Category Archives: Cat Health

Cat Health

Hyperthyroidism in Cats-Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

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What is hyperthyroidism?   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Classification of hyperthyroidism   Effects of hyperthyroidism on the cat   Treatment   Hyperthyroidism and kidney disease  Why is feline hyperthyroidism on the increase?   Prevention


Feline hyperthyroidism at a glance:

  • Feline hyperthyroidism is a common disease caused by a benign hormone-secreting tumour of the thyroid gland.
  • Symptoms include weight loss despite an increased appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, poor coat condition.
  • There are several treatment options including surgery to remove the tumour, radioactive iodine treatment to destroy the tumour, prescription diet or medications to control it.
  • Hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine disorder in cats.

hyperthyroid cat after surgery Continue reading

Cat Health

Disseminated Intravascular Coiagulation

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What is disseminated intravascular coagulation?   What causes it?   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment    Prognosis

What is disseminated intravascular coagulation?

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a rare, life-threatening condition in which systemic activation of coagulation (clotting) occurs, resulting in the formation of blood clots (microvascular thrombosis) throughout the small blood vessels. Clotting is a vital response which serves to protect blood from being lost from damaged blood vessels, however, DIC causes blood clotting to become overactive leading to problems. Continue reading

Cat Health

Supportive Care For Sick Cats

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supportive care for cats

Supportive care is care provided to your cat to assist him when he is sick or injured, the aim is to help reduce pain, keep fluids and nutrition when a cat is too sick to eat and drink on his own, provide necessary medical care, such as medications, change dressings, and keep your cat comfortable while he recovers.

It is very common for a sick or recuperating cat to lose his appetite and drink fewer fluids.  Dehydration is quickly life threatening and anorexic (cats who are not eating) cats are very susceptible to developing a life-threatening condition known as hepatic lipidosis (or fatty liver disease).  This occurs as the body begins to use fat stores as fuel, which is to the liver to be processed, quickly overwhelming it and its ability to function properly.

Other effects of a loss of appetite include metabolic disturbances due to mineral deficiencies including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), hypokalemia (low blood potassium) and hypocalcemia (low blood calcium). Continue reading

Cat Health

Blood in Cat Urine – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Causes   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment

Blood in cat urine

Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in the urine and is a symptom of an underlying disorder and isn’t a disease in itself. As are many causes of hematuria in cats ranging from mild to severe and life-threatening, prompt veterinary attention is required.

Hematuria can be classified as microscopic or gross:

  • Microscopic hematuria – The urine appears normal but upon microscopic examination,  red blood cells are present.
  • Gross hematuria – The cat’s urine is visibly discoloured due to the high numbers of red blood cells. Continue reading
Cat Health

Cat Worms – Everything You Need To Know

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Cat worms

Parasitic worms are one of the most common types of parasite to infect cats. Even indoor cats can get worms, highlighting the importance of a strict worming regime.

Worms can take up residence in many parts of the body. The three most common worms are intestinal worms, which either feed on the stomach contents or on your cat’s blood which can cause malnutrition and/or anemia. Other organs can also be infected with worms including the heart, bladder and kidney. We look at the most common parasitic worms below. Continue reading

Cat Health

Hookworms in Cats-Transmission, Symptoms & Treatment

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What are hookworms?   Transmission   Symptoms   Are hookworms dangerous?   Diagnosis   Treatment

Hookworms in cats

What are hookworms?

Hookworms are small, thin nematodes that are approximately 10 to 20 mm in length and are a common intestinal parasitic worm of dogs, but can also infect cats.

They live in the small intestine of the cat, attaching themselves to the intestinal wall using teeth-like hooks where they feed on the blood and tissue. Blood loss can lead to anaemia, intestinal bleeding, intestinal inflammation, diarrhea and even death. Continue reading

Cat Health

Giardia in Cats-Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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What is giardia?   Transmission   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment   Can I catch giardia from my cat?   Preventing reinfection

giardia in cats

What is giardia?

Also known as Beaver Fever, Giardia is a protozoan (single-celled organism) parasite which is found in the small intestine of many mammals and birds including humans and cats.  Giardia duodenalis (also known as G. lamblia) can infect a wide range of mammals and can be divided into several assemblages (subpopulations) with preferred hosts.

  • A1 – Humans and a wide range of mammals including cats and dogs
  • A2 – Humans
  • A3 – Hoofed wild animals
  • B – Wide range of mammals, including humans and cats
  • C – Dogs and other canids
  • D – Dogs and other canids
  • E – Hoofed animals
  • F – Cats
  • G – Rodents

One study in Australia found the prevalence of Giardia in healthy cats to be 2%, although those numbers may be up to 12% in crowded conditions such as shelters and catteries. Kittens and young adult cats are most commonly infected as well as cats living in crowded environments and cats who are immunocompromised such as those with feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia virus. Continue reading

Cat Health

Tick Paralysis in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What is tick paralysis?  Appearance of ticks   How do they get onto cats?   Symptoms of poisoning   Treatment   Removing a tick   Lyme disease

Paralysis tick

What is tick paralysis?

Tick paralysis is a common and life-threatening emergency which caused by a tick bite. There are hundreds of species of ticks worldwide, with as many as 40 of whom are capable of producing paralysis.  Most cases of tick paralysis occur in Australia and the United States.

In Australia, Ixodes holocyclus (commonly referred to as paralysis ticks) are the species capable of producing paralysis. These ticks live on the east coast from North Queensland to Northern Victoria. They can be found year-round, however are most prevalent in early spring and summer.  Their natural hosts are the long-nosed bandicoot and the short-nosed bandicoot. But they can also parasitise other native animals including the possum, wallaby, and echidna, all of whom have a natural immunity to the tick’s toxin. However, paralysis ticks will infest domestic pets, livestock, and humans. The preferred habitat of ticks is areas of bush and scrub but can be picked up in other areas such as gardens, parklands, and paddocks. Continue reading

Cat Health

Flea Allergy Dermatitis in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What is flea allergy dermatitis?   Causes   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment   Prevention

Flea allergy dermatitis in cats
Image Nottingham Vet School, Flickr

What is flea allergy dermatitis?

Flea allergy dermatitis (also known as flea bite hypersensitivity) is a common itchy skin disease that is caused by a hypersensitivity to the proteins in the saliva of the flea which is injected into your cat’s skin when the flea feeds.

There is no breed or sex predisposition to flea allergy dermatitis although it is less common for cats under 1 year old to have flea allergy dermatitis.

Flea allergy dermatitis is one of the major causes of miliary dermatitis in cats and is the most common allergy seen in cats as well as being the most common skin disease to affect cats.

Fleas can be active year-round in warmer climates, or in the summer months in cooler areas. Numbers tend to peak towards the end of summer and into early autumn.

What causes flea allergy dermatitis?

There are 15 known allergens in flea saliva, each one is capable of causing an allergic reaction in the cat and just one bite from a flea is enough to trigger an allergic reaction in your cat.  Flea allergy dermatitis is one of the major causes of miliary dermatitis in cats and is the most common allergy seen in cats as well as being the most common skin disease to affect cats.

Continue reading