What are Common Diseases in Cats and Dogs and How Are They Detected?
Our pets are susceptible to a wide range of different infections caused by various pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Although regular health checks and immunizations help protect them against many diseases, certain infections continue to commonly affect our companions. Therefore, it is essential to be well-informed about these infections. Read along to learn more about common and consequential diseases affecting cats and dogs around the world.
What is Feline and Canine Coronavirus (FCoV & CCV)?
Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) and Canine Coronavirus (CCV) are among the most common and contagious viral infections affecting cats and dogs all over the world. Despite their name, these viruses are different from each other, and from SARS-CoV-2 which has caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Primarily targeting the epithelial cells of the intestines, Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) typically causes mild and chronic gastroenteritis in cats. Although the infection is usually self-limiting, it may develop into a severe, progressive, and often fatal condition called feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) due to a combination of viral mutations and inflammatory reactions within the host body. Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) affects around 10% of all FCoV-infected cats.
Canine Coronavirus (CCV) may target different systems and cause different sets of symptoms depending on the type of the virus. Enteric canine coronavirus targets the cells lining the gastrointestinal tract and causes symptoms of gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, dehydration, and abdominal pain. Respiratory canine coronavirus, on the other hand, is linked to a larger respiratory disease complex in dogs named Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRD). Targeting the cells lining the lungs, respiratory canine coronavirus commonly causes symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing and discharge from the eyes or nose. Given the overlap between the symptoms of these infections and other conditions affecting cats and dogs, testing with fecal RT-PCR or antigen/antibody-based immunoassays remains critical for the diagnosis of Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) and Canine Coronavirus (CCV). Our FCoV Rapid Antigen Test Kit, FCoV Rapid Antibody Test Kit, CCV + CPV Rapid Antigen Test Kit, and FCoV Ag + FCoV Ab Rapid Combo Test Kit assist in the determination of the infection and immunity status with results in minutes.
What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)?
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a serious immunosuppressive infection caused by a retrovirus. Although many FIV-positive cats may not experience clinical symptoms for years, they become vulnerable to chronic infections and inflammation. Further, FIV-infected cats become significantly more likely to develop the severe disease when a secondary infection challenges their immune systems. As Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) targets the immune system of the host, symptoms may not appear before the contraction of a secondary infection. However, symptoms such as fever, recurrent infections, lethargy, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, weight loss, and low white blood cell count can be indicative of infection with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Blood tests detecting antibodies are currently the most common method of testing in the diagnosis of FIV infections. While there is currently no cure for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), FIV-infected cats can live long and healthy lives with timely diagnosis, proper care, and consistent immune support.
What is Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)?
Like the Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system of the host. In fact, the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is the most common cause of cancer in cats. While FeLV-infected cats may not show clinical symptoms during an apparently healthy period where the virus may remain dormant, they may eventually develop severe disease from a variety of syndromes such as anemia, leukemia, kidney disease, and lymphosarcoma, along with secondary infections caused by common bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi. Different methods of testing such as ELISA, PCR, IFA, and antigen-based testing, are available for the diagnosis of FeLV infections. Our FIV Ab + FeLV Ag Rapid Combo Test Kit aids in the differential diagnosis of infections with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) to ensure timely initiation of immune support.
What is Canine Heartworm (CHW)?
Canine Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal infection caused by parasites that live inside the heart or pulmonary arteries of the infected dog. Transmitted exclusively by mosquitoes, the heartworm larvae travel to the heart or the pulmonary arteries, mature, and release immature heartworms. The resulting infection often interferes with the function of various organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, by clogging the heart and primary blood vessels. The most common symptoms of canine heartworm disease are chronic cough, shortness of breath, weakness, and restlessness. Unfortunately, however, by the time signs are seen, the disease is usually advanced. Therefore, early diagnosis through antigen or microfilaria tests is critical. Our LSH Ab + ANA Ab + EHR Ab+ CHW Ag Rapid Combo Test Kit and Lyme Ab + ANA Ab + EHR Ab + CHW Ag Rapid Combo Test Kit allow for the simultaneous detection of infections with Canine Heartworm (CHW) and several other infections with similar clinical presentations.
What is Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)?
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a highly contagious and consequential infection caused by a paramyxovirus. Primarily affecting the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, and central nervous system, canine distemper (CDV) may cause life-threatening disease in puppies, immunocompromised dogs, and unvaccinated dogs. The initial symptoms of the infection typically include discharge from the eyes, fever, nasal discharge, cough, lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. As the infection begins to target the nervous system, infected animals can develop circling behavior, head tilt, muscle twitches, convulsions, seizures, and paralysis. Dogs that suffer from severe disease are often left with life-long neurological complications. If supportive treatment is not initiated on time, canine distemper (CDV) can be fatal. Different testing methods, including PCR, antigen testing, and serological testing, are available to diagnose CDV. Our CDV Rapid Antigen Test Kit supports the canine distemper (CDV) diagnosis, delivers results in minutes, and prevents delays in treatment.
What is Canine Parvovirus (CPV)?
Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is among the most common and consequential infectious diseases affecting dogs. Common symptoms of infection with canine parvovirus (CPV) include decreased appetite, lethargy, fever, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. Continuous vomiting and diarrhea can rapidly lead to dehydration, damage the intestines, and trigger a septic shock. Especially in puppies and immunocompromised dogs, canine parvovirus (CPV) can be life-threatening. Although the similarity between the symptoms associated with Canine Parvovirus (CPV) and many other diseases complicates diagnosis, severe disease and death can be prevented by timely diagnosis and treatment. Various tests such as ELISA, PCR, and antigen testing can help differentiate Canine Parvovirus (CPV) from other diseases. Our CPV Rapid Antigen Test Kit assists in the diagnosis of canine parvovirus (CPV) and helps prevent delays in treatment.