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Archive for cats

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Basics OVERVIEW •  A complex retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats •  “Immunodeficiency” is the medical term for inability to develop a normal immune response •  Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is in the same genus (Lentivirus) of viruses as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in people […]

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Feline Leukemia Virus Infection

Basics OVERVIEW •  A retrovirus that causes inability to develop a normal immune response (known as “immunodeficiency”) and development of tumors in domestic cats Genetics •  No genetic susceptibility to infection by feline leukemia virus (FeLV) Species •  Cats Breed Predilections •  None Mean Age and Range •  Number of cases highest between 1 and […]

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Tick and Tick Control

• Dogs and cats may be parasitized by ticks; ticks found on dogs and cats are in the families “Ixodidae” and “Argasidae”
• Ticks may cause other health problems, including allergic reactions (hypersensitivity), paralysis, and blood-loss anemia
• Tick control is challenging; in many areas, tick control is required year-round

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Rabies

• Rabies is a serious, usually fatal infection for the pet; rabies can be spread from animals to people (known as having “zoonotic potential”)
• Tell your veterinarian about any possible human exposure (such as contact with the pet or other suspected rabid animal or a bite or scratch)
• Any person possibly exposed to rabies should see a physician immediately
• Local public health officials must be notified

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Flea-Bite Hypersensitivity and Flea Control

• Flea control is important for dogs and cats
• No cure exists for flea-bite hypersensitivity
• Flea-allergic pets often become more sensitive to flea bites as they age
• Controlling exposure to fleas is currently the only means of controlling signs; “allergy shots” (known as “hyposensitization”) for flea-bite hypersensitivity are not effective

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Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)

• “Arthritis” is the medical term for inflammation of the joints; “osteoarthritis” is a form of joint inflammation (arthritis) characterized by long-term (chronic) deterioration or degeneration of the joint cartilage
• Progressive and permanent deterioration of joint cartilage
• Also known as “degenerative joint disease” or DJD

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Urinary Incontinence

• Loss of voluntary control of urination, usually observed as involuntary urine leakage
• Medium- to large-breed dogs most often affected
• Most common in middle-aged to old, spayed female dogs
• Obesity may increase the risk of urinary incontinence in spayed female dogs
• Urinary tract infection is a possible complication of urinary incontinence

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Separation Anxiety Syndrome

~ A distress response of dogs (occasionally cats) separated from the person or persons to whom they are most attached
~ The separation may be real (the person is gone from the home environment) or perceived (the pet is just located away from the person, as being in a different room)
~ The resulting may lead to episodes of destruction, vocalization, and elimination
~ Separation anxiety is a subset of separation-related problems that may have different underlying motivations, including fear, anxiety, over attachment to the person(s), and lack of appropriate stimulation or interactions

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Periodontal Disease

• Periodontal disease is the most common infectious disease in dogs and cats
• Periodontal disease can lead to infection in other areas of the body and may cause heart, liver, and or kidney disease
• Professional dental cleaning and home care are essential for prevention of periodontal disease
• Your pet’s veterinarian will discuss home care and available products and will provide instructions for their use

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Housesoiling—Cats

• Urinating, defecating, or marking territory in a location that the owner considers inappropriate
• Early identification and treatment of housesoiling problems improve treatment success
• Cats do not housesoil to be spiteful or vindictive
• Avoid scolding or punishing the cat, as such actions will cause the cat to avoid the owner
• Understanding the underlying motivation for the housesoiling behavior is critical for treatment success
• Create a harmonious, predictable environment to decrease anxiety and arousal that may contribute to housesoiling
• Client expectations must be realistic—immediate control of a long-standing problem of housesoiling is unlikely; the goal is gradual improvement over time

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