Ask the expert.. May-June 2007

Dr. K. G. Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He is working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for south Asia.

Q : Which are the common diseases that cats suffer from and how can we prevent them?
– Dr. Chandan Kumar, Ranchi

Dr. K. G. Umesh : Besides fleas and ticks, gastrointestinal parasites are common in cats. The clinical signs of infection vary with the type and number of worms present and can be particularly severe in kittens. Ringworm is not a worm but a fungus; it normally causes circular scaly, itchy patches on skin. Many cats are carrier of this fungus. Cats should be vaccinated on a regular basis against life-threatening infectious diseases, including upper respiratory diseases (viral rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus), feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline leukaemia and feline pneumonitis. There are also a number of systemic diseases affecting liver, kidneys and heart. Most cases of infections can be prevented by practising good hygiene, providing clean environment and eliminating parasites through regular deworming and vaccination. Make sure that your cat has regular check-ups.