Dear Doctor December 2014

Ask the doctor - Can a cat suffer a concussion?; separating siblings because of a move; acne and plastic

Research that may help human eye diseases

Research for eye diseasesAccording to researchers at the University of Missouri and UC Davis, mutations in the cat genome correlate to two human eye diseases. The project - called 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Initiative - involved the sequencing and studying of the genes of 99 cats.

Abnormal Weight Loss in Cats

Although obesity is a major and persistent feline health problem, with an estimated 40 percent or more of cats living in U.S. homes significantly or grossly overweight, owners should also be aware of the many and frequently severe hazards associated with its opposite - significant weight loss over a brief period of time.

What is Cobalamin Deficiency?

Recently, Lemon - a 14-year- old spayed female domestic shorthaired cat - presented to my cat hospital for weight loss and inconsistent appetite. One day she would eat normally. The next day, she would unenthusiastically pick at her food. I asked her owner if Lemon was also showing increased thirst and urination; but I was told no - that her thirst and urination were normal.

Feline Pain Management

Stub your toe, bump your head or cut your thumb while peeling an apple, and youre apt to give out a yell that will let the world - or at least the other members of your household - know that youre in pain. When it comes to dealing with pain, however, cats simply arent like that.

Diagnosis: Patellar Luxation

Anyone who has watched a cat use his strong legs to leap into the air or climb a tree can attest to their extraordinary athletic ability. But what happens if a cats joints - specifically the knees - do not function properly? This is the case for cats with patellar luxation, or dislocated kneecaps.

Dear Doctor January 2015

Ask the doctor - A Returning Growth; Safe Outdoor Excursions; Heart Murmurs

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.