As pet parents, we want the best for our furry companions. However, despite our best efforts to keep them healthy and happy, cats, just like humans, can fall victim to chronic diseases that can impact their quality of life. Chronic diseases in cats, if left untreated, can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing. In this blog post, we will be discussing what feline chronic diseases there are, how they develop, and what you can do to identify and manage them effectively.
Chronic diseases in cats refer to illnesses that have a long-term impact on their health and, usually, have been making that impact for a while already. These can include diseases that have flare-ups or recurrence of symptoms – for example, in cats with renal (kidney) insufficiency, the degradation of the organ is what causes the disease symptoms to occur on a long-term basis. Other diseases, such as dental disease, can be come chronic if left untreated, but are diseases that have a return to original health once fully treated. To understand if your cat has a chronic disease, it’s essential to look out for recurring symptoms that may indicate a long-term issue.
At the heart of these chronic diseases is often an organ-based age-related degradation of the organ. That means that the disease originates in specific organs of the body and causes deterioration of that organ over time. One common chronic disease in cats is renal insufficiency. As animals age, their kidneys age and lack concentrating ability leading to a condition known as Renal Insufficiency Stage 1-4. This can be challenging as the kidneys play a vital role in creating red blood cells, maintaining a normal body temperature, muscle creation, removal of toxins and their overall health.
Chronic diseases can severely impact a cat’s longevity and quality of life (QOL). Common early symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, change of appetite, or change in behaviour. While these symptoms can have other less chronic causes, it’s best to get your cat examined by a veterinarian when they appear. Early detection and intervention can help manage chronic diseases effectively, increase your cat’s lifespan, and, most importantly, improve their overall quality of life.
Managing chronic diseases in cats can be challenging, but early detection and intervention can certainly make a difference. For example, cats with diabetes require careful monitoring of their blood glucose levels. Diets low in carbohydrates and higher in proteins will help keep their blood sugar levels even and allow the insulin to work better. There are several veterinarian diabetic diets that will help maintain normal energy levels while providing adequate nutrition to your cat. Annual, or bi-annual, check-ups and at home monitoring can help the veterinarian track the disease’s progression and make necessary changes to your cat’s medications and treatment plan.
As a cat owner, knowing and understanding the symptoms of chronic diseases can improve your cat’s overall quality of life. By keeping an eye out for early warning signs, seeking regular veterinary care, and following a tailored treatment plan designed for your cat’s needs, you can help keep your feline friend healthy and happy for years to come. Remember to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your cat’s health and ensure that you catch any potential issues early. So, if you notice any recurring symptoms, don’t hesitate – give The Cat Hospital of Kamloops a call and book your appointment today!
If you have any questions about chronic disease in cats, call us, the only veterinary cat clinic in Kamloops that offers a full list of services to keep your feline friend healthy. We provide consultations, wellness exams, X-rays and imaging, soft tissue surgery, dental care, diagnostics, spaying and neutering services for cats. We love cats, and we know you do too!
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