Cat Articles, Diseases

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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Abscesses in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

An abscess is an area of infection and pus accumulation in the body.   In cats, two types of abscess are common.  Dental abscesses occur when unchecked periodontal disease leads to severe infection of the teeth.  Fight abscesses occur when the skin and its underlying tissues are injured and become infected as a result of fighting with other cats. This article discusses fight abscesses.

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Tapeworms in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Tapeworms are parasites of dogs and cats.   They live in the intestines and, although they rarely cause clinical symptoms or disease in pets, they rob their hosts of nutrients.  Tapeworms are aesthetically unpleasant.

The most common type of tapeworm is spread by fleas. Pets contract this species of tapeworm when they swallow fleas in the process of grooming.  Other tapeworms are spread through improperly prepared food.

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Fleas in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Fleas can infest dogs, cats, rodents, and other mammals. People can be bitten by fleas as well.

Overview

Fleas are a parasitic pest of dogs, cats, and other animals. They are blood sucking insects. Minor flea infestations can lead to severe skin and health problems in dogs and cats. Major infestations can be life-threatening.

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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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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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FIC/FLUTD/FUS(Urinary Tract Irritation in Cats)

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

FIC, FLUTD, and FUS are synonyms for a painful syndrome in cats. FIC is currently the most commonly used name. Its symptoms, listed below, mimic those of bladder infections. FIC is characterized by inflammation of the bladder and urinary tract which can be chronic or recurrent. The urine of these cats often is very strong, and may have an abnormal pH. As well, the syndrome has been correlated with crystals in the urine.

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