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Cats + Diagnosis

  • Addison's disease (the common name for hypoadrenocorticism) is caused by a decreased production of two hormones from the adrenal gland. These hormones are cortisol, a stress hormone, and aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid hormone that regulates the body's water balance through its effects on sodium and potassium.

  • Amyloidosis occurs when proteins called “amyloid” are deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs, causing tissue and organ dysfunction.

  • 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 aortic thromboembolism results when a blood clot is dislodged and travels through the aorta, becoming lodged in a distant location. This causes severely reduced blood flow to the tissues receiving blood from that particular part of the aorta, leading to decreased oxygen in the tissues.

  • Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions, or ‘twitching’, of the heart muscle, confined to the atria, or the top chambers. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in cats occur secondary to heart disease.

  • The bile acid test is a very useful test that helps to determine if the liver is working properly.

  • Bone marrow is the soft material found in the central core of many bones. Bone marrow is vitally important for the production of blood cells, specifically red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. A healthy bone marrow is essential for life.

  • The first step in processing a blood sample is centrifugation. The blood is placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun in a small circle at high speed (much like a spinning ride at an amusement park).

  • Coagulation is the series of events that result in the formation of a clot. In the body, coagulation occurs after any injury to a blood vessel or tissue, in order to stop bleeding.

  • A Coombs' (or direct antiglobulin) test detects the presence of immunoglobulins (antibodies) on the surface of red blood cells. Immunoglobulins are proteins made by white blood cells (specifically plasma cells).