Illustrated Articles

Medical Conditions

  • Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, is found in fresh and brackish water of ponds and lakes. This microscopic bacteria can also grow in backyard fountains, garden pots, bird baths, and anywhere water is stagnant.

  • One of the most common medical conditions affecting cats is allergy. Flea allergy, food allergies, atopy, and contact allergies are examples of allergies in cats, with flea allergy being the most common cause. Flea allergy is a response to proteins or antigens present in the flea's saliva, and just one fleabite may cause such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to the removal of large amounts of hair. Food allergy testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. If your cat's symptoms improve after the food trial, a presumptive diagnosis of food allergy is made.

  • An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals, or foods. In the dog, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders, or occur concurrently with them. Therefore, do not attempt to diagnose your dog without veterinary professional assistance.

  • Amyloidosis occurs when proteins called amyloid are deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs, causing tissue and organ dysfunction.

  • Amyloidosis occurs when proteins called amyloid are deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs, causing tissue and organ dysfunction.

  • The anal sacs are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the four o'clock and eight o'clock positions. The walls of the sac are lined with a large number of sebaceous (sweat) glands that produce a foul smelling fluid.

  • Commonly called 'anal glands', the anal sacs are two small pouches located on either side of the anus at approximately the four o'clock and eight o'clock positions. Numerous specialized sebaceous (sweat) glands that produce a foul smelling secretion line the walls of the sacs. Each sac is connected to the outside by a small duct that opens just inside the anus.

  • An anaphylactic reaction or anaphylaxis is an immediate hypersensitivity reaction to a foreign substance, especially a foreign protein. Any foreign substance can produce an anaphylactic reaction. Clinical signs are dependent on the route of exposure (mouth, skin, inhalation, injection, etc.), the amount of antigen and the level of the pet's IgE response. An anaphylactic reaction is a medical emergency and immediate treatment is required.

  • Anemia is a medical term referring to a reduced number of circulating red blood cells, hemoglobin, or both. It is not a specific disease but rather it is the result of some other disease process or condition. The most easily observed and common clinical sign of anemia is a loss of the normal pink color of the gums. Several tests are performed on blood samples to diagnose anemia. If your cat's anemia is so severe that it is life threatening, a blood transfusion will be needed.

  • Anemia has a wide variety of causes and appropriate treatments based on the specific cause. Signs of anemia include the loss of the normal pink color of the gums, loss of energy or stamina, weight loss, labored breathing, loss of appetite, a faster than normal heart rate, or signs of blood loss. Several tests are performed to diagnose anemia and additional testing may be required to determine the specific cause. Toxins, infectious diseases, or cancer are some possible causes. Prognosis is variable depending on the underlying cause and how early anemia is diagnosed.