Cat Articles, Diseases

Dental Disease (Periodontal Disease) in Cats and Dogs

Animals affected

Adult cats and dogs

Overview

Dental disease is by far the most common major health problem of cats and dogs. Despite its name, dental disease does not merely affect the teeth and mouth. Dental disease impacts the entire body, with serious consequences for health, longevity, and well-being.

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Coccidia (Isospora) in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Puppies and kittens. Rarely, adult cats and dogs.

Overview

Coccidia are microscopic intestinal parasites of dogs and cats.   They are extremely common, but they very rarely cause symptoms in adult animals.   In puppies and kittens, they are a frequent cause of diarrhea.

Untreated, severe cases of coccidia in young animals can lead to profuse diarrhea, dehydration, and serious illness.  However, most cases of coccidia do not have these consequences.

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Eosinophilic Granulomas (Rodent Ulcers) in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Eosinophilic granulomas are ulcers or sores that develop on the lips and in the mouth of cats.  They occur when the cat’s immune system misdirects its activities and attacks the cat’s mouth.

The syndrome is painful.   Severe eosinophilic granulomas can become infected or can be disfiguring.

With treatment, most eosinophilic granulomas can be managed.  However, cats often develop many ulcers over their lives, and the syndrome can be a chronic problem.

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Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats of any breed, usually middle-aged.

Overview

Diabetes mellitus (known simply as diabetes) is a common and serious disease of cats. The main characteristic of diabetes is an inability to control the level of sugar in the blood. This leads to chronically high blood sugar levels, which in turn lead to the symptoms of the disease.

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Constipation in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats and dogs.

Overview

Constipation is a syndrome in which a pet has difficulty defecating or is unable to defecate.   It is characterized by repeated attempts to defecate that produce only small amounts of feces or no feces at all.

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Roundworms (Intestinal Worms) in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Roundworms (often simply called worms) are extremely common in pets.   In dogs and cats, worms may cause no symptoms whatsoever, or they may cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems.  Many safe and effective treatments and preventatives are available to keep pets free of worms.

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Ear Infections in Cats and Dogs

Animals affected

Cats and dogs of any age.

Overview

Ear infections are common and painful problems for pets. In cats and dogs, ear infections typically are opportunistic and not contagious. They often occur when the ear’s immune system is disrupted by allergies, moisture, poor air circulation, or diseases such as feline AIDS. Under these conditions, bacteria and yeast that normally live harmlessly in the ear are able to proliferate to the point of infection.

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Ear Mites in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Ear mites are parasitic organisms that infest pets.  They may cause intense irritation and itching in the ears, accompanied by production of large amounts of ear wax.

Ear mites are a leading cause of ear problems in kittens and cats.  They can infest dogs and puppies as well, but are a less frequent cause of problems in this species.

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Stomatitis in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Stomatitis is a markedly painful syndrome in which the gums and mouth become severely inflamed.  The cat’s immune system plays a role in most cases of stomatitis.   In these cases, the cat’s immune system begins to reject teeth in the mouth.   In other cases, viruses such as FIV or FeLV trigger the syndrome.

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Feline Urinary Obstruction

Animals Affected

Male cats

Overview

Feline urinary obstruction is a life-threatening medical emergency.  It occurs when a plug of mucus or a small stone lodges in the urethra and obstructs it.  Strong spasms of the urethra may contribute to the syndrome.  Because the urethra is the structure used to drain urine from the bladder, this situation makes urination very difficult or impossible.

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