Medicine

Studying the Genetic Basis of Feline Heart Disease

The disease takes several forms: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the walls of the heart are thick; restrictive, where the walls are stiff; dilated, where there is thinning and weakening of the heart muscle, and arrhythmogenic right ventricular, where fat and scar tissue replace heart muscle, primarily in the right side of the heart.

Cats Likely Candidates for Giardia

Every time your cat nuzzles up to a neighbors cat or scratches in wet soil where another cat has relieved himself, he runs the risk that he will pick up an uninvited guest: the parasite called giardia. It survives throughout the country in any place thats wet or damp, and thrives inside its hosts. Infection rates will vary depending on geographic location but one study has shown the rates to be about 10 percent in cats, says Brian Collins, DVM, Section Chief of the Community Practice Service at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Geography’s Role in Feline Ear Infections

Ear infections are relatively uncommon in cats - infections of the external ear occur twice as often in dogs. However, you should be aware of these significant facts: A study shows that geography can determine if your cat is likely to develop an ear infection. Left untreated, an infection can become chronic, causing pain and irreparable damage to the ear canal or eardrum. You can become the first line of defense in identifying an ear infection. Simply check your cats ears by giving them a quick rub - something you probably do everyday. Whether your cat shows pleasure or discomfort is a clue to the ears condition.

Acupuncture for Cats Heads Mainstream

Dusty was a black and white cat who hissed, swatted and squirmed anytime a veterinarian or technician tried to restrain her for an examination or, worse, tried to draw blood or give an injection. This same cat, however, transformed into a picture of serenity and calm during acupuncture treatments.

An Exciting New Frontier in Medicine

Your arthritic cat walks stiffly, and its difficult to find a medication to treat him without side effects. Could stem cell therapy be an option? Its use in human medicine has grown in the past decade, heralded as a promising treatment for a host of diseases. The latest area of pioneering research, according to the National Institutes of Health, is adult-derived stem cells for repair of the heart.

Fewer Heartworm Cases, More Severe Signs

Cats are less commonly infected by heartworms than dogs, and approximately 80 percent of infected cats clear the infection without signs of disease, but studies have shown the incidence of infection to be greater than previously thought. One study found that between 2 and 5 percent of shelter cats were harboring heartworms. Other statistics show that the prevalence of heartworm disease in cats likely approaches 5 percent, and that it can even occur in cats living indoors.

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 wasnt fond of taking medication.

Heart Diseases Often Undetected Signs

All cats face the risk of heart disease, from domestic shorthairs to prized rare breeds, but the signs can remain undetected for years before resulting in diminished or total loss of cardiac function. The challenge for owners is to be alert to subtle changes in their cats.

Why Fewer Cats Have Laser Therapy

Over the past decade, veterinarians have dramatically increased their use of laser therapy for wound healing and inflammatory conditions in the elbow, knee and lower back. Unlike surgical lasers that cut and vaporize tissue, their low-level lasers painlessly penetrate below the skin to help in healing deep tissue and joint problems.

In the News: Searching for Genetic Clues in Siamese and Related Breeds

Amyloidosis is found in Oriental shorthair, domestic shorthair, Siamese, Burmese and Abyssinian breeds. The disease develops when the abnormal protein amyloid, a fibrous substance, collects for unknown reasons in tissues and organs. The disease can become fatal if amyloid is deposited in the tissue of critical organs, such as the kidneys, liver or heart. The disease also affects humans.

Shelter Alternatives Can Save Cats’ Lives

A family member left the door open, and in a flash the cat ran outside where a dog attacked and badly injured him. His owner loved the cat but was out of work and had no money to take him to the veterinarian. She approached the shelter, sobbing, prepared to give up her cat to be euthanized. Then she met Lori Weise. "We can help you," Weise told her. "Well pay for your cat to get care." Weise is the founder of Downtown Dog Rescue (DDR), which despite its name, also helps cats. The organization helps low-income and homeless people in South Los Angeles care for and keep their pets.

5 Steps to Ease Your Cat’s Arthritis

As the cat population ages, with some living into their 20s, the number of cats diagnosed with arthritis is growing as well. Advances in veterinary medicine and better reporting may have contributed to what Banfield Pet Hospitals 2015 State of Pet Health report found was a 31 percent increase in feline arthritis in the last five years. Whatever the reason, this much is certain: early detection and owner management of their cats pain can provide a better life for cats with this incurable disease.