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Medical Conditions

  • Fanconi syndrome describes abnormal function of the part of the kidneys called the tubules. The tubules should reabsorb water, electrolytes and nutrients as urine is formed, that would otherwise be excreted in the urine, but that are critical to normal metabolic function. With this syndrome, the tubules do not properly reabsorb the electrolytes and nutrients, and instead ‘spill’ them back into the urine to be expelled.

  • A feather cyst is equivalent to an ingrown hair on a human except it is much bigger (as a feather is a much bigger structure compared to a hair). The cysts form due to malformation of the growing feather within the follicle, which is located under the skin.

  • Feather loss is as much of a concern to bird owners as hair loss is to dog and cat owners. The feathers of a bird provide protection, insulation, flight, and visual signals to other pets.

  • Eosinophilic granuloma complex is a term used to describe three forms of skin lesions in cats: 1) eosinophilic plaque, 2) eosinophilic granuloma and 3) indolent ulcers. These lesions have a characteristic microscopic appearance due to the presence of eosinophils, which are a form of inflammatory cell. The term is descriptive, referring to the microscopic appearance of the lesion.

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) is an infectious disease caused by feline herpesvirus type-1. As with other herpes viruses, the virus is very species specific, and is only known to cause infections in domestic and wild cats. The virus can infect cats of all ages.

  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is a term used to describe a set of clinical signs associated with abnormal urination in cats. When the condition has no identifiable cause, it is called Feline Idiopathic Lower Urinary Tract Disease (iFLUTD) to indicate that this is an exclusionary diagnosis.

  • Feline miliary dermatitis is a general term used to describe a skin condition in cats that most commonly results from an allergic reaction. Since the most common allergic dermatitis or skin allergy in the cat is flea allergy dermatitis, the two terms have become synonymous. The term miliary means resembling millet seeds.

  • Feline vestibular disease is a condition in which a cat suddenly develops incoordination, falling or circling to one side, involuntary darting of the eyes back and forth (nystagmus), a head tilt, and often nausea or vomiting. These clinical signs usually appear suddenly, many times in less than an hour.

  • Common conditions of pet ferrets include diarrhea, intestinal foreign bodies, parasites, heart disease, and various kinds of tumors.

  • There are four major hormonal diseases in ferrets. Two of these diseases are covered in separate handouts, namely abnormally high levels of estrogen associated with persistent estrus in female ferrets (see Ferrets – Reproductive diseases), and abnormally high levels of insulin associated with the pancreatic tumor called insulinoma (see Ferrets – Tumors).

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