Monday, October 13, 2014

Diarrhea in Cats, Things to Know

Diarrhea is an intestinal disturbance characterized by the passage of abnormally loose or watery stools (feces). It is not a disease in itself, but a symptom of an underlying disease or disorder.  It can affect the small intestine, the large intestine or both. It may be acute (sudden onset), chronic (over a long period of time) or come and go.
Acute diarrhea has a rapid onset and lasts less than 2 - 3 weeks.
Chronic diarrhea lasts longer than 2 - 3 weeks. Blood and or mucous may or may not be present in the feces.


Feces may also be yellowy, frothy in appearance, be mixed with blood (known as 'dysentry') and/or mucus.

Etiology

Diarrhea is a relatively common occurrence in cats and has a number of causes, some of which include:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Abscess in Felines

An abscess is a localized pocket of pus usually due to a bacterial infection.An inflammatory response occurs, drawing huge amounts of white blood cells to the area and increasing regional blood flow. Pus forms, which is an accumulation of fluid, toxins, living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue and bacteria. As the bacteria kill the local cells and release toxins, the body responds by walling off the infection with a membrane (known as a 'pyogenic membrane') to prevent the infection from spreading. An inflammatory response occurs, drawing huge amounts of white blood cells to the area and increasing regional blood flow. Pus forms, which is an accumulation of fluid, toxins, living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue and bacteria. This area begins to grow, creating tension under the skin and further inflammation of the surrounding tissues.


As the abscess grows, the skin thins and weakens, eventually causing the abscess to rupture and the pus drains out.An abscess can form in any part of the body including under the skin, in the mouth (dental abscess) and in organs such as the liver and pancreas. This article relates to abscesses under the skin. The most common bacteria involved are staphylococci and streptococci.

Etiology 

Most abscesses are caused by a puncture wound which introduces and traps bacteria under the skin. The most common cause of a penetrating puncture leading to an abscess is from a cat bite, the oral cavity, including the teeth harbour a great number of bacteria which are injected into the skin during penetration.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Aujeszky's disease in Cats

Aujeszky's disease or 'mad itch' or pseudorabies (meaning 'false rabies') is an acute, highly fatal viral disease caused by a herpes virus (Su-HV1).Pigs are the natural reservoirs of the virus but other mammals including cows, sheep, goats, dogs, rats, cats etc., are susceptible to infection. Pseudorabies is seen most commonly in cats who live on or around farms.The name pseudorabies is due to the similarities between the "furious" form of rabies. The virus affects the nervous system and is typically acquired by ingestion of infected prey such as rats or uncooked pork. Cat to cat transmission doesn't seem to be a problem.The incubation period of pseudorabies is 3-6 days. Infection occurs after ingestion of the virus, entering the nerve fibres. The virus is almost always fatal in cats, when death occurring within two days.



Symptoms 

Symptoms of pseudorabies can initially suggest the cat has been infected with the rabies virus. However, pseudorabies runs a much shorter course with symptoms developing within hours of exposure and death occurring within 48 hours after the onset of clinical signs.Intense itching of the head and neck, which leads to self mutilation as well as hypersalivation (excessive drooling) are the two most common symptoms of pseudorabies. Other symptoms may include:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Acne in Cats

Feline acne is a common skin disorder characterized by the presence of blackheads on the cat's chin and lips. It can affect cats of any age, sex or breed.Sebaceous glands secrete oils (known as sebum) which lubricates the skin, preventing dryness and irritation. The sebaceous glands are mostly found in dorsal, eyelids, chin, surface of the base of the tail, lips, scrotum and prepuce. They are connected to the hair follicles.These glands also play a role in territorial marking and any observant cat owner will have seen their cat rubbing it's face and chin along objects.


Over time this rubbing will leave greasy patches.In acne, the follicles become blocked with black sebaceous material, resulting in blackheads. These blackheads may become irritated, swollen and infected, leading to pustules.

Causes

 The exact cause of feline acne isn't known. There are several possible causes however including
  • Stress - Stress triggers the release of various hormones which lead to the sebaceous glands producing more sebum.
  • The use of plastic food bowls is commonly discouraged, especially in cats with feline acne. This is because they are porous and trap bacteria, which is then transferred to the cat's chin. It has also been suggested that an allergic reaction to the plastic food bowl is a cause.
  • Poor grooming, the chin is a rather difficult area on cats to clean.
  • Over active sebaceous glands.
  • There have been suggestions that it may be linked to hormones.