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What Are Some Common Cat Illnesses & Symptoms?

Posted Aug 11th, 2020

What Are Some Common Cat Illnesses & Symptoms?

Numerous cat illnesses and their symptoms look scary and can even be fatal if left untreated for too long. Our Cumming vets offer insight on signs and symptoms to be aware of. 

Common Cat Illnesses

As a cat parent, here are illnesses you need to be aware of. Be prepared to visit your veterinarian if necessary, especially since cats tend to instinctively isolate when sick. Here are 3 common cat illnesses and their symptoms.  

Upper Respiratory Infections

Your cat's upper respiratory tract, comprising its throat, nose, and sinuses, can become infected with viruses and bacteria. Often passed around in multi-cat households and shelters, cats may contract feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus through something as basic as sharing a food or water bowl. 

They can transmit this virus to other cats in the same way, or by sneezing or coughing. It can also be passed during grooming. 

Symptoms include:

  • Gagging, drooling
  • Runny nose or clear/colored nasal discharge
  • Fever
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Decreased or lost appetite
  • Congestion 

Diabetes

If a cat doesn't produce sufficient insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels, they develop diabetes mellitus. Left untreated, it may lead to several serious symptoms, such as:

  • Thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Increased appetite (as the body cannot use the energy in food) or loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Motor function problems
  • Coma
  • Death

If diabetes is poorly controlled, the disease can shorten a cat's lifespan and lead to numerous health problems such as nerve disorders. It may also result in severe emergencies. Treatment can include insulin injections and will be focused on managing this condition. 

Cancer

Uncontrolled growth of cells can cause cancer, which can affect a wide range of organs and cells in a cat's body. The disease first starts to develop within a cell, before it attaches to tissue below the skin and potentially spreads to other areas. 

A common contributor to cancer is Feline Leukemia Virus, which cats can be diagnosed against. Other causes include environmental toxins. If caught early during a physical exam, your vet may be able to treat the cancer. 

Symptoms include:

  • Lumps or bumps that change in size or shape
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Odor from the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge
  • Marked increase or decrease in appetite
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Difficulty urinating or defecating

Depending on whether the tumor is caught and diagnosed early enough, the type of cancer and its extent, specific location within the body, etc., whether an effective treatment plan can be developed, and other factors, several treatments such as radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy may be attempted. 

What Should I Do if My Cat is Sick?

If your cat is sick and exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, it's critical to bring them to the vet as soon as possible. At Animal Medical Center of Cumming, we have an in-house laboratory, onsite pharmacy, and emergency clinic to provide your pet with the care they need.

Do you suspect your cat is unwell? Our vets are experienced in diagnosing and treating many common illnesses and conditions. Book an appointment at Animal Medical Center of Cumming today.

New Patients Welcome

Animal Medical Center of Cumming is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Cumming companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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