5 things you have to know about your cats

By following these basic tips, you can help your four-legged cat friend stay healthy - maybe for decades! But as the guardian of the cat, you should also know the five "silent" killers in the cat. By knowing what the most common silent killer is, you can know what clinical symptoms you need to look for. For most of these diseases, the sooner the clinical symptoms are discovered, the sooner our veterinarian can treat.

1. Chronic kidney disease

One of the most silent killers of cats is chronic kidney disease (CKD) (this is sometimes referred to as chronic renal failure or chronic kidney damage). These terms are semantically identical, basically meaning that 75% of the two kidneys are ineffective and do not work. The clinical symptoms of CRD include:

  • Excessive drinking
  • Excessive urination
  • Larger mass in the trash
  • Weightlessness
  • Bad breath (due to accumulation of toxins in the blood, causing oral, esophageal and gastric ulcers)
  • Sleepiness
  • Hide

Thankfully, with proper management, cats can live with chronic kidney disease for many years (unlike dogs, chronic kidney disease usually progresses faster). Chronic management may include a low-protein diet, frequent blood work, increased water intake (for example, using a water dispenser or by feeding whole grains of canned food), drugs, or even liquid under the skin (many pet guardians do it at home, once they pass Proper training).

2. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is an endocrine disease in which the thyroid gland secretes too much thyroid hormone. This can be seen in middle-aged to older cats and can lead to clinical symptoms very similar to chronic kidney disease, including:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increase water consumption / urine output
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Weightlessness
However, as hyperthyroidism increases cat metabolism, it causes a decisive sign: despite weight loss, loss of appetite. It can also cause:
  • Heartbeat
  • Severe hypertension (resulting in acute blood loss, neurological symptoms, and even thrombosis or stroke)
  • Secondary organ damage (such as heart murmur or kidney changes)

Fortunately, the treatment of hyperthyroidism is very effective, including drugs (called methylimidazole), surgical removal of the thyroid gland (less common), special prescription diet (called Y/D® cat thyroid health) or I131 radioactive iodine treatment. . As the thyroid gland is hyperactive, the sooner you treat it, the less potential side effects or organ damage will occur in your cat.

3. Diabetes

Another expensive silent killer that affects cats is diabetes (dm). Because many of our cats are often overweight to obesity, they are at greater risk of developing diabetes. For diabetes, the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin (type I diabetes) or is resistant to insulin (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a natural hormone that injects sugar (ie, blood sugar) into cells. Due to the starvation of glucose by cells, the body produces more and more glucose, leading to hyperglycemia (ie, hyperglycemia) and many clinical symptoms of diabetes. Common clinical symptoms of diabetes are similar to those of chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, including:
  • Urination and excessive thirst
  • Larger mass in the trash
  • Overweight or obese physical condition with muscle wasting (especially the spine or back) or weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drowsiness or weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Abnormal breathing (such as acetone breathing)
  • Not walking normally (for example, falling to the ground)
The cost of treating diabetes can be high because it requires twice a day of insulin injection and you have to give it a subcutaneous injection. It also requires a change in diet (high protein, low carbohydrate diet), frequent blood glucose monitoring and frequent veterinary visits. Through supportive care and long-term treatment, cats can do quite well; however, once diabetic complications (such as diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolarity, hyperglycemia syndrome) develop, diabetes can be life-threatening.

4. Heart disease

Heart disease is very frustrating for both the cat owner and the veterinarian. This is because, although dogs almost always have heart murmurs (that is, the murmurs we can hear with a stethoscope), which indicate heart disease, cats usually do not have heart murmurs. In fact, it is estimated that 50% of cats with heart disease do not hear heart murmurs. Clinical symptoms of heart disease include:
  • Heart murmur
  • Arrhythmia (eg, arrhythmia)
  • Heartbeat
  • Collapse
  • Fainting (such as syncope)
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue gums
  • Open breathing
  • Acute, sudden paralysis (eg, typical hind limbs)
  • Cold hind limbs, pain
  • Sudden death
Once a heart condition has been diagnosed (usually based on a physical exam, chest X-ray and echocardiography called "echocardiography"), treatment may include oxygen therapy, diuretics, blood pressure support, and emergency care for cardiac medications. Long-term prognosis is poor because heart drugs can't cure heart disease; it can prevent heart disease from getting worse. The exception is that heart disease is caused by hyperthyroidism, and once the thyroid function is treated, it tends to get better!

5. Cancer

As the life of cats and dogs has increased, we have seen more cancer cases as veterinarians. The most common cancer in cats is gastrointestinal cancer, usually caused by lymphosarcoma. The clinical symptoms of cancer include:
  • Weightlessness
  • Not eating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bloating or bloating
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • General malaise
Once diagnosed, the prognosis of cancer is very poor. Therefore, the sooner you notice clinical symptoms, the sooner you start diagnosis and treatment.