Educational Articles

Cats

  • The adrenal glands are responsible for hormone production. Overproduction of these hormones typically manifests as Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism). Typically, these tumors are benign in nature and can be treated medically, though malignant tumors (e.g., carcinomas/adenocarcinomas) are possible. In these cases, surgical excision is generally required. The prognosis for patients with adrenal tumors is generally good if surgical removal is complete.

  • The adrenal medulla is responsible for producing hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine. Dysregulated replication of the chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla lead to development of a pheochromocytoma. These tumors produce excess hormone that leads to episodes of hypertension and tachycardia. Early detection via abdominal ultrasound is imperative for surgical success. CT scan prior to surgery is recommended as these tumors have the potential for vascular invasion leading to post-operative complications. Staging is recommended given that approximately 40% of patients will have evidence of spread at time of diagnosis.

  • Traditionally, the terms food allergy and food intolerance have been used to describe any and all adverse food reactions in cats. The term food allergy or sensitivity is really most accurately applied when the immune system is involved in creating the signs and symptoms that result. Food intolerance is a far more accurate term to describe adverse food reactions in cats that cover a large category of reactions that do not involve the immune system and are generally digestive issues.

  • Albuterol is a medication that relaxes the muscles of the airways and improves breathing. Albuterol relieves the cough associated with asthma.

  • One of the most common medical conditions affecting cats is allergy. Flea allergy, food allergies, atopy, and contact allergies are examples of allergies in cats, with flea allergy being the most common cause. Flea allergy is a response to proteins or antigens present in the flea's saliva, and just one fleabite may cause such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to the removal of large amounts of hair. Food allergy testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. If your cat's symptoms improve after the food trial, a presumptive diagnosis of food allergy is made.

  • Allopurinol (brand names Lopurin®, Zyloprim®) is a drug used to prevent the recurrence of uric acid and calcium oxalate uroliths (stones) in dogs. This medication works by decreasing the production of uric acid in the body. It is also used in the treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs and cats and is usually combined with other drugs. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

  • Alprazolam may be used to prevent unwanted behaviors in dogs and cats. This includes anxious, aggressive dogs or those demonstrating panic reactions.

  • Aluminum hydroxide is used to reduce hyperphosphatemia (elevated blood levels of phosphate) in patients with kidney failure. Aluminum salts work by reducing the amount of phosphorus absorbed from the intestine by physically binding to dietary phosphorus.

  • Amantadine is an antiviral agent. It also may be useful to treat chronic pain when administered in combination with other drugs.

  • Aminophyllin is used to relieve cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and troubled breathing. The medication works by relaxing the air passages of the lungs, thus increasing the amount of air flowing into the lungs.