Dogs and cats with pancreatitis commonly display nonspecific clinical signs, so the condition can be difficult to diagnose. But there also has been a lack of diagnostic tests for pancreatitis that are both sensitive and specific. In this article, I provide an overview of the available diagnostic tests, including a new serum test.
A 10-year-old 8.6-lb (3.9-kg) spayed female domestic medium-haired cat had been evaluated by the referring veterinarian because of lethargy, right pelvic limb lameness, lumbar discomfort, reluctance to jump, and tail weakness.
Gastrointestinal parasites are insidious causes of disease in cats. Protozoan parasitic infections in particular can be difficult to detect because there are often no signs of disease, or the signs, such as diarrhea, are nonspecific. But these infections must be uncovered and cured before they cause serious disease or spread to housemates or even owners.
In patients with clinical signs of one tick-borne disease, it is important to consider that they may be infected with multiple tick-borne pathogens. Coinfections may account for the diverse clinical signs some patients exhibit.
When addressing arthritis in cats, we presume similarities to arthritis in dogs, interpreting radiographs and clinical signs with canine differential diagnoses in mind. And we develop therapies based on how dogs are managed. But these presumptions have little scientific basis. In fact, we know little about how many cats have arthritis, what effect their arthritis has on their lifestyles, or to what degree therapy improves their comfort level.
Cats are living longer because of a greater focus on routine healthcare for pets. As their veterinarians, we are challenged with the task of helping these cats live long, high-quality lives. The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Academy of Feline Medicine (AAFP/AFM) Panel Report on Feline Senior Care1 provides a consensus on important goals and recommendations to help you care for senior cats. This article highlights many of the principal points in that report in conjunction with my clinical experience.
We often underuse the auscultation and physical examination techniques our predecessors mastered to successfully evaluate the cardiovascular system. Instead, we lean on echocardiography to offset the subtle nuances we fail to recognize.