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CAT DISEASES & OTHER AILMENTS



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Very few cats go through life without some kind of ailment or injury. Unfortunately, your cat cannot tell you when it is sick or injured. It will be up to you to detect when the animal is ailing, whether it is merely "off its feed" or is seriously ill or injured and in need of veterinary care.
Please Note this is only for advice and help never risk your cats health also consult your own vet before giving any kind of treatment Thank You

 
The Healthy cat
 
Before you can decide whether your cat is injured or ill, or how severe its ailment may be, you should know the signs of a healthy cat. A cat in good health is alert, active, playful, bright-eyed and responsive. It will spend hours playing with its toys, chasing objects, climbing on high perches, running and leaping about. it will show considerable curiosity about everything around it. It will purr contentedly when you stroke its head or back. It will dance about you at feeding time, often standing in its hind feet and waving its forepaws. The aroma of food stimulates the cat's appetite and it will let you know in no uncertain terms that it is hungry and will attack its food with gusto.
When fed properly, a cat should be sleek and well-muscled, but not fat. Its coat should be glossy and soft to the touch, with no excessive shedding except in the spring. And when groomed regularly, it will have no matted hair or parasites. The cat's skin also will be clear and free of sores, rashes and eczema.
The healthy cat's bowel movements, are regular and formed. There should be at least one solid movement a day more when a kitten. The normal rectal temperature will range from 101 to 102 degrees F . A fit cat usually has no breath odour except after eating fish or other flavoured foods. It will be free of chronic coughs and sneezing although it may cough and sneeze occasionally, especially when exposed to smoke, soot, dust or other foreign matter in the air. The eyes of a healthy cat are bright and free of redness or discharge. Its nose also clean and free of discharge, except for the normal colourless mucus. Its mouth will have no sores, ulcers or other irritations. Finally, the healthy cat has an air of contentment which shows through the animal's aloofness.

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE AILING CAT
 
Refusal to eat or half-hearted eating for more than one or two meals.
Inactivity, listlessness or a tendency to lie around more than usual.
Dull, dry and lifeless coat.
Excessive shedding of hair, bare spots and sores on the skin.
Constipation, diarrhoea, bloody stool or difficult bowel movements.
Frequent urination, straining while urinating and dark or blood-tinged urine.
Inability to urinate.
Temperature above or below the normal range.
Persistent breath odour, after offensive foods have been eliminated.
Excessive sneezing and coughing.
Heavy, thick and discoloured mucus from eyes and nose.
Bleeding
Anaemia or pale gums.
Pawing or scratching at the head and ears.
Vomiting between meals, especially a yellow fluid. Cats have a quick reverse action and may vomit for a variety of harmless reasons. But prolonged vomiting, with a yellow discharge, is indicative of serious trouble.
Excessive intake of water.
Sitting with the head hanging over the water bowl.
Swellings or abscesses on the face, legs, or tail.
Wounds, cuts or contusions.
Stiffness or inability to use a leg or paw.
Fractures.

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WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT THE SICK OR INJURED CAT?
 
The chances are your cat will need treatment some time during its lifetime. There will be minor ailments which you can treat at home, but more serious conditions should be referred to the vet. It is your responsibility to learn to distinguish one from the other and to act accordingly.
Familiarise yourself with the causes, symptoms, mode of transmission and treatment of the various cat diseases, as well as the symptoms of injuries and first aid measures required. That is not to say that you should learn the technical terms, master the veterinary pharmacopoeia or become an expert diagnostician, all of which are the province of the veterinary surgeon. But you should have a working knowledge of the various cat diseases and injures and be able to judge whether your cat should be taken to the vet. You should also be able to describe the cat's condition intelligently-especially important when you talk to the vet on the telephone.
Another important reason for familiarising yourself with cat diseases and injuries is that, in many cases, you will have to nurse the cat back to health. This will involve reporting symptoms and progress to the vet, and you will be in a better position to make intelligent reports if you are well-informed. you will also better understand the vet's objectives and be better able to follow his instructions.
Resist the temptation to doctor your cat when it is seriously ill or injured. As already stated you should learn what conditions you can safely treat and do not attempt to go beyond them. When in doubt as to the severity of a disease or injury, or when a seemingly minor condition persists, always take the cat to the vets. DON'T risk your cat's life by trying to do more than you are trained to do.

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HOW CAT DISEASES ARE TRANSMITTED
 
The major cat diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses fungi and rickettsiae, (the latter are bacteria-like organisms.) Before your cat can contract a diseases, it must be exposed to the organism causing that diseases. This exposure may consist of direct contact with an infected animal, eating infected food, or inhaling are infected by organisms. Also minute droplets of water or mucus from a sick cat may contain types of virus or bacteria which find their way into the respiratory system of another cat. Rabies a virus diseases, is transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal and fungus infections are spread by direct contact, wind and water. Cats contract ringworm and favus both fungus diseases, by rubbing against infected dog's cats or human beings.

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SOME SAFEGUARDS FOR YOUR CAT'S HEALTH.
 
A knowledge of the causes and methods of transmission of the various cat diseases is valuable from the standpoint of prevention but should be augmented by active precautions. The most important is IMMUNISATION against those diseases for which there are vaccines.
IMMUNISATIONS
Fortunately, cats can be immunised against some of the major diseases. At the present time, there are vaccines for feline enteritis, rabies and pneumonitis. A cat may also achieve immunity from these diseases if it recovers from an attack. In such cases the cat's body builds up defences against diseases. White cells envelop disease organisms and destroy them, or the body manufactures antitoxins which work on the toxins given off by bacteria. but, while most cats can develop antibodies to attack specific organisms, it must be remembered that antibodies developed against a specific disease, such as pneumonia, are not effective against other diseases. For example, a cat recovering from feline enteritis is not immune to pneumonitis.
Natural immunity occurs only when medication does not interfere with the development of antibodies. Certain medicines and drugs destroy disease organisms in a very short time but, in doing so, interfere with the development of natural immunity. The build-up of natural immunity is a gradual process, and requires the presence of disease organisms. A cat that has been medicated, especially with antibiotics, may not develop sufficient antibodies to protect it against the same disease later on.
Most kittens have immunity from disease, inherited from the mother through the colostrum, or first milk. This inherited immunity wears off as the kitten grows older, usually within six weeks. This inherited immunity sometimes interferes with the development of antibodies when a young kitten is inoculated. You should keep this fact in mind. It may help explain why vaccination fails to take on a young kitten.
since you have no way of knowing whether your cat has been exposed to and recovered from a disease, and thus established immunity, you should have it IMMUNISED against the major diseases. Also, since you have no way of knowing just when a kitten's inherited immunity will wear off, you should not delay its IMMUNISATION. your vet will be happy to discuss your cat's immunisation programme and recommend those vaccinations which he feels are important.

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FELINE ENTERITIS
 
The most insidious of all the cat diseases is feline enteritis, a highly infectious and quick-killing disease. Thousands of cats die every year from this dreaded virus disease. All breeds of cats are susceptible, in clouding wild cats. While the disease appears to be more prevalent among kittens, it is not uncommon in older cats. However, the mortality id highest among kittens from four to six months of age. The death rate in a litter of kittens may reach 100 per cent; among older cats mortality may reach 90 per cent. An epidemic of feline enteritis can wipe out all the cats in entire neighbourhoods.
Feline enteritis is caused by a filterable virus, one that is capable of passing through fine porcelain. Your cat can pick up the virus by coming into direct contact with infected cats or by entering a room, cage, box or other place where infected cats have been kept. When one cat dies from the disease, it is imperative that any new ones brought into the home be protected with enteritis serum or vaccine. All toys, dishes, trays, bed and other equipment used by a cat dead from enteritis should be discarded. The incubation period from enteritis the time elapsing between initial contact with the virus and appearance of the typical symptoms is from four to ten days. This period may vary, of course The disease comes on quickly and is dispersed throughout the cat's body, with few parts being squared. Very often, the symptoms of feline enteritis are mistaken for those of other diseases. For example, some of the symptoms, especially violent vomiting, resemble those of acute poisoning. The converse is also true; cats suffering from coccidiosis, an intestinal parasitic disease, often display symptoms similar to those of enteritis in its early stages. If your cat has any of the symptoms listed here, waste no time getting it to the vet.
One of the most noticeable signs of feline enteritis is that of a cat sitting with its head hanging over the water bowl. It may or may not attempt to drink. As the disease progresses, the cat becomes thin and emaciated. Its tail loses hair and the body fur becomes dull-eyed, with none of its usual animation, and has little or no appetite. All of these symptoms steadily increase in severity.
A cat with enteritis runs a high temperature, often as high as 104 degrees F. It may cry out in pain, vomit a yellowish or greenish fluid and have severe diarrhoea. In the later stages of the disease, the cat becomes dehydrated. and soon dies. Enteritis produces a marked decrease in the white blood cells.
The speed with which the disease progresses is amazing. A cat may be lively and playful one day and be dead a few days later. Death ensues within forty-eight hours of the appearance of the symptoms in some cases. Older cats may linger for a week or ten days, sitting with their heads over the water crock, until they finally give up the struggle. Until effective drugs are developed to fight viruses, there is little that can be done for the cat with enteritis. Only a few recover from the disease, and these have natural immunity. Antibiotics are useful, how ever, in large cities, where many stray cats roam the streets and alleys, the disease often reaches epidemic proportions. When this occurs, prevention and control become major problems. Although early spring and summer bring a high incidence of feline enteritis, cats can contract it any time.
ARE FELINE ENTERITIS VACCINATIONS PERMANENT ??
It should be clearly understood that while high-quality feline enteritis vaccines confer long-lasting immunity, there is no such thing as permanent vaccination. Therefore, it is best to consult with the vet as to the frequency of any "booster" shots.
Unfortunately, some kittens and cats fail to respound to the vaccination and no antibodies are produced. There may be any one or a combination of reasons for the vaccination failure: (1) if a cat already has the virus in its body, the vaccine will not provide immunity (or cure); (2) cats in poor health, ill-nourished, or infested with internal parasites will have difficulty in building up immunity; (3) a young kitten may still have some inherited immunity from its mother, which interferes with the effects of the vaccine as the vaccination does not fortify any immunity present at the time of injection. Most of the felidae are susceptible to feline enteritis. Ocelots,margays,pumas, lions, tigers and other wild cats often contract and die from the disease. Enteritis is the scourge of zoos and menageries. Veterinary surgeons usually vaccinate the larger wild cats by shooting into their bodies small syringelike darts containing the vaccine. wild kittens usually can be handled and given inoculations in the same way that domestic cats receive their injections.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR CAT HAS FELINE ENTERITIS
Remember, enteritis works quickly. Get your cat to the vet without delay. If he has an isolation ward in his clinic or hospital, he may hospitalise the cat. If not, he will instruct you how to treat the cat at home under his supervision. If the vet is unwilling to keep the cat, it should not be held against him. Far from being callous or indifferent, he will have a good reason for this. First of all, enteritis is very contagious and the possibility of an epidemic sweeping through his cattery is very great, and without isolation facilities he cannot afford to take the risk. Also, the treatment for enteritis in a veterinary hospital is often very costly, and the outcome is doubtful. The vet often has this in mind when he insists upon home treatment for the cat.

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TOXOPLASMOSIS
 
Toxoplasmosis is a serious disease caused by the protozoan (toxoplasma gondii). It occurs in all parts of the world and may be acquired or congenital in cats and other small animals. Infection may be transmitted by eating contaminated food left by infected animals and by contact with infected nasal discharge, saliva and faeces of carrier animals. Young cats are the most susceptible to toxoplasmosis. The symptoms of toxoplasmosis include fever, loss of appetite, cough, jaundice, emaciation, difficult or laboured breathing and nervous system disturbances; paralysis may occur. Positive diagnosis can be made only by a vet after demonstration of antibodies and isolation of the toxoplasmosis organism.

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PNEUMONITIS
 
Pneumonitis is a feline disease which resembles the common head cold in human beings. It is caused by a virus (miyagawanella felis) and is highly contagious, often sweeping through a cattery or neighbourhood with astonishing rapidity. The incubation period ranges from six to ten days. Pneumonitis is not usually fatal, although secondary infections may cause death. The course of the disease may run as long as six weeks.
The symptoms of pneumonitis include running eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing fits and salivation. The cat's temperature may or may not rise. Though pneumonitis is rarely fatal, it is serious enough to warrant the attention of a veterinary surgeon, who will probably prescribe an antihistamine and antibiotics you can help by cleaning the cats nose bathing its eyes and applying eye ointment. IMMUNISATION A pneumonitis vaccine is available. At most it protects the cat for about six months. If there is an outbreak of pneumonitis in your neighbourhood, however an inoculation may protect your cat for the duration of the epidemic.

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PNEUMONIA
 
Pneumonia (not to be confused with pneumonitis) may be caused by a virus or bacteria. (There also is a type of pneumonia caused by foreign matter in the lungs.) The disease usually follows exposure to cold and dampness. Pneumonia takes various forms, but the one most commonly found in the cat is bronchopneumonia, It may occur as a primary infection or as the sequel to another disease, such as enteritis.
A heavy, harsh cough is perhaps the first noticeable symptom of pneumonia. As the disease progresses, the cat will have a thick nasal discharge, perhaps bloody, breathe abnormally with laboured, rasping sounds and run a high temperature, well above the normal range. Pneumonia is a serious disease. Keep the cat warm until you can get to a vet. Cover it with blanket or sweater. Cats rarely survive an attack of viral or bacterial pneumonia without proper medication; uncomplicated cases usually respond quickly to antibiotic therapy.
On the other hand complicated cases of pneumonia such as those followed by pleurisy may require a long time to cure. Pleurisy causes the lungs to break down into pockets of forcing the cat to breathe heavily and laboriously. This condition is know as emphysema or in popular terminology the heaves. Cats with emphysema lack stamina and are short of breath.

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TUBERCULOSIS
 
Tuberculosis is rare in cats. In the few cases that do occur the victims more often than not are farm cats which come into contact with cows and sheep goats and pigs any of which may be carriers of tuberculosis. Also raw milk may be infected with tuberculosis bacilli and farm cats drinking it may contract the disease.
The diagnosis of tuberculosis calls for x-rays and laboratory tests. These, of course must be done by the vet. There is no records thus far of cats transmitting tuberculosis to human beings.

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FELINE VIRAL RHINOTRACHEITIS
 
Feline viral rhinotracheitis, or distemper, as it is called is a respiratory disease with symptoms similar to those of pneumonitis. In fact the two disease were considered to be the same until the virus was isolated. The diagnosis and the treatment should be left to a vet. Cats usually recover within a few weeks. Recovery, however, does not necessarily confer immunity.

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CANCER
 
Almost all types of cancer are found in the cat. The most common are those of skin, mammary glands, bones, blood and blood tissues. Leukaemia and other blood cancers, which cause a very high mortality among cats, often go undetected until it is too late. As is the case with cancer in man, When detected early enough, some forms of cat cancer can be cured. Usually however the cancer is not discovered in time and treatment can give only a certain degree of relief from suffering.
A cancer is an excessive growth of tissue. Lumps on the skin, bleeding from the rectum or reproductive organs(other than the usual bleeding during the females heat period) should be regarded with suspicion. Internal cancers offer even fewer clues that might lead to early detection. Older cats should receive a regular examination by a vet, who can watch for signs and symptoms of an early cancer.

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URINARY INFECTIONS AND STONES
 
Cats, like human beings, are often troubled with urinary infections and stones, or uroliths. Cystitis an acute or chronic inflammation of the bladder, caused by stones or infection, is common in cats and can be very painful and debilitating. Cystitis may exist as a primary ailment or as a complication arising from another disease. Stones (uroliths) in the bladders of cats are usually composed of phosphate of ammonia, calcium, magnesium and xanthine. They vary in size and shape, often having sharp edges which irritate or tear the bladder. The symptoms of cystitis include frequent urination, straining (sometimes the cat is able to pass only small trickle of urine), pain bloody urinate. Vomiting and bloating are other symptoms, and usually indicate a blockage of the urinary tract. When blockage occurs, the cat's abdomen becomes distended and sensitive, to the touch. Death may follow within forty-eight hours. Uraemia, an accumulation of urinary substances in the bloody, is a serious complication of complete blockage in the urinary system. Prompt veterinary attention is imperative in such cases. Don't wait until the cat's bladder is blocked, but take it to the vets at the first signs of continual straining while attempting to urinate. The vet may be able to dissolve stones or treat infections before any complications set in. Surgical removal of the stones will be necessary when they cannot be dissolved. Cystitis may recur. Some authorities believe that foods high in calcium and other minerals contribute to the formation of uroliths. However, there is some disagreement with this opinion. A number of urologist believe that the retention of urine resulting from thickened tissues in the bladder and urethra (the canal which conveys urine from the bladder to the surface; in the male, it has a double curve) caused by disease, injury or scarring after an operation may be a major consideration in the formation of uroliths.

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SWOLLEN OR INFECTED ANAL GLANDS
 
Cats are frequently bothered by swollen or infected anal glands. These glands are two baglike organs located inside the anus and on each side of it. Scientists are not certain just what purpose the cat's anal glands serve. some think the glands are similar to the musk glands of the skunk, which have at least one obvious purpose to drive enemies away. It has also been suggested that the cats anal glands lubricate the anus and help to get rid of rough,undigestible materials, such as stones, seeds, bones, etc. The anal glands secrete a yellowish fluid. When the anal glands become swollen they should be emptied. Occasionally the glands become infected and cause great discomfort. The cat slides its rear along the floor in an effort to get relief. This sliding along the floor is also one of the symptoms of tapeworms.
EMPTYING THE ANAL GLANDS
The task of emptying the anal glands is a relatively simple one, although the struggles of the cat and resulting odour are so unpleasant that most cat owners prefer to let the vet do the job. If you wish to do it yourself, here is the procedure:
First, place the cat on a table and have someone restrain it next try to detect the swollen glands by examining the area around the anus on the outside. If the glands are swollen, you should be able to feel them Also you may be able to empty them by exerting pressure on the outside of the anus. Before you exert any pressure on the glands cover the anal opening with several layers of gauze, cloth or absorbent cotton. Otherwise you may be sprayed by the anal fluid when pressure is applied. Keep the cloth pressed against the anus with one hand, while you press on the glands with the other. If external pressure fails to empty the glands, you will have to work inside the anus. Put on a rubber glove or finger covering and apply vaseline on the finger to be inserted. The cat will be very sensitive, so someone will have to restrain it by force. Gently insert the greased finger into the cats anus and feel to the left and right and downward from the anus, which should enable you to locate the anal glands. Hold the cloth or gauze around the inserted finger and the anus and gently exert pressure on the glands, using a massaging motion. The cat should feel better immediately, once the glands are emptied. But keep an eye on the animal for a few days if the glands fill up again the process will have to be repeated. If anal gland trouble persists, there is likely to be an abscess or other infection, and the cat should be taken to the vets asap.

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CONSTIPATION
 
Older cats are frequently troubled by constipation. The condition has a variety of causes, among them lack of exercise faulty diet hair balls ingestion of foreign matter and tumours. Constipation is not a disease in itself but an indication that something is wrong elsewhere. Cats bothered with constipation usually are lethargic have poor appetites and distended abdomens. Try adding more roughage to the cats diet. A mild laxative, such as milk of magnesia, will relieve ordinary cases of constipation. In stubborn cases, you may have to give the cat an enema. If constipation persists, consult your vet.
DIARRHOEA
Diarrhoea is not a disease but symptom of a disease or a sign that the intestinal tract is infested with parasites or some foreign body. It may also be caused by malfunction of the intestinal tract, brought on by poor diet, excitement or chemical irritants. A true diarrhoea is characterised by very loose bowel movements and is watery or bloody. A soft bowel movement does not constitute diarrhoea.
If your cat has diarrhoea, go over its diet. You may be feeding too much of a laxative food, such as liver or milk. Try to control the diarrhoea by feeding starchy foods. Boiled milk, cooked rice, macaroni, barley or cottage cheese will help to solidify the bowel movements. A diarrhoea preparation will also help. If diarrhoea persists for more than a day or two in spite of your attempts to check it take the cat to the vet. Bloody diarrhoea, however should receive immediate veterinary attention. If may be caused by parasites, tumours, injuries or disease.

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VOMITING
 
Cats can vomit almost at will and it is not always a sign of illness. It may be caused, however, by disease, excitement, obstruction (hair balls), worms, poor liver and kidney function and poisoning. If your cat has persistent vomiting spells and you know it has not eaten poison, skip its regular meal. If however you know or suspect that it has been poisoned, get it to the vet at once. For ordinary vomiting, feed the cat warm beef bouillon and restrict its milk and water intake. Permit it to lick an ice cube instead. If the vomiting persists, consult your vet. It may be caused by something more serious than an upset stomach.

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BAD BREATH
 
Bad breath may be caused by certain foosa, intestinal disturbances, urinary ailments or infections of the teeth and mouth. A meal of fish will leave an odour on the breath. A sour or acid breath indicates a digestive disturbance, and an odour of urine is a sign of trouble in the urinary tract. The treatment for bad breath depends upon the cause. If bad breath persists after you have eliminated odoriferous foods, consult a vet.
TARTAR AND INFECTED TEETH Cats are not prone to tooth decay as human beings are. But although the cat's teeth are apt to remain sound up to old age, infected teeth are not uncommon. Tarter accumulates on the teeth of older cats and must be removed. It sometimes builds up to a depth of 1/8 inch, pushing back the gums, interfering with mastication and causing bad breath. Improper diet contributes to the formation of tarter. Wild cats rarely have accumulations of tarter, mainly because of their varied diet, but house cats fed mostly on tinned foods or all meat diets are susceptible to tarter deposits. If house cats were to eat feathers, bones and other coarse matter, they would rarely be troubled by tarter. Tarter is not difficult to remove, provided it has not been permitted to become too thick. A metal pick will snap tarter off, but the process may frighten or irritate your cat, and it is best to let the vet do the job. Heavy deposits of tarter require special dental tools. Also vet's may have to anaesthetise a nervous or unruly cat to remove the tarter. An improper diet, especially one deficient in calcium and phosphorus, will lead to poor teeth, Loose and infected teeth should be removed by the vet. Old cats with few teeth should be fed soft foods.
MOUTH ULCERS
Mouth ulcers, which appear on the upper lip ot inside the gum line, may result from disease, injury or allergy. There may be diseased tissue and swelling of the lips and gums, and the cat may be in pain. Permanent disfigurement of the mouth may result, if treatment is not prompt. Mouth ulcers should be brought to the attention of the veterinary surgeon.

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EAR TROUBLES
 
Ear troubles can make your cat miserable and irritable, infection of the outer ear, cankers, blood tumours parasites and insect bites and stings are more common ear ailments of cats. CANKERS An ear canker, or ulceration may be caused by infection or parasites. It is characterised by an accumulation of foul smelling wax in scabs or crusts, and the cat shakes its head and paws at its ear all of which aggravate the condition. You can relieve the itching and discomfort by washing the canker with mild soap and water. Use absorbent cotton and wash off the scabs or crusts. Next, dip a cotton swab into mineral or sesame oil and gently swab the affected parts of the ear. Do not penetrate too far into the ear canal or you may damage the eardrum. Apply the oil only to the part of the ear canal that you can see. After the oil has been applied dust the ear with antiseptic powder. If the canker persists, consult your vet. HAEMATOMS Blood tumours or haematoms, can lead to serious ear troubles if neglected. A haematoma usually from between the skin and the ear cartilage, and often follows injury. The symptoms include pawing at the ears, shaking the head, a soft swelling inside or outside the ear, pain or sensitivity when touched and heat in the affected parts. The ear will actually feel hot. Haematoms cannot be adequately treated at home. They require surgical drainage. Take the cat to the vet. EAR MITES Many cats become infested with small barely visible ear mites, which get into the outer ear canal. They can lead to serious ear trouble and should be treated by the vet.

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EYE AILMENTS
 
Cats are susceptible to various eye troubles. City cats that roam at large are subjected to dust, smoke, soot, oil fumes and other impurities from polluted air, any one of which can cause acute or chronic inflammation of the eyes. Respiratory disease usually cause redness of the eyes, watering and sensitivity to light (photophobia) CONJUNCTIVITIS Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining the inner surface of the eyelids and the front part of the eyeball. It is distinguished by redness, water and photophobia, or sensitivity to light. It may be caused by smoke, soot dust, fumes, injury or disease. Should there be a foreign body in the eye, it must be removed. You can provide some relief by washing the eye with warm solution of water. Using an eyedropper, squeeze a few drops of the solution into the corners of the eyes. The cat will spread the solution over the eyes when it blinks. Apply an eye ointment, such as golden eye ointment, to the eyes. If the condition persists for more than a day or two consult your vet. KERATITIS Keratitis is an inflammation or ulceration of the cornea. The cornea may merely be inflamed or it may have a small ulcer or crater, which usually results from injury. You may be able to see the ulceration sensitivity to light and occasionally a bluish white clouding of the eye are signs keratitis. The treatment for ordinary inflammation of the cornea is similar to that for conjunctivitis. Ulcerative needs the attention of a vet, although you can give the cat some relief by washing the eye with warm water solution and applying an eye ointment. FOREIGN OBJECT IN EYE A foreign object in the eye must be removed; otherwise an infection often serious will develop. CATARACTS A cataract is an opacity of the lens of the eye. One or both eyes may be affected. Cataracts are most often found in old cats.

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ANAEMIA
 
Anaemia is commonly found in cats and may be caused by disease or nutritional deficiency. Other factors contributing to anaemia are loss of blood from severe wounds and a destruction of the red blood cell structure. The symptoms of anaemia include listlessness, weakness poor appetite and sometimes vomiting. Since these are also symptoms of other diseases, a positive diagnosis of anaemia can be made only by a vet.

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FELINE INFECTIOUS ANAEMIA
 
Cats are susceptible to a disease known as feline infectious anaemia which is caused by a parasitic organism. The disease may be acute or chronic. In the acute phase, cats run a high temperature (103 to 106 degrees), have a loss of appetite are depressed and show signs of jaundice. A chronic form of this disease is characterised by normal or subnormal temperature, weakness depression and a gradual loss of weight Positive diagnosis can be made only by a vet.

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CONVULSIONS
 
Convulsions are not a disease in themselves but are brought on by a variety of causes, including brain injury or disease, parasites, fright, constipation, poisoning and autointoxication, such as uraemia. Extremely nervous cats may go into convulsions when alarmed or handled. The symptoms include enlarged pupils, excitement foaming at the mouth, running madly about and lying prostrate, with twitching legs. These also are symptoms of rabies and eclampsia. The treatment of course, depends upon the cause. strychnine poisoning for example. can be counteracted by an injection of Nembutal. Constipation causing convulsions can be relieved by laxative or enema or by a change in the diet. If your cat has convulsions, take precautions against it injuring its self. Move it to a safe distance from any sharp corners of furniture or other hazardous areas. If you suspect the cat has eaten poison take it to a vet. Convulsions may recur. If your cat has repeated seizures of convulsions consult a vet.

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DROPSY
Dropsy or oedema, is caused by an accumulation of fluids in the legs and abdomen. The distension of the abdomen is so great that the cat appears to be pregnant. The condition is more common in older cats. Faulty kidneys and heart trouble contribute to oedema. Kidney involvement can be suspected if the cat drinks large amounts of water. However, the intake of too much water only aggravates the condition. A cat with dropsy should receive veterinary attention. You can help by restricting the cat's fluid intake to small amounts.

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HEART TROUBLE
 
Old cats have various heart trouble, all of which need the attention of a vet. Shortness of breath, gasping fatigue are symptoms of heart trouble. Young cats may have heart infections or infestations of heart worms. The diagnosis of heart troubles should be made by your vet.

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ABSCESSES
 
Abscesses are small swellings on the skin caused by an accumulation of blood, lymph or vaccination fluid. An abscess may result from an animal bite or scratch, an insect sting or a faulty vaccination. The symptoms include swelling, pain or sensitivity to touch, loss of appetite, irritability and rise in temperature. Ice packs or cold cloths sometimes help to reduce the swelling surgical drainage is often necessary. If the abscess persists for more than a day or two take the cat to see your vet.



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