Pet health: “I didn’t know cats could get that” diseases

Posted on October 13, 2010 under Pet Health & Safety

A healthy-looking cat sits in a cat bed.
My cat has a bizarre pet health condition– asthma. Other than a cousin I haven’t seen since childhood, he’s the only one—human or animal—I’ve ever known to have it. Yet today, I find myself knowing more about asthma than I ever thought I would.

When I tell people that I give my cat an asthma inhaler by holding a mask over his face, I get a variety of responses. Most are just surprised that you can give a cat an asthma inhaler. Others are sure I have the tamest cat in the world (I don’t), and that he must let me do whatever I want to him (he doesn’t). Then I usually hear something like, “If I tried that with my cat, my eyes would get scratched out.”

We pet lovers sometimes surprise ourselves in the lengths to which we find ourselves going to care for them. We spend hours doing pet insurance comparison shopping, we type the slightest odd behavior into search engines to see if it’s normal, and we become experts in food labels, deciphering which brands have optimum protein-to-carbohydrate ratios.

So what other human-like pet health issues can cats suffer from? How about herpes…of the eye! My co-worker and her family were recently adopted by a stray pregnant cat. After the kittens were born, the momma cat started having eye issues that were thought to be caused by a flailing newborn kitten’s claw. Imagine the surprise of my cat-owning-virgin of a co-worker to learn it was herpes.

Since her daughter had suffered from a bout of shingles just last year, this diagnoses sealed the momma cat’s permanent spot in their home!

One day soon, another condition my co-worker’s cat might share with her teenage daughter is acne. Acne in a cat often appears as a dirty chin. But try as you might, the dirt doesn’t seem to come off. This is often harmless and remedied by changing all food dishes to non-porous ones like ceramic, glass, or stainless steel.

Sometimes, however, a secondary bacteria infection or lesions can form. This could be a symptom of other underlying issues, in which case affordable pet insurance will come in handy to get some tests done to help kitty keep that gorgeous complexion and pet health vigor of its youth.

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