Educational Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • Cholangitis is a term referring to inflammation of the bile duct. Cholangiohepatitis means inflammation of the bile ducts, gall bladder, and surrounding liver tissue. Cholangitis and cholangiohepatitis usually occur together as a complex or syndrome (CCHC or CCHS) and is much more common in cats than in dogs.

  • The kidneys have many functions. They principally act to remove waste products from the blood stream, regulate the levels of certain essential minerals such potassium and sodium, conserve water, and produce urine. The kidneys have a large amount of spare capacity to perform their various functions so at least two-thirds (67% to 70%) of the kidneys must be dysfunctional before any clinical signs are seen.

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a long-term inflammatory condition that affects the pulmonary or respiratory system. This condition is irreversible and is slowly progressive. This condition may also be known as "chronic bronchitis".

  • When clinical signs of upper respiratory tract inflammation, such as sneezing or nasal and eye discharge, persist over weeks or months, or when they tend to recur at intervals of a few weeks, the condition is referred to as chronic upper respiratory tract disease. A runny or stuffed-up nose is the most common clinical sign in cats with chronic infections. There are many causes of this relatively common problem in cats. The treatment will be determined by the test results and diagnosis.

  • Chylothorax is a relatively rare condition in cats in which lymphatic fluid or chyle accumulates in the pleural cavity. Normally, only about a teaspoon (5 milliliters) of clear fluid is present in this space. When chylothorax is present, up to a quart (liter) of fluid may be present in this space. In some cases, chylothorax may be caused by trauma or by increased pressure within the thoracic duct or vena cava. Trauma may cause the thoracic duct to rupture or become 'leaky.'

  • The general condition of your cat's skin and coat are good indicators of her health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky, or bumpy. Selective breeding has led to the development of cats with a myriad of different coat characteristics requiring varying grooming needs. In order to maintain the skin and hair in a healthy state, your cat also requires a properly balanced diet.

  • Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal disease caused by the soil fungus Coccidioides immitis. The early signs of coccidioidomycosis include fever, lethargy, poor appetite, coughing, and joint pain.

  • Conjunctivitis means inflammation of the conjunctiva. If you see excessive tearing or watering from one or both eyes, abnormal discharge, or reddened conjunctival membranes, your cat may have conjunctivitis. The most common causes of conjunctivitis can be roughly divided into two categories: infectious diseases and non-infectious conditions including allergies, hereditary conditions, and tumors. Conjunctivitis may also be a secondary symptom of another eye disease. Specific tests will be performed, based on the medical history and results of an eye examination and surrounding tissues. The general approach to non-specific conjunctivitis is to use ophthalmic preparations containing a combination of broad-spectrum antibiotics to control the secondary bacterial infection and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the inflammation. The prognosis depends on the specific diagnosis.

  • Constipation can be defined as an abnormal accumulation of feces in the colon, resulting in difficult bowel movements. This may result in reduced frequency or absence of defecation.

  • Coonhound paralysis describes a sudden inflammation of multiple nerve roots and peripheral nerves in dogs, and occasionally cats. It can be caused by an immune reaction to raccoon saliva. However, it can also occur in dogs who have not encountered a raccoon. In this case it is called “acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis” and its cause is often unknown. Dogs with coonhound paralysis start out with a stiff-legged gait that rapidly progresses to paralysis of all four legs. Severely affected dogs may need to be treated in a hospital setting but most dogs are treated at home once their diagnosis is confirmed and they are stable. The majority of dogs recover fully from coonhound paralysis.