Five Common Illnesses In Cats
Just like us, our pets are likely to experience health problems at some time during their lives. As far as cats are concerned, there are five common illnesses that owners should be aware of. The good news is that all of these conditions can be treated if caught early.
Common Health Problems in Cats
Obviously, there are a number of health conditions that cat owners should look for. However, the five most commonly occurring illnesses among domestic cats are: urinary tract infection, renal (kidney) failure, feline panleukopenia, diabetes and upper respiratory tract infection.
In most cases, when treated early, these conditions are not life threatening. However, if you think that your cat may be suffering from any health problem, you should seek immediate veterinary assistance.
Symptoms and Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection
Cat owners should be on the lookout for symptoms such as increased thirst, increase in the frequency and/or amount of urine and the presence of blood in the urine. The condition is usually diagnosed with a urinalysis and is simply treated with a course of antibiotics. Owners with male cats should be particularly wary of urinary tract infection, as it tends to affect males more frequently than females.
Symptoms and Treatment of Renal Failure
Renal failure, or chronic kidney failure, can be confused with urinary tract infection, because the symptoms are very similar to those listed above. Additionally, you may find that the two conditions go hand-in-hand. Therefore, cat owners should watch for an increase in thirst and an increase in the amount of urine a cat passes. After time, the cat may become dehydrated and will probably experience vomiting and lethargy.
Your vet will be able to confirm kidney failure with a blood sample and urinalysis. Treatment for renal failure will probably include antibiotics and the introduction of fluids intravenously. Typically, your cat will then need a special diet to manage the condition.
Symptoms and Treatment of Feline Panleukopenia
Feline panleukopenia, otherwise known as feline distemper, is a virulent viral infection. It is important to seek veterinary advice swiftly if you fear you cat may have feline panleukopenia, and keep him, or her, away from any other cats in the home, as it is highly contagious. Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration and abdominal discomfort.
Treatment for feline panleukopenia is antibiotic medication, anti-emetic and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. If left untreated, feline distemper can be fatal, so it is important to seek the advice of your vet as quickly as possible.
Symptoms and Treatment of Feline Diabetes
Unfortunately, feline diabetes is a growing problem caused, in some cases, by overeating and under-exercising. Therefore, cat owners should be working to prevent rather than cure diabetes. However, just like humans, cats can become diabetic despite being active and healthy, so owners should look out for increase in thirst, increase in urine, loss of appetite and dehydration.
Treatment for feline diabetes will vary. In some instances, it can be managed with diet alone. In other cases, however, you will need to administer insulin injections.
Symptoms and Treatment of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
In many cases, respiratory tract infection is minor. However, if left untreated an infection can become more serious leading to pneumonia, which can be fatal. Therefore, it is wise to seek veterinary assistance as soon as symptoms arise. Symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection include coughing, panting and nasal discharge.
Treatment of respiratory infections will differ depending on the severity of the case. A course of antibiotics may be needed, but in less serious cases, steam inhalation will clear the condition.
To help prevent your cat suffering from these and other conditions, it is wise to ensure that he, or she, has regular veterinary checks and is up-to-date with all vaccines.