Thanks to data gathered from the 485,000 pets covered by Vet Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), a list has been released containing the top reasons pet parents took their pet to the vet in 2012. The good news for animals, and the people who care for them, is that while these commonly occurring issues can be costly—VPI customers spent $58 million in attending to their four-legged loved ones’ healthcare needs in 2012 alone—“the majority of these conditions are rarely life threatening” notes VPI. Below, learn about the five most common cat problems experienced in 2012, and how to keep your cat in good health, either by preventing or properly treating these concerns.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) usually result from bacteria that enters at the urethra and makes its way to the bladder, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as troubles urinating, frequent urination, blood in the urine, incontinence, fever, and lack of energy. Such an issue could signal bladder cancer, bladder tumors, bladder stones, an injury, stress, or diabetes, among other health conditions. Learn more about UTIs in cats.
Gum disease—which, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss—is the most common oral disease in pets. Consider a vet visit if you notice bad breath, discomfort, a lack of interest in eating or favoring one side of the mouth, behavior changes, bleeding at the gums, poor grooming, or a loss of energy. Good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent and treat such issues. Learn more about gum disease in cats.
Normally affecting cats entering their twilight years (8-13 and older), hyperthyroidism is usually caused by tumor growths (typically benign, but occasionally malignant) on the thyroid. An overactive thyroid results in the overproduction of two hormones and can result in weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, increased signs of aging, matting of the coat, changes in appetite, and increased thirst and urination. Hyperthyroidism can sometimes cause cats to vocalize more as well. There is no way to prevent the condition but there are treatment options. Learn more about hyperthyroidism in cats.
Infection, tumors, cysts, and viruses can cause chronic kidney problems in cats. Signs of the condition include pain while urinating, blood or cloudiness in the urine, and an increase in thirstiness and urination. Learn more about kidney problems in felines.
Inflammation of the stomach, or gastritis, is most usually signaled by vomiting. Eating foods that a cat’s digestive systems cannot break down could be a cause, or the symptoms could be the result of sensitivity to certain medications or foods. Serious health conditions, such as problems with the kidney or liver, cancer, or intestinal parasites could be the reason for the onset of stomach problems in your cat. Learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of gastritis in pets.
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.