Cat Articles

Head Shaking in Cats and Dogs

Common Causes

Causes are listed in order from most common to least common. In dogs and cats, ear problems are by far the most common cause of head shaking.

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Enalapril (Enacard®) and Benazepril (Lotensin®)

Overview

Enalapril and benazepril are related members of a class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. They have similar effects and uses in veterinary medicine.

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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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Mineral Oil-Based Laxatives and Hairball Remedies ( Including Laxatone® and Petromalt®)

Overview

Laxatone® and Petromalt® are commonly prescribed to prevent and eliminate hairballs in cats.  They are laxatives that promote the passage of intestinal contents through the rectum as feces.  Although the two products (and other, similar products) primarily are marketed as hairball remedies, they also are used to treat and prevent constipation.

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Tetracycline (Panmycin®)

Overview

Tetracycline is an antibiotic that is prescribed to treat a variety of bacterial infections.

Form

Tetracycline is administered orally.   It is available as a pill or a liquid suspension. Compounding pharmacies may be able to produce palatable formulations of tetracycline to ease administration to pets.

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Heartworm in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Heartworm disease affects dogs most frequently. Cats suffer from heartworm disease less often but are still at risk. Heartworms have been found in people in rare cases.

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Albon® (Sulfadimethoxine)

Overview

In veterinary medicine, sulfadimethoxine is used primarily to treat coccidia (Isospora) in puppies and kittens.  Courses of sulfadimethoxine generally last from 3 to 21 days.

Sulfadimethoxine also may be used as an antibiotic, but this is not common in veterinary medicine.

Sulfadimethoxine is currently considered an inferior treatment option for coccidia.  A different drug, ponazuril, is preferred.

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Squinting, Tearing, or Discharge from the Eyes in Cats and Dogs

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.   Less common causes are listed later.

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Bad Breath (Halitosis) in Cats and Dogs

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

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Toxoplasma gondii (Toxoplasmosis) in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats and humans

Overview

Toxoplasma is a microscopic parasite that is capable of infesting most mammals.   It causes no symptoms in the vast majority of infested hosts, including humans.  However, Toxoplasma can cause fetal malformation or miscarriage in pregnant women, and it can cause serious illness in human beings with AIDS.

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