Osteoarthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease of the joints. Although dramatically under-recognized, OA is actually one of the most common chronic diseases of cats. In addition to diet modifications, exercise, weight loss, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, management strategies for OA may include a disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug such as PSGAG. PSGAG is a disease modifying agent that slows cartilage destruction, promotes cartilage healing, and helps lubricate the joints. It is given as a series of injections that can be given by an owner at home. A positive response is expected at the end of the first course of treatment. Injections are typically used long-term as PSGAG is well-tolerated by most cats.
The nasolacrimal system consists of a series of narrow tubes that allow tears to drain from the eye. This system allows excess tears to drain from the eye to the nose and mouth. In some cats, this nasolacrimal duct can become obstructed. Most affected cats have excessive watering of the eyes, or reddish-colored tear staining of the face.
LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission Radiation. In short, it is a device that generates a beam of light energy at a specific wavelength. The first laser was developed in 1960, and its use in human surgery became widespread in the late 1980's.
Milk thistle is an herbal remedy that has been used for around 2000 years in the treatment of various health concerns. The Latin name for milk thistle is Silybum marianum. The active ingredient of milk thistle is a flavinoid called silymarin that is found in the seeds. Most herbal preparations contain extracts that are derived from crushed seeds and are standardized to contain a specific concentration of silymarin.
Mothballs are solid pesticides that slowly release a vapor to kill and repel moths, their larvae, and other insects from stored clothing and fabric. Mothballs are sometimes also used to repel snakes, mice, and other animals, although this use is not recommended and can be harmful to pets, children, and the environment.
Penetrating wounds such as sticks, arrows, or gunshots can be life-threatening though the outer appearance of a wound may not seem as severe. Take immediate steps to calm your pet, stabilize any foreign body that is present, and get your pet to your veterinarian. Surgery may be necessary after your pet is stabilized.
After arriving at home, you should keep your cat warm and comfortable by providing a soft clean bed, ideally in a quiet and draft-free room at a comfortable room temperature. Your cat should remain indoors. For most procedures, your cat's activity should be restricted for one full week after surgery. Some cats experience nausea after general anesthesia, so dividing meals into smaller portions may decrease the risk of nausea and vomiting.
Urinary tract infections are fairly uncommon in cats, although they generally involve the bladder and urethra and are described as lower urinary tract infections. Pyelonephritis is more accurately described as an upper urinary tract infection. The upper urinary tract consists of the kidneys and the ureters.
Radiation therapy is the medical use of high dose radiation to destroy cancer cells by damaging the cells’ DNA to interfere with cell replication and kill them. It may be used on its own or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, or to reduce the size of very large tumors prior to surgery. There are several radiation protocols used in veterinary medicine. Your veterinary oncologist will choose the therapy most appropriate for your pet’s individual situation.
Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, corticosteroids are a valuable class of medications. They are commonly used to treat mild inflammatory conditions and/or to suppress the inflammation associated with an allergic response. When administered in high doses, they act as immunosuppressant drugs meaning they suppress or prevent an immune response. Corticosteroids have both short-term and long-term side effects including increased drinking/eating and increased risk of infections. Corticosteroids can be life-saving medications and improve the quality of life for many cats.