Educational Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • Hypokalemia is a term that refers to a low blood concentration of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte within the body and is vital for the normal function of muscles and nerves. In some situations, the normal control of body potassium concentration is lost, resulting in depletion of potassium and low blood potassium concentrations.

  • Ibuprofen is a commonly used NSAID and is used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation in humans. Ibuprofen poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of ibuprofen, either through misuse or by accident. Ibuprofen poisoning causes many different clinical signs because many different organ systems can be affected. Most commonly, cats show signs related to kidney problems.

  • Icterus is also known as jaundice or yellow jaundice. It refers to an excessive accumulation of a yellow pigment in the blood and tissues. When icterus has been present for any length of time, it will discolor many tissues and will become visible as jaundice on most body surfaces, including the skin.

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a syndrome rather than a disease. The syndrome is caused by a specific reaction to chronic irritation of the stomach or intestines. Inflammation is the body's response to an insult, injury or foreign substance.

  • Inflammation of the inner ear is called otitis interna, and it is most often caused by an infection. The infectious agent is most commonly bacterial, although yeast and fungus can also be implicated in an inner ear infection.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lenticular sclerosis or nuclear sclerosis is the medical term for a bluish transparent "haze" that develops in the lens of the eye in middle-aged to senior cats.