An abscess is a pocket of infection that contains pus. These infected areas are surrounded by a membrane, and they appear similar to a thick-walled balloon filled with fluid. Abscesses may be small or large, single or multiple. An abscess in the skin feels hot, appears red and swollen, and is painful.
The anal sacs are located on each side of the anus, just under the skin. They are exposed to the environment via tiny passageways, or ducts. Glands within the anal sacs produce a dark, foul-smelling substance. The sacs are normally emptied with a bowel movement. Their purpose is unknown, and pets do not need them.
Degenerative joint disease is the number one cause of chronic pain in dogs and cats. This condition results when a joint endures long-term, repeated stress due to an injury or the natural development of a poorly conformed joint. Surgery is available to help in some situations, but most of the time the degeneration cannot be reversed. Treatment focuses on preventing progression of damage.
In most cases, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is caused by the dog’s own immune system, which usually is protective against disease. In the case of KCS, the dog’s immune system mistakenly identifies the dog’s tear glands as foreign, and it attempts to destroy them. As a result, tear production is reduced and the dog’s eyes become chronically dry. If untreated, the tear glands will become progressively more damaged and tear production may stop entirely. Without tears, the eye may become permanently scarred and your dog could go blind.
Diabetes mellitus, also known as “sugar” diabetes, is a common disease in which a cat’s body does not produce insulin or does not properly utilize insulin. During digestion, dietary fats, carbohydrates and proteins are broken down into smaller components. These smaller components, including glucose, are used by cells in the body for energy and other metabolic processes.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition characterized by an overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located at the front of your cat’s neck, below the larynx. The thyroid produces regulatory hormones that affect metabolism and energy. Hyperthyroidism is typically caused by a growth; most often the growth is benign, but it is possible for hyperthyroidism to be caused by tumors. Regardless of the cause, hyperthyroidism is treatable. If hyperthyroidism is left untreated, it can cause complications like hypertension or heart failure.
Flea infestations often last six to eight weeks before a pet’s owner ever notices a flea. The first sign of an infestation typically is when the pet brings in a flea or two from outside. Once on your pet, fleas will feed and breed to lay the groundwork for an infestation. There may be thousands of flea eggs, larvae and pupae in your home before you notice the first flea!
Gastroenteritis is a condition in which some or all of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is inflamed. Clinical signs associated with gastroenteritis include:
Gastroenteritis may be caused by infection, parasites, emotional upset or irritation from eating unfamiliar foods.
House Paws Home Veterinary Care carries several different brands of veterinarian-approved glucosamine supplements for your pet. Human products are available at a local drug store, but these are not as controlled as pet products and offer no guarantee of quality or content.
Laryngeal paralysis is a condition of the larynx that occurs when the larynx muscles cannot properly function, and the larynx can not open wide enough to take a deep breath. The most common symptom of laryngeal paralysis is anxiety, stemming from the inability to get adequate oxygen. Anxiety causes rapid breathing, distress and potentially a respiratory crisis that may lead to death.
Otitis externa is the medical term for an ear infection; it one of the most common ear issues found in household pets today. This condition is characterized by inflammation of the external ear canal and can cause great discomfort to the animal. The condition may present itself with a variety of different symptoms, including shaking of the head, scratching of the ears, and a bad odor coming from the ear canal. As the condition worsens, symptoms may elevate to swollen ears with exudate.
Feline tooth resorption is a condition characterized by painful lesions around the teeth and gums. It occurs in approximately 75% of domestic cats over the age of five.