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Cats + Medical Conditions

  • Heartworms are a blood-borne parasite called Dirofilaria immitis that reside in the heart or adjacent large blood vessels of infected animals. Recent studies of cats with heart and respiratory diseases have found an incidence of heartworms that is far greater than previously thought. Veterinarians now strongly recommend that all cats receive year-round monthly heartworm preventives in areas where mosquitoes are active all year round.

  • An aural hematoma is a collection of blood, either fresh or clotted, within the pinna (ear flap). When a hematoma is present, the pinna will appear very thick and spongy. The swelling may involve the entire pinna or it may involve only one area of the ear.

  • Histoplasmosis is a chronic, non-contagious fungal infection caused by the soil-dwelling fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Histoplasma capsulatum is found globally and may infect both humans and animals. However, histoplasmosis is uncommon to rare in all but dogs and cats.

  • Horner's Syndrome is a common neurological disorder of the eye and facial muscles, caused by dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system.

  • Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. A cat is generally thought to be hypertensive when its systolic blood pressure is above 175 mm Hg.

  • Cats have two thyroid glands, which are located in the neck and play a vital role in regulating the body's metabolic rate. Hyperthyroidism is characterized by the overproduction of thyroid hormone and a subsequent increase in metabolic rate. This disease is common in older cats.

  • Hypocalcemia means that the level of calcium in the bloodstream is low. Calcium is an important electrolyte within the body, and is needed for normal function of muscles and nerves. Calcium concentrations in the blood are usually regulated very closely but occasionally the control mechanism is impaired and may result in low blood calcium concentrations.

  • Hypokalemia is a term that refers to a low blood concentration of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte within the body and is vital for the normal function of muscles and nerves. In some situations, the normal control of body potassium concentration is lost, resulting in depletion of potassium and low blood potassium concentrations.

  • Ibuprofen is a commonly used NSAID and is used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation in humans. Ibuprofen poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of ibuprofen, either through misuse or by accident. Ibuprofen poisoning causes many different clinical signs because many different organ systems can be affected. Most commonly, cats show signs related to kidney problems.

  • Icterus is also known as jaundice or yellow jaundice. It refers to an excessive accumulation of a yellow pigment in the blood and tissues. When icterus has been present for any length of time, it will discolor many tissues and will become visible as jaundice on most body surfaces, including the skin.