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Dog and Cat Diseases (Common)

Dog and Cat Common Diseases And Their Associated Ribbon Colors

As a dog and cat parent, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of common illnesses so you can seek vetirinary help for your favorite canine and feline friend as soon as possible. The following diseases and medical conditions most common to dogs and cats are listed below.

New Animal Ribbons Coming Soon!
Cancer (Dogs and Cats)
Cancer is a class of diseases in which cells grow uncontrollably, invade surrounding tissue and may spread to other areas of the body. As with people, dogs and cats can get various types of cancer. The disease can be localized (confined to one area, like a tumor) or generalized (spread throughout the body). One type of veterinarian that deals with cancer in dogs and cats is a veterinary oncologist.

Diabetes (Dogs and Cats)
Diabetes in dogs and cats is a complex disease which is caused either by a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. After a dog or cat eats, his or her digestive system breaks food into various compoents, including glucose, which is carried into the cells by insulin, a hormone secreated by the pancreas. When a dog or cat does not produce insulin or cannot utilize it normally, blood sugar levels rise. The result is hyperglycemia, which, if left untreated, can cause many complicated health problems for a dog or cat.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) (Cats)
First discovered in the 1960s, feline leukemia virus is a transmittable RNA retrovirus that can severely inhibit a cat's immune system. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of disease and death in domestic cats. Becaue the virus doesn't always manifest symptoms right away, any new cat entering the household, and any sick cat, should be tested for FeLV.

Heartworm (Dogs and Cats)
Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream, harming arteries and vital organas as they go, ultimately completing their journey to the vessels of the lung and the heart chamber about six months after the initial infection. Several hundred worms can live in one dog for five to seven years.

Spread by infected mosquitoes, heartworm is increasingly being recognized as an underlying cause of health problems in domestic cats. Cats are an atypical host for heartworms. Despite its name, heartworm primarily causes lung diseases in cats. It is an important concern for any cat owner living in areas densely populated by mosquitoes, and prevention should be discussed with a veterinarian.

High-Rise Syndrome (Cats)
Many pet parents eagerly open their windows to enjoy the weather during the summer months. Unfortunately unscreened windows pose a real danger to cats, who fall out of them so often that the veterinary profession has a name for the complaint - High-Rise Syndrome. Falls can result in shattered jaws, punctured lungs, broken limbs and pelvises, and even death.

Kennel Cough (Dogs)
Kennel cough is a term loosely used to describe a complex of respiratory infections, both viral and bacterial, that causes inflammation of a dog's voice box and windpipe. It is a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans.

Parvovirus (Dogs)
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce life-threatening illness.

Rabies (Dogs and Cats)
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs and humans. This preventable disease has been reported in every state except Hawaii. Once symptions appear, rabies is often fatal.

Ringworm (Cats)
Although the name suggests otherwise, ringworm is not caused by a worm, but a fungus that can infect the skin, hair and nails. This highly contagious disease can lead to patchy areas of hair loss on a dog and spread to other animals, and to humans, too. In cats, it is not uncommon, and is a highly contagious disease. Ringworm can lead to patchy, circular areas of hair loss with central red rings. Also known as dermatophytosis, ringworm often spreads to other pets in the household, and can affect humans, too.

Upper Respiratory Infections (Cats)
A cat's upper respiratory tract, the nose, throat and sinus area, is susceptive to infections caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria.

Worms (Cats)
Cats can acquire a variety of intestinal parasites, including some that are commonly referred to as "worms." Infestations of intestinal worms can cause a variety of symptoms. Sometimes cats demonstrate few to no outward signs of infection, and the infection can go undetected despite being a potentially serious health problem. Some feline parasitic worms are hazards for human health, as well.

Other animal or pet awareness ribbons:

Animal Abuse Prevention - Purple Ribbons
Please remember to spread awareness of animal abuse with a purple ribbon.

Animal Loss Due to Animal Abuse - Purple and Black Ribbons
For those animals who have been lost due to animal abuse, please consider our purple and black pin. Our purple and black pin can be engraved with a name, date or message, which can encourage others to learn about and advcoate for these animals who have been abused and/or neglected.

Orange Ribbon for Animals
The orange ribbon recognizes at-risk animals. It also demonstrates your dedication to being an animal guardian, advocating for adopting from animal shelters and rescue organizations; spaying and neurtering animals to prevent homeless and unwanted animal populations; and protecting and loving your animal for their entire lifetime.