warm material may be helpful.

For the cat, however, the Sphynx is the only one to enjoy this "privilege", which however would be obvious keeping it always sheltered in the winter. Cats hate anything that makes them feel forced, so we would torture them for no reason, especially if they live indoors.

Watch out for a sudden temperature change these are the real responsible of seasonal ailments. Before going out with the dog, if we have a veranda or a colder place than inside the house, let's stay there for a few minutes, in order to gradually get used to the cold outside temperature.



immagine Aloe vera: a cosa serve e come si usa per cani e gatti

Aloe vera: how do we use it?

Now a days on TV, in newspapers and on the web there is more and more talking about aloe Vera products, whose properties would be truly excellent for the health of the whole organism. Do you know that the extracts and the juice of this miraculous plant can also be used in the veterinary field for the care of our animals? Here are the beneficial properties of aloe Vera and how it is used in dogs and cats.

What is Aloe Vera?

Aloe Vera is the common name used in reference to Aloe bardensis, a fleshy plant of the Liliaceae family, made up of long, rigid and pointed leaves, which are characterized by the presence of an abundant gelatinous substance, from which we get an excellent juice. This aspect is due to the great ability of the aloe to withstand long periods of dryness, since each leaf is made up of an intricate system of vesicles rich in liquid, essential for ensuring nutrients to the plant even in the absence of water in the soil.

The leaves have a thick outer coating, rich in spikes along the lateral edges. This coating, called the cuticle, contains substances belonging to anthraquinones, including aloin, known above all for its laxative effects and for its very bitter taste.

aloe vera bardensis cane gatto

By cutting the cuticle, a rather dense gel comes out immediately, rich in very important sugars, called mucopolysaccharides, such as glucomannans and acemannan, which have immunostimulating, anti-inflammatory and healing properties. The gelatinous substance also contains many vitamins, especially A, B, C, E, but also mineral salts, amino acids, plant hormones, enzymes.

The origins of this plant are to be placed in the subequatorial areas, in particular in Africa and in the Middle Eastern countries. It is no coincidence, in fact, that the first historical sources relating to the cultivation of aloe date back to 2000 BC, according to what has been ascertained by some findings dated at this time near the current Baghdad.

Even the ancient Egyptians used aloe to embalm the dead and we find traces of this tradition even in the Bible, where it is written that the bandages to be applied on the body of Christ were impregnated with aloe and myrrh.

The word "aloe", in fact, derives from the Hebrew term "allal", but also from the Arabic "alloch", indicating in both cases the definition of bitter, precisely because the juice of the plant is bitter.

Despite being widely used in the past, its importance has been underestimated for many years, until the 1950s, when Texas pharmacist Bill Coats managed to prevent the rapid deterioration of aloe gel thanks to a series of stabilization processes. Thanks to this discovery, aloe managed to save a large number of people from the very dangerous effects of burns, for which this plant is truly excellent. For this reason, the American government recognized in the same period the effectiveness of aloe Vera in treating burns, as an official remedy.

The first traces of the use of aloe in the veterinary field date back to the 70s, when Dr. Robert Northway conducted research on dogs, cats and horses suffering from mycosis and treated them with aloe Vera gel. Out of 71 animals, 67 managed to heal with aloe Vera cutaneous administration.

Over the years, the experiment has also been expanded to treat many other diseases, especially for problems in the muscles, tendons and joints of horses.

The properties of Aloe Vera

According to some theories, to obtain the maximum benefits from aloe Vera, every component of the leaf should be used. In reality, due to the bitter taste and the laxative properties of the external cuticle, it is preferred to use only the gel or the juice, equally capable of bringing beneficial effects.

Among the most interesting and proven properties of aloe Vera we find:

  • Immunostimulant: the acemannan present in the aloe gel manages to enhance the functioning of the immune system, protecting against infections;
  • Healing: glucomannans are able to accelerate the regeneration process of the skin in case of wounds, burns, cuts, fissures, rashes and burns;
  • Anti-inflammatory and painkillers: according to some research, aloe would have very similar effects to those of cortisone, reducing inflammation and even pain;
  • Disinfectant: aloin and fatty acids present in the plant are able to contrast infections by bacteria, viruses and fungi;
  • Detoxifying: it helps the liver and kidneys to eliminate all the toxins that are produced every day by our body or that are introduced from the outside, such as drugs;
  • Antitumor: Eventhough it has not yet been ascertained yet, according to some researchers, aloe Vera may even help cure tumors.

All these properties work together, enhancing the effects of aloe for a large number of uses, both in the human and veterinary fields.

What problems can it be used for?

In the veterinary field, aloe Vera gel or pure plant juice can be indicated in case of:

  • Dermatitis
  • Injuries
  • Mycosis of the skin
  • Feline acne
  • Gingivitis
  • Otitis
  • Halitosis
  • Cystitis
  • Prostatitis
  • Constipation
  • Insect bites
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • ulcers

Many veterinarians recommend aloe Vera-based remedies also in case of joint problems, such as hip or elbow dysplasia and can be spreaded on the affected part.

cane con aloe vera rimedi

The main usage of this plant is certainly the skin one, in gel form. It is very important, to avoid buying products that are not pure, but mixed with other unclear substances, which may not be suitable for our animals. The only exception is represented by some remedies based on pure aloe Vera juice and other harmless plants for dogs and cats, such as American red blueberry or cranberry, exceptional for the well-being of the urinary tract.

Generally the pure aloe Vera juice can be dissolved without problems in the drinking water of our four-legged friend. One tablespoon per liter of water is sufficient, so a teaspoon can be enough in a medium-sized cat bowl.

If we prefer to use gel or juice as a syrup, the dose varies according to the size of the animal. For small cats and dogs, a teaspoon 2-3 times a day, for medium sized dogs a spoonfull, whilst for large sized dogs two spoonfulls, always 2-3 times a day.

The cream, however, can be applied with a light massage twice a day on the affected area. It is a product for external use, remember that dogs and cats, unlike us, continually lick their fur, so we rely on absolutely harmless solutions even in case of accidental ingestion.

Aloe Vera gel can also be used to treat the dog and cat gums by massaging them gently. Also excellent to apply as a normal toothpaste for animals.

When is it not indicated?

Aloe Vera is not always harmless to animals. In particular, we should avoid buying products that contain the external cuticle, which, as we said, has strong laxative effects, definitely useless if the animal does not suffer from severe constipation problems.

In addition to its laxative properties, aloin could also induce abortion in pregnant dogs and cats, so in these cases it is absolutely not recommended, as well as during breastfeeding.

In any case, to find out more about the indications and methods of taking aloe Vera, you can contact a veterinarian expert in homeopathy, who will surely be able to clarify any doubts.


immagine Il glaucoma nel cane e nel gatto

Glaucoma in cats and dogs

 Among the problems affecting the eyes of our four-legged friends, one of the most frequent is glaucoma, an eye disorder that presents itself with very particular characteristics. Let's find out what it is, what the causes are and how glaucoma can be treated in dogs and cats.

What is glaucoma?

When we talk about glaucoma, we refer to a pathology that occurs when the pressure inside the eye increases so much to provoke serious consequences. To explain this definition, let's try to briefly understand the eyes anatomy.

Eye Anatomy | Glaucoma Research Foundation

The eyeball, of which we can only see the outermost portion, is deeply embedded inside a cavity of the skull. Its surface is covered with different coating structures, which are arranged in overlapping layers, each with a specific function. The outermost part is the sclera, which in the front (the one we can see) is called cornea. Below the sclera, we find the choroid, rich in blood vessels. The innermost part is the retina, which contains all the nerves essential for vision. In the most anterior part, we can distinguish, in addition to the transparent cornea, also the iris - the portion responsible for the colour of the eye - in the centre of which we find the pupil, a black hole through which light passes. Behind the iris is the crystalline lens, a thin lens that serves to focus on the images captured by the retina, and the ciliary body.

The ciliary body, in particular, is the structure involved in the glaucoma. Its function is to produce a transparent liquid, called "aqueous humor", which helps to determine the typical curvature of the eyeball. This liquid is produced by the ciliary body, and then properly drained from a structure located in the corner between the iris and cornea. The balance between the production and reabsorption of aqueous humor ensures that the volume of liquid inside the eye is always constant, as is the intraocular pressure.

Glaucoma appears when this balance is altered, so the pressure inside the eye becomes too high.


Glaucoma is more frequent in dogs than cats, who can tolerate elevated intraocular pressure with fewer consequences. Furthermore, it tends to appear mainly in adult animals, over 5 years of age.

In general, based on the triggering causes, we can distinguish glaucoma in two forms:

  • Primary glaucoma: it does not depend on other conditions and pathologies and is the most common one. It is caused by a particular dysfunction of the animal, called "goniodysgenesis", which affects precisely the angle between the iris and the cornea, where the drainage of the aqueous humor takes place. If this angle is too narrow compared to normal, we speak of "primary glaucoma with closed / narrow angle", or in other words of "primary glaucoma with open angle";
  • Secondary glaucoma: occurs following other disorders, such as cataracts, uveitis, lens dislocation, drugs.

In any case, among the main causes of primary glaucoma we find above all a racial predisposition. Dog breeds most prone to glaucoma include Husky, Chow Chow, Shar Pei, Shih tzu, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd and several others.

In cats, secondary glaucoma is the most common, although some breeds (such as Persians, Siamese and Burmese) are more predisposed to primary glaucoma.

glaucoma gatto occhi

The symptoms of glaucoma are indeed very characteristic. They can affect one eye (unilateral glaucoma) or both (bilateral glaucoma), which will present:

  • Redness
  • Bulb volume increase
  • Dilated pupil (mydriasis)
  • Opacification of the cornea
  • Increased tearing
  • Pain (the animal rubs the eye repeatedly)
  • Decreased vision to blindness

 In addition to these symptoms that only affect the eye, surely the animal will also show itself sad and often unappetizing due to the very strong pain.

Glaucoma can only be diagnosed by the veterinarian, as well as with an eye examination, also with a particular instrument that can detect intraocular pressure quickly and painlessly. The normal value in dogs and cats should not exceed 25 mmHg (calculated in millimetres of Mercury), whilst above 30 mmHg there is pretty high pressure.

In cats, it is difficult for an acute form to occur, unlike the chronic one, so the symptoms begin to appear after a long time after the onset of the problem

How do we treat it?

The treatment for glaucoma is quite complex, because it often requires very prolonged drug therapy, in some cases even for life. The most widely used drugs include diuretics, anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids which are substances used to reduce blood pressure or pilocarpine, a drug that can narrow the pupil to improve drainage of aqueous humor. Surgical therapy, on the other hand, comes in when pharmacological therapy has failed to obtain good results or is impractical.