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Some Common Diseases Of Cats

There are many diseases, which are common to cats. If ignored some of these diseases may turn out to be fatal.

Tina S
Tina S
Jan 23, 2010
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We love our cats. We want to keep it as healthy and happy as possible. 

However, even with the best care, cats can get sick. 

You are lucky if you can catch the symptoms early and identify the specific cat disease affecting your pet. But this is not always the case. And often, we only discover the problem when it is at its worse stages and the cat has been considerably weakened due to the disease.

Some common diseases are discussed below:

1. Rabies:

Of all the diseases in cats, rabies is perhaps the most widely known. Rabies is a type of viral cat disease that is often very fatal for cats or any other infected animal. It is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal and spread through animal bites.

Rabies most commonly affects free-roaming cats as these cats are more likely to encounter and get bitten by wild animals that are infected. You can tell if your pet has been bitten by a rabies-infected animal through symptoms like: hydrophobia (your cat develops an aversion to water that is unusual even for a cat), aggressive behavior, depression, withdrawn behavior, and agitation. 

The most effective treatment for rabies is vaccine. You should make sure that your cat has been vaccinated for rabies. In most states, this is required by law. 
 
But in Bangladesh the supply of this vaccine is rare and costly. And there is very confusion about vaccine or only normal water are provided by veterinary hospital of Bangladesh.

2. Hair Loss:

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common problem for cats. The hair loss can be partial or complete, and the patterns varied or symmetrical. Treatment options exist, though they are limited.

3. Diarrhea:

Diarrhea is a commonly encountered problem that occurs when food is passed through the intestine too rapidly. It can be caused by allergies, milk, worms, spoiled food, or plants. There are also more serious causes such as tumors, viral infections, and diseases of the liver, pancreas, and kidney.

It is important to seek professional help if your cat's diarrhea includes blood or your cat experiences severe depression or abdominal pain.

Treatment:
 
If your cat is experiencing a minor case of diarrhea, use the following cat care tips:

Step 1: Remove all of the cat's food for at least 12 to 24 hours. Water is important to prevent cat dehydration during severe diarrhea. It should not be removed.

Step 2: If blood appears or if diarrhea continues for more than 24 hours, contact the veterinarian.

Step 3: After 12 to 24 hours, feed the cat a mixture of small quantities of boiled chicken breasts, skinned and boned, with rice (a 50:50 mixture). Alternately, chicken baby food may be substituted. This diet should continue until stools are formed. Gradually mix in regular cat food, reducing the chicken and rice amounts and increasing the regular cat food amounts.

Step 4: Your veterinarian may want you to start the cat an oral antidiarrheal medication. Do not use any medication unless instructed to do so.


4. Dehydration:

A dehydrated cat can be easy to identify. First of all, his coat would not look in top shape but rather would have lost its lust and appear rough and neglected. If you would pull the cat's skin between the shoulder blades forming a tent, the skin will not snap back into place quickly. 

Another way to test for dehydration is to touch the cat's gums. In a normal cat they should be slick, wet and glistening, in a dehydrated cat they feel tacky and dry.

A dehydrated cat lacks essential elements such as electrolytes, sodium, potassium and of course, water. This lack of fluids leaves vital body cells deprived of water ultimately causing organ failure and death. A veterinarian can check the level of dehydration by checking the cat's blood protein level and packed cell volume. When both of these tests return with elevated numbers, they often indicate that dehydration is present.

Treatment:
 
When the cause is found the vet will then start treatment once the cat is sufficiently hydrated. If the cat is found to have a low dehydration level and the cause is not related to illness then the vet may give fluids and provide instructions on how to further treat the cat at home.
 
5. Vomiting:
 
There can many varied reasons why a cat vomits, from a serious illness to eating something disagreeable. An occasional, isolated episode of vomiting is usually normal.
 
As a rule of thumb, if your cat vomits once or twice or infrequently and then goes on to eat normally, play normally, pee and poop normally and shows no signs of ill health then there probably is no reason for concern.
 
If your cat has chronic vomiting. (Chronic means persistent and lasting. Continuing for a long time; lingering; habitual.) then medical advice should be sought. Always check with your vet if vomiting is severe or persistent. You should also take into consideration other factors. How is your cat's general health? Is he well? Is he lethargic? Does he have other symptoms for example diarrhea or no appetite? 
 
Because vomiting in cats could signal a serious underlying disorder your vet will ask you many questions and may run tests in relation to the vomiting to determine the cause.

6. Cat Flue:

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common problem for cats. The hair loss can be partial or complete, and the patterns varied or symmetrical. Treatment options exist, though they are limited.

Treatment:

Owners of cats with flu should always seek veterinary advice.
 
There is no cure for a viral infection however the cat can be kept as comfortable as possible by keeping it warm and treating the symptoms. Your vet may prescribe eye drops or ointment for the conjunctivitis,Corneal ulcers must be examined by your vet who will recommend appropriate treatment. Discharging eyes and nose should be bathed frequently with warm salty water.
 
Secondary bacterial infection can be treated by your vet with antibiotics. Mouth ulcers can be severe and cause your cat to stop eating. Your vet needs to be consulted if your cat has stopped eating and drinking. Sometimes the cat has to be hospitalized and force fed because the mouth ulcers are so painful it refuses to eat.
 
Dehydrated cats may need to be put on intravenous fluids (a drip) and this will require spending a day or two in hospital.
 
If the cat has lost it's sense of smell it will lose interest in it's food. Encourage your cat to eat by offering it strongly smelling food such as sardines.
 
7. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV):
 
FIV is similar to human acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) but the disease causing virus is different. This fatal virus attacks the immune system, causing a variety of symptoms. General symptoms include chronic, non-responding infections; respiratory problems; appetite loss; persistent diarrhea; and severe oral infections. 
 
FIV is passed from cat to cat primarily through bites. There is currently no vaccination or cure for FIV. Keep your cat inside to prevent it from contacting FIV.
 
Treatment:

Once transmitted, the virus lodges itself in your body forever. There is no cure, but cats can live a normal life and long, since the owner provides them with a healthy and balanced diet, supplemented with vitamin supplements, to ensure that vaccines are always up to date, remaining always attentive to cats condition physical, and, of course, keep them in the house to avoid the risk of being sick and not able to infect any of the countrymen.

Besides these diseases, there are many more common diseases that can affect cats and other pets. As a cat owner, you should take the responsibility of acquiring working knowledge about these diseases and how to prevent them.

 
Author's note: Ref: Online Animal Health center.
Keywords: diseases,cats,dihydration,Hair Loss,rabies,diarrhea,treatment, veterinary, antidiarrheal,vomiting,chronic, flue,alopecia,Feline immunodeficiency virus,FIV,AIDS,bacteria,virus,pet.



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