What Do Those Words Mean: Diseases and Conditions of Cats
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Understanding Medical Terminology on Diseases and Conditions of Cats
Veterinary science has entered an exciting time. New breakthroughs in veterinary health care allow veterinarians to identify and treat diseases before they become serious, or help owners manage them so their cats can live longer and better.
Below is a list of the top 100 conditions and diseases of cats. Abscess is a pocket of infected fluid or pus. This is common in cats from a bite wound. Anal sac disease is a disease of the anal gland (the scent gland by the rectum). Symptoms include “scooting”, excessive licking at the anal gland area and discharge. Anemia (hemolytic) is the destruction of red blood cells. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness and collapse. Anemia (nonregenerative) is the failure of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness and weight loss. Anterior uveitis is inflammation of the front part of the eye. Symptoms include pain (squinting) and a red eye. Aortic stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of the aortic heart valve or the region just below the valve. Symptoms include heart murmur, fainting and difficulty breathing. Arthritis (degenerative/osteoarthritis) is the deterioration of joint cartilage. Symptoms include lameness and pain. Arthritis (immune mediated) is the inflammation of joint tissue caused by overstimulation of the body’s immune system. Symptoms include lameness, pain and fever. Asthma (feline) is the condition of abnormal spontaneous constriction of the airway. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and coughing. Atrial fibrillation/flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm originating in the upper chambers of the heart (the atria). Symptoms include exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing. Aural hematoma is a blood clot or bleeding collecting between the layers of ear cartilage. Symptoms include thickening of the ear, shaking the head and scratching at the ear. Bite wound is a wound caused by the bite from another animal. Bites wounds are common in cats and often occur from other cats. Bladder tumor is a tumor/cancer of the bladder. Symptoms in cats include blood in the urine and difficulty urinating. Bleeding disorder is a disorder causing abnormal clotting of blood and leading to bleeding. Symptoms include bleeding and easy bruising. Bronchitis (chronic) is the chronic inflammation of the bronchial tree (airways). Symptoms include coughing and gagging. Cardiomyopathy (hypertrophic – feline) is an inappropriate thickening of the ventricular heart muscle causing abnormal heart function. Symptoms include exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing. Cataract(s) is an opaque change in the lens of the eye. Symptoms include white appearance in the eye and vision loss. Colitis is the inflammation of the large bowel. Symptoms include diarrhea with mucous/blood and straining. Congestive heart failure is the failure of the heart to fill and pump blood normally. Symptoms include exercise intolerance and difficulty breathing. Corneal ulceration is ulceration or erosion of the cornea (the outer, clear layer of the eye). Symptoms include red and painful eyes. Coxofemoral (hip) luxation is the dislocation of the hip joint. Symptoms include lameness and pain. Cutaneous neoplasms are skin tumors or skin cancer. Symptoms include swelling and inflammation of the skin. Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder. Symptoms include frequent, small urinations often in inappropriate locations. Dental disease is disease of the teeth, supporting structures or gums. Symptoms include foul breath, gingivitis (red gums) and loss of appetite. Dermatitis (acute moist) is also called a “hot spot” – a red, irritating, weeping skin lesion. Symptoms include inflamed skin that is painful to the touch. Dermatitis (allergic) is inflammation of the skin caused by allergies. Symptoms include itching (pruritus) and red skin. Dermatitis (mycotic) is inflammation of the skin caused by a fungal infection. Symptoms include hair loss (alopecia), dry or red skin and itching. Diabetes mellitus is a disease related to inadequate insulin, causing high blood sugar. Symptoms include excessive urination, excessive thirst and lethargy. Diaphragmatic hernia is an abnormal opening in the diaphragm (the respiratory muscle between the chest and abdomen). Symptoms include difficulty breathing and exercise intolerance. Elbow dysplasia is the abnormal formation and degeneration of the elbow joint. Symptoms include forelimb lameness and elbow pain. Epilepsy is a recurrent seizure disorder or “fits.” Symptoms include convulsions/seizures and abnormal behavior. Ethylene glycol toxicosis is antifreeze poisoning. Symptoms include staggering, lethargy and depression. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is feline “AIDS” virus, a viral infection that impairs the immune system in cats. Symptoms vary with infections, but often include fever and depression. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is an infectious virus that can cause a variety of severe diseases in cats. Symptoms include weight loss, fluid accumulation, loss of appetite and fever. Feline leukemia virus infection (FeLV) is a virus that can cause leukemia, cancer and suppression of the immune system in cats. Symptoms vary on infection but often include fever and depression. Feline lower urinary tract disease is a disease associated with crystal accumulation in urinary tract of cats. Symptoms include frequent small urinations in appropriate locations. Some cat may be unable to urinate if a urinary obstruction occurs. Feline upper respiratory infection complex is a group of contagious diseases that cause sneezing, coughing, oral ulcers or eye infections in cats. Fracture is a broken bone. Symptoms include lameness and pain. Gastrointestinal neoplasia is a stomach or bowel tumor or cancer. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Symptoms include red gums, mouth odor and decreased appetite. Glaucoma is an abnormal increase in intra-ocular (eye) pressure that can lead to blindness. Symptoms include a red, painful or swollen eye.