|Is there a Doctor
in the House???
|EMERGENCIES: Get to the Emergency Vet fast for any of the following
*ABC's - Airway? Breathing? Circulation? - compromised breathing or airway
*Staggering gait and falling over (loss of balance)
*Plaintive crying when touched in certain areas, or moved
*Unremitting vomiting, especially of white, foamy substance, blood, or
*Hiding and 'huddling' - trying not to move alot
*Rigors (shivering very noticeably)
|For those who may not be aware, the Siberian breeding community has become concerned like
other breeder groups (Maine Coons and Ragdolls to name a couple) about the appearance of
HCM within the breed.
HCM - Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy, or an abnormally enlarging of the heart that
decreases the blood able to be pumped out, is a disorder that has appeared, so far, in SMALL
numbers of the Siberian population. HOWEVER, it is suspected to be a genetically** linked
disease, as it is in humans, and thus research is being carried out to determine ways to test for
this BEFORE cats are even bred.
The problem is - this awful disease has no signs or symptoms until typically HOURS before the
death of the cat. And then, death is usually incredibly sudden and unexpected. And this usually
is between the age of two and less than five years of age. So far, the only way research is able
to be carried out is by blood and tissue tests, post-mortem.
Most Siberian breeders have been cooperative and report ANY sort of abnormality with their
cats, and close down the particular breeding line indicated.
But that is only if they are aware of it.
We ask Siberian owners, as painful as it might be to hear this, that if your Siberian baby
would unexpectantly die, to please ask for a post-mortem, and have these tests done on your
baby. Then report this information to the breeder who sold you the cat, so they can notify
others affected. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD THE POST-MORTEM, contact your breeder -
they may pick up the cost for this, it is THAT important
|We at Keitta Siberians have been EXTREMELY fortunate not to have any
major health issues that have occurred with any breeder cat or their offspring to
this point, which should be reassuring to those who own our babies. But, in the case
of ANY illness or unexpected death, PLEASE let us know immediately. We will
most likely grieve with you - but we will also do what is best for the Siberian
breed as a whole and close down any of our lines, and inform researchers and other
owners about the possibility so they can have their kitty checked.
It is never easy to think about losing your baby, no matter what age, but some of
the main desease entities of HCM & FIP occur in younger cats - typically before
the age of 4 years old - thus the reason we emphasize annual visits to your
veterinarian for screening.
|**Just another note: Other heart problems have appeared in cats related to poor diets. Lack or
insufficient amounts of Taurine in a cat's diet has been linked to heart disease. That is why you hear
from us so much about the proper nutrition and supplementation as needed for your babies.
|DONATE NOW TO
|Keeping your kitty healthy and happy means prevention of illness. This is done in part by protecting
the immune system, the same as with a human. Only your Siberians' needs are different than yours.
|1. Excellent quality of Food - a well balanced diet created for cats - high in protein;
containing important minerals, vitamins and other nutrients specific to the feline diet.
|Key Needs for a Healthy Immune System:
|2. Plenty of sleep/rest - typically NOT a problem with a feline, that sleeps up to 22 hrs of a
|3. Love and attention - seems non-scientific, but for an animal to feel loved and cared for means
less stress and 'worry'. That attention includes: playtime, grooming, cuddles, care routines
|4. A clean and ordered environment. Now, I am not proposing that everyone become a Martha
Stewart or a Mr. Clean. But cats like their domain stable - not being moved around all the time.
They like their litter boxes clean - they are fastidious animals and hate dirty, stinky litter boxes.
|Includes vaccine information on: initial Distemper
combination series; Rabies; FeV; FIP;
also information on
heartworm; roundworm; ringworm; ear mites; fleas
|November 28, 2012
|Recommended sites for Veterinary Information
|Winn Feline Foundation:
Health Library & Research
|Has a pet library as well as
sells products to individual pet
owners and breeder supplies
|Cat Resource Archive
& some fun humor links
|5. Immunity support with supplements such as DMG, CS, and a stress reduction agent as needed, is
recommended - see Stress
|Pamphlet by AVMA on how to
go about choosing your vet
|Keitta recommendations on choosing a vet:
find someone who:
-knows or is willing to learn about Siberians instead of
generalizing care to felines in general
-will listen to your questions and concerns and spend time
answering them - being a partner in the healthcare of your
Siberian, not a dictator of care
-someone you can feel comfortable interacting with
|Click on the Logos to go to the individual web sites
|Hard to tell - they are masters at hiding problems until illness becomes
severe or life-threatening. So when there is something wrong with your pet,
get a vet appointment if it is non-emergent. If it is an emergency, take your
kitty IMMEDIATELY to the Emergency Vet. If you are unsure of WHEN
and IF you should contact a vet, feel free to call us for guidance & support.
4 areas of assessment: potty, play, eat, drink - are they doing all of these
|Cats will sometimes vomit up their food they've been eating - possibly from eating too much, too
fast, or possibly a food allergy. That is not for you to determine. Your job is to watch and see how
often this occurs. After each meal? You may want to consult with your vet. Just once in awhile? No
If your kitten/cat has vomiting with loss of appetite, they may have a virus and need to be seen by
the vet. This is NOT an emergency. However, it does require some nursing care on your part until
your veterinary appointment. Give 3 ml of Pedialyte (non-flavored!) to your kitty every 2 - 3 hours
until their appointment. This will keep them from getting dehydrated.
|Extensive Cat Information
|Health & Care: A Glossary of Cat
|Spay/Neuter - At What Age?
|This topic is covered under the page Male vs Female, with links
to articles & research that support our viewpoint that kittens
should not be spayed/neutered until they are AT LEAST SIX
MONTHS OLD, and if they can reach it, EIGHT MONTHS.
|ALERT TO SIBERIAN OWNERS - your kitty may be overly sensitive to
anesthetics - given intravenously or gas. There is no research at this point, only very sad
stories of Siberians that have died even before their surgery because a veterinarian
was not familiar with the breed. I have a hypothesis as to the reason - when a Siberian
kitten is six months old, he/she can be anywhere from 6 - 9 lbs - the size of an adult
cat of some breeds. If veterinarians are providing weight based drug doses of an adult
to a kitten, this could explain the oversedation and death sometimes seen. You NEED to
caution your vet and ask them to TITRATE the sedation/anesthetic drugs TO
RESPONSE - this takes a little longer, but it is SAFER.
|How do I know that my kitty is under
|Keitta Customers are saying:
"The vet was quite impressed with the
care you had provided our little guy!"
|Vomiting & Diarrhea: Home care
|Something a long time cat owner has learned is that every cat has episodes of vomiting or
diarrhea on occasion. If you are newer to cat ownership, this can be distressing. Learning
what is an emergent situation, and what situation can be taken care of by your personal
veterinarian can be helpful for your kitty as well as for your sanity!
|The Emergency - if a cat has unremitting, irretractable, untreatable vomiting, they need to
see the vet NOW!!! This could indicate they got into a toxin (poisoning - typically white
foamy vomit), or an obstruction (starts with vomiting of food, water, then advances to dry
heaving and bile-like vomit). This is potentially a LIFE THREATENING condition for your
|The Non-Emergencies - cats frequently will 'cough'/'hack' until they
vomit a hairball. Sounds awful - cat looks distressed until the hairball
comes. If your cat has problems with hairballs - give them a Hairball
Remedy on a daily basis (several brands found in petstores), or you can
add a tsp of olive oil to the kitty's wet food daily.
|Want more specific guidelines? See this excellent link on Homecare for Vomiting
|Diarrhea is a nuisance for your pet and for you. It can indicate a number of different
problems from food allergies, abrupt changes in diet, stress, or a medical problem, including a
parasite. That is not your job to determine the underlying cause - that is your Veterinarian's
job! But you can learn what situations you need to see your veterinarian in.
Rarely is diarrhea an 'emergency'. However, if your kitty has frequent bouts of watery
stools, they can easily become quickly dehydrated, and thus make them MORE sick than they
are. Thus, the same guidelines given above for vomiting applies to cats with diarrhea. Give them
electrolytes (Pedialyte) - 3 mls every 2 - 3 hours until your vet appointment.
If you know that your kitty's sudden onset of diarrhea is from stress (lots of guests? change
of food? moving or construction?), then you need to treat the stress as well as the diarrhea.
See the page on STRESS as well as the DIETARY page. If you started a new food abruptly,
STOP. Gradually change to the new food. Give PUMPKIN along with probiotics (see the links).
If it is a stress-inducing situation - get Feliway (see the link) and know that in the future, it
would be best to anticipate your kitty's response to the situation, and intervene BEFORE the
If the stools do not start to firm up within a few days, a visit to the vet is in order.
|More info on Diarrhea
|Blood in the stool - something we sometimes hear from people about that is a non-emergent situation
|Pet Health Insurance?
|Mar Vista Animal
|More people have been asking if it would be beneficial to have pet health insurance. We do
not have an opinion on this, nor recommend one plan or another, but want to provide some
basic information for people that have questions about whether this is right for them or not.
We DO have an opinion on the expensive medical care for our feline friends, however. If
you are dealing with a condition that will lead to a complete return to health, we treat. If
the condition will be a manageable chronic condition, we treat. If the prognosis is poor, and
your kitty will be put thru hell and back with tests and treatments that prolongs life by a
few months, we decline heroic measures, and ask for medications and home treatments to
make our loved one more comfortable. If they are not in great distress, we treat them at
home. If they are in pain, we take them to our trusted vet, hold their heads and paws,
whisper our goodbyes, and have them euthanized humanely.