Cat owners know there is nothing better than the unconditional love of a furry feline, and the benefits of owning a cat far outweigh the risks. But like any pet, there are illnesses and diseases your cat can get, so we want you to feel informed and educated about those possibilities, so you can take the necessary steps to keep your kitty safe. These three illnesses have specific symptoms that help you, as the pet owner, identify whether your cat needs medical attention.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
There are some cats that have been infected with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), that don’t show symptoms for years after the initial infection occurs. The virus causes the cat’s immune system to become weakened which in turn gives way to other infections or illness to take hold. Often the secondary infection, whatever it might be, is the cause of the cat fatality, but the original cause is the infection from FIV. There is no cure for this virus, but we have options for extending the life of your cat if she hasn’t yet shown signs of the disease progressing. The virus is not contagious from cat to human, it can only be passed from cat to cat. This is a slow-moving virus, so it could take years before your cat shows any signs of the disease. Check out the symptoms of FIV to see if your cat might be suffering from this illness.
Cats can get various kinds of cancer, either localized somewhere on the body, or it can spread throughout their body, which is generalized cancer. One of the most common types of cancer in cats is called Lymphosarcoma, which is more commonly known as Lymphoma. There is a vaccine for the feline leukemia virus, so prevention is possible. Another type of cancer seen in cats is called Squamous cell carcinoma and this shows up on the cat’s skin, ears, eyelids, and nose. It is caused by UV exposure and lighter colored cats are more susceptible to this kind of cancer. Two main symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. There are additional signs you’ll want to pay close attention to and seek professional care right away if your cat is experiencing them;
· Bad Breath
· Abnormal Discharge
· Lethargy, lack of energy
· Lumps anywhere in the body
· Weight Loss
· Skin sores
· Loss of Appetite
· Change in Behavior
· Sudden Lameness
There are several common types of worms that cats can get, including roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and lungworms. Any cat that is exposed to the outdoors where other animals defecate is at risk for worms. The worms live in the feces of other animals and if your cat eats the feces, they will acquire worms. Roundworms are the most common parasite in cats and these worms can be passed from a mother to her baby through breast milk, as well as through feces. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian will help identify whether your cat is carrying worms or not. Call our Bend, Oregon veterinarian clinic and bring your furry friend in today!