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(New page: == Cat Diabetes (Feline Diabetes) == '''Signs and Symptoms''' Diabetes mellitus or "sugar diabetes" is a complex endocrine disorder that affects the body's ability to metabolize sugar....)
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== Cat Diabetes (Feline Diabetes) ==
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== Cat Cough (Feline Coughs) ==
'''Signs and Symptoms'''
'''Signs and Symptoms'''
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Diabetes mellitus or "sugar diabetes" is a complex endocrine disorder that affects the body's ability to metabolize sugar. This either occurs because the pancreas does not produce sufficient amounts of the hormone insulin (type 1 diabetes) or because the cells do not respond properly to the presence of insulin (type 2 diabetes). Cats can develop either form of this disease and felines of any breed and age can be affected. However, cat diabetes more commonly occurs in older, obese felines and generally tends to affect males more often than females. Feline diabetes is a very serious illness that can have severe consequences for your pet. When left untreated or treated improperly, this disorder can predispose your cat to developing a number of different unpleasant conditions such as cataracts, blindness, gangrene, and kidney disease. Diabetes can even lead to coma and death. As a result, it's important to catch this disorder as early as possible, so that your pet can be properly treated and cared for.
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While coughing may not be as common amongst cats as it is with some other animals, felines do exhibit this behavior. There are a multitude of different reasons why a cat may cough, and cat cough medicine will often be helpful with respect to treating this symptom. A cough can occur in a variety of forms, including dry, hacking, moist, and wheezing. It can also occur in isolated bouts, flare up intermittently, or be a more constant problem. Furthermore, cat coughs may be more likely occur at certain times than others. For example, sometimes a cat will cough more frequently after meals, after exercise, or at night.
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There are a number of different signs and symptoms that cats tend to display when suffering from diabetes. Two of the classic warning signs of this disorder are excessive thirst (polydipsia) and excessive urination (polyuria). These symptoms arise because a diabetic cat loses sugar through its urine, and these sugar molecules pull more water out with them. This increased loss of water then drives the animal to drink more. In addition to these classical symptoms, a diabetic cat often loses weight despite an increased appetite.
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Coughing is not actually an illness; rather, it's a symptom or response. Whether or not cat cough medicine will be appropriate for treating your pet will depend upon the cause of the cough. Often, a cat will cough for a trivial and non-serious reason. Sometimes, however, coughing can be a warning sign of an underlying illness or medical condition. If the latter case is true, the underlying condition will need to be identified and treated in order to protect your pet's health and well being. As a result, it's helpful to know what warning signs to look for when trying to determine the seriousness of your cat's cough.
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Other warning signs that may be exhibited by a diabetic cat include lethargy, depression, and an unkempt coat. Some cats may also experience vomiting. Another warning sign that occasionally occurs in diabetic cats is sudden blindness. Since animals with diabetes lose weight and muscle mass, a cat suffering from this condition may become weak. With felines, it's particularly common for a disorder known as neuropathy to arise, which causes weakness in the animal's back legs. In fact, it's this symptom that often alerts pet owners to the fact that there is a problem, leading to a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus.
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If you notice that your cat is suffering from a cough, it's important to make note of the type of cough, when it occurs, and any other symptoms that your pet may be displaying. For example, a moist cough accompanied by mucus discharge from the nose, fever, and lethargy could indicate that your cat is suffering from an upper respiratory infection. On the other hand, a cough coinciding with breathing difficulties and bluish gums is suggestive of heart disease. A hacking cough that brings up blood and phlegm could be indicative of the presence of a lung tumor or pulmonary disease.
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Since diabetes is a complex and serious disorder that can have an array of negative effects upon your cat's body, it's important to be aware of the common warning signs. If you observe your cat exhibiting any of the above symptoms or behaviors, it's vital that you alert your veterinarian immediately.
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Thus, coughing can simply be a response to the presence of an irritant, or it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. When a cat is coughing because of an illness, there will often be other signs and symptoms displayed as well. If your cat's cough is persistent, particularly distressing, or accompanied by any other symptoms or unusual behaviors, be sure to consult with a veterinarian immediately. The medical practitioner will be able to identify the cause of your pet's cough and inform you as to whether or not cat cough medicine will be an appropriate form of treatment, either on its own or in conjunction with other treatment methods.
'''Diagnosis'''
'''Diagnosis'''
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When a case of cat diabetes is suspected, a veterinarian will first go over your pet's medical history and conduct a thorough physical exam. Next, blood tests and urinalysis will most likely be used in order to confirm whether or not diabetes is at the root of your cat's problems. Blood tests will reveal whether or not there are high levels of sugar in your cat's blood. If your pet's blood sugar is consistently and significantly elevated, this will be an indication of diabetes mellitus. Since consistently elevated levels are required to confirm diabetes, several blood tests may be necessary.
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If your cat is suffering from a concerning cough, the first thing a veterinarian will do is go over your pet's medical history and conduct a physical examination. At this stage, the practitioner will look for any signs and symptoms that could indicate potential causes of the cough. In addition, the doctor will speak to you, as the pet owner, about the observations you have made at home. For instance, you may be asked about the type of cough, when it typically occurs, and any other unusual behaviors or warning signs that your cat has been exhibiting. Also, the veterinarian will want to know how long the cough has been occurring. Most cases of persistent feline coughs are related to upper respiratory infections, which can be diagnosed relatively easily. However, in situations where further investigation is required in order to reach a diagnosis, there are a number of different tests and methods that can be employed.
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Urine tests can also be helpful when trying to confirm a diagnosis of cat diabetes. These tests can check for the presence of two different substances in the urine -- sugar and ketones. When a cat has diabetes, there's so much sugar in its blood that the kidneys cannot hold on to it all. Thus, excess sugar is passed out of the body through the urine. So if there are elevated levels of sugar in your cat's urine, this could indicate the presence of diabetes. This test can be conducted through the use of a urine dip stick. A urine dip stick can also be used to check for the presence of infections in the urine, which commonly occur in diabetic cats due to the bacteria-friendly, high-sugar environment.
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Some of the different tests that may be necessary include blood tests, laboratory cultures, x-rays, and ultrasound. Blood tests allow a veterinarian to check for signs of infection or other illnesses. Measuring the levels of certain substances in a feline patient's blood sample provides a practitioner with a better picture of what may be happening in a cat's system to cause its cough and other symptoms. Laboratory cultures can also be used to identify particular infections. For example, culturing the bacteria obtained through an oropharyngeal swab can confirm the presence of Bordetella, which can cause primary and secondary upper respiratory infections in cats.
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As suggested previously, urine tests can also be used to check for the presence of ketones in the feline patient's urine. When glucose cannot enter cells, the cells end up metabolizing proteins and fats in order to get their energy, rather than metabolizing sugar. When this occurs, ketones are formed. If ketones are present in your cat's urine, your pet is likely suffering from diabetes and will require insulin.
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X-rays may also be employed. These radiographs allow veterinarians to examine a cat's internal structures and organs, such as the lungs. X-rays can reveal abnormalities, such as tumors or structural defects, which could be at the root of your cat's problem. Thoracic ultrasound can be used for a similar purpose, although it also allows for the inspection of soft tissues, which x-rays do not. Ultrasound is a particularly useful tool when examining the heart and looking for any possible cardiac problems. When trying to determine the cause of a cat's cough, one or more of the above diagnostic procedures will likely be used. Once the underlying condition or causative agent has been identified, an appropriate treatment plant can then be developed and implemented.
'''Pathophysiology'''
'''Pathophysiology'''
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A cat's pancreas is made up of two types of tissue, the acini and the islets. The acini produce digestive enzymes, which are secreted into the duodenum, while the islets produce hormones, which are secreted into the bloodstream. Insulin is one of these hormones, and it plays a vital role in the metabolism of glucose (sugar). When a cat eats, the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that it ingests are broken down into smaller components that can then be used by the body's cells. Glucose is one such component, and it is used by cells as a source of fuel and energy. As glucose enters a healthy cat's bloodstream, the pancreas secretes small amounts of insulin, which then allows glucose to enter the cells and be converted into energy. The more glucose that enters the bloodstream, the more insulin that will be secreted. Thus, the pancreas works to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high (hyperglycemia) or falling too low (hypoglycemia).
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A cough is a sudden and noisy act of expiration that expels air from the lungs. A defense mechanism and natural reflex, coughing serves to expel foreign matter or accumulated secretions from the airways. In many cases, this reflex occurs in response to an irritation or inflammation of the mucus lining of the trachea or lungs. Sometimes a bout of coughing can lead to retching and even vomiting. As explained earlier, coughing is most typically a response to a non-serious trigger or irritant. However, at times, it can be a sign of a more serious disease or illness.
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However, when a cat is suffering from diabetes mellitus, one of two things will happen to prevent this system from functioning properly. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the pancreas fails to secrete sufficient amounts of insulin. When a cat has type 2 diabetes, sufficient amounts of insulin may be secreted but the cells do not respond properly to its presence. Either way, glucose is not properly utilized by the cells, which then begin to suffer from a lack of fuel, and blood glucose levels rise significantly. Both the lack of fuel reaching the cells and the high levels of blood glucose disrupt the proper function of numerous physiological pathways, causing a multitude of problems. This is why a cat suffering from diabetes mellitus will exhibit a number of different symptoms, from weight loss to excessive thirst, and in some cases even blindness or coma.
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'''Causes'''
'''Causes'''
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The exact cause of the onset of cat diabetes is not known; however, there are a variety of different factors and influences that have been linked to the development of this endocrine disorder. For example, obesity is known to predispose a cat to developing diabetes. In fact, this seems to be the most predominant predisposing condition where feline diabetes mellitus is concerned. While breed does not appear to be a factor with respect to this condition, male cats tend to suffer from diabetes more frequently than female cats.
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Potential causes and triggers of coughing in cats are numerous and varied. Some causes will diminish and go away without treatment, others respond well to simple home treatments, and still others require veterinary care. A cat's cough may be triggered by something as simple as ingesting too much water or drinking too fast, or by hairballs. Long-haired cats are particularly prone to fur balls and often cough, retch, and even vomit up matted hair. Allergies, foreign materials, and toxins can also make a cat cough. For example, inhaling a piece of grass, chemical fumes, or cigarette smoke can trigger coughing.
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Genetics and a lack of a nutritional diet may also predispose a cat to developing diabetes. Medical conditions such as chronic pancreatitis and other hormonal disorders such as hyperthyroidism and Cushing's disease have also been linked to the onset of feline diabetes. Furthermore, certain medications like megestrol acetate and some corticosteroids may also have a hand in triggering the onset of diabetes in cats. Thus, even though the exact cause of this condition remains unknown, there are many different factors that have been linked to the onset of feline diabetes.
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A variety of illnesses and medical conditions can also cause a cat to cough. Upper respiratory infections are frequently behind a feline's persistent cough, and can be caused by viruses or bacteria. One such infection that can affect cats is infectious tracheobronchitis, caused by the bacterium Bordetella Bronchiseptica. This is the feline version of "kennel cough" and more frequently occurs in environments where there are several cats sharing space, such as in a shelter or a multi-cat household. Parasitic infections, such as an infestation of roundworms or hookworms, can also cause this symptom. At times, a serious disease such as cancer can cause coughing, especially in the case of lung tumors. Although more common with dogs, heart disease can also give rise to a cat's cough. Therefore, there are many different potential causes and triggers for coughs in cats, some trivial and others more harmful.
'''Treatment'''
'''Treatment'''
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While diabetes can be very dangerous if left unchecked, it is a treatable and controllable disorder. The exact type of treatment that your cat will require will depend upon its individual needs and circumstances. Typically, however, treatment plans for diabetic felines include the administration of insulin, a healthy diet, and careful daily monitoring. Consistency is also important, with respect to medication, diet, feeding, and a stable lifestyle. Some cats may only require oral medication, but most cats will eventually require daily injections of insulin. Your veterinarian will teach you how to administer these shots, and cats generally grow accustomed to receiving these injections very quickly.
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The treatment required, if any, for your cat's cough will depend upon the causative agent or underlying condition that is giving rise to the symptom. Once a veterinarian has identified the cause, a treatment plan geared towards targeting the specific trigger or illness can then be implemented. For example, if your cat's problem is the result of a bacterial infection or infestation of worms, antibiotics or deworming medications may well be necessary. On the other hand, if allergies or hairballs are the cause, reduced exposure to the triggering irritant or regular grooming and high-fiber foods may be helpful.
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Education is key when it comes to treating feline diabetes. Your veterinarian will provide you with the necessary information about how to care for your individual pet. If your cat is overweight, a supervised weight loss plan will likely be implemented. Even if your cat does not have a weight problem, diet is still extremely important. In some cases, supplements and natural products may be appropriate to help treat your cat's diabetes, and to provide more comfort and stabilization.
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Homeopathic products contain natural ingredients that can help to control blood sugar levels and diabetes. For example, blueberry and an herb called fenugreek both reduce blood sugar levels and have healing and antiseptic properties. Jambul and milk vetch have a similar effect. Other natural substances such as devil's club and dandelion have a beneficial effect upon liver and kidney function, as well as metabolism. Homeopathic products use a combination of such natural ingredients in order to provide several positive effects for diabetic cats. As a result, a homeopathic remedy may prove to be a very beneficial element in your cat's treatment plan. However, before administering any form of treatment, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.
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In many cases, cat cough medicine will be a very beneficial treatment option, whether used alone or in conjunction with other treatment methods. If this is the case, you may wish to use a homeopathic respiratory aid for your pet. Such products consist of natural ingredients with a variety of different favorable properties that can have a very positive effect upon a cat suffering from a cough. For instance, licorice, plantain, and mullein all act as expectorants, loosening and aiding in the expelling of phlegm and secretions from the airway. Furthermore, marshmallow and colt's foot have anti-inflammatory properties and help to soothe irritated tissues. Homeopathic remedies use a combination of such natural ingredients in order to provide relief for cats suffering from troublesome coughs.
'''Suggested Products'''
'''Suggested Products'''
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[http://www.petwellbeing.com/cat-diabetes-p71.cfm Mellit for Cat Diabetes]
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[http://www.petwellbeing.com/cat-cough-p75.cfm Respiratory Aid for Cat Coughs]

Revision as of 18:13, May 24, 2007

Cat Cough (Feline Coughs)

Signs and Symptoms

While coughing may not be as common amongst cats as it is with some other animals, felines do exhibit this behavior. There are a multitude of different reasons why a cat may cough, and cat cough medicine will often be helpful with respect to treating this symptom. A cough can occur in a variety of forms, including dry, hacking, moist, and wheezing. It can also occur in isolated bouts, flare up intermittently, or be a more constant problem. Furthermore, cat coughs may be more likely occur at certain times than others. For example, sometimes a cat will cough more frequently after meals, after exercise, or at night.

Coughing is not actually an illness; rather, it's a symptom or response. Whether or not cat cough medicine will be appropriate for treating your pet will depend upon the cause of the cough. Often, a cat will cough for a trivial and non-serious reason. Sometimes, however, coughing can be a warning sign of an underlying illness or medical condition. If the latter case is true, the underlying condition will need to be identified and treated in order to protect your pet's health and well being. As a result, it's helpful to know what warning signs to look for when trying to determine the seriousness of your cat's cough.

If you notice that your cat is suffering from a cough, it's important to make note of the type of cough, when it occurs, and any other symptoms that your pet may be displaying. For example, a moist cough accompanied by mucus discharge from the nose, fever, and lethargy could indicate that your cat is suffering from an upper respiratory infection. On the other hand, a cough coinciding with breathing difficulties and bluish gums is suggestive of heart disease. A hacking cough that brings up blood and phlegm could be indicative of the presence of a lung tumor or pulmonary disease.

Thus, coughing can simply be a response to the presence of an irritant, or it can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. When a cat is coughing because of an illness, there will often be other signs and symptoms displayed as well. If your cat's cough is persistent, particularly distressing, or accompanied by any other symptoms or unusual behaviors, be sure to consult with a veterinarian immediately. The medical practitioner will be able to identify the cause of your pet's cough and inform you as to whether or not cat cough medicine will be an appropriate form of treatment, either on its own or in conjunction with other treatment methods.

Diagnosis

If your cat is suffering from a concerning cough, the first thing a veterinarian will do is go over your pet's medical history and conduct a physical examination. At this stage, the practitioner will look for any signs and symptoms that could indicate potential causes of the cough. In addition, the doctor will speak to you, as the pet owner, about the observations you have made at home. For instance, you may be asked about the type of cough, when it typically occurs, and any other unusual behaviors or warning signs that your cat has been exhibiting. Also, the veterinarian will want to know how long the cough has been occurring. Most cases of persistent feline coughs are related to upper respiratory infections, which can be diagnosed relatively easily. However, in situations where further investigation is required in order to reach a diagnosis, there are a number of different tests and methods that can be employed.

Some of the different tests that may be necessary include blood tests, laboratory cultures, x-rays, and ultrasound. Blood tests allow a veterinarian to check for signs of infection or other illnesses. Measuring the levels of certain substances in a feline patient's blood sample provides a practitioner with a better picture of what may be happening in a cat's system to cause its cough and other symptoms. Laboratory cultures can also be used to identify particular infections. For example, culturing the bacteria obtained through an oropharyngeal swab can confirm the presence of Bordetella, which can cause primary and secondary upper respiratory infections in cats.

X-rays may also be employed. These radiographs allow veterinarians to examine a cat's internal structures and organs, such as the lungs. X-rays can reveal abnormalities, such as tumors or structural defects, which could be at the root of your cat's problem. Thoracic ultrasound can be used for a similar purpose, although it also allows for the inspection of soft tissues, which x-rays do not. Ultrasound is a particularly useful tool when examining the heart and looking for any possible cardiac problems. When trying to determine the cause of a cat's cough, one or more of the above diagnostic procedures will likely be used. Once the underlying condition or causative agent has been identified, an appropriate treatment plant can then be developed and implemented.

Pathophysiology

A cough is a sudden and noisy act of expiration that expels air from the lungs. A defense mechanism and natural reflex, coughing serves to expel foreign matter or accumulated secretions from the airways. In many cases, this reflex occurs in response to an irritation or inflammation of the mucus lining of the trachea or lungs. Sometimes a bout of coughing can lead to retching and even vomiting. As explained earlier, coughing is most typically a response to a non-serious trigger or irritant. However, at times, it can be a sign of a more serious disease or illness.

Causes

Potential causes and triggers of coughing in cats are numerous and varied. Some causes will diminish and go away without treatment, others respond well to simple home treatments, and still others require veterinary care. A cat's cough may be triggered by something as simple as ingesting too much water or drinking too fast, or by hairballs. Long-haired cats are particularly prone to fur balls and often cough, retch, and even vomit up matted hair. Allergies, foreign materials, and toxins can also make a cat cough. For example, inhaling a piece of grass, chemical fumes, or cigarette smoke can trigger coughing.

A variety of illnesses and medical conditions can also cause a cat to cough. Upper respiratory infections are frequently behind a feline's persistent cough, and can be caused by viruses or bacteria. One such infection that can affect cats is infectious tracheobronchitis, caused by the bacterium Bordetella Bronchiseptica. This is the feline version of "kennel cough" and more frequently occurs in environments where there are several cats sharing space, such as in a shelter or a multi-cat household. Parasitic infections, such as an infestation of roundworms or hookworms, can also cause this symptom. At times, a serious disease such as cancer can cause coughing, especially in the case of lung tumors. Although more common with dogs, heart disease can also give rise to a cat's cough. Therefore, there are many different potential causes and triggers for coughs in cats, some trivial and others more harmful.

Treatment

The treatment required, if any, for your cat's cough will depend upon the causative agent or underlying condition that is giving rise to the symptom. Once a veterinarian has identified the cause, a treatment plan geared towards targeting the specific trigger or illness can then be implemented. For example, if your cat's problem is the result of a bacterial infection or infestation of worms, antibiotics or deworming medications may well be necessary. On the other hand, if allergies or hairballs are the cause, reduced exposure to the triggering irritant or regular grooming and high-fiber foods may be helpful.

In many cases, cat cough medicine will be a very beneficial treatment option, whether used alone or in conjunction with other treatment methods. If this is the case, you may wish to use a homeopathic respiratory aid for your pet. Such products consist of natural ingredients with a variety of different favorable properties that can have a very positive effect upon a cat suffering from a cough. For instance, licorice, plantain, and mullein all act as expectorants, loosening and aiding in the expelling of phlegm and secretions from the airway. Furthermore, marshmallow and colt's foot have anti-inflammatory properties and help to soothe irritated tissues. Homeopathic remedies use a combination of such natural ingredients in order to provide relief for cats suffering from troublesome coughs.

Suggested Products

Respiratory Aid for Cat Coughs

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