Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Feline Inappropriate urinating: Possible causes and treatments

Dear Dr. Simon,

I have a 5 year old male cat named Tommy that for the last 3 months has been urinating everywhere in the house except in the liter box.  My husband is thoroughly discussed and thinks we should get rid of the cat.  I love Tommy and would be heartbroken if he had to go.  What do you think I should do?

Dear Pet Owner

When a cat suddenly breaks his or her house training there are  2 major possibilities. that must be considered.  Either your cat’s problem is a physical one and is caused by a disease process or your cat is physically healthy and has a behavioral or psychological problem.  To rule out the first possibility of physical disease you need to have your veterinarian thoroughly examine Tommy for evidence of illness.  In addition to the physical exam your veterinarian will also need to examine Tommy’s urine for the presence of blood, sugar, crystals, white blood cells and urinary casts; all of which are evidence that there is a disease process present..  It would also be recommended that your veterinarian draw some blood from your cat and perform some very basic blood tests to help discover the presence of any underlying pathology. If after performing the above procedures your veterinarian feels the cat is physically healthy and that there is no evidence of urinary tract disease the conclusion that must be drawn is that the house soiling is a result of a behavioral problem.

Behavior problems generally result from various types of stress.   If a your cat must deal with the arrival of a new born baby or of a visiting family member or friend the cat may suddenly begin to urinate outside his or her liter box.   If your house is being remodeled,or painted or if new carpeting is being installed it would not be unusual for these stresses to set off  a house soiling problem.  Litter boxes which are not frequently cleaned of urine and stool can definitely serve as stressors that cause cats to break their litter training.  Changing the type of litter a cat  a uses can be enough of a stress to cause the cat to avoid using his or her liter pan.  Consequently, deodorizing or clumping litter may not work for certain cats.  As a rule of thumb you should provide at least one more litter box than the number of cats in the house.

Stray cats, in the neighborhood, that come calling often threaten a house cats territorial boundaries and cause previously well trained cats to start urinating on the walls or carpet.  Too many cats in one house is a commonly a cause of  carpet soiling.

If your veterinarian discovers that Tommy has a urinary tract disease antibiotics, urinary acidifier, and special prescription diets may all help to solve the problem.  If the problem turns out to be behavioral then discovering the specific stressor and eliminating it is the best answer.

If Tommy is an unneutered male, castration should definitely be considered to help prevent territorial spraying .  A number of mood altering anti anxiety substances  are now available to help cats deal with stress that can not easily be eliminated.  These substances can be either nutritionals,  herbal remedies or even drugs.

So if you have a cat that is upsetting the peace and tranquility of your house with his or her house soiling attempt to discover the cause of the problem before you take any drastic action. You may just save your cat’s life and save all your family members from a lot of grief. and guilt.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both traditional  and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties.   Cities in these counties include Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint , Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

THE 4 BASIC CAUSES OF DISEASE IN PETS

Whether we are talking about you or your pet there are some very basic predisposing causes of disease that you need to know about in order to take steps to avoid illness. To list them briefly the causes are 1) Toxins 2) Nutritional inadequacies 3) Life style/Stress 4) Genetic defects and immune system defects

Let us start by considering the source of dietary inadequacies. Poor farming practices rape our soil depleting it of the essential minerals we, our pets, and our food animals need to live healthy lives. Consequently, even when we provide our pets what appear to be a balanced diet some very important ingredients are often missing. To add to the problem most commercial dog and cat pet foods are what I term “grain based”. They are inappropriate for carnivores and difficult for them to digest. Feeding such grained based diets will result in a “leaky gut” that over and extended time results in such chronic diseases as arthritis, allergy, auto immune disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. Furthermore, the processing of commercial pet diets tends to destroy many of the nutrients originally present and eventually leads to a nutritional deficiency unless supplements are provided .

Next, be aware that our food supply whether plant or animal has become polluted by food production practices that add toxins to both our pets and our own already nutrient deficient food supply. These toxins get into both our food and our pet’s food in the form plant insecticides, plant fungicides and as hormones, antibiotics and parasites that are fed to our food animals. To add insult to injury manufacturers then add other potentially dangerous chemicals to our food in the form of coloring dyes, chemical flavorings and preservative. Finally, commercial pet diets that sit too long in the warehouse develop toxins in the form of rancid fat. Water pollution is a source of additional toxins that result from industry contamination and attempts at water purification. The air our pets breath and the soil our pets walk on are sources of additional toxins. Airborne toxins can be a result of car and industry exhaust, cigarette smoke, out gassing from new carpeting or photocopiers. Plant, grass, weed, tree pollens, and biting insects can also be classified as toxins. The pets yard may become another source of toxins if lawn chemicals are used.

Worm eggs, fleas, ticks and dangerous bacteria are somewhat different types of toxins that can be found in the yard or dog parks. Finally, we should not forget about household toxins such as those found in the trash can, garage floor, under the sink, or in the basement. Even drugs and vaccines may be consider a source of toxins if the pet is over immunized or develops a reaction to a medication.

Psychological and physical stress can be looked at as a different form of toxin. . Excessive stress suppresses the animal immune system and can exhaust the adrenal glands. Psychological stress can result from abuse and punishment, lack of human companionship, and lack of training resulting in an adversary relationship with their owner. Stress also results from loud noises such as fireworks, lack of sunlight, lack of shade and ventilation with heat stress as a possible outcome, and lack of warm housing during the winter. Asking a dog to hold its urine for an excessively time is very stressful. It may surprise you that not providing your pet an opportunity for exercise is also a form of stress.

The final cause of disease is a genetic defect which can show up as physical birth defects, congenital organ disease, allergies, immune deficiencies and autoimmune disease to name just a few. The health of our genes and immune system determines how successful our pets will be at dealing with nutritional and environmental toxins.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both traditional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties include:  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford,  Allen Park, Romulus, Trenton, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio