AIHA or IMHA is a life-threatening condition which may occur as a primary condition or secondary to another disease. Most cats with AIHA have severe anemia, their gums will be very pale, they will be listless and tire more easily, be anorexic and will have increased heart and respiration rates. Diagnosis involves CBC, biochemical profiles, urinalysis, and X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen and chest. Treatment may involve blood transfusions and other medications over a prolonged course of time. The prognosis may be better if an underlying cause can be identified.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stand united in their position that feeding raw food to cats is potentially dangerous to both the cat and to you. In the most recent study conducted, nearly 25% of the raw food samples tested positive for harmful bacteria, including Salmonella ssp. and Listeria monocytogenes.
Azathioprine is an immune suppressing medication given by mouth or as an injection and is mainly used off label to treat immune-mediated diseases in dogs. Common side effects include gastrointestinal upset and bone marrow suppression. This medication should not be used in pets that are allergic to azathioprine or are pregnant. It should be used with caution in pets with liver or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.
Azodyl® is a nutritional supplement that may decrease azotemia, a condition in which there is too much nitrogen (in the form of urea, creatinine, and other waste products) in the blood. Azotemia occurs in both dogs and cats that have chronic kidney disease (CKD). In theory, Azodyl® works by adding nitrogen-consuming bacteria into the intestines. Azodyl® should be considered an adjunct (secondary) treatment for CKD.
Bandages or splints may be necessary at times if your cat has a wound or a broken bone. Bandages can be readily applied to the head, neck, chest, tail, or lower legs of a cat. Splints are usually applied below the knee on the back leg or below the midpoint of the humerus on the front leg. Home care is very important and you will need to monitor for changes closely. Your veterinarian will give you more specific directions for the length of time that your cat has to be bandaged.
A basal cell tumor is an abnormal growth/mass resulting from the uncontrolled division of basal cells. There is no known reason for the development of these tumors in cats and dogs; however, certain breeds of dogs and cats are more likely to develop basal cell tumors, including Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Kerry Blue and Wheaten Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Siamese Cats. Fine needle aspiration may aid to guide the diagnosis, but definitive diagnoses are typically made via surgical removal and histopathology. There are few reports of local recurrence and metastasis (spread) does not appear to occur. With adequate surgical removal, long-term control is likely.
With mild or minor behavioral problems, clients are often able to correct the problem by means of reward-based training, as is outlined in the other handouts in this series. However, when problems are more serious, it is easy to make the problem worse rather than improving it.
This is a broad topic that includes a variety of therapeutic options including herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, nutraceuticals and supplements. There are few controlled studies to show that any of these treatments are effective in pets.