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Cats

  • Hypoadrenocorticism, also known as Addison’s disease, is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough glucocorticoids (steroids) to allow normal body function. This condition is considered rare in cats, but numerous cases have been reported. Affected cats often have a history of waxing and waning periods of lethargy, decreased appetite, and weight loss. Long-term, cats with hypoadrenocorticism require medications to supplement the substances released from the adrenal glands.

  • Lipomas are common, usually harmless, tumors of fat that usually show up as a lump under the skin in middle-aged to older animals. Some pets will develop these tumors in their armpit region, between their legs, or around the neck, which can cause discomfort and/or lameness. You may see your pet exhibit an irregular gait, and/or reluctance to stand, walk upstairs, or go for their normal walks. This handout reviews the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of lipomas.

  • An adrenal cortex tumor is an abnormal growth of cells in the adrenal cortex. These tumors result in overproduction of cortisol and can be malignant (cancerous) or benign. In both cases, an adrenal cortex tumor can cause Cushing's disease in dogs. Malignant tumors can metastasize to other organs, including the kidneys, lymph nodes, and thyroid gland. The sooner a diagnosis and treatment plan can be determined, the better the outcome for your pet.

  • The adrenal medulla is responsible for producing hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. An adrenal medulla tumor is the result of abnormal, uncontrolled growth of the cells that produce these hormones. These tumors may go undetected for a long time and clinical signs may be subtle. These signs could include weakness, excessive panting and restlessness, newly noted anxiety, and an increase in drinking and urination. The biggest concern with these tumors is their ability to continue to grow and invade local tissues, which can make surgical removal difficult or impossible.

  • Albuterol sulfate is a bronchodilator, used off label, to treat asthma and cough related to bronchoconstriction. It is administered as an inhalant in cats and by mouth, as a tablet, in dogs. The most common side effects include nervousness, shaking, fast heartbeat, and dizziness. Use with caution in pets with diabetes, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, seizures, heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, or pregnancy. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Early decontamination of can be performed following exposure to a toxic dose of alcohol as long as a pet is not showing clinical signs. Decontamination may include inducing vomiting (for ingestions) or bathing (for skin exposures). Other therapies include intravenous (IV) fluids, IV dextrose to help with low blood glucose, anti-nausea medication and warming support. Although there is no specific antidote for alcohol poisoning, medications may be used to assist with severe clinicals signs of respiratory depression and coma. Hospitalization for monitoring of cardiovascular and neurological parameters is needed until animals have recovered. Recovery is expected within 24 – 36 hours following treatment.

  • 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.

  • Allopurinol is an oral medication typically used to prevent uric acid and calcium oxalate stones in dogs. It is also used off-label to treat leishmaniasis and gout in dogs and other species. Side effects are uncommon but may involve stomach upset. Caution must be taken when allopurinol is used in conjunction with certain other medications. It should not be used in pets with liver or kidney dysfunction or in red-tailed hawks.

  • Alprazolam is a medication given by mouth as a tablet or liquid used off label in cats and dogs to treat anxiety and phobias. Common side effects include sedation, increased appetite, or uncoordinated walking. This medication should not be used in pets with a paradoxical reaction and should be used with caution in debilitated, geriatric, pregnant, lactating pets, or in pets with liver or kidney disease, or glaucoma. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Aluminum hydroxide is commonly used off label to treat high phosphate levels in pets with kidney disease. It is given by mouth, with meals, in the form of a liquid gel, powder, or a compounded capsule. The most common side effect is constipation, and therefore should be used in caution with pets with a gastrointestinal obstruction or pets prone to constipation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

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