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  • Aspirin is a commonly used over the counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and is used to treat fever, pain, inflammation (swelling), and clotting disorders in humans. Aspirin poisoning occurs when a cat ingests a toxic dose of aspirin, either through misuse or accidentally. Clinical signs depend on how much aspirin was eaten. Treatment for aspirin poisoning depends on how quickly the cat is seen by the veterinarian.

  • Asthma or bronchitis is a fairly common condition affecting cats. It occurs as a result of the airway being hypersensitive to certain stimuli, resulting in airway constriction, excess mucus production, and air trapping. Diagnostics include a physical exam, blood tests, x-rays, bronchoscopy, and bronchial or tracheal lavage. As asthma cannot be cured, treatment is aimed at the management of the disease using a combination of steroids and bronchodilators. Adjunct treatments include modifying the environment to reduce exposure to the noxious stimulus, hypoallergenic diet trials, and acupuncture.

  • Your cat has been diagnosed with feline asthma, and will require long-term medication for this condition, possibly for life. It is important that you follow the appropriate instructions for this treatment. The instructions specific to your cat have been checked off by your veterinary team.

  • The word ataxia means incoordination within the nervous system. There are several different forms of ataxia, depending upon where in the nervous system the abnormality occurs. The most common sign of ataxia, regardless of the cause, is an abnormal gait in which the cat is very unsteady on her feet. Treatment of ataxia will be influenced by the root cause. Pain management, supportive care, and creating a safe environment (e.g., preventing access to stairs) are cornerstones of ataxia treatment.

  • Atenolol is primarily used to treat heart disease in cats and to lower blood pressure. It is a beta1-blocking agent. Atenolol decreases the heart’s need for blood and oxygen and therefore reduces the amount of work the heart must do. It also helps the heart beat more regularly.

  • This handout summarizes atlantoaxial (AA) luxation, a condition in which instability or excessive movement is present between the first two vertebrae within the neck. Atlantoaxial luxation can be caused by trauma, hereditary factors, or a combination of these two factors. The most common sign of AA luxation is neck pain, though severely affected dogs may lose their ability to breathe due to paralysis of the diaphragm.

  • This handout discusses atopic dermatitis (atopy), a form of allergic skin disease brought on by an abnormal response to allergens in the environment. The clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment are outlined.

  • Atovaquone is given by mouth and is used off-label to treat protozoal infections. Give as directed. Side effects are uncommon but may include stomach upset or skin rash. Do not use in pets that are pregnant. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions or twitching of the heart muscle, specifically in the atria. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in cats occurs secondary to heart disease. Sometimes, in large breed cats, atrial fibrillation will occur as a primary heart problem. Most cats who develop atrial fibrillation have underlying heart disease, so the signs that are observed are often related to that underlying condition, and may include exercise intolerance, cough, or difficulty breathing. Treatment varies depending on whether the pet has primary or secondary atrial fibrillation. Your cat will need to be monitored on a regular basis.

  • Atrioventricular (AV) valve dysplasia describes a developmental malformation of the mitral or tricuspid valve. AV valve dysplasia is one of the most common cardiac abnormalities diagnosed in cats. Dysplasia may occur in both the mitral and tricuspid valves in the same cat; however, this is not a common condition. There may be a breed predisposition to mitral valve dysplasia in Sphinx cats. Tricuspid valve dysplasia occurs more frequently in Chartreaux and Siamese cats. Exercise intolerance, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, weight loss, and stunted growth may be seen. Difficulty breathing or collapse may occur if congestive heart failure develops. Treatment of AV valve dysplasia is focused on managing signs of congestive heart failure, generally using medications. Activity may need to be restricted based on your cat’s exercise tolerance and nutritional modification may be recommended.