CAT HEALTH & MEDICINE

Potential new test for feline kidney disease; mammary cancer

A new biomarker called SDMA may be able to provide earlier identification of chronic kidney disease in cats - one of their leading causes of death - according to researchers from Oregon State University and IDEXX Laboratories.

FLUTD Surgery for Male Cats

Usually, it happens all of a sudden. Your male cat goes from being able to urinate normally to not being able to pass a single drop of urine. Other times, the condition becomes progressively worse over a couple of days. The cat starts straining to urinate and becomes very anxious or depressed, with an accompanying loss of appetite.

Research grants to benefit feline health; deer and toxoplasmosis

The Winn Feline Foundation recently announced new feline research grants funded in partnership with the George Sydney and Phyllis Redman Miller Trust.

Ovarian Remnant Syndrome

Recently, at my cats-only veterinary hospital, I examined a young female cat that had been adopted a few months before from a local rescue organization. The owner brought her in for behavioral issues. Shes been making trilling noises, and she sticks her rear end in the air, and is rolling around on the carpet all squirmy, explained her concerned owner. Shes also become extremely affectionate, she said. But the trilling and meowing at night is driving us crazy!

Feline Fever of Unknown Origin

Simply put, fever is a term that refers to an elevated body temperature. In cats - as well as in humans - the hypothalamus is a structure in the brain that controls the thermal set point for the body, in a fashion very similar to a thermostat. When body temperature changes, the hypothalamus responds by making appropriate adjustments so that more heat is produced if the body temperature is too low (for example, by shivering) or heat is dissipated if body temperature becomes too high (for example, by sweating and panting). This effectively keeps the central temperature at near normal levels.

Diagnosis: Feline Asthma

Recently, my first appointment of the morning was Gypsy, a five-year-old neutered male Siamese. The chief complaint written in the appointment book was the vague description of hairball problem. In the exam room, I asked the owner to elaborate. Hes been trying to cough up a hairball for weeks, explained Gypsys owner. But nothing ever comes up.

Understanding Skin Lumps in Cats

Just as cats come in a broad range of shapes, sizes and colors, so do the various lumps and bumps that may appear on their skin. While such palpable swellings can be alarming to see or feel, theyre usually harmless, according to Michael Stone, DVM, clinical assistant professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Skin lumps are a frequent cause for concern for cat owners, he says.

New Research on Cat Seizure Triggers

A new study has found that certain high-pitched sounds - such as the crinkling of tin foil or a spoon clinking the side of a pet food can - can cause some elderly cats to suffer seizures. Published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, the research confirms what many cat owners have believed anecdotally for years. And some people can suffer from noise-triggered seizures, as well.

Joint Disorders in Cats

The feline skeleton, comprised of nearly 250 individual bones, supports 500 or so muscles and other soft tissues that enable a cats movement. Among all feline musculoskeletal disorders, the most commonly observed are conditions that affect the joints - the areas in which the ends of two or more bones reside in close proximity.

Using Cytology for Diagnosis

Discovering a lump or sore on your cat certainly does raise concern for the average cat owner. For one thing, nobody wants to worry for days to find out if it signifies a serious health problem. Cytology is a painless procedure that can provide a quick, inexpensive answer.

The Threat of Feline Rabies

Among all threats to feline health, none is more fatal than rabies. The threat also applies to cat owners who are bitten or scratched by an infected animal. Rabies is caused by a bullet-shaped virus called a lyssavirus, appropriately named after Lyssa, the Greek goddess of rage, madness, fury and frenzy. This microorganism occurs naturally in many warm-blooded animals, most commonly in skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bobcats and bats. However, notes Orla Mahony, MVB, a clinical assistant professor in the department of clinical sciences at Tufts, the virus can affect all warm-blooded animals, including domestic dogs and cats that have not been vaccinated.

What About Indoor-Only Cats and Rabies?

Except for her routine checkup at the veterinary clinic, your cat never, ever leaves the comfortable confines of your home. All of the creature comforts that she could possibly want are just a hop, skip and jump away. So why in the world would she have to be vaccinated against rabies?