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Educational Articles

Cats + Medical Conditions

  • Glaucoma is a disease of the eye in which the pressure within the eye, called the intraocular pressure (IOP) is increased. Intraocular pressure is measured using an instrument called a tonometer.

  • Glomerulonephritis, also known as glomerular nephritis (GN), is a specific type of renal (kidney) disease characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli, which are the tiny structures in the kidneys that act as filters for the blood.

  • Heart disease is a serious medical condition in dogs, cats and humans. Heart disease can be divided into two general groups, congenital and adult onset forms. Cats do not normally develop arteriosclerosis or coronary artery disease, common diseases in humans.

  • A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound, usually heard by listening to the heart with a stethoscope. Sometimes a murmur is determined to be 'innocent' or 'physiologic', while other times the murmur is determined to be pathologic or caused by disease.

  • 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.

  • Ear hematomas are a collection of blood, either fresh or clotted, within the pinna. Excessive or violent shaking causes one or more blood vessels to break, resulting in bleeding into the space between the ear cartilage and skin on the inner surface of the ear. There is often an underlying cause which must be treated but additionally, surgery or drainage should be done to help relieve discomfort. Failure to treat will lead to a misshapen ear caused by damage from inflammation.

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is an infectious disease caused by feline herpesvirus type-1. It is a major cause of upper respiratory disease in cats, and is the most common cause of conjunctivitis. The typical symptoms of FVR involve the nose, throat, and eyes, and include sneezing, nasal congestion, conjunctivitis, excessive blinking, squinting, and discharges from the eyes and nose that range from clear and watery to thick and purulent (containing yellow/green pus). Treatment consists of supportive care, hydration of the environment, and control of secondary bacterial infections with antibiotics and antibiotic eye medications. An effective vaccine exists and is recommended for all cats.

  • 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.