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Medical Conditions

  • Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease of the joints. Although dramatically under-recognized, OA is actually one of the most common chronic diseases of dogs. In addition to diet modifications, exercise, weight loss, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, management strategies for OA may include a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug such as PSGAG. PSGAG is a disease modifying agent that slows cartilage destruction, promotes cartilage healing, and helps lubricate the joints. It is given as a series of injections that can be given by an owner at home. A positive response is expected at the end of the first course of treatment. Injections are typically used long-term as PSGAG is well-tolerated by most dogs.

  • The simple description of an abscess is a pocket of pus located somewhere in the body. A cat with an abscess will often have a fever, even if the abscess has ruptured and drained to the outside of the body. Appropriate antibiotic therapy is a critical component of the successful treatment of abscesses, no matter the location.

  • Canine acne is an inflammatory disorder of the lips and the skin of the muzzle. Dogs with mild cases of acne often have red bumps or pustules (pimples) on their skin. In some cases, acne may be associated with underlying skin conditions. There are a variety of treatments that may be used for the treatment of canine acne.

  • The term limber tail is one of several slang terms that apply to a condition that is technically called acute caudal myopathy.

  • Acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (AHDS) (also known as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis [HGE]), is an acute disorder of dogs characterized by vomiting and bloody diarrhea. AHDS can affect any breed, age, size, or gender of dog, but it is most common in small- and toy-breed dogs. The exact cause of AHDS remains unknown. An elevated hematocrit in combination with a low or normal total protein is an important clue that a dog may have AHDS. Intravenous fluid therapy with potassium and electrolyte supplementation provides the foundation of AHDS therapy. Dogs with AHDS may die, if left untreated.

  • Acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney failure refers to the sudden failure of the kidneys to perform normal filtration duties. ARF leads to accumulation of toxins and other metabolic wastes in the bloodstream, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and disturbances in the acid-base balance of the blood. The initial prognosis is guarded for all cases of ARF. If the cause is an infection, there is a better prognosis than if the cause is a toxic substance.

  • Addison's disease is the common name for hypoadrenocorticism, caused by decreased hormone production from the outer part or cortex of the adrenal gland.

  • Traditionally, the terms food allergy and food intolerance have been used to describe any and all adverse food reactions in cats. The term food allergy or sensitivity is really most accurately applied when the immune system is involved in creating the signs and symptoms that result. Food intolerance is a far more accurate term to describe adverse food reactions in cats that cover a large category of reactions that do not involve the immune system and are generally digestive issues.

  • Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, is found in fresh and brackish water of ponds and lakes. This microscopic bacteria can also grow in backyard fountains, garden pots, bird baths, and anywhere water is stagnant.

  • One of the most common medical conditions affecting cats is allergy. Flea allergy, food allergies, atopy, and contact allergies are examples of allergies in cats, with flea allergy being the most common cause. Flea allergy is a response to proteins or antigens present in the flea's saliva, and just one fleabite may cause such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to the removal of large amounts of hair. Food allergy testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. If your cat's symptoms improve after the food trial, a presumptive diagnosis of food allergy is made.