Diseases

Hot Spots in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Hot spots are areas of skin that rapidly become irritated and infected, resulting in hair loss, moistness, and inflammation of the area.   They are called "hot" because they develop very quickly--in many cases overnight.  Often, self trauma such as excessive licking or scratching is involved in the development of hot spots.  However, hot spots can occur in the absence of licking or scratching.

Fever of Unknown Origin in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats and dogs

Overview

Fever of unknown origin is a common syndrome in cats and dogs.  Affected animals experience an elevated body temperature, usually accompanied by lethargy, weakness, and lack of appetite.

As the name implies, the cause of fever of unknown origin is not determined in most cases.  However, most pets with the syndrome are treated for bacterial infections.  This treatment usually is successful.

FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, or Feline AIDS)

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

FIV is a virus that is related to HIV, the human AIDS virus.  Experts do not believe FIV is capable of infecting humans.  FIV causes a syndrome in cats that is similar to human AIDS.

Most FIV-infected cats catch the virus by fighting with other cats.  The virus spreads when an infected cat bites a cat that is not infected.  A much smaller number of cats catch the virus from their mother as kittens.  Sexual transmission of FIV does not appear to be common.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV in Cats)

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Feline leukemia virus, or FeLV, is a virus that infects cats.   It is related to FIV and HIV, the virus that causes human AIDS.  There is no evidence that FeLV can infect humans.

FeLV does not sicken every cat that is infected with it.   However, some cats that are infected with FeLV suffer suppression of the immune system or develop cancers.   These cats often die from the virus.

Obesity in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Obesity is a syndrome in which the amount of excess body fat an individual carries is great enough to cause harm to health and well-being.   Obesity is a debilitating syndrome that is linked to a number of serious health consequences for cats.

A number of factors play a role in the development of obesity in cats.   However, the root cause of obesity is the consumption of more calories than the body needs.