Educational Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in female cats, including behavioral, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your female cat's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in male cats, including behavioral, genetic, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your male cat's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a syndrome caused by a specific reaction to chronic irritation of the stomach or intestines as a response to an insult, injury or foreign substance. IBD is most commonly diagnosed in middle-aged to older cats. It most commonly causes vomiting; however, if the intestine or colon is involved, chronic diarrhea can be seen. IBD is definitively diagnosed by biopsy of affected tissue. Treatments include a hypoallergenic or easily digested diet, metronidazole, chloramphenicol, and corticosteroids. Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that invades the stomach lining may be treated with antibiotics if this is a suspected cause of IBD. Long-term prognosis is good if the cat responds to treatment.

  • Atopy, also known as inhalant allergy, is a common cause of skin problems in cats. Cats with atopy are often allergic to the same allergens that affect humans: tree pollens, grass pollens, weeds, molds, and dust mites. Cats develop skin inflammation in response to these allergens. Atopy is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that your veterinarian will rule out other, similar skin conditions in order to arrive at a diagnosis. If your cat is diagnosed with atopy, lifelong management will be required in order to manage your cat's clinical signs.

  • Otitis interna can cause some significant signs in your cat, including drooling from the side of the mouth, difficulty eating, inability to blink, and drooping eyelids, lips, and nostril on the affected side. If the specific cause can be identified, such as bacterial or fungal infection, treatment could involve long-term medications. Less commonly, surgery may be needed. Many cats will respond to treatment and recover well.

  • Ear cleaning is not usually necessary in cats. Most cats are fine without it, but for those who are prone to wax build-up and/or ear infections, ear cleaning is a very important part of your cat's hygiene needs. Cleaning your dog's ears does not require any special equipment. Your veterinarian can help you decide how often your dog's ears should be cleaned.

  • A joint luxation is a dislocation or complete separation between the bone ends that normally articulate to form a joint. Subluxation is the term referring to a partial separation of the joint. The most commonly subluxated joint in cats is the hip, although any joint can be affected.

  • Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease of the joints. Although dramatically under-recognized, OA is actually one of the most common chronic diseases of cats. In addition to diet modifications, exercise, weight loss, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, management strategies for OA may include a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug such as PSGAG. PSGAG is a disease modifying agent that slows cartilage destruction, promotes cartilage healing, and helps lubricate the joints. It is given as a series of injections that can be given by an owner at home. A positive response is expected at the end of the first course of treatment. Injections are typically used long-term as PSGAG is well-tolerated by most cats.

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a condition that is also commonly referred to as dry eye. The medical term means inflammation of the cornea and surrounding tissues from drying. It is a common eye condition resulting from inadequate production of the aqueous portion of the tear film by the lacrimal gland and/or the third eyelid gland. In chronic cases, there may be a history of eye injury, ulcers, or conjunctivitis.

  • The nasolacrimal system consists of a series of narrow tubes that allow tears to drain from the eye. This system allows excess tears to drain from the eye to the nose and mouth. In some cats, this nasolacrimal duct can become obstructed. Most affected cats have excessive watering of the eyes, or reddish-colored tear staining of the face.