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Educational Articles

Cats

  • Anal glands are located on either side of the anus and normally produce secretions that are pushed when feces is evacuated from the rectum. An anal sac tumor is a tumor of made up of cells originating from the glands of the anal sac. These tumors can spread and therefore staging is recommended prior to surgery. To diagnose these tumors, a fine needle aspirate can be placed from the outside and into the anal sac to retrieve cells. After surgery, chemotherapy may be considered. Radiation therapy has also been considered as a primary or secondary treatment option.

  • Anemia is a medical term referring to a reduced number of circulating red blood cells (RBC's), hemoglobin (Hb), or both. It is not a specific disease but rather it is the result of some other disease process or condition.

  • 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.

  • In cats, the pupil is an elliptically-shaped opening in the middle of the iris that allows light to pass through the eye to the retina. The pupil constricts or dilates (enlarges) according to the amount of light that enters the eyes, with both pupils normally dilating in dim light and constricting in bright light.

  • Anorexia is a decrease or loss of appetite for food. While hunger is physiologically driven, appetite is psychologically driven. There are two types of anorexia: true anorexia and pseudo-anorexia.

  • Antacids are used to neutralize excess acid (decrease the amount of acid) in the stomach. Antacids can be used for inflammation of the esophagus, excessive acid in the stomach, peptic ulcer and inflammation of the stomach. In patients with kidney failure, antacids may be used to decrease the amount of phosphate in the blood.

  • Different animals have different levels of susceptibility to anthrax infection. In general, herbivores are found to be more susceptible to anthrax than carnivores. Under normal circumstances, cases of anthrax in cats are very rare and cats seem relatively resistant to infection, especially under normal circumstances.

  • Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are bacterial infections that are minimally or no longer responsive to commonly used antibiotics. In other words, these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics - they cannot be killed and their growth cannot be stopped. Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections most commonly affect the skin, the gastrointestinal tract, the urinary tract, or the respiratory tract.

  • Antibodies are specialized proteins, also called immunoglobulins that are primarily found in the bloodstream. They are produced by specialized white blood cells called plasma cells, a form of lymphocyte.

  • An antioxidant is any compound, whether vitamin, mineral, nutraceutical, or herb that protects against cellular damage from reactive oxygen species, including free radicals, single oxygen atoms and hydrogen peroxide. Some of the more well-known antioxidants include ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), beta-carotene, and enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase.