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EMERGENCY CARE

Detecting and Treating Arthritis

Cats are wily about concealing their pain. It comes from a genetically encoded instinct for self-protection, never wanting to let potential predators know they may be vulnerable. But if your cat has arthritis, there are frequently telltale signs.

Laser Therapy to Reduce Pain?

Laser therapy to mitigate pain is very commonly found in veterinary practices these days. Some pet health insurers have even started reimbursing for laser treatments aimed at treating pain. Lasers are thought to work by reducing inflammation, relaxing muscle tissue, promoting wound healing, treating musculoskeletal problems, minimizing post-operative complications, and mediating other pain-causing problems.

Dear Doctor: Worried about the effects of chemotherapy

My cat has been diagnosed with gastrointestinal lymphoma, and the veterinarian says he will need chemotherapy. Ive seen my father go through chemo, and it was no picnic. Im worried about putting my cat through this. Will it really help?

Act Fast if a Male Cat Cant Pass Urine

Has the litter box remained dry over the last day or so, with no clumps forming no matter how hard your male cat tries to go? Get him to the veterinarian - now.

Dear Doctor: A cancer medicine for dogs but not cats

Last May my beloved 13-year-old cat was diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma and passed in August. A few months later our shelters newsletter told the story of a family whose dog had been diagnosed with the very same thing and, with a prognosis of 8 months, she actually lived 7 more years with the help of Piroxicam.

Tail Injuries

Rocking chairs, a foot landing in the wrong place, a door closing at the wrong time - all of these can cause tail injuries. Still, we dont see that many cat tail injuries, says Armelle de Laforcade, DVM, an emergency and critical care veterinarian at Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals. In the grand scheme of emergencies that come in, it isnt all that common.

Make an Appointment? Or Get Him to the Vet Immediately?

Your cat is having a bout of vomiting. Do you rush him to the doctor? What if he hasnt urinated all day, or goes through the day with zero interest in food or water? Here is a look at six common signs of illness in cats, and whether they can wait or signal emergencies that need immediate medical attention.

How to Rescue a Cat From a Tree (Hint: Quietly)

On television shows, rescuing a cat from a tree becomes a noisy neighborhood affair. Onlookers are shouting to each other and the fire fighter climbing through the upper limbs is calling down with progress reports. All that noise is the last thing a scared cat needs and wont help coaxing it into the arms of rescuers.

Dear Doctor: Breathing difficulties

Our Persian kitten still has a few more months to go before turning one year old, but she is already having breathing difficulties. What could be the matter?

Joint Disorders in Cats

A healthy cats impressive physical traits - strength, agility and lightning-fast responses to external stimuli - are essentially attributable to the structure and versatility of her musculoskeletal system. However, this system is also subject to a variety of disorders that can seriously compromise a cats quality of life and agility. Even worse, such disorders often defy prompt recognition and treatment.

Possible Cancer Breakthrough?

Feline injection site sarcoma (FISS) is an aggressive form of cancer in cats associated with the administration of vaccines and injectable medications, affecting about one in 1,000 vaccinated cats. This cancer was once thought to be a rare side-effect of rabies vaccines, but experts now believe it can occur following any kind of injection -even microchipping.

Limb Amputation in Cats

Consider this frightening occurrence: A cat darts into the street near his home and is struck by a car. One or more of the bones in one leg are severely broken, and a quick trip to the nearest veterinary clinic yields some very upsetting news. The fractured limb is beyond surgical repair, and the cats owners are faced with a limited set of options as explained by the veterinarian: Either the injured cat should be euthanized, or the fractured limb should be amputated.