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Chronic Illness – Cat

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Common Chronic Diseases of Cats

Anemia

A disease, or symptom of another disease, in which
the body lacks enough red blood cells to carry
oxygen effectively.  May occur secondary to many
chronic diseases, espescially kidney disease, and
also secondary to flea infestation.  Symptoms include
pale gums, pale nose, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Cardiomyopathy

A disease, or symptom of another disease, in which
the body lacks enough red blood cells to carry
oxygen effectively.  May occur secondary to many
chronic diseases, espescially kidney disease, and
also secondary to flea infestation.  Symptoms include
pale gums, pale nose, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Cardiomyopathy

A disease of the heart muscle that can take several forms – hypertrophic, dilated or restrictive.  Caregivers may notice difficulty breathing, lethargy, lack of appetite, the sudden loss of use of one or more limbs.

Chronic Renal Disease

A disease of the kidneys, in which they gradually lose the ability to properly filter waste and retain water and electrolytes.  May be exacerbated by infections or kidney stones.  Caregivers may notice excessive thirst, excessive urination, vomiting, loss of appetite, and poor grooming.

Diabetes Mellitus

A disease in which the pancreas fails to produce insulin, or the body is unable to utilize insulin that is made, resulting in high blood sugar.  Caregivers may weight loss despite an excellent appetite, excessive thirst, and excessive urination.

Hyperthyroidism

A disease caused by a nodule (goiter) on the thyroid gland that secretes excessive thyroid hormone.  Caregivers may notice weight loss, increased appetite, restlessness, yowling, increased drinking and poor grooming.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A disease caused by inflammation of the lining of the stomach, intestines and/or colon.  Often accompanied by hepatitis and pancreatitis. Caregivers may notice unexplained weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting.

Obesity

One of the most common diseases in cats, in which a cat is 30% over its ideal bodyweight. Obesity contributes to a variety of other diseases including diabetes, joint and ligament problems, hepatic lipidosis, and reduced life span.  Caregivers should be able to easily feel a cat’s ribs.

Osteoarthritis

A disease caused by the degeneration of the joint and cartilage surrounding the joint. Caregivers may notice flinching when the animal is touched, difficulty walking and grooming, difficulty posturing in the litter box, stiffness and reluctance to jump.

Pancreatitis

A disease of unknown cause, in which inflammation of the pancreas leads to leakage of digestive enzymes into the abdomen.  Caregivers may notice lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, jaundice (yellow color to skin or whites of the eyes) and abdominal pain.

Periodontal disease

A dental disease caused by an accumulation of tartar on the surface of teeth and under the gum line, eventually progressing to destruction of the tooth, root(s) and periodontal ligament. Caregivers may notice dark, discolored teeth, bright red gums, reluctance to eat, drooling and sudden swelling on the face.

Source:
Dr. Tamara Mangine, DVM.
For more Information on these conditions, please visit www.veterinarypartner.com
 
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