Common Pet Health Questions

Common Cat Questions

What is FLUTD?

FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder) is, as its name suggests, a condition affecting the bladder. Stones or crystals become wedged in the urethra, the bladder becomes distended and an increased amount of urine puts pressure on the kidneys. If the cat is unable to pass urine, the condition is fatal in 2-3 days.

This condition is more commonly seen in the overweight, indoor, neutered, male cat. To prevent the formation of these crystals, it is advised to feed a diet which produces an acidic urine which dissolves the crystals in the bladder, and encourage your cat to drink plenty of water.

CLINIVET Adult Cat contains an optimum level of calcium and magnesium to help prevent the crystals from forming in the bladder.

My cat is a very fussy eater. How can I encourage it to eat?

If your cat is very fussy, warming with food slightly can sometimes help as this releases the natural aromas present in the food, and can tempt your cat to eat. Another option is to offer very small titbits of different foods and see which one they prefer.

I think my cat may be overweight. How can I tell, and does it matter?

Using the Body Condition Score guide, you will be able to determine whether your cat is overweight. Like humans, there are increased health risks associated with obesity, these include increased risks with general anaesthetic if they have to undergo surgery, diabetes and bladder problems.

There are several steps you can take to help your cat lose the excess weight. First of all, do not put your cat on crash diet – this is very dangerous for cats. Once on a crash diet, the liver retains large amounts of fat, the cat becomes sick, and refuses to eat. This results in the cat being tube fed for a few weeks until the animal recovers. This condition can be fatal, and prevention of this condition is obviously preferred.

Consider using Light Cat versions of cat food, and try and increase your cat’s exercise. Not only will this benefit your cat, but it is also fun for you to spend more time with your pet!

Why does the kibble sometimes vary from one bag to another?

CLINIVET is produced using natural ingredients. As with all natural ingredients, there will be slight variances in the raw material specification. This can result in small diferences in the colour, shape and denisty of the end product. You can be assured, however, that the compostion and nutrient analysis of the product will always remain the same.

This could be compared to buying fresh bread from your local bakery. Each batch of loaves may look slightly different from each other, but this has no effect on the taste or nutrient analysis of the final product.

Why has the information on the bag and on the website changed?

The EU Regulations (767/2009/EC) and the associated UK Animal Feed Regulations (SI 2503) 2010, concerning the marketing and labelling of pet foods became effective on 1st September 2011. All new products and packaging put into the market after this date had to comply with these new regulations.

These changes have resulted in significant changes to the format and wording of the legal declarations and it is compulsory to label the addition of certain additives for which a maximum legal limit is specified in the Additive Regulations (1831/2003).

As a result, all packaging must be updated taking this new legislation into account. For example, the wording on the back of the previous CLINIVET Adult Cat bag read:

Ingredients
Chicken, Rice, Maize, Chicken Fat, Egg Powder, Fish, Beet Pulp, Chicken Livers, Fish Oils, Yeasts, Minerals, Vitamins, DL-methionine.

Nutrient Analysis 

Protein 30%, Oil 18%, Fibre 2%, Ash 7.5%, Maximum Moisture 8%, Vitamin A 20,000iu/kg, Vitamin D3 1,250 iu/kg, Copper (as cupric sulphate) 18mg/kg

The declaration on the back of the current CLINIVET Adult Cat bag will now read:

Composition: Chicken (min. 28%), Rice (min. 25%), Maize, Chicken Fat (min. 10%), Egg Powder, Fish, Beet Pulp, Chicken Livers (min. 2%), Fish Oils, Yeasts, Minerals, Vitamins, DL-methionine.

Analytical Constituents: Crude Protein 30%, Fat Content 18%, Inorganic Matter 7.5%, Crude Fibres 2%, Omega 6 fatty acids 5%, Omega 3 fatty acids 0.4%.

Additives (per kg): 

Nutritional Additives:
Vitamins: Vitamin A (as retinyl acetate) 18,000IU, Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) 1,200IU, Vitamin E (as alpha tocopherol) 600IU.
Trace Elements: Zinc Oxide (36% Zinc) 81mg, Ferrous Sulphate Monohydrate (30% Iron) 200mg, Manganese oxide (32% Manganese) 81mg, Cupric Sulphate Pentahydrate (25% Copper) 32mg, Calcium Iodate Anhydrous (61% Iodine) 8mg, Sodium Selenite (45% Selenium) 2mg.

It is important to remember that the food inside the bag is still the same, it is just the wording on the packaging that has changed.

What does chelated mean?

Mineral supplements usually occur as compounds (e.g. calcium carbonate, magnesium citrate) and there may be numerous forms of the same mineral in a foodstuff. The word ‘chelation’ is derived from the Greek chele, meaning claw. In other words, the mineral is firmly attached to an amino acid or other organic component, so that the two do not disassociate in the digestive system.

It is thought that some chelated minerals are better absorbed and have greater bioavailability to the body. This means that animals fed chelated sources of essential trace minerals excrete lower amounts in their faeces, so lower concentrations of mineral chelates can be used in food.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are substances that are able to alter the gut flora in favour of the beneficial micro-organisms. Fermentable fibres and in particular the fructo-oligosaccharides, are the most effective prebiotics in modifying favourable gut populations and metabolic effects in the gastro-intestinal tract.

Prebiotics lay the foundations for more permanent manipulation of the gut flora by encouraging growth and development of pathogenic populations.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live, natural products given by mouth in the hope they will colonise the gut and so improve the balance of the resident micro-organisms, restoring or maintaining normal gut function.

My cat is unwell. What should I feed her?

Sick, injured and post-operative animals need energy and nutrients to repair their damaged tissues. Use the following as a guide to feed your sick pet.

1. Feed little and often. Small quantities may whet their appetite, while offering large bowls of food may kill what little appetite exists.

2. Use high quality, energy dense food. This is more palatable and provides more calories per mouthful.

3. Warm food to body temperature to create that ‘fresh-killed’ aroma.

4. Use wide, flat saucers or plates. Wary cats can watch for approaching danger while eating and whiskers will not touch the sides.

5. Do not place food or water next to litter trays – clean the litter tray as often as necessary and keep the cage clean to promote a pleasant environment.

If you can encourage your pet to eat, you may find their appetite will increase once the gut has been stimulated.

Common Dog Questions

How much food should I give my dog?

Feeding guidelines can be found on the back of the packaging for each of the CLINIVET products, on all our information brochures and on our website. The quantity of food given depends on your dog’s age, lifestyle and weight. If you have any queries relating to the feeding of your dog, please contact CLINIVET.

How do I know if my dog is overweight?

It is important to carefully monitor the weight of your dog. This can be done either at home, or at your vets. If your dog is small, weigh yourself on your scales, then weigh yourself together with your dog. The difference between the two will be the weight of your dog. If your dog is large, it is much easier to simply take your dog to the vets and get them to weigh him for you.

To quickly check the body condition of your dog, run your fingers down your dog’s side, with your thumbs running along its spine. If you cannot feel the ribs over the skin, or if there is no definite waistline beneath the rib cage, then your dog is overweight.

My dog is overweight. What should I do to reduce his body weight?

Obesity is a growing problem for dogs and cats, and is important because:

– it is one of the most common nutritional problems seen in veterinary clinics
– it affects all organs in the body
– it is preventable.

Preventing obesity is the easiest way of dealing with this problem. Occasionally, there may be a metabolic reason why an animal is overweight, however more often that not, it occurs quite simply by over-feeding. It occurs when more calories are ingested than what are expended.

Dietary management of obesity can take several forms. Dogs which receive large numbers of treats or human left-overs, without a decrease in their daily feed intake, will usually lose some of their excess body weight once these treats are removed from their daily ration.

In severe cases, a calorie restricted diet is needed to remove the excess bodyweight – simply cutting down on treats is not enough. CLINIVET Adult Light is a low energy, low calorie diet specially formulated for overweight, retired and inactive dogs. CLINIVET Adult Light has less calories then CLINIVET Adult Junior and provides all the necessary nutrients required to keep your dog in tip top condition, yet controls their weight with the correct balanced levels of protein, minerals and vitamins. Carrying excess bodyweight increases the risk of arthritis, makes veterinary examinations difficult, and adds additional risks to surgery.

Ideally, you should aim to reduce bodyweight by 15% of the total bodyweight over a period of 3 months. It is preferential to feed two or three small meals throughout the day. In this way, your pet does not feel like they are being starved, and also starts to get them accustomed to eating smaller portions.

Low calorie foods also tend to be slightly higher in fibre than maintenance diets. This is because fibre acts as a filler, making your pet feel fuller for longer, however fibre also bulks out the faeces meaning your pet may go to the toilet more frequently.

More often than not, your pet’s weight loss is more a case of re-educating the owner, rather than teaching the dog new tricks!

It is important to seek advice from your veterinarian before placing your dog on a weight loss programme.

Why is it important to feed my dog according to its life stage?

The nutritional needs of your dog differ depending on its life stage; the nutritional requirements of a puppy are very different to that of an elderly animal. For this reason, it is important to feed a diet that has been specially formulated to meet the specific requirements of the life stage of your dog.

Puppy
The first year of your puppy’s life is the most important, as it is during this time your puppy’s bones and tendons, important for later life, will develop. Puppies require a diet that is high in protein and energy, necessary for growth, building muscles and strong bones.

Adult Small
Although much smaller in size, small breed dogs have higher energy requirements than larger dogs. They are known to be quite hardy, however they can sometimes develop sensitive tummies meaning they may not digest all the nutrients they need. For this reason it is important to feed a diet specially formulated to help maintain and support good gut health. These include highly digestible ingredients and the addition of fructo-oligosaccharides to promote a healthy gut environment.

Adult Junior
By this stage, your dog will have completed most of its growth, however it will still need to build muscle to put it in good stead for its future years. During this period, it is important to continue giving your dog the very best nutrition to build on the good foundations laid down during puppy hood, and to gradually increase muscle mass and build a strong musco-skeletal system.

Adult Large
Large breed dogs are prone to problems with their joints in later life. To help support the musco-skeletal system, it is important to provide glucosamine sulphatechondroitin sulphate and MSM to support the joints and cartilage. In addition, large breed dogs have a tendency to gain weight as they age. This places additional stress and strain on the cardiovascular and skeletal systems. L-carnitine is added to CLINIVET to help mobilise fat reserves, maintain muscle mass and help prevent weight gain.

Adult Senior
Senior dogs have very different nutritional requirements compared to younger dogs. As your dog ages, the internal organs such as the liver and kidneys tend to function less efficiently, the coat becomes duller and the hair more brittle, the skin becomes less elastic and the immune system more depressed. However, by providing the correct nutrition it is possible to preserve the condition of the body.

Adult Energy
Working and sporting dogs require additional energy and increased protein to support their increased activity levels. Anti-oxidants are required to help preserve the condition of the body during intensive exercise, and a high meat content is readily available to build strong muscles. It is important working and sporting dogs obtain these essential nutrients in a way that an easily accessible and sustainable form.

Adult Light
Some dogs have a tendency to put on excess weight, particularly during the senior years. Weight gain occurs when more calories are consumed than what are used. The excess calories are converted to fat and stored under the skin, or around the vital organs. Overweight dogs are more prone to problems with their cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal systems, they are more likely to die younger than their leaner counterparts and they show the visible signs of aging earlier.

Why do working and sporting dogs require a specially formulated diet?

Working and sporting dogs have different requirements compared to the household pet. They have an increased requirement for anti-oxidants to combat the increased stress when working, they require joint conditioners to promote joint mobility and longevity, and have an increased requirement for high quality fish oils to promote a healthy circulatory system.

CLINIVET Adult Energy contains higher a good source of Vitamins A, C and E to support the immune system, added joint conditioners in the form of glucosamine sulphatechondroitin sulphate and MSM to maintain joint mobility, and a high meat content to help build strong muscles.

Why does the kibble sometimes vary from one bag to another?

CLINIVET is produced using natural ingredients. As with all natural ingredients, there will be slight variances in the raw material specification. This can result in small differences in the colour, shape and density of the end product. You can be assured, however, that the composition and nutrient analysis of the product will always remain the same.

This could be compared to buying fresh bread from your local bakery. Each batch of loaves may look slightly different from each other, but this has no effect on the taste or nutrient analysis of the final product.

Why has the information on the bag and on the website changed?

The EU Regulations (767/2009/EC) and the associated UK Animal Feed Regulations (SI 2503) 2010, concerning the marketing and labelling of pet foods became effective on 1st September 2011. All new products and packaging put into the market after this date had to comply with these new regulations.

These changes have resulted in significant changes to the format and wording of the legal declarations and it is compulsory to label the addition of certain additives for which a maximum legal limit is specified in the Additive Regulations (1831/2003).

As a result, all packaging must be updated taking this new legislation into account. For example, the wording on the back of the previous CLINIVET Adult Junior bag read:

Ingredients
Chicken Meat Meal, Brown Rice, Corn, Chicken Oil, Oats, Herring, Dried Brewers Yeast, Dried Whole Egg, Sugar Beet Pulp, Whole Linseed, Fish Oils, Minerals, Vitamins, Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM

Nutrient Analysis 
Protein 26%, Oil 16%, Fibre 2.5%, Ash 9%, Maximum Moisture 8%, Calcium 1.5%, Phosphorous 0.85%, sodium 0.40%, Vitamin A 15,000iu/kg, Vitamin D3 1,500 iu/kg, Copper (as cupric sulphate) 16mg/kg, Metabolisable Energy 15.1 Mj/kg

The declaration on the back of the current CLINIVET Adult Junior bag will now read:

Composition: Poultry meal (min 30%), brown rice (min 22%), maize, poultry fat (min 7%), oats, beet pulp, fishmeal, brewers yeast, dried egg powder, beet pulp, poultry digest, whole linseeds, salmon oil, fructooligosaccharides, manna oligosaccharides, yucca extract, glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane, mixed tocopherols and rosemary, chondroitin sulphate, L’carnitine, beta carotene.

Analytical Constituents: Crude Protein 26%; Fat Content 16%; Inorganic Matter 9%; Crude Fibres 2.5%.

Additives (per kg): 

Nutritional Additives:
Vitamins: Vitamin A 21,400 IU, and Vitamin D3 1, 440 IU, vitamin E (as alpha tocopherol) 160 IU.
Trace Elements: Zinc chelate of amino acid hydrate 356 mg, Ferrous sulphate monohydrate 321 mg, Zinc sulphate monohydrate 296 mg, Manganous sulphate monohydrate 117 mg, Copper chelate of amino acid hydrate 53 mg, Copper sulphate pentahydrate 42 mg, Ferrous chelate of amino acid hydrate 32 mg, Calcium iodate anhydrous 1.64 mg, Sodium selenite 0.53 mg.

It is important to remember that the food inside the bag is still the same, it is just the wording on the packaging that has changed.

What does 'chelated' mean?

Mineral supplements usually occur as compounds (e.g. calcium carbonate, magnesium citrate) and there may be numerous forms of the same mineral in a foodstuff. The word ‘chelation’ is derived from the Greek chele, meaning claw. In other words, the mineral is firmly attached to an amino acid or other organic component, so that the two do not disassociate in the digestive system.

It is thought that some chelated minerals are better absorbed and have greater bioavailability to the body. This means that animals fed chelated sources of essential trace minerals excrete lower amounts in their faeces, so lower concentrations of mineral chelates can be used in food.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are substances that are able to alter the gut flora in favour of the beneficial micro-organisms. Fermentable fibres and in particular the fructo-oligosaccharides, are the most effective prebiotics in modifying favourable gut populations and metabolic effects in the gastro-intestinal tract.

Prebiotics lay the foundations for more permanent manipulation of the gut flora by encouraging growth and development of pathogenic populations.

What are glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate?

Glucosamine sulphate is a natural amino-sugar produced naturally by the body and helps to preserve the connective tissue and cartilage between the joints. The amount present in the body decreases during periods of disease or injury.

Chondroitin sulphate is produced in the body from glucosamine sulphate and acts by stimulating the cells to produce more collagen and proteoglycan. Chondroitin sulphate maintains the condition of the cartilage and helps to improve the nutrient supply to the joints, supporting joint mobility and longevity. Both glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate have been proven to help preserve the joints.

All CLINIVET ranges contain natural sources of glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate, and help to sustain good joint condition into later life.

My dog's skin is itchy and dry, and his coat is dull. Could this be related to his food?

There are many reasons why your dog’s coat condition may be dull, or his skin itchy and dry. Itchy, dry skin can be caused by chronic bacterial infections, and may be associated with allergies to foodstuffs, parasites (such as fleas), dandruff, or because of compromised immunity. If these problems occur on a regular basis your dog should be seen by your vet, however, it may also be beneficial to consider if there is an underlying nutritional problem.

All CLINIVET ranges are supplemented with an excellent source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids (EFA’s) which can help preserve the condition of the skin and coat.

My dog is unwell. What should I feed him?

Sick, injured and post-operative animals need energy and nutrients to repair their damaged tissues. Use the following as a guide to feed your sick pet.

1. Feed little and often. Small quantities may whet their appetite, while offering large bowls of food may kill what little appetite exists.

2. Use high quality, energy dense food. This is more palatable and provides more calories per mouthful.

3. Warm food to body temperature to create that ‘fresh-killed’ aroma.

4. Use wide, flat saucers or plates. Wary cats can watch for approaching danger while eating and whiskers will not touch the sides.

5. Do not place food or water next to litter trays – clean the litter tray as often as necessary and keep the cage clean to promote a pleasant environment.

If you can encourage your pet to eat, you may find their appetite will increase once the gut has been stimulated.