Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • The simple description of an abscess is a pocket of pus located somewhere in the body. A cat with an abscess will often have a fever, even if the abscess has ruptured and drained to the outside of the body. Appropriate antibiotic therapy is a critical component of the successful treatment of abscesses, no matter the location.

  • Acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney failure refers to the sudden failure of the kidneys to perform normal filtration duties. ARF leads to accumulation of toxins and other metabolic wastes in the bloodstream, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and disturbances in the acid-base balance of the blood. The initial prognosis is guarded for all cases of ARF. If the cause is an infection, there is a better prognosis than if the cause is a toxic substance.

  • Traditionally, the terms food allergy and food intolerance have been used to describe any and all adverse food reactions in cats. The term food allergy or sensitivity is really most accurately applied when the immune system is involved in creating the signs and symptoms that result. Food intolerance is a far more accurate term to describe adverse food reactions in cats that cover a large category of reactions that do not involve the immune system and are generally digestive issues.

  • One of the most common medical conditions affecting cats is allergy. Flea allergy, food allergies, atopy, and contact allergies are examples of allergies in cats, with flea allergy being the most common cause. Flea allergy is a response to proteins or antigens present in the flea's saliva, and just one fleabite may cause such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to the removal of large amounts of hair. Food allergy testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. If your cat's symptoms improve after the food trial, a presumptive diagnosis of food allergy is made.

  • Amyloidosis occurs when proteins called amyloid are deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs, causing tissue and organ dysfunction.

  • The anal sacs are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the four o'clock and eight o'clock positions. The walls of the sac produce a foul smelling fluid which is released whenever the cat passes a bowel movement. The anal sacs or their ducts can become inflamed or infected due to a variety of causes. Most cats will respond well to pain relief medications and antibiotics (for several days until the swelling and inflammation have subsided. If a cat has several episodes of anal sac disease, and diet or supplements do not relieve the problem, the anal sacs can be removed surgically.

  • Anemia is a medical term referring to a reduced number of circulating red blood cells (RBC's), hemoglobin (Hb), or both. It is not a specific disease but rather it is the result of some other disease process or condition.

  • In cats, the pupil is an elliptically-shaped opening in the middle of the iris that allows light to pass through the eye to the retina. The pupil constricts or dilates (enlarges) according to the amount of light that enters the eyes, with both pupils normally dilating in dim light and constricting in bright light.

  • Anorexia is a decrease or loss of appetite for food. While hunger is physiologically driven, appetite is psychologically driven. There are two types of anorexia: true anorexia and pseudo-anorexia.

  • Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are bacterial infections that are minimally or no longer responsive to commonly used antibiotics. In other words, these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics - they cannot be killed and their growth cannot be stopped. Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections most commonly affect the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the urinary tract, or the respiratory tract.