If you have a feline friend there are several cat illnesses that you should be aware of. These illnesses can be serious and even be fatal if left untreated for too long. Today our Grand Prairie vets share some common cat illnesses, their symptoms and how they are treated.
Three Common Cat Illnesses
As a cat parent, here are a number of illnesses that it's important to be aware of. To help prevent your kitty from developing more severe symptoms, you will need to be prepared to visit your vet if your cat begins showing any of the symptoms associated with these conditions.
Upper Respiratory Infections (Cat Colds)
Your cat's upper respiratory tract can become infected with viruses and bacteria. Often passed around in multi-cat households and shelters, cats may contract feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus through something as basic as sharing a food or water bowl.
Our feline friends can transmit this virus to other cats the same way, as well as by sneezing or coughing. These conditions can also be passed to other cats during grooming.
Symptoms of URIs in cats include:
- Gagging, drooling
- Runny nose or clear/colored nasal discharge
- Decreased or lost appetite
If a kitty is unable to produce sufficient insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels, they will develop diabetes mellitus. Untreated, this form of diabetes can lead to several serious symptoms, such as:
- Excessive thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased appetite (as the body cannot use the energy in food) or loss of appetite
- Motor function problems
If diabetes is not managed properly, the disease can shorten a cat's lifespan and lead to numerous health problems such as nerve disorders. It may also result in severe emergency situations. Treatment can include insulin injections and will be focused on managing this condition.
Uncontrolled growth of cells can cause cancer, which can affect a wide range of organs and cells in a cat's body. The disease first starts to develop within a cell, before it attaches to tissue below the skin and potentially spreading to other areas.
A common contributor to cancer is Feline Leukemia Virus, which cats can be immunized against. Other causes include environmental toxins. If caught early during a physical exam, your vet may be able to treat cancer.
- Lumps or bumps that change in size or shape
- Sores that do not heal
- Odor from the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding or discharge
- Marked increase or decrease in appetite
- Chronic weight loss
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
Whether there is effective treatment available for your cat's cancer will depend on a number of factors including whether the tumor is caught and diagnosed early enough, the type and extent of the cancer, and its specific location within the body. Treatments such as radiation, surgery and chemotherapy may be attempted in some cases.
What To Do if Your Cat is Sick
If your cat is sick and exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, it's critical to bring them to the vet as soon as possible. At Carrier Animal Hospital, we have an in-house laboratory and onsite pharmacy to provide your feline friend with the care they need (help for after-hours emergencies is also available).