Cat Articles

Insulin

Overview

Insulin is a drug that is used in the treatment of diabetes in dogs and cats. It requires special handling and storage, it must be given by injection, and it carries the risk of overdose. Despite these disadvantages, insulin is the most commonly used drug in the treatment of diabetes. Without insulin, most diabetic cats and dogs will suffer severe or fatal complications of the disease.

Form and Storage of Insulin

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Low Appetite, Decreased Enthusiasm for Food, or Finicky Eating Behavior in Cats and Dogs

Finicky eating behavior and decreased appetite are often related in cats and dogs.  Food preferences and minor behavioral issues are responsible for many instances of finicky eating behavior.

However, a very large number of diseases suppress appetite in pets.   Pets with suppressed appetites may eat less, or may become more selective (finicky) about what they eat.

Common Non-medical Causes

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

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Feline Asthma (Feline Bronchitis)

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Feline asthma refers to a group of clinical syndromes with similar symptoms and treatments.  The syndromes that comprise asthma cause inflammation (irritation) and swelling of air passages in the lungs.  The inflammation and swelling lead to symptoms including episodes of coughing, wheezing, and, in some instances, difficulty breathing.

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Prednisone, Cortisone and other Steroids

Overview

Corticosteroids are a class of medicines related to cortisone.  Cortisone is a naturally occurring hormone.

Corticosteroids should not be confused with anabolic steroids.  Anabolic steroids promote body and muscle growth.  Corticosteroids are used in pets to treat inflammation, allergies, itching, immune system irregularities, pain, back or spinal trauma, and eye, ear, or skin problems.

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Limping in Cats and Dogs

Common Causes

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

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Antihistamines

Overview

Antihistamines such as hydroxyzine (Atarax®), diphenhydramine (Benadryl®), and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton®) are used in veterinary medicine primarily to treat allergies that cause skin problems. Less often, they are prescribed to prevent carsickness, to treat severe allergic reactions to insect bites or stings, or as sedatives.

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Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

Overview

Fluoroquinolones are powerful antibiotics that are commonly prescribed for pets.  They are used to treat infections of the skin, bladder, ears, kidneys, lungs (pneumonia), and prostate. Fluoroquinolones are prescribed many other types of infections as well.

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Lactulose

Overview

Lactulose is a very effective laxative that is commonly used in veterinary medicine.   It is frequently used in the treatment and prevention of constipation in pets.

Lactulose also is used to treat some types of liver disease. 

Form

Lactulose is available as a liquid suspension for oral administration.  Lactulose may be administered as an enema by veterinarians.

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Methimazole (Tapazole®)

Overview

Methimazole is used to treat hyperthyroidism in cats. It works by blocking the thyroid gland from making thyroid hormone. The effect is temporary.  Most cats with hyperthyroidism require lifelong treatment with methimazole unless other, permanent treatment options are pursued. More details on these options are available on the page entitled Hyperthyroidism in Cats.

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Ear Hematomas (Aural Hematomas) in Dogs and Cats

Animals Affected

Primarily dogs; occasionally cats

Overview

Aural hematomas occur when blood accumulates underneath the skin in the external portion of the ear.  A noticeably swollen area develops on the ear.  The area is often painful or irritating to the pet.

Aural hematomas develop when trauma occurs to the ear.  Direct trauma or chronic, violent head shaking can break blood vessels in the ear.  Broken blood vessels allow blood to accumulate under the skin, forming a hematoma.

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