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
If you think about it, being a cat veterinarian is not very different from being a pediatrician. We cant ask our patients whats wrong - we just have to figure it out. Nowhere is the role of a cat owner more important than at the veterinarians office, where a good history can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. Veterinarians are faced with a variety of diagnostic challenges on a daily basis.
Until a few months ago, your eight-year-old cat Dotty has always been a healthy girl with a robust appetite, good eating habits and an apparently healthy digestive system. Moreover, Dotty has never ventured beyond the confines of your home, so her exposure to any disease that might be carried by other cats in the neighborhood has been virtually nonexistent.