Most Common Feline Visits

Here at Friendship Pet Hospital and Wellness Center we value you and your pet’s well being. You know your pet best, and we count on you to know when your pet is not acting herself or seems uncomfortable. It is important to us that you know how to keep your pet safe and healthy because your pet’s care starts at home.

It can be hard to know when your pal needs to come in for a visit. We have put together some information for you to help determine when it is necessary to come in and what you might expect at your visit. Each pet and each visit is special but we can share with you our most commonly seen ailments.

If you are unsure at any time, please do call us. We are here for you and your fur babies!

It can be hard to know when your pal needs to come in for a visit. We have put together some information for you to help determine when it is necessary to come in and what you might expect at your visit. Each pet and each visit is special but we can share with you our most commonly seen ailments.

If you are unsure at any time, please do call us. We are here for you and your fur babies!

1. Bladder and Urinary Tract Problems

When your cat urinates outside the litter box, you may be annoyed or furious, especially if your best pair of shoes was the location chosen for the act. But don’t get mad too quickly—in the majority of cases, cats who urinate around the house are sending signals for help. Although true urinary incontinence, the inability to control the bladder muscles, is rare in cats and is usually due to improper nerve function from a spinal defect, most of the time, a cat that is urinating in “naughty” locations is having a problem and is trying to get you to notice. What was once considered to be one urinary syndrome has turned out to be several over years of research, but current terminology gathers these different diseases together under the label of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases, or FLUTD. Many of these diseases cause similar symptoms, for example, a cat with urolithiasis, or bladder stones, shows many of the same symptoms as a cat with a urinary tract infection, which may also present like the symptoms of a blocked tomcat. Watching for any signs of abnormal urination, like urinating on cool surfaces (a tile floor or bathtub, for example), blood in the urine, straining to urinate with little or no urine production, or crying in the litterbox can help you identify the first signs of a FLUTD. If your cat demonstrates any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away for an urgent appointment. Particularly for male cats, if the urethra is blocked with stones or crystals, the cat is not able to expel any urine, which can become an emergency within only hours. The inability to urinate is painful and quickly fatal, so if your cat may be blocked, seek emergency care immediately.

Cats are very good at hiding how sick they are, so the early signs of FLUTD are easy to miss. Bringing your cat in for regular urinalysis testing allows your veterinary team to check for signs of infection, kidney disease, crystals in the urine, and even diabetes. X-rays and ultrasounds can also help detect the presence of stones in the bladder or kidneys. Lower urinary tract disease can be controlled with medications and special diets, though severe cases of FLUTD may also require surgery.

Keep an eye out for: signs of abnormal urination, like urinating on cool surfaces (a tile floor or bathtub, for example), blood in the urine, straining to urinate with little or no urine production, or crying in the litter box

2. Dental Problems

Dental disease is one of the most common chronic problems in pets who don’t have their teeth brushed regularly. Unfortunately, most cats don’t take very good care of their own teeth, and this probably includes your Persian. Without extra help and care from you, your cat is likely to develop potentially serious dental problems. Dental disease starts with food residue, which hardens into tartar that builds up on the visible parts of the teeth, and eventually leads to infection of the gums and tooth roots. Protecting your cat against dental disease from the start by removing food residue regularly may help prevent or delay the need for advanced treatment of dental disease. This treatment can be stressful for your cat and expensive for you, so preventive care is beneficial all around. In severe cases of chronic dental infection, your pet may even lose teeth or sustain damage to internal organs. And, if nothing else, your cat will be a more pleasant companion not knocking everyone over with stinky cat breath! We’ll show you how to keep your cat’s pearly whites clean at home, and help you schedule regular routine dental exams.

Keep an eye out for:

difficulty eating, poor appetite, drooling, mouth odor, hiding

3. Kidney Disease

Renal failure refers to the inability of the kidneys to properly perform their functions of cleansing waste from the blood and regulating hydration. Kidney disease is extremely common in older cats, but is usually due to exposure to toxins or genetic causes in young cats. Even very young kittens can have renal failure if they have inherited kidney defects, ask your veterinary team about screening for kidney problems early, before any anesthesia or surgery, and then regularly throughout life. Severe renal failure is a progressive, fatal disease, but special diets and medications can help cats with kidney disease live longer, fuller lives.

Keep an eye out for:

increased thirst and urination, poor appetite, weight loss

4. Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland is located at the front of the throat, and has a very important function. It produces a hormone called thyroxine, or T4. Thyroxine regulates the overall speed of metabolic processes throughout the body. Cells in every part of the body start to work faster when T4 levels in the blood rise; when T4 levels fall, the thyroid gland produces more thyroxine, thereby continuously and closely regulating T4 levels in the body. Many middle-aged cats, however, develop a benign (non-cancerous) tumor in the thyroid gland. The cells that make up this tumor still produce thyroxine, but their control mechanism is faulty. The normal feedback system that maintains a balanced T4 level in the body has no effect on these tumor cells, so that they continue to pump out thyroxine despite signals to stop. Cats with these tumors have their “Go” switch permanently stuck in the “Faster” position. This illness is termed hyperthyroidism. Typically, hyperthyroidism affects cats about ten to twelve years of age—the cat will become more active, but with a nervous energy that masks the true illness they are feeling. Vomiting, weight loss, and increased thirst are common symptoms of this disease, but they often come on so gradually that the problem is not easily noticed. In advanced cases, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, and fatal blood clots. Hyperthyroidism can be readily detected with a standard blood test performed as part of your cat’s routine wellness plan. Today’s effective treatment options can actually cure the disease by killing off the abnormal tumor cells while leaving the normal thyroid cells undamaged, resulting in a normal life span for many affected cats.

Keep an eye out for: Vomiting, weight loss, and increased thirst

5. Cancer

Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer that afflicts some breeds more than others. This disease causes the body to form abnormal lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. Because white blood cells are found throughout the body, this cancer can show up almost anywhere. Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer, and chemotherapy in cats has shown an excellent success rate for recovery. Treatment can be costly, however, and is a lifelong commitment. Luckily, lymphoma is one of the few types of cancer that can often be detected with a blood test, ask your veterinarian about recommending a complete blood count twice yearly for your adult cat. Also watch for swollen glands, weight loss, or labored breathing, and be sure to call your veterinarian if you notice any unusual symptoms in your pet.

Keep an eye out for:

vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite or weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy

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