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Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

These 6 Diseases Can Shorten Your Cat’s 9 Lives

Your cat won’t tell you when it’s sick. Instinct tells them to never show signs of weakness in case predators are around. You have to be on the lookout for symptoms that it’s not feeling well. The signs can be subtle, even with some of the more serious diseases. Here are six of the most common cat illnesses to watch for.

Cardiomyopathy

Problems with your cat’s heart are often genetic. They may have existed since your cat was born but may not show symptoms until the cat is much older. It can show up as an enlarged heart, increased heart rate and blood pressure, or a slower rate and pressure. A periodic cat exam by your veterinarian will normally uncover these heart problems. If symptoms show up between vet visits, though, you may see:

  • agitation in your cat
  • rapid breathing and panting
  • lethargy

Medication is available to treat most of the heart conditions so your cat can live a long and healthy life.

Hyperthyroidism

This is the overproduction of the hormone thyroxine in your cat by their thyroid gland. The cause can be genetic or it can be due to a tumor in the gland that is stimulating the secretion of thyroxine. This hormone increases your cat’s metabolism and you will see the following symptoms:

  • increased eating and drinking
  • weight loss
  • frequent urination
  • agitation
  • mood changes
  • decreased grooming
  • dull matted fur

Your vet will do a blood test to determine the level of thyroxine. Medication is available to reduce the thyroid’s hormone production to bring the cat’s metabolism back to normal. If a tumor is involved, radiation treatment is available to kill the tumor cells.

Kidney disease

This is a common occurrence in older cats and can be the result of genetics, serious illness or the ingestion of a toxic substance, such as antifreeze for your car. The small filters in the kidney stop working and allow waste materials to build up in your cat’s blood. Signs of this include:

  • increased drinking
  • frequent urination
  • weight loss
  • lethargy

Your vet will do blood tests to determine how extensive the kidney damage is. A change in cat food, medication and fluid therapy can help your cat live many years after being diagnosed with kidney damage.

Urine crystals

Substances in your cat’s urine can cause a build-up of tiny crystals which irritate the bladder and kidneys. They are painful to expel from the body and if large enough, the crystals can block the urethra so your cat can’t urinate. The typical signs of this include:

  • urinating outside of the litter box
  • pain while urinating
  • excess vocalization when urinating

A urine test will show the presence of crystals. If the cat has had the condition for long, bladder stones may develop and can be detected with x-rays and ultrasound. The treatment includes changing the cat food to reduce the production of crystals, and medication to break up the crystals in the urine.

Diabetes

As in humans, this disease can slowly develop in your cat over several years until they begin to show symptoms. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • increased appetite
  • increased drinking
  • frequent urination
  • weight loss

A blood test will show that your cat’s pancreas is no longer producing enough insulin to process starch and sugars. A change in diet will often control mild diabetes. Medication may be needed for more advanced cases.

The symptoms for many of these diseases are similar, so at the first sign, get your cat into a clinic like Cat Care Clinic for a checkup. In each of these cases, early diagnosis and treatment will let your cat live for many healthy years.

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