Feline Care Guides

Alkaline Phosphatase Level

Alkaline phosphatase (ALKP) is an enzyme that is produced by many cell types. Although it is considered a “liver enzyme,” it is mostly made by the liver and bones.

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Allergy Testing

The most common types of allergies in pets are flea allergy, food allergy, and a condition called atopy. Atopy is sometimes called atopic dermatitis or allergic inhalant dermatitis, and it occurs when allergens that are inhaled or that contact the skin cause an allergic reaction in the body. In dogs (and, less commonly, cats), this allergic reaction is focused largely in the skin. Animals with atopy become very itchy; the resultant scratching can lead to skin injuries and subsequent skin infections. Atopy is usually first noticed in dogs younger than 3 years of age, although older pets can also be affected. Unfortunately, some pets that develop atopy continue to have problems throughout their lives.  

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Alopecia is the medical term used to describe hair loss. Alopecia can occur when hair fails to grow at a normal rate, or when hair is lost more quickly than it can grow back. Alopecia should not be confused with increased shedding. Shedding (even year-round shedding in some pets) is a normal process and is not an illness. Shedding should only be a cause for concern if it is heavy enough to create areas of thinning hair or baldness consistent with alopecia.

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Anal Sac Disease

Anal sacs are a set of glands that are just under the skin near your pet’s anus. The two glands arelocated at the 4:00 and 8:00 o’clock positions from the anus. The anal sacs fill with a foul-smelling fluid that is normally expressed through a tiny duct when animals defecate. Animals may use their anal glands to mark territory or repell aggressors, although a nervous dog or cat may accidentally express these glands when frightened.

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Anemia in Cats

Anemia develops when the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream is reduced.  Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. 

There are many different causes and types of anemia.  Anemia may result from blood loss, the destruction of red blood cells within the body, or the inability of the body to produce enough red blood cells.  The type of anemia depends on its cause.  For instance, a severe injury that causes bleeding externally or internally can result in blood loss that causes anemia. 

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