Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • Blood pressure measurement evaluates the pressure against the walls of arteries during the time the heart contracts and empties itself of blood, as well as during the time the heart relaxes and fills with blood. “Systemic hypertension” describes high blood pressure throughout the entire body.

  • Systemic lupus is a rare feline autoimmune disease, caused by abnormal regulation of the immune system. In this condition, the cat’s immune system recognizes the body’s own cells as foreign. The immune system forms antibodies against tissues in the body, directly attacking the body’s own cells and depositing antibodies throughout the body’s tissues.

  • Thrombocytopenia is a term that refers to a decrease in the number of thrombocytes (also known as platelets) circulating in the blood. Any severe or prolonged blood loss, increased internal destruction of platelets, or impaired bone marrow production can lead to acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) deficiency of platelets.

  • Ulcerative keratitis is a type of inflammation that occurs in the cornea of the eye. It is most commonly associated with the surface layer- the corneal epithelium- causing an erosion of the surface tissue.

  • A UTI occurs when bacteria travel up the urethra and into the bladder. Cats with UTIs generally attempt to urinate very frequently whenever they go to the litter box, they may strain to urinate, they may cry out or whine when urinating if it is painful, and there may be blood visible in their urine.

  • The uvea is the part of the eye made up of the iris, the ciliary body and the choroid. The iris is the pigmented or colored membrane behind the cornea (clear outer surface of the eye).

  • Vestibular disease in cats is a condition in which a cat suddenly develops incoordination, falling or circling to one side, involuntary darting of the eyes back and forth (nystagmus), a head tilt, and often nausea or vomiting. These clinical signs usually appear suddenly, many times in less than an hour. Many conditions can cause the disease and the vast majority of cases are diagnosed as idiopathic.

  • Too much vitamin A or hypervitaminosis A can lead to serious toxicity. While somewhat uncommon in North America, vitamin A toxicity is sometimes diagnosed in cats that are fed primarily table scraps. There seems to be considerable variability in how susceptible individual cats are to this problem. It takes a long time for the clinical signs associated with vitamin A toxicity to develop; symptoms do not usually appear until the dog is at least middle-aged.

  • Vitamin D poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of vitamin D. A common source of vitamin D poisoning is when a cat accidentally ingests rodenticides containing vitamin D. Vitamin D poisoning causes a variety of clinical signs. The initial clinical signs, occurring anywhere from 8 to 48 hours after ingestion, include depression, weakness, and appetite loss. Vomiting, increased drinking and urination, constipation, and dehydration typically follow these signs.

  • Vomiting describes the active expulsion of food from the stomach. Vomiting may be caused by disorders of the stomach but is a clinical sign that can occur with many diseases and problems. It is not a specific disease or diagnosis itself. Cats vomit quite readily and occasional vomiting in an otherwise healthy cat may not indicate anything abnormal.