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WEEKEND: YOUR PETS: How should I treat a small graze on my cat's leg?

Byline: with PDSA vet Elaine Pendlebury

Q MY cat has a graze on her leg. Can you tell me what kind of antiseptic I can use to help the wound heal?

A I WOULD always recommend that pets with wounds are taken to a vet, as the area could get infected with bacteria.

However, if it is a very small graze, with no signs of infection, redness, swelling etc, you can clean the area delicately with a piece of cotton wool soaked in salt water.

Do it every hour if this doesn't upset your pet. It is also important that your pet doesn't lick at the wound. An Elizabethan collar which is a wide collar, like a ruff, prevents the animal reaching the wound.

Keep your pet's wound under close observation. If there are any signs of infection, take her to the vet as soon as you can.

Q MY 14-year-old cat has been diagnosed as having a problem with his kidneys. Can you tell me a bit more about this and if there is anything I can do about it?

A KIDNEY problems are one of the commonest ailments in older cats and can need quite a bit of regular care and attention.

The kidneys are one of the major filtering and excretory organs in the body where they eliminate waste products from the body and take back any useful ones.

They will still work even though a large amount of their functional tissue has failed. There is extra stress on the surviving cells and this leads to more deterioration of the kidneys, called chronic renal failure (CRF).

Apart from veterinary treatments, owners can help an affected pet by modifying their diet but always discuss this with your vet first.

The diet should minimise the imbalances created by the reduction in efficiency of the "sieve-and-recycle" system of the kidneys and supply enough energy and nutrients to make sure that your cat maintains his ideal bodyweight.

The diet in chronic renal failure should contain moderate levels of high-quality protein to reduce the body wastes yet provide enough protein for maintenance. Any affected cat should be fed little and often.

There are also various supplements or restrictions of minerals and vitamins according to the individual cat's condition and your vet can advise you about these.

Q ONE of my mice has got an excessive thirst, drinking a bottle of water a day and going to the toilet like crazy. Could it be diabetes?

A A FEW things can cause excessive drinking, one is chronic renal failure as well as diabetes.

Diabetes or chronic renal failure can be diagnosed by your vet by testing a tiny blood sample.

Chronic renal failure is quite common in older pets and happens more often in those that are fed a refined, high-protein diet. It may help to feed a lower protein diet, mixing in boiled rice to slow down the disease.

If your mouse does have diabetes, treatment with insulin is often impractical, so usually owners try controlling the diabetes through diet, discuss this with the vet first.

The increased urination can cause scalding of the affected mouse's skin, so the bedding should be changed frequently and be of an absorbent type.

Also a diet that contains a lot of dandelions will cause excessive drinking, so think about whether this applies in your case.

n If you have a question for the vet, write directly to: Elaine Pendlebury, PO Box 5987, Chelmsford CM1 2GP.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 30, 2002
Words:579
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