Common health issues
- Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.
- Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. In some cats, severe gingivitis occurs due to hypersensitivity to the plaque surrounding the tooth. The cause of this hypersensitivity is unknown, and severe cases can cause tooth decay. Removal of the teeth (including tooth roots) seems to be curative and is recommended due to the discomfort caused in severe cases.
- Cats with mucopolysaccharidosis have a deficiency in one or more of the enzymes needed for the breakdown of mucopolysaccharides. In the Siamese cat, excess mucopolysaccharides accumulate in the skeletal and nervous system, the heart, eye and liver. This interferes with normal activity and drastically shortens the affect cat's lifespan.
- Amyloidosis is a group of diseases in which the protein amyloid is deposited in organs. In most cats, the liver is the target organ for deposition, and over time, amyloid deposits cause a fragile liver prone to bleeding and liver failure. The disease often appears to occur suddenly in the liver because there are few early signs.
- Just like in the dog, feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart walls become thickened, making it difficult for the heart to pump properly. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, and blood clots. Symptoms include heart murmurs and coughing, but sudden death can occur with no clinical signs.
- Muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscular disease seen in young dogs and cats. Clinical signs of enlarged muscles, excess salivation and stiff gait are seen in pets as young as 5 months old. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for muscular dystrophy, and affected pets have a poor prognosis.