Your feisty cat Big Ben seems out of sorts. For the past few days, hes been hanging around the house, uncharacteristically lethargic and disinterested in his food. While petting him, you feel a small but distinct lump just to the side of his tail. You probe it gently, but Big Ben lets out a yowl, followed by a hiss. Obviously, this small lump is causing him pain. Its very likely that youve discovered an abscess - a clear sign that Big Ben is harboring an infection (and also a grumpy mood).
Chester is a 13-year-old diabetic orange tabby. When he first presented to my feline-only veterinary hospital five years ago, he had the classic signs of diabetes: excessive thirst, increased urination and weight loss despite an exceptionally good appetite. Making the diagnosis was easy. Chesters blood sugar was greater than 400 mg/dl (normal is somewhere in the 80 to 150 range) and he had lots of sugar in his urine. Most diabetics are male, like him. Most are middle aged, like him. Most are overweight - also like him. In fact, it was a classic textbook case.
Most people think of heartworm disease (HWD) as a disease that only impacts dogs. While its true that heartworm infection is much less common in cats than in dogs (the feline prevalence is approximately five percent as compared to 20 percent of the canine prevalence), cats most certainly do get heartworm disease.
When we suggest to clients that their cat should go on a ventilator, theyll often ask, Doesnt that mean the prognosis is really bad? explains Tufts emergency and critical veterinarian Armelle de Laforcade, DVM. And the truth is, she adds, if a cat is sick enough to be on a ventilator, shes pretty sick. In fact, when we first got a ventilator years ago, we tended to put a cat on it right before she died as a last resort.
Each day, dozens of injured or severely ill animals in urgent need of emergency medical care are brought by their owners to the Cummings Schools Foster Hospital for Small Animals. Unfortunately, its not uncommon for cats of all ages to be brought in due to blunt or penetrating head injuries. …