From the June 2016 Issue

Recognizing Pancreatitis in Cats

Recognizing Pancreatitis in Cats

Feline pancreatitis has always been difficult to detect and treat. At least one study, now nearly a decade old, found that the potentially deadly disease might affect more than 60 percent of cats, yet only a small percentage are ever diagnosed. The reasons lie in the widely varying characteristics and unknown elements of the disease, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Some cats will display only mild signs such as lack of appetite and lethargy, while growing evidence suggests that many cats with chronic pancreatitis show no symptoms at all.

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Current Issue

Study Finds Treatment for a Form of Epilepsy

Researchers at the University College of London School of Pharmacy and neurologist Dr. Mark Lowrie at Davies Veterinary Specialists in Hertfordshire in the U.K. previously identified an epilepsy syndrome in geriatric cats. They named it Feline Audiogenic Reflex Seizures (FARS), a condition triggered by high-pitched sounds such as crinkling tin foil and clanging metal spoons.

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In Cats, Fear and Shyness Can Look the Same

Not sure if a cat you want to adopt or even approach is fearful or simply shy? Recognizing the difference between the two behaviors can mean the start of a trusting relationship or the onslaught of an attack. A shy cat is more apt to freeze in place and tremble in hopes that you will walk away. A fearful cat will likely flatten his ears, dilate his pupils and deliver a warning hiss before swatting or biting you if you try to touch him.

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Recognizing Pancreatitis in Cats

Feline pancreatitis has always been difficult to detect and treat. At least one study, now nearly a decade old, found that the potentially deadly disease might affect more than 60 percent of cats, yet only a small percentage are ever diagnosed. The reasons lie in the widely varying characteristics and unknown elements of the disease, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Some cats will display only mild signs such as lack of appetite and lethargy, while growing evidence suggests that many cats with chronic pancreatitis show no symptoms at all.

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International Experts Identify Signs of Pain

These are among key 25 signs of pain in cats identified in research at the University of Lincoln in the U.K. Dr. Isabella Merola and Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioral Medicine, surveyed international academics and practitioners with specialties in internal medicine, anesthesiology, oncology, dentistry, behavior, dermatology, ophthalmology and neurology. They say in PLOS One that the resulting list could lead to faster diagnoses and ultimately reduce suffering.

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Your Cat Can Help Genetic Research

Diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and diabetes mellitus may have a genetic basis, and by comparing DNA from affected and healthy cats, the Biobank hopes to locate the responsible genes. Its work could lead to identifying cats at risk of disease and aid in developing more effective treatments.

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When Compounding Is Right for Your Cat

Hrudey was in trouble. The 7-year-old cat had been diagnosed with both kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most common form of heart disease in cats. The double whammy made it difficult to manage his health because of the need to balance the fluids necessary for kidney health with the diuretics that helped control his heart disease. On top of that, of course, his feline nature meant that he wasn’t fond of taking medication.

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‘How Could He Be So Normal One Day and So Sick the Next?’

FIV is transmitted primarily by bite wounds, as it is found in high concentrations in the saliva of infected cats. For this reason, it is possible to house FIV infected cats with non- infected cats without an extremely high risk of transmission as long as the cats do not fight. FIV affects a cat’s ability to mount an immune response against infectious organisms, thereby making infected cats more susceptible to infections by viruses, bacteria and fungi.

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Download the Full June 2016 Issue PDF

Many shy or fearful cats can evolve into loving pets if owners properly handle them, use behavior modifications and/or anti-anxiety medications, and provide a safe environment. “Make sure the cat has escape routes like on top or under furniture, especially if there are dogs or other cats in the home,” says Dr. Houpt. “Initially, keep dogs on leashes inside or at least separate them in a different room using barriers, such as baby gates, so they can sniff one another without having close or physical contact.”

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