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Health & Well Being

INAPPROPRIATE URINATION

Otherwise known as “Cats that pee where they shouldn’t” … Inappropriate urination (urinary incontinence) is one of the most common complaints from cat owners. Cat urine has a strong odour and most people find it upsetting to come home to a liquid “surprise” from their feline pal. There are a number of reasons that a cat will choose to urinate outside their litterbox. These can usually be divided into two general categories – medical problems or behavioural issues. It is important to differentiate the causes of inappropriate urination, as the treatments are quite different.

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INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that can be successfully treated and managed, but generally never cured. It is made up of a group of gastrointestinal disorders that are usually chronic in nature and is characterized by an increase in the number of inflammatory cells found in the stomach or intestinal tract.

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LYMPHOCYTIC PLASMACYTIC STOMATITIS

It is a common mouth disease of cats, which causes chronic irritation, and inflammation of the soft tissues of the mouth, specifically the gums, and the back of the throat. It can be a painful condition that may even cause your cat to stop eating. The cause is unknown but it is believed to be an immune-mediated over reaction to plaque. In other words, your cat becomes allergic to the thin layer of debris that sticks to its teeth and this causes sore gums and a very sore mouth.

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FELINE LEUKEMIA & FIV

When a new cat arrives at our shelter, one of the first things we do is take a blood sample and run a test that checks to see if the cat is carrying, or has been exposed to 2 viruses. They are Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immune Deficiency Virus (FIV). The reason we test for these two particular viruses is that they can both be debilitating and life threatening, and can be transferred from one cat to another in an open multiple cat setting. Thankfully, the percentage of cats that actually test positive for one or both of these viruses is fairly low, but we do see at least 1-3 each year.

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FELINE OBESITY

Many owners are surprised when they are told that their cat is fat. In fact, obesity is the most common nutritional problem today, with as many as 50% of household cats falling into the overweight category. While we can’t blame a cat for indulging on the tasty side of life, it is important to understand that excess pounds can lead to a multitude of health risks.

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HEMANGIOSARCOMA

A general definition of cancer is a group of cells that grow abnormally, usually with uncontrolled multiplication of cells. Cancers can be roughly divided into 2 groups – benign and malignant. Benign cancers are considered to be less aggressive while malignant cancers often spread to body parts other than the original location and are much more aggressive. There are, unfortunately,
many types of cancer that can affect cats.

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HYPERTHYROIDISM

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid glands) is a fairly common disorder of middle aged and senior cats. It is caused by an increase in production of thyroid hormones.  Clinical signs associated with hyperthyroidism can be quite dramatic and cats can become seriously ill with this condition. However, in most cases hyperthyroidism is treatable and most cats will make a complete recovery.

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