(By Saad Imran)
Cats run into all kinds of medical problems during their lifetime. Usually, your kitty gets sick by ingesting a toxin, being in contact with an infected cat or just venturing outside.
It's crucial that you recognize when your cat has a severe medical condition and needs urgent veterinary care. We have come up with the ten most common health-related cat problems and their symptoms.
Some of the key symptoms of liver disease in cats are weight loss, lethargy and loss of appetite. It's usually diagnosed by different blood and urine tests. The treatment of the liver disease depends on the cause; however, it's usually treated by drugs, nutritional support and intravenous fluid therapy.
When asked if Ivermectin causes liver cirrhosis in cats, Dr. Jeff said, "Ivermectin, by itself, is typically very safe in cats. We use it all the time, for parasites, ear mites, etc."
Fleas are the most common problem affecting your cat's health and they often lead to skin problems in your cat. If your cat scratches non-stop, grooms excessively or has any black speck in its fur, it might have caught fleas.
Many flea prevention treatments are available; however, you should consult your vet first before trying any product or treatment.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
The Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) refers to different medical conditions that affect your cat's urethra and/or the urinary tract. If your cat has FLUTD, it will display the following symptoms:
- Difficulty and pain while urinating
- Blood in urine
- Frequent urination
- Urinating outside the litter box
FLUTD is quite difficult to diagnose and usually, your vet will physically examine the cat and do further investigations to determine the underlying cause.
Occasional vomiting in cats is normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, if your cat is constantly throwing up food and is not eating, you should bring it to the vet as soon as possible.
There can be causes behind vomiting in cats, such as ingestion of toxic substances, drugs, organ dysfunction, infections, etc. Your vet would need your cat's eating history and would do physical and laboratory examinations to determine the exact underlying cause.
The common types of cancer in cats are Lymphoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Fibrosarcoma and mammary tumors. Usually, cancer in cats is diagnosed through X-rays and biopsies.
With advancements in veterinary medicine, about 75% of cats go into remission after cancer treatment and live healthy lives.
Obesity is another common health condition affecting your pet's health. Data shows that about 59.5% of the cats in the US are obese or overweight. Obesity in cats can lead to heart problems, cancer and many other types of diseases.
If you notice your cat is gaining excess weight, you can consult a pet nutritionist about developing a diet plan for your cat to keep it fit and healthy.
Kidney disease usually affects older cats and it's a progressive disease. Unfortunately, this disease is not curable; however, an appropriate treatment plan can slow the progression of the disease and improve your cat's quality of life.
Weight loss, loss of appetite, lethargy and increased urination are some of the symptoms of kidney disease in cats.
Most of the cats that are older than three years have some dental disease. Usually, cats do not display any detectable signs of dental disease.
Your cat might have a dental disease if you notice the following signs:
- Bad breath
- Tooth discoloration
- Difficulty eating
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) attacks the immune system of cats, making them susceptible to many other diseases. Cats can go on for years without showing any symptoms of FIV. Some of the symptoms of this disease are poor coat condition, fever, constant diarrhea, seizures, behavioral changes and persistent eye problems.
Heartworm disease in cats is typically very hard to diagnose. Usually, vets use two types of blood tests and take note of the cat's symptoms to make a diagnosis.
Most of the cats with heartworms do not show any symptoms. In cats that show symptoms, respiratory problems are present due to lung damage caused by heartworms.