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Bloody Urine in Cats

This Bloody Urine in Cats Article is Listed in Cat Training Cat Breed Information

Bloody Urine in Cats

Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in the urine. It may be gross (visible to the naked eye) or microscopic. Possible causes of hematuria include: Bacterial infections of the urinary and genital tracts such as cystitis (bladder infection) or vaginitis Cancer of the urinary or genital tracts Calculi (stones) in the urinary tract Congenital urinary tract abnormalities (those present at birth) Rare parasites of the urinary tract Clotting (bleeding) disorders including anti-coagulant rat poison (warfarin) Trauma Medication-induced (e.g., cystitis caused by cyclophosphamide, a drug used to treat some types of cancer and immune-mediated diseases) Benign idiopathic (“of unknown cause”) hematuria originating from the kidney The effect of hematuria on the pet may range from no obvious effect to severe. Severe bleeding into the urinary tract may cause the cat to become anemic and may cause weakness or collapse. Other symptoms that commonly accompany hematuria include:   Painful or difficult urination   Straining to urinate   Frequent passage of small amounts of urine   Abdominal pain You should have your pet examined by your veterinarian if you observe hematuria or any of these other symptoms. Diagnosis Your veterinarian may recommend one or more of the following tests to evaluate your pet for hematuria:   Urinalysis   Urine culture and sensitivity   Microscopic examination of vaginal smears   Complete blood count   Serum biochemistry tests   Clotting profile including platelet count   Plain abdominal X-rays   Contrast dye X-ray studies   Abdominal ultrasound examination Treatment Treatment depends upon the diagnosis. Your veterinarian may prescribe one or more of the following treatments for your cat:   Antibiotics for possible bacterial infection of the urinary or genital tracts   Dietary changes for certain types of calculi (stones)   Fluid therapy for dehydration   Vitamin K for consumption of anti-coagulant rat poison Home Care The presence of blood in the urine (hematuria) is abnormal. If you observe hematuria, you should take your cat to your veterinarian for evaluation. Observe your cat closely for any of the associated clinical signs such as pain or straining when urinating. If possible, obtain a voided (free-catch) urine sample from your pet and take it with you when you visit your veterinarian. Administer all prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian. Promptly bring any unexpected changes in your pet’s condition to the attention of your veterinarian. Evaluate your pet’s environment for the presence of possible toxins. (specifically, anti-coagulant rat poison). Information In-depth Hematuria (blood in the urine) can be caused by several different disorders. The most common causes of hematuria are:   Bacterial urinary tract infection   Stones in the urinary tract especially in the bladder or urethra   Cancer of the urogenital (urinary or reproductive) tract, especially cancer of the bladder or urethra   Urogenital (urinary...

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Dehydration in Cats

This Dehydration in Cats Article is Listed in Cat Training Cat Breed Information

Dehydration in Cats

Dehydration occurs when the total body water is less than normal. Usually it involves loss of both water and electrolytes, which are minerals such as sodium, chloride and potassium. During illness, dehydration may be caused by an inadequate fluid intake. Fever increases the loss of water. When there is not enough body water, fluid shifts out of the body cells to compensate, leaving the cells deficient in necessary water. This leads to dehydration. The severity of the dehydration is based on the magnitude of these body water shifts. Dehydration is caused by either a lack of food or water intake or an increase in water loss through illness or injury. What to Watch For Signs of dehydration include:   Loss of skin elasticity   Lethargy   Depression   Sunken eyes   Dry gums   Increased heart rate   Slow capillary refill time Diagnosis Physical examination findings can help determine if dehydration is present. A common but inaccurate way to diagnose dehydration is based on skin elasticity. When the skin along the back is gently lifted, it should immediately return to the normal position. In a dehydrated animal, the skin does not return to normal quickly. The speed of return to normal position can help determine the severity of the dehydration. Blood tests such as a complete blood count and biochemistry profile are important to try to find the underlying cause of the dehydration but may not reveal if dehydration is present. The most important tests are a packed cell volume and total blood protein test. These tests are done on a blood sample and can help reveal if dehydration is present. If the packed cell volume and total protein are elevated, dehydration is present. Determining the concentration of the urine can also help determine if the pet is dehydrated and if the kidneys are affected. Treatment The treatment for dehydration is to supplement the body with fluids. It is often not possible for an ill pet to ingest sufficient water to correct dehydration. Fluids are typically administered as an injection. The most efficient method of rehydration is through intravenous fluids. This requires hospitalization as well as an intravenous catheter. Fluid replacement is done slowly to allow the body to compensate and slowly replenish tissues starved of fluid. Home Care and Prevention There is no home care for dehydration. If you suspect that your pet is dehydrated, prompt veterinary care is recommended. Some animals can be treated with subcutaneous fluids at home, after an initial diagnosis and treatment. Ask your veterinarian if this is an option and have him/her show you how to administer injectable fluids at home. Make sure your cat eats and drinks normally. The best way to prevent dehydration is to have your pet examined and treated...

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Blood in Stool in Cats

This Blood in Stool in Cats Article is Listed in Cat Training Cat Breed Information

Blood in Stool in Cats

Hematochezia is the presence of bright red, fresh blood in the feces. Hematochezia usually occurs with bleeding in the lower intestines (colon, rectum). Hematochezia should not be confused with melena, which is the passage of dark, tarry, black feces. Melena represents the passage of old, digested blood that has occurred with bleeding higher up in the intestinal tract. The presence of hematochezia may be a symptom of either a minor problem, or a potentially more serious problem in the animal. One occurrence of hematochezia may be a minor and transient event. Repeated or persistent hematochezia is more serious and should not be ignored. General Causes   Infectious agents, such as bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and intestinal parasites   Dietary intolerance/allergy/indiscretion   Cancer (neoplasia) of the lower bowel   Polyps (benign masses) in the colon or rectum   Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as colitis   Trauma to the lower bowel or anal area   Clotting disorders (coagulopathy)   Intussusception (the telescoping of one part of the bowel into another)   Miscellaneous diseases of the anus, rectum and colon What to Watch For   Bright red blood in the feces   Straining to defecate   Increased number of bowel movements produced   Possibly no other clinical signs   Possibly other systemic signs of illness, such as excessive drinking, urinating, vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, poor appetite, weight loss Diagnostic Tests   Rectal examination   Complete blood count (CBC)   Biochemical profile   Urinalysis   Fecal examination   Coagulation profile   Abdominal X-rays (radiographs)   Abdominal ultrasound   Colonoscopy Treatment There are several things your veterinarian might prescribe to treat your pet’ symptoms. These include:   Changes in the animal’s diet   Fluid therapy   Deworming medications for intestinal parasites   Antibiotics for bacterial infections   Motility modifying drugs that change the rate of movement of food through the intestines Home Care At home administer any prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian and follow any dietary recommendations closely. You should also observe your pet’s general activity and appetite, and watch closely for the presence of blood in the stool, or a worsening of signs. If any changes occur, notify your veterinarian. Information In-depth Hematochezia refers to the presence of red or fresh blood in the stools, and must be differentiated from melena, which is the presence of black, tarry stools. The causes, diagnostic tests, and treatment protocols for hematochezia often differ from those for melena. Hematochezia is often a sign of lower gastrointestinal disease. In some cases it is an indication of a minor, transient problem. In other cases it is indicative of a serious underlying disease that can become an emergency requiring intensive therapy. Hematochezia may be the only clinical sign seen, or it may be accompanied by other signs, especially straining...

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Weight Loss in Cats

This Weight Loss in Cats Article is Listed in Cat Training Cat Breed Information

Weight Loss in Cats

Weight loss is a physical condition that results from a negative caloric balance. This usually occurs when the body uses and/or excretes essential nutrients faster than it can consume the. Essentially more calories are being burned than are being taken in. Weight loss is considered clinically important when it exceeds 10 percent of the normal body weight and is not associated with fluid loss. During weight loss, the appetite may be normal, increased or decreased. What to Watch For   Weight loss   Loss of body condition   Loss of muscle mass   Poor hair coat   Diarrhea   Vomiting   Regurgitation   Difficulty swallowing Causes There are many reasons for loss of weight. Some of these include:   Dietary causes   Lack of appetite (anorexia)   Disorders related to poor absorption of nutrients   Disorders related to poor digestion   Metabolic disorders   Excessive nutrient loss   Neuromuscular diseases   Excessive use of calories   Cancer   Heart disease Confirmation of weight loss is necessary. A review of the animal’s former body weight(s) is essential. Once weight loss has been documented, a thorough history and physical examination, in addition to appropriate diagnostic tests are indicated to determine a cause of the weight loss. Initial diagnostic tests may include:   Stool examination   Complete blood count (CBC)   Biochemical profile   Urinalysis   Chest and abdominal X-ray Treatment Your veterinarian may make several recommendations for the treatment of weight loss prior to instituting a full diagnostic work up. Such treatment is usually administered on an outpatient basis.   Sufficient calories in the form of adequate amounts of an appropriate, high-quality diet   Force-feeding   Appetite stimulants   Supplementation with vitamins and minerals for severely malnourished patients   Parenteral (intravenous) nutrition for patients who cannot take food orally   Comfortable and stress-free environment, especially when eating   An appropriate exercise regime Home Care Administer prescribed diets and medications precisely as directed. Periodically, weigh and record your pet’s weight. Contact your veterinarian if there is any change in body weight. Information In-depth Weight loss is a physical condition that results from a negative caloric balance, as when metabolic utilization and excretion of essential nutrients exceed the caloric intake. Weight loss is considered clinically important when it exceeds 10 percent of the normal body weight and is not associated with fluid loss. Weight loss can result from many different mechanisms that share the common feature of insufficient caloric intake or availability to meet metabolic needs. Causes vary markedly from intentional restriction of calories in order to reduce weight in an obese patient, to weight loss associated with life threatening illness. Historical information is very important, especially regarding type of diet, duration and environment of storage of diet, the patient’s daily activity and,...

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Constipation in Cats

This Constipation in Cats Article is Listed in Cat Training Cat Breed Information

Constipation in Cats

Constipation is infrequent, incomplete, or difficult defecation with passage of hard or dry feces. Constipation is sometimes used interchangeably with obstipation, which is intractable constipation where defecation becomes impossible. It may cause great distress and pain. Causes   Dietary   Environmental   Drugs/Medications   Painful defecation   Mechanical obstruction (physical blockage)   Neurologic disease   Metabolic and Endocrine diseases What to Watch For   Straining to defecate and passing a small amount of feces or none at all   Hard, dry feces   Infrequent defecation   Small amount of liquid feces produced after prolonged straining   Occasional vomiting   Lack of appetite   Depression Diagnosis The diagnosis is usually made by a supportive history and physical examination findings. However, there are many tests that may also help. The following is a list of the most common tests that your veterinarian may recommend:   Baseline blood tests to include a complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile, and urinalysis   Abdominal radiographs (X-rays)   Abdominal ultrasound Treatment There are several things your veterinarian might recommend to treat your cat with constipation symptomatically, prior to instituting a full diagnostic work up. If an underlying cause has been identified, remove it if possible. Discontinue any medications that may cause constipation. Your veterinarian will advise. Alter the diet to include bulking agents such as methylcellulose, bran, or pumpkin. Promote frequent exercise. If a cat is severely impacted and/or dehydrated, it may be necessary to hospitalize for fluids, enemas, and possible manual removal of feces, which often necessitates general anesthesia. Home Care and Prevention Your veterinarian may recommend some treatments at home. These may include: The use of lubricants, suppositories or laxatives. Warm, soapy water enemas. Do not use over the counter enemas unless directed by your veterinarian. Some may be toxic to your cat. Abdominal palpation. Owners of chronically constipated cats may be taught to palpate their cat’s colon abdominally to detect constipation before it progresses to obstipation. Causes There are many causes of constipation. Although it is not unusual for a normal cat to have a bout or two of constipation over the course of her life, it is not normal or acceptable for recurring problems, hence, establishing an underlying cause should be attempted in these cases. Dietary related factors are the most common cause for constipation in veterinary medicine. Foreign material, especially hair, bones, sticks, and sand can form hard masses that the cat has difficulty eliminating. In some cases, this material is retained, causing an inability to defecate and eventual obstipation. In addition, diets low in fiber may predispose to constipation. Certain environmental factors may contribute to constipation. Limited exercise, limited access to water, and failure to provide the appropriate time and place for defecation may cause fecal retention and constipation....

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Lethargy in Cats

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Lethargy in Cats

Lethargy is a state of drowsiness, inactivity, or indifference in which there are delayed responses to external stimuli such as auditory (sound), visual (sight), or tactile (touch) stimuli. Lethargy may also refer to the general malaise and decreased activity exhibited by animals that do not feel well. Lethargy is a nonspecific sign associated with many possible underlying systemic disorders. It may have little to no impact on the affected individual; however its presence may represent severe or life-threatening illness. Lethargy of more than a day’s duration should not be ignored, and should be addressed, especially if it persists. General Causes   Anemia (low red blood cell count)   Other blood disorders   Cardiovascular (heart and vessels) and pulmonary (respiratory) disorders   Chronic inflammation or infection   Drug or medication related   Electrolyte abnormalities   Endocrine (hormonal) or metabolic disorders   Gastrointestinal diseases   Urinary tract disorders   Cancer   Immune diseases   Certain severe skin diseases   Certain eye diseases, particularly those associated with blindness   Neurologic and neuromuscular disorders   Nutritional disorders   Behavioral disorders   Skeletal diseases   Infectious diseases   Exposure to certain toxins   Physical trauma What to Watch For   A general change in demeanor   Listlessness   Reluctance to play, exercise or perform normal behaviors   Hiding, avoiding contact with people or other pets   Decrease in appetite or thirst   Gastrointestinal signs (vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss)   Difficulty breathing   Tremors   Weakness   Changes in the level of consciousness   Fever   Decreased grooming, poor hair coat Diagnosis As lethargy is a very nonspecific sign and is associated with dozens of physical ailments, baseline laboratory tests are useful in identifying any systemic abnormalities that should be pursued with further testing. Examples of these baseline screening tests include:   Complete blood count (CBC)   Biochemical profile   Urinalysis   Fecal examination   Chest and abdominal radiographs (X-rays) If baseline tests are inconclusive or if abnormalities are detected, your veterinarian may consider doing additional diagnostic tests, such as:   Abdominal or thoracic/cardiac ultrasound   Serologic testing for infectious diseases   Bacterial culture of the urine, feces or blood   Endocrine (hormone) assays   X-rays of various parts of the skeleton   Cytology and biopsy of abnormal fluid or tissues   Complete eye examination   Complete neurologic examination   Complete behavioral assessment   Certain immunologic tests   Computed Tomography (CT scan)   Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Treatment When the underlying problem is unknown, it may be difficult or even impossible to treat lethargy symptomatically. Identifying an underlying cause is essential in determining the appropriate treatment plan and care of the patient. Home Care Once therapy has been instituted administer any prescribed medications as directed by your veterinarian. Observe your pet’s general activity and appetite,...

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