Educational Articles

Medical Conditions

  • The simple description of an abscess is a pocket of pus located somewhere in the body. A cat with an abscess will often have a fever, even if the abscess has ruptured and drained to the outside of the body. Appropriate antibiotic therapy is a critical component of the successful treatment of abscesses, no matter the location.

  • Canine acne is an inflammatory disorder of the lips and the skin of the muzzle. Dogs with mild cases of acne often have red bumps or pustules (pimples) on their skin. In some cases, acne may be associated with underlying skin conditions. There are a variety of treatments that may be used for the treatment of canine acne.

  • The term limber tail is one of several slang terms that apply to a condition that is technically called acute caudal myopathy.

  • Acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (AHDS) (also known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis [HGE]), is an acute disorder of dogs characterized by vomiting and bloody diarrhea. AHDS can affect any breed, age, size, or gender of dog, but it is most common in small- and toy-breed dogs. The exact cause of AHDS remains unknown. An elevated hematocrit in combination with a low or normal total protein is an important clue that a dog may have AHDS. Intravenous fluid therapy with potassium and electrolyte supplementation provides the foundation of AHDS therapy. Dogs with AHDS may die, if left untreated.

  • Acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney failure refers to the sudden failure of the kidneys to perform normal filtration duties. ARF leads to accumulation of toxins and other metabolic wastes in the bloodstream, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and disturbances in the acid-base balance of the blood. The initial prognosis is guarded for all cases of ARF. If the cause is an infection, there is a better prognosis than if the cause is a toxic substance.

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening complication of critical illness. These underlying critical illnesses may include sepsis, pancreatitis, pneumonia (either due to an infection or the inhalation of foreign materials), trauma, near-drowning, and other severe illnesses. In ARDS, massive inflammation and the release of various inflammatory chemicals leads to the leaking of capillaries within the lungs. Signs of ARDS include increased respiratory rate, blue discoloration to skin and mucous membranes due to poor oxygen delivery, and occasionally coughing. Treatment of ARDS is primarily focused on supportive care and addressing the underlying critical illness.

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening complication of critical illness. These underlying critical illnesses may include sepsis, pancreatitis, pneumonia (either due to an infection or the inhalation of foreign materials), trauma, near-drowning, and other severe illnesses. In ARDS, massive inflammation and the release of various inflammatory chemicals leads to the leaking of capillaries within the lungs. Signs of ARDS include increased respiratory rate, blue discoloration to skin and mucous membranes due to poor oxygen delivery, and occasionally coughing. Treatment of ARDS is primarily focused on supportive care and addressing the underlying critical illness.

  • Addison's disease is the common name for hypoadrenocorticism, caused by decreased hormone production from the outer part or cortex of the adrenal gland.

  • 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.

  • Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, is found in fresh and brackish water of ponds and lakes. This microscopic bacteria can also grow in backyard fountains, garden pots, bird baths, and anywhere water is stagnant.