Cats

Marijuana Poisoning in Pets

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Pocket Pets, Horses, Poisoning

There's been plenty of debate about whether marijuana is harmful to humans. But it is definitely harmful to your pet.

Marijuana or cannabis, also known as hemp, marihuana, hashish, Mary Jane, grass, reefer, weed or pot is a coarse annual herb that may grow up to six feet tall. The leaves are palmated, compounded with three to seven linear, coarsely dentated leaves. Male plants have small green flowers at the tip while female pants have flowers along the entire length of branch.

Top 10 Reasons "Safe" Pets Get Heartworms

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Reptiles, Parasites

10) Being unaware that cats and ferrets as well as dogs may become infected with heartworms.

9) Being in denial that there are mosquitos in your area.

8) Having a pet that refuses to take oral medication even if it is disguised as a treat.

7) Using a topical heartworm preventative and then bathing your pet frequently with harsh shampoos that strip the medication from the coat.

6) Skipping one or more doses of heartworm preventative.

Tick Paralysis

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Parasites, Pigs

Ticks in North America may cause an acute flaccid paralysis. Engorged female ticks are believed to secrete a neurotoxin that prevents the release of acetylcholine and thereby causes a paralysis of skeletal muscles. Acetylcholine is a necessary neurotransmitter for skeletal muscle contraction. When acetylchole is absent, the result is loss of motor control. This paralysis begins in the hind legs and will progress to the front end of the patient within 24 - 48 hours and is therefore termed an ascending paralysis.

Feline Herpesvirus-1 (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis)

Filed Under: Cats, Diseases

Feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1), also known as Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), is an important cause of upper respiratory disease (URD) and eye inflammation in cats and other members of the cat family worldwide. FHV-1 is an alphaherpesvirus which contains double-stranded DNA.

It is likely that most cats will be exposed to the infection during their lifetime. There is only one serotype of the virus and all isolates are genetically similar.

Feline Calicivirus

Filed Under: Cats, Diseases

Feline Calicivirus (FCV) is an important and common cause of Upper Respiratory Infection (URD) and oral disease in cats. This virus occurs worldwide with various strains that vary greatly in virulence (the ability to produce disease). Clinical disease may vary from subclinical (not clinically apparent) to combinations of oral, respiratory disease, and lameness. There are more than 40 strains of FCV, one of which may have high mortality rates and is referred to as the virulent systemic (VS), or the hemorrhagic form of FCV.

Fleas

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Cows, Parasites

Fleas are small, wingless insects with mouth parts that are specifically adapted to piercing the skin and sucking blood. There are greater than 1,600 species of fleas present worldwide. Roughly 95% of flea species will live on mammals and about 50% will live on birds. Most flea infections in the US are due to Ctenocephalides felis which is more commonly known as the cat flea. C. felis affect more than 50 different mammalian and avian hosts throughout the world. In the U.S., the most common hosts are domestic and wild mammals including cats, dogs, cattle, and man.

Toxoplasma

Filed Under: Cats, Diseases, Parasites

Toxoplasmosis is caused by an organism called Toxoplasma gondii which is a type of protozoan. This particular protozoan is an intracellular parasite of many organs and tissues of birds and mammals, including man. The only known definitive or complete hosts are wild and domestic Felidae or cats. This means that only in infected cats will the entire life cycle of this parasite be completed. The cat is the only animal which will shed and thereby spread oocysts (eggs) in their feces.

Infection can be obtained in one of three ways:

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV

Filed Under: Cats, Diseases

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV is a lentivirus that infects domestic cats and cheetahs. FIV is the cause of feline AIDS but is not the same virus as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the cause of human AIDS.

The prevalence of FIV in domestic cats in North America is estimated to be at a 6% level regardless of whether the cat is owned or feral.

Approximately 15% of cats that test positive for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) also test positive for FIV.

Euthanasia

Filed Under: Dogs, Cats, Reptiles, Horses, General Care, Pigs, Birds

One of the most difficult decisions an animal owner will ever make is when to euthanize a pet. Most owners want to do what is right for their pet and will agonize over the decision whether to euthanize or not. The only criterion that should be used in this difficult decision is if the quality of life is good enough to justify the quantity of life. With people, we do not have the luxury of keeping them from going through those last agonizing moments of life. We are kinder to animals.

Hepatic Lipidosis and Liver Problems in Cats

Filed Under: Cats, Diet & Nutrition

The most common cause of liver problems in the cat is Hepatic Lipidosis. The exact cause of this condition is not known but it is associated with a period of anorexia (not eating) in the feline patient. Cats that are overweight or obese tend to incur the problem more frequently and repeat attacks are common. Stress appears to be the inciting cause of Hepatic Lipidosis. Stressful situations in the cat may include any change to their normal routine including: boarding, moving, the death of an additional pet or an owner, or simply a change in diet.

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