A friend recently adopted a young kitten from a local humane society, and soon after, the kitten was diagnosed with brittle bone disease. Neither of us had ever heard of this, and now it makes me worry about adopting a new kitten.
It is very common in veterinary practices - especially feline-only practices - for clients to present a cat with the problem of straining to urinate. Typically, the straining is often accompanied by other signs, such as urinating more frequently, urinating very small amounts, and doing it in inappropriate places, i.e. places other than the litter box.
Luckily, your 10-year-old cat Jenny has never had a sick day in her life. Nevertheless, youve dutifully made a point of taking her to the veterinarian for a routine physical exam once a year to make sure shes up to date on her vaccinations and is not harboring some systemic disorder that could eventually prove difficult to manage.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a very common cause of illness in cats, especially older cats. Previous studies estimated that one in three cats are likely to develop kidney disease during their lifetime.
Thanks to a clinical trial partly funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, there is an important veterinary breakthrough: Cats with FIP went into remission following treatment with a specific antiviral drug.
Earlier in the year, I received a phone call from a cat owner seeking a second opinion. Their four-year-old male orange tabby, Teddy, has always been a bit of a troublemaker, knocking things off counters, chasing imaginary mice and leaving no houseplant un-nibbled. Over the last few weeks, however, Teddy had been battling a stubborn upper respiratory infection (URI), and it was only getting worse, despite treatment.
Cats are masters at hiding pain and illness, which can make it difficult for their owners to recognize that something is amiss. However, owners should become concerned when they observe persistent subtle changes in their cats behavior such as eating less, sleeping or hiding more than usual or reduced interest in playing or socializing.
To better understand mats in cats, lets briefly recap shedding. Seasonal shedding - with the two biggest shedding times of the year occurring in the spring and fall - correlates with the amount of sunlight during the day. However, indoor cats shed year round due to the constant artificial light in our homes; so instead of two heavy bouts of shedding, indoor cats experience continual light shedding. And it is the sloughing of dead hair that contributes to the baneful matting in a cats fur.
The shelter Im affiliated with has had an excess of newborn, orphaned and sickly kittens this year, so foster homes are currently scarce. I have a spare bedroom in my home, so I decided to make myself available for this worthwhile cause.
Most people have some familiarity with the concept of a blood transfusion, perhaps by donating blood to the local Red Cross, or possibly as a recipient during a hospital stay. Thankfully, most cat owners have very little experience with transfusions when it comes to their pets.
Although two submicroscopic organisms - the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) - differ from one another in a number of significant ways, they have one very important characteristic in common: Infection with either of them can cause a cats premature death.
November 2017 - Full Issue PDF