Educational Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • If your cat is having diarrhea, please complete this questionnaire as accurately as possible before your appointment. This information will be very helpful to your veterinarian in determining the cause of diarrhea.

  • Infections of the external ear canal or outer ear caused by bacteria and yeast are common in dogs but not as common in cats. The most common cause of feline otitis externa is ear mite infestation. Ear infections cause pain and discomfort and the ear canals are sensitive.

  • The ear mite is a surface mite that lives on cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets. It is usually found in the ear canal but it can also live on the skin surface. Mites are barely visible to the naked eye. Clinical signs of infestation vary in severity and may include ear irritation, leading to scratching at the ears or head shaking, dark waxy or crusty discharge from the ear, areas of hair loss resulting from self-trauma, a crusted rash around or in the ear, and an aural hematoma. Your veterinarian will advise you about which insecticidal products are suitable. Your veterinarian may want to re-examine your pet to ensure that the mites have been eliminated after the initial treatment has been performed.

  • Eclampsia in cats is a rare emergent condition of hypocalcemia that generally occurs one to four weeks after giving birth but can occur before. Risk factors include a poor diet, abnormal parathyroid gland, and calcium supplementation during pregnancy. Signs of eclampsia start as restlessness, panting, and stiffness and can progress to disorientation, tremors, inability to walk, and convulsions. Treatment includes intravenous fluids, careful intravenous calcium supplementation, and other supportive medications followed by oral supplementation and weaning kittens as soon as possible or supplementing their diet with milk replacer.

  • Emergencies arise unexpectedly and it is important to stay calm. After realizing what has occurred, it is important to contact your veterinarian for recommendations in order to provide the best chance for a successful outcome. Once you have received initial instructions, it is important to transport your cat to your veterinarian for a complete examination as soon as possible.

  • Endocarditis is an infection of a heart valve, most often affecting the mitral or aortic valve. It can arise any time that bacteria enter the bloodstream, though it is more common when the heart valve has already been damaged for some other reason. The clinical signs of endocarditis are often nonspecific in the early stages, but may progress to include signs of heart failure later in the course of the disease. The diagnosis and treatment of endocarditis can present a challenge, requiring multiple tests and prolonged courses of antibiotic therapy.

  • Eosinophilic granuloma complex is a term used to describe three forms of skin lesions in cats including eosinophilic plaque, eosinophilic granuloma, and indolent ulcers. The lesions most commonly occur on the lip, sometimes resulting in disfigurement, but can also develop in the mouth or on other areas of the body.

  • Feline eosinophilic keratitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the cornea that results in the surface of the eye appearing pink, white, or chalky. It is caused by an accumulation of inflammatory cells called eosinophils. The clinical signs, appearance, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition are explained in this handout.

  • Epiphora or excessive tearing from the eyes can be a sign of tear duct blockage or more serious eye problems. Clinical signs include dampness beneath the eyes, reddish-brown staining of the fur beneath the eyes, odor, skin irritation, and skin infection. The facial anatomy of brachycephalic breeds may play a role in this condition. Treatment may include flushing of the lacrimal duct, or surgery to open the lacrimal puncta. The prognosis is variable and dependent on whether the underlying cause can be found and treated.

  • Feline idiopathic cystitis includes a set of clinical signs associated with abnormal urination and is an exclusionary diagnosis. Cats will often suffer waxing and waning of clinical signs such as straining to urinate, blood in urine, and inappropriate urination. Many conditions must be ruled out before a diagnosis of FIC can be made. Treatment involves addressing the stressors that triggered the clinical signs in the first place and improving the cat's environment to reduce or eliminate potential stressors. Pain medications are used to relieve your cat’s discomfort, as well as diet changes to improve clinical signs and reduce the frequency of occurrence.