Most cat owners know that felines often display odd and unusual behavior. However, learning to tell the difference between a quirky personality versus signs of potentially serious conditions is essential. The more you learn about common feline health problems and take your cat for regular preventative vet exams, the better you will be able to care for your furry friend and ensure that she has a long, healthy life.
Starting With the Most Common Illnesses
A famous saying contends that “when you hear hooves you should think horses, not zebras.” This wisdom should not be lost on pet owners. If your cat displays symptoms that might be attributed to common feline health problems, bring her to your local Dartmouth vet clinic for a check-up. Pet owners today spend hours looking up illnesses on pet message boards and websites, wasting time and getting worried about rare or fatal diseases, when your cat most likely has a treatable condition. If you have questions, you can always contact the experienced professionals at Anchor Animal Hospital.
- Kidney Disease – The two most common symptoms include excessive drinking and excessive urinating. Cat owners know that tiny bowls of water are usually sufficient, so if your cat suddenly starts draining the bowl half way through the day or is soaking the litter box, it’s time to bring her into the Dartmouth vet clinic. Veterinary care for cats who have kidney disease can include special diets and certain treatments that will prolong life. While there is no cure for kidney disease, it can be managed effectively through proper medical care and regular, preventative vet exams.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) – Frequent attempts to urinate without actually urinating or only urinating a very small amount are the most common symptoms of UTIs. The typical cause of urinary tract infections are bacteria or crystals that form in the area, both of which are dangerous because it can result in an emergency blockage of urine. UTIs are most common in male cats. Preventative vet exams and a special diet that consists of food with reduced phosphorus and magnesium content can help reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections in your cat.
- Diabetes – Some of the most common symptoms associated with diabetes often mimic symptoms seen in other feline health problems. Excessive drinking and a soaked litter box, which are also seen in kidney disease, are common. Weight loss, despite an increase in appetite, is also very common. A blood test is recommended for an accurate blood glucose level in your cat when you visit the Dartmouth vet clinic. While urinalysis can help screen for blood glucose levels during preventative vet exams, the blood test is the most accurate. Treatment and veterinary care for cats diagnosed with diabetes include a special prescription food to help regulate glucose metabolism and insulin therapy.
- Dental Disease – Common symptoms of dental disease include bad breath, decrease in eating, drooling, tartar on teeth and red or inflamed gums. If your cat has any of these signs, it is time for a trip to the Dartmouth vet clinic. Preventative vet exams and treatment for this type of feline health problem is recommended. It costs less to provide preventative care than it does to provide treatment of dental disease and related complications that can come from poor dental veterinary care for cats.
- Hepatic Lipidosis – The symptoms of this illness are found in the illness itself. Hepatic lipidosis is what can happen when your cat does not want to eat. This can be the result of another illness or because of recent food changes, but whatever the cause, never allow a “hunger strike” to go on for more than 2-3 days without seeking care for potential feline health problems. When hepatic lipidosis occurs, the body begins to mobilize fat to the liver. Unfortunately, a cat’s liver is unable to process mass amounts of fat at one time, resulting in what is known as a “fatty liver.” Other related symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, jaundice (a yellow cast to the skin) and anorexia. Seek veterinary care for cats that exhibit any of these symptoms right away.
Your Responsibility for Quality Care
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to stay alert and bring your cat in for regular preventative vet exams. This will help to keep your cat happy, healthy and thriving for many years to come. While most feline health problems can be effectively treated, some are life threatening. Therefore, it is important to bring your pet in to Anchor Animal Hospital, the local Dartmouth vet clinic, for proper veterinary care for cats. Our team of professionals are trained and experienced in identifying common feline health problems, and can provide the level of care required to keep your cat happy and healthy for many years to come.