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  • Pleural effusion refers to an accumulation of fluid within the pleural cavity. This fluid is usually located within the pleural sac which is a serous membrane covering the lungs. The pleural sac can be thought of as a "plastic wrap" around the lungs that can potentially hold fluid or air (a potential space).

  • Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition in cats that causes multiple cysts to form in the kidneys. These cysts are present from birth. Initially they are very small but they grow larger over time and may eventually disrupt kidney function resulting in kidney failure.

  • Polycythemia vera, or “true” polycythemia, is a rare disease of dogs and cats in which too many red blood cells (RBCs) are produced by the bone marrow. This is the opposite of anemia, in which there are too few red blood cells.

  • A sarcoma is a term for any cancer of mesenchymal tissues. Mesenchymal tissues include connective tissues such as skin and muscles, bone, cartilage, peritoneum, and blood vessels. Post-vaccination sarcomas usually involve the fibrous connective tissue under the skin and are often fibrosarcomas. It is important to realize that sarcomas have been associated with injections of other medications in cats, so the condition is more correctly called injection-site sarcoma. A biopsy of the lump and histopathology of the abnormal tissue will confirm that it is a sarcoma as opposed to inflammation or infection.

  • The retina is a light sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye that contains cells called photoreceptors. Progressive retinal atrophy is a group of degenerative diseases that affect these photoreceptor cells.

  • The word “enteropathy” means any disease of the intestinal system. Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is not a specific disease, but rather describes a group of diseases that cause the loss of proteins from the bloodstream into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

  • Pulmonary hypertension means that the peak blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is much higher than normal.

  • Pulmonary means lung, and the word thromboembolism describes a blood clot that has moved through the blood vessels, lodged in one of the pulmonary arteries, and blocked blood flow into the portion of the lung served by that artery. This seems to be more common in medium to large-breed cats, and generally in middle-aged to older cats.

  • Urinary tract infections are fairly uncommon in cats, although they generally involve the bladder and urethra and are described as lower urinary tract infections. Pyelonephritis is more accurately described as an upper urinary tract infection. The upper urinary tract consists of the kidneys and the ureters.

  • Pyometra is defined as an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is considered a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively. Pyometra may occur in any sexually intact young to middle-aged cat; however, it is most common in older cats. Typically, the cat has been in heat within the previous 4 weeks.

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