Illustrated Articles

Cats

  • Anal sac tumors grow quickly and have a moderate risk of spreading to other parts of the body. Depending on the tumor’s size, your pet could develop signs of straining to defecate or produce thin ribbon-like stool. An increased calcium level in the blood is consistent with anal sac tumors, which can cause other signs and result in kidney failure. The best and most well-described local treatment for the primary tumor is surgery. Radiation and chemotherapy may be considered if there is evidence of spread.

  • Anemia is a medical term referring to a reduced number of circulating red blood cells, hemoglobin, or both. It is not a specific disease but rather it is the result of some other disease process or condition. The most easily observed and common clinical sign of anemia is a loss of the normal pink color of the gums. Several tests are performed on blood samples to diagnose anemia. If your cat's anemia is so severe that it is life threatening, a blood transfusion will be needed.

  • Anesthesia is accomplished by administering drugs that depress nerve function. It is important that you fully understand what will happen to your pet, and that you acknowledge that you understand the risks. Anesthetic monitoring in a veterinary hospital is similar to that found in any human hospital. With today's anesthetics, many of which are reversible, your pet should be almost completely normal by the time of discharge.

  • The pupil constricts or dilates (enlarges) according to the amount of light that enters the eyes, with both pupils normally dilating in dim light and constricting in bright light. Anisocoria is a condition in which the pupils of the cat's eyes are different sizes. Anisocoria is a sign of an underlying disease condition and therefore there are several different causes. Your veterinarian will begin by conducting a physical examination of your cat, including a detailed examination of the structures of the eye. The treatment and prognosis of anisocoria depends entirely on the underlying cause of the condition, and specific treatment will be tailored specifically to the diagnosis.

  • A cat that is not wanting to eat or is not eating, is a cat who has a potentially life-threatening medical condition. Many conditions can lead to the inability of your cat to eat or for your cat to lose her appetite completely. It is important to find the underlying cause so that an appropriate treatment plan can be created. Appetite stimulants may be prescribed and in some cases a feeding tube may be placed by your veterinarian. Decreased food intake or any change in eating habits warrants investigation by your veterinarian.

  • Anthrax is a bacterial infection that rarely affects cats. It is not a new infection but has been revisited due to concerns about bioterrorism. Infection in cats usually occurs through ingestion of infected carcasses, causing clinical signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling of the face and neck. Treatment is highly effective in the early stages of infection.

  • Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections are bacterial infections that are minimally or no longer responsive to commonly used antibiotics. Although these bacterial infections occur naturally, the frequent and/or inappropriate use of antibiotics accelerates the process. Cats with certain medical conditions may also be predisposed.

  • Antibody titers are sometimes needed to diagnose disease. Antibody titers reflect the level of antibody that the pet has made in response to exposure to a certain infectious organism. The titer is generated by sequentially diluting the serum and testing it against the organism in question. The more dilute the serum when it stops producing a positive reaction, the higher the concentration of antibodies present in the blood. Titers give support to a diagnosis allowing more targeted treatment and more specific prognostic information as well as identifying zoonotic disease.

  • Anticoagulant rodenticides are poisons used to kill mice, rats, and other rodents by preventing blood clotting. Poisoning occurs when a cat ingests rodenticide. Anticoagulant rodenticides cause excessive bleeding by interfering with vitamin K1 recycling in the body. Vitamin K1 is needed for the body to make certain clotting factors which enable blood to clot and help to control bleeding.

  • Antioxidants are given by mouth and are over the counter supplements used to treat side effects from inflammation. Give as directed by your veterinarian. Side effects are uncommon but may include mild stomach upset. Use antioxidants cautiously in pregnant pets. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.