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Articles > Keywords > Health Problems

Health Problems

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Liver Amyloidosis

Veterinarians have long known that Abyssinian cats suffer from Kidney amyloidosis, which runs in families. Recently it has been discovered that amyloidosis also presents itself in the liver of Siamese cats. The liver is the main organ responsible for the absorption and metabolizing of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and soluble foods. It also filters toxins and waste and it also stores vitamins and minerals. The liver performs its function by means of blood. The liver is an amazing organ that is said to effectuate more than a 1,000 different tasks. It continues to function even when it is damaged because each part of the liver performs the same duties. Therefore if one section is no longer functioning the other sections will compensate by working harder to perform its vital life sustaining tasks. [...]

PK Deficiency

One of the most common clinical disorders in cats is anemia. Anemia is a condition where there are reduced numbers of red bloods cells (erythrocytes) present in the hemoglobin. This condition is quite common in animals. There are many causes for anemia ranging from blood loss, intoxication, infections, immune system disorders, to organ failures all of which represent the key causes of anemia. There are also genetic blood disorders that can cause anemia as well. Erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency is a less frequent but important cause of anemia effecting felines. This deficiency is also present in certain breeds of dogs such as dachshunds, beagles, eskimo dogs, basenjis and highland white terriers. Dogs will expire by the age of four because of contracting the disease, but cats live a normal life span and only periodically contract the disease throughout their lifespan. Unlike dogs they do not suffer from osteosclerosis, or organ failure. [...]

Renal Amyloidosis

An amyloid which means amy (starch) and oid (resembling) is a protein fiber material that does not dissolve, this material is made up primarily of polysaccharids, which is a starch, celluloid and sugar bonds. Amyloids have a waxy clear looking appearance. Amyloidosis is the major factor in feline diabetes. Amyloidosis occurs when the proteins do not fold properly and therefore do not dissolve in the blood stream as they were meant to do. The accumulations of these protein fibers then accumulate in various organs of the body. When the organs enlarge known as the medical term used is megaly. When amyloidosis is present in the kidneys and the kidney enlarges because it is now impaired it is called renal megaly. It has been noted that dogs have a greater incident of amyliodosis than cats. [...]

Vaccine Sensitive

The traditional practice of prevention and good health in your cat has always included annual vaccinations and booster shots. However, can a cat have too many vaccinations? What happens to cats that are vaccine sensitive? There is no doubt that scientific evidence show the benefits an immunized cat has to ward off such diseases as Feline Leukemia, Parvo, Feline Distemper, and more. Remember the old adage, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Of course you want to keep your cat healthy, free of disease, happy and in turn prolong his life. Vaccines save lives. There are fewer cases of Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper) among the feline population because of the wonders of vaccines. Nevertheless just as humans can be allergic to certain vaccines, so can felines. Vaccine sensitive cats can be allergic to any number of substances within a particular vaccine; antibodies, stabilizers and so forth. [...]


Vomiting in cats is a fairly common occurrence and can be caused from numerous reasons from the most benign to more serious medical conditions. Most cats will occasionally vomit and that should not cause reason for concern but if the cat continuously vomits it is always wise to consult a veterinarian. We all know that old adage, it is better to be safe than to be sorry. If your cat's eating patterns have changed and you notice lethargy or any type of behavioral change then it is better to have that checked out at once. [h]Hairballs[/h] One of the most common reasons for vomiting is the expulsion of hairballs, which accumulate in the cat's gut. Cats clean themselves by licking their fur, some of this fur will shed and they ingest it. If this fur does not go through the proper digestive process down the digestive track and out through their stools, they will cough it up. [...]

Silky Terrier and Tracheal Collapse

Silky Terriers, also known as Australian Silky Terriers, are relatively healthy dogs. Despite this fact, though, they are susceptible to a handful of genetic diseases, including something called tracheal collapse. Actually, most toy breeds suffer from tracheal collapse, much more than larger dogs do, though it is not unheard of to see tracheal collapse in larger breeds. This condition can be quite serious and must be treated by a qualified veterinarian. In some cases, a change in lifestyle and a regimen of medications may suffice to correct the condition, while in other, more serious cases, surgery may be necessary. [...]

Silky Terriers and Spinal Problems

Another disease from which Silky Terriers suffer is called Intervertebral disk disease. This disease can either come on suddenly or can slowly develop in dogs; smaller dogs are more frequently affected than larger dogs. In this disease, there is a degeneration of the disks of cartilage that are found between the vertebrae and this can cause damage to the spinal cord. Depending on the severity and the duration of the damage, the dog may be able to slowly recover or he may become partially paralyzed. The vertebral column is made up of a series of vertebrae through which the spinal cord passes; in order to prevent the individual vertebrae from rubbing against one another (which would wear down the bone and cause a great deal of pain), tough disks of a cartilaginous material are found between one vertebra and the next. These disks are made up of two different types of material; a soft, jelly-like material on the inside and a harder material on the outside. For reasons unknown, in Intervertebral disk disease, the jelly-like material begins to change consistency and becomes much stiffer. This stiff material puts pressure on and compresses the spinal cord; it could also erupt into the spinal canal. [...]

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Congenital Heart Disease

The American Staffordshire Terrier is not among the unhealthiest of breeds, but it does unfortunately suffer from some serious genetic conditions; some of these conditions were not recognized to affect the breed in a serious manner until recently. For example, more and more reports have been coming in of American Staffordshire Terriers (also called Amstaffs) suffering from a variety of problems classified under heart disease, specifically congenital heart disease. Congenital heart disease, or CHD, is a heart condition that is present when the pup is born; it is different from Acquired Heart disease, which is a heart condition that develops later in a dog's life. CHD is rare, but it can result in serious heart failure. [...]


Arthritis means joint inflammation, but the term is somewhat misleading because arthritis is much more than joint inflammation and cats do contract many forms of arthritis depending upon the breed and external factors. The particular forms of arthritis that cats suffer from are: Traumatic Arthritis (sprain) and Osteoarethritis, from there, there are several diseases that belong to one group or the other. Traumatic Arthritis as the name implies occurs when there is some sort of a trauma, (sprain) injury. In cats that could be the result of being hit by a moving vehicle, a cat fight, or bad fall. If the trauma is a result of a simple sprain chances are the pain will go away in no time and is really not that serious. However, if the traumatic arthritis is more serious, resulting from being hit by a car or other serious accident, a fracture may occur in the joint and your cat may require surgery to repair the damage. [...]

Asymmetrical Jaw

As we know, the bone structure that is needed in the process of chewing food is the jaw. The entire vault of the mouth is referred to as the jaw. There is an upper and lower jaw. The Maxilla is the upper jaw and the mandible is the lower jaw. Certain dogs or cats have problems with the alignment of the jaws. If the upper jaw protrudes it is called an overshot in dental terms or an overbite in layman terms. If the lower jaw protrudes it is called and undershot or under bite. Persian cats are subject to teeth and jaw problems. Since Exotic Shorthairs have much of the same genotype as the Persian and Himalayan Cat, they too will suffer from same teeth and jaw problems. These cats can have crocked teeth, sometimes the baby teeth are crooked but the adult teeth will grow in normal which is straight. [...]

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Hereditary Ataxia

As mentioned previously, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a relatively healthy breed, though it is affected by some unpleasant disorders. One of the most serious disorders from which this breed suffers is called Hereditary Ataxia or Cerebellar Ataxia. This is a neurological disorder of a serious nature and as of yet there is no cure; it seems as if the gene governing the disorder is quite widespread in the breed and often avoiding the breeding of affected dogs is difficult due to the late onset of symptoms. Research to find out the exact mode of inheritance and to find some kind of treatment is ongoing and owners of dogs with the disease are encouraged to allow their dogs to participate in trials and studies. [...]


Ataxia is a disease where a feline's gait, which is the way it moves, walks, runs, jumps and so on, is severely uncoordinated and the animal appears to stumble, is clumsy, wobbly, and rather odd looking. The reasons for ataxia depend upon the disease it may have contracted. It is primary a neurological disorder resulting from problems in the brain or inner ear. But can have non neurological causes as well. [h]Causes[h/] Some causes of ataxia are genetic and run in families, while others could be brought on because of a feline virus or infection, or simply by the cat's general life style. [h]Weakness[/h] A feral cat that is found starving and dehydrated or is severely anemic can become very weak and this would be a cause of ataxia. [...]

Bladder Infections

The medical term for bladder infection is cystitis and refers to the inflammation of the urinary bladder. Bladder infection is also known as Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) and it comes under the rubric of a group of urinary problems known as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FUTD). Bladder infections occur in both male and female cats. [h]Causes[/h] Bladder infections can be a result of bacterial or viral infections such as Feline Herpes virus. Feline Urologic Syndrome (Fus) occurs in the bladder where tiny crystals form, irritate the area, and causes bloody urine. The crystals generate because of a heavy mineral content in the urine. Normally these minerals dissolve on their own but when they cannot they crystallize. The tiny crystals can enlarge into bladder stones. [...]

Dental problems: Plaque Buildup, Tartar Problems

The number one problem in cats over the age of five are dental related. Many of these problems can be avoided with proper dental care. Like humans, cats have baby teeth first and then adult teeth afterward. They usually get their first set of teeth around two to four weeks of age. The mother cat will start to wean her kittens once they start biting which is roughly around four weeks of age. The adult set of teeth usually comes in around four to six months. A cat has thirty teeth in a full set of adult teeth, which include: pre-molars and molars, canines and incisors. [...]

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is also known as Feline Aids, it affects 11 percent all domestic cats worldwide. It is also affects wild cats though they do not appear to show any symptoms. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a lentivirus, (characterized by having a slow incubation period) and is also part of the retrovirus family, which includes Feline Leukemia. [h]Causes[/h] Feline Immunodeficiency Virus evades the cat's immune system where it attacks several cell types of lymphocytes which are white blood cells responsible for aiding the immune system; CD4+ and CD8, T lymphocytes and B lympthocytes which produces antigens to ward off foreign bodies. It also attacks microphages, (cells that seek and destroy foreign toxins). Thus this virus destroys the very cells that protect the animal against foreign bodies and renders it susceptible to several kinds of invading viruses and bacteria from the environment. [...]

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