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Educational Articles

Medical Conditions

  • House soiling in cats, also called feline inappropriate elimination, is the most common behavioral complaint of cat owners. Problem behaviors can be urine and/or stool deposited outside of the litter box, or marking behaviors.

  • Inside the eye is a lens that focuses light on the back of the eye, or retina. Vision occurs at the retina. The structure of the eye is similar to a camera, which has a lens to focus light on the film. A cloudy or opaque lens is called a cataract.

  • Cerebellar hypoplasia is a developmental condition in which the cerebellum of the brain fails to develop properly. The cerebellum is the portion of the brain that controls fine motor skills, balance and coordination. The condition is not painful or contagious.

  • If a disc in the spine degenerates or is damaged, it may bulge and put pressure on the spinal cord or the roots of the spinal nerves. This pressure can cause symptoms ranging from severe pain to weakness to paralysis.

  • Cervical stenosis is also known as cervical vertebral instability, cervical spondylopathy or Wobbler syndrome. It is caused by compression of the spinal cord, usually at the base of the neck.

  • Chediak-Higashi syndrome is a rare genetic disease of smoke-blue Persian cats. This condition affects how the body's cells process waste, leading to changes within the cells and abnormal pigmentation of the skin and coat. Cats with Chediak-Higashi syndrome also tend to have eye abnormalities. The most significant effect of Chediak-Higashi syndrome in cats is increased bleeding, caused by abnormal platelet function, though some cats may also show signs of a weakened immune system. Most cats with Chediak-Higashi syndrome do not require treatment for this condition.

  • "Cherry eye" is a common term for prolapse of the third eyelid gland. Many mammals, including dogs, have an "extra" or third eyelid located inside the lower eyelid. This serves as an additional protective layer for the eye, especially during hunting or fighting.

  • Feline chin acne is a poorly understood disorder of follicular keratinization. Keratinization refers to the overproduction of keratin, a protein found in the outer layer of skin. If this excess keratin is trapped in the hair follicle, comedones or 'blackheads' form. Feline chin acne is similar to the acne that humans get.

  • Generally speaking, chinchillas are fairly hardy animals. However, they do have several unique problems, and understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care problems. These include fur slip, antibiotic sensitivity, teeth problems, heat stroke, skin problems, and dust bathing for normal grooming.

  • Common conditions of pet chinchillas include bite wounds, respiratory diseases, overgrown and impacted teeth, gastrointestinal stasis, bloat, diarrhea, skin problems, and heat stroke. Any deviation of your chinchilla's behavior from normal should be a cause for concern and requires immediate evaluation by your veterinarian.