Illustrated Articles

Cats + Others

  • The word anesthesia comes from the Greek meaning "lack of sensation". Anesthesia is accomplished by administering drugs that depress nerve function. With general anesthesia, the patient is made unconscious for a short period. During this unconscious state, there is muscular relaxation and a complete loss of pain sensation.

  • Certain species of a common fungus called Aspergillus can infect the nasal cavity and sinuses of cats and can even become disseminated to different areas of the body. Cats affected by exposure to this fungus are usually immunosuppressed. Diagnosis of either form, the nasal form or disseminated form, can be difficult, usually requiring X-rays or more advanced imaging such as MRI or CT, as well as tissue biopsies and culture. Treatment of the nasal form involves topical administration of an antifungal agent while the cat is under general anesthesia, although oral antifungals such as itraconazole and posaconazole may also be used. Prognosis is fair to good. Treatment of the disseminated form is more difficult requiring additional antifungals, such as amphotericin b that can be harmful to the kidneys.

  • Chemotherapy drugs are used to treat cancer and other conditions in people because they target and kill rapidly dividing neoplastic (cancer) cells and other cells. They're primarily used as anti-cancer agents, but may also provide benefit for a variety of auto-immune disorders and for organ transplant recipients as immunosuppressive agents.

  • Children often have very close relationships with pets, and especially with cats. The loss of a pet cat is inevitable and may be the child’s first experience of death, but there are ways for parents and others to help the child cope with it. It starts with talking with your child about death truthfully and in an age-appropriate manner. It is important for children to have the opportunity to say goodbye. Children grieve just as intensely as adults do, but often have different ways of expressing their grief. As a parent, you can support your child in many ways. You can maintain routines in work and play, find ways to honor and remember your cat, and read books on pet loss with your child. It is important to enlist others to offer support as well. Eventually you may consider a new adoption. Remember, the experience of loss is different for everyone, even children. Each child will grieve their cat in their own unique way and at their own pace. With care and support, your child can grow through the grief and heal.

  • An E-collar or cone may be needed after your cat has surgery or if she has a wound. Your cat should wear the E-collar following the directions provided by your veterinarian. You may need to make a few adjustments in your home to ensure your cat does not get stuck in confined spaces. Also, you may need to adjust her feeding station to assist with her eating habits.

  • Fever is a term that refers to an elevated body temperature. The normal body temperature range for cats is between 100.5°F and 102.5°F (38.1°C to 39.2°C). To be classified as a fever of unknown origin (FUO), the body temperature must be above 103.5°F (39.7°C) on at least four occasions over a fourteen-day period, accompanied by an illness of at least fourteen days' duration without an obvious cause.

  • Successful flight with a cat begins long before the day of travel. It requires planning and preparation in order to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for both you and your cat.

  • Genetic testing can provide valuable information about your pet; not only to determine breed heritage, but also to bring awareness of predisposed or hereditary medical conditions. This can allow for earlier detection and care to lessen the impact of a condition or possibly prevent it entirely.

  • Giardiasis is an intestinal infection of man and animals cased by a microscopic protozoan parasite Giardia duodenalis. Giardia is a simple one-celled parasitic species; it is not a "worm", bacteria, or virus. Giardiasis can be an important cause of diarrhea in animals and humans. However, many cats are infected without developing clinical signs or the diarrhea is treated as 'non-specific'.

  • Grief is the normal and natural response to the loss of someone or something. When grieving, one is said to be in a state of bereavement. The loss of a pet can cause intense grief and sorrow. Given that so many people consider their pets as members of the family, this grief is normal and understandable. Each person experiences grief in a different way. Contrary to popular belief, grief does not unfold in clean, linear stages, nor does it have a timeline. Grief is a full body experience that includes physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual responses. A healthy grief journey comes from taking the time to work through feelings rather than trying to push them away, moving toward the experience of loss to learn to live with it. There are many ways to manage grief, including receiving support from others, finding comfort in routines and play, keeping active, taking breaks from the sadness, remembering your pet, memorializing your pet, searching for meaning, and eventually, possibly bringing a new pet into your life. Grieving takes time. Usually it gradually lessens in intensity over time, but if it doesn’t, then professional counseling may help.