Cat Health - PawNation

Many people are somewhat familiar with Alzheimer's disease, but few know that dogs and cats can also suffer from a similar condition known as cognitive dysfunction. Credit: Thinkstock What is Cognitive Dysfunction? In short, cognitive dysfunction is a condition that is sometimes seen in older pets. Affected pets may become disoriented easily, even when in familiar surroundings. Their sleep cycle may be abnormal, often sleeping more during the course of the day but less as night. They may lose interest in interacting with the people around them. A previously house-trained dog or litter box-trained cat may even suddenly start having "accidents" in the home. NOTE: Many of these symptoms can...

Senior Cats Need More Calories

Anybody out there have an old, skinny cat? Veterinarians see them on a daily basis. Sometimes we reach a causative diagnosis - kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders are all common culprits. At other times, however, a cat may lose weight but appear to be normal in all other regards. What's going on in these cases? Credit: Shutterstock Of course it's always possible that a health work-up missed something. For example, a cancer may be too small to find, GI disease will often go undiagnosed without biopsies, or kidney function may be declining but not yet reached the point where blood work and/or a urinalysis are abnormal. Putting those...

Deciding whether to spay or neuter your pet is a big decision for a dog or cat owner. For many owners, the thought of anesthesia is scary. Some owners also worry that their pet's personality will change after the surgery. Let's talk about the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet and what you can do to ensure the health and well-being of your pet after the procedure. Credit: Shutterstock In terms of the worries an owner faces at the prospect of spaying or neutering their pet, it's important to note that, while it cannot be said there is no risk with anesthesia, the risk is minimal. Veterinarians today have anesthetic agents and monitoring equipment that make anesthesia safe and...

Pimobendan is a relatively new drug here in the United States, but it is rapidly becoming a standard part of treating congestive heart failure (CHF) resulting from some types of heart disease in dogs. Little research has been done into its potential usefulness in cats, however, so I was glad to see an article addressing just this question in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA). Credit: Thinkstock Part of the reason for the relative lack of interest in studying pimobendan in cats has to do with the type of heart disease that cats are diagnosed with most frequently - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM involves a thickening of the muscles...

Mammary cancer is a particularly frightening diagnosis for cat owners. Over 90 percent of feline mammary tumors are malignant, meaning they grow in an invasive fashion and spread to distant sites in the body. This is in contrast to dogs, where only about 50 percent of mammary tumors are malignant. Credit: Thinkstock Tumors tend to affect older, unspayed female cats, but all cats, including males, are at risk. The age at which a female cat is neutered plays a role in protecting against tumor development, with the greatest benefit seen for kittens spayed before 6 months of age, who have a 91 percent reduction in risk compared to non-spayed cats. Spaying between six months and one-year...