Educational Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • Diabetes is a complex disease involving a hormone called insulin. When a cat does not make enough insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it does make, diabetes results. Diabetic remission occurs when a cat maintains a normal glucose level for more than four weeks without insulin injections or oral glucose regulating medications.

  • Diarrhea is unformed or loose bowel movements, usually with increased amount and frequency. It is a result of faster movement of fecal material through the intestine combined with decreased absorption of water, nutrients, and electrolytes. Diarrhea is not a disease, but rather is a sign of many different diseases. Causes of diarrhea may be determined through a combination of history, physical examination, and fecal testing. Diarrhea is often treated symptomatically with dewormers, probiotics, metronidazole or tylosin, and a special gastrointestinal diet. Chronic diarrhea, that has been present longer than two to three weeks, may prove more difficult to diagnose and treat effectively.

  • Diarrhea is a sign of disease, rather than a specific diagnosis. This handout provides some important questions that allows your veterinary health team to formulate an adequate history in a cat presenting with diarrhea.

  • Infections of the external ear canal or outer ear caused by bacteria and yeast are common in dogs but not as common in cats. The most common cause of feline otitis externa is ear mite infestation. Ear infections cause pain and discomfort and the ear canals are sensitive.

  • The ear mite is a surface mite that lives on cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets. It is usually found in the ear canal but it can also live on the skin surface. Ear mites are a common cause of ear disease and infection. Infestations are a very common problem in puppies and kittens, although pets of any age can be affected.

  • Your cat has been scheduled for an endoscopic examination. The purpose of this procedure is to help your veterinarian make a diagnosis of the disease that has been causing your pet's clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain or loss of appetite.

  • Feline eosinophilic keratitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the cornea. In cats with eosinophilic keratitis, eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) invade the cornea, giving the surface of the eye a pink, white, and/or chalky appearance.

  • Epiphora means an overflow of tears from the eyes. It is a symptom rather than a specific disease and is associated with a variety of conditions. Normally, a thin film of tears is produced to lubricate the eyes and the excess fluid drains into the lacrimal or tear ducts, which are located in the medial canthus or corner of the eye next to the nose.

  • Eosinophilic granuloma complex is a term used to describe three forms of skin lesions in cats: 1) eosinophilic plaque, 2) eosinophilic granuloma and 3) indolent ulcers. These lesions have a characteristic microscopic appearance due to the presence of eosinophils, which are a form of inflammatory cell. The term is descriptive, referring to the microscopic appearance of the lesion.

  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is an older term used to describe a set of clinical signs associated with abnormal urination in cats. When the condition has no identifiable cause, it is called Feline Idiopathic Cystitis. This condition was previously called Idiopathic Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (iFLUTD) or Pandora Syndrome.