Blood Tests Throughout Life

Some people are reluctant to get blood tests for their dogs, which is understandable. Dogs don’t like getting their blood drawn any more than anyone else. Dog owners are often going to be nervous about the results. Blood tests have their minor but still tangible expenses attached, and they take time. However, getting blood tests for dogs can add years to their lives for many reasons.

 

Blood Tests for Young Dogs

 

Some people might think that getting blood tests for young dogs is a waste of time. However, the fact that young dogs are typically healthy is all the more reason to get some initial blood tests. Veterinarians need to have a sense of what constitutes ‘normal’ for a given dog, since the health and the normal statistics of all dogs will vary somewhat.

 

Veterinarians will use the information that they have gathered about a given dog at this stage in his or her life to assess his or her health later in life. Dog owners should get their dogs evaluated at this point in order to ensure that they will still be healthy later.

 

Blood Tests for Abnormal Dogs

 

Some dogs will present obvious symptoms. Other dogs will present with symptoms that don’t seem like much cause for alarm at first, often until it is too late. Dog owners will usually have a sense of the personalities of their dogs. If they notice that their dogs are acting in any sort of a strange way, a panel of blood tests might be a good idea.

 

Dogs have their mood fluctuations just like people. However, some of these mood fluctuations might be biological in nature. There are plenty of disorders that manifest as psychological symptoms first. Dogs who are normally energetic who start acting listless, for instance, might just be sick. Dogs who are normally friendly who start acting aggressive are showing even stronger signs of being sick. At any rate, owners are doing their dogs an important service by trying to rule out certain problems before they fully present themselves.

 

Blood Tests Before Surgery

 

Dogs who are about to have surgical procedures of any kind should get blood tests. Blood tests can be used to rule out underlying problems that might cause complications during surgeries. Veterinarians have performed given surgeries over and over again, and under normal circumstances, these surgeries aren’t going to run into any unexpected problems. Many surgeries are caused by problems that presented themselves too late, and this is less likely to happen when the given patients were tested beforehand.

 

Some vets will insist on blood tests prior to surgery. However, this is not universal. Owners should make sure that their dogs get the blood tests that they need prior to any sort of surgery if the vets do not insist on them, even if the surgery is a routine procedure involving spaying or neutering. Their pets are going to be in better hands that way.

 

A little more information over here http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/testing/

 

Blood Tests Throughout a Pet’s Life

 

Dogs famously age very quickly. The idea that a year for a human equals seven years for a dog isn’t entirely accurate, although it is a good ballpark figure. A small dog can live for around twenty years. A dog like a Great Dane may not even make it to the age of twelve, so the seven-year rule is too generous for them.

 

However, getting blood tests at as many veterinary checkups as possible is a good idea for all dogs, particularly since they do age so fast. The more information that vets have, the easier it will be for them to stop problems in their tracks. They’ll also have the data that they need to really monitor the health of their patients.

 

Some health problems are caused by unavoidable aging in dogs. Others can at least be addressed. Some dogs will have problems even when they are very young. Other dogs will stay healthy right up until the year in which they finally die. Dogs that are given regular blood tests are going to have a much better chance in life one way or another. The pet owners who make allowances for those tests are doing their dogs a tremendous service each time.

Common Animal Diseases

 

The following  page has been complied for your information. It covers just a few of the most common domestic animal diseases. Canine and Feline family pets are always at risk so please visit your veterinarian anytime you feel your animal is not in good health. We also recommend you always keep your pets vaccinated for the most common diseases. Your veterinary clinic or hospital will update you on all the latest risks and ways you can make sure your pet is kept healthy. Please make sure if you take a rescue or shelter animal home that they have been checked. SensPERT antigen / antibody test kits are available for all diseases listed below. SensPERT offers special discounts on all of our rapid tests to animal shelters, rescues, kennels and other non-profit animal organizations Please contact us if you would like further information and get your discount coupon code.

     

Please adopt and re-home a dog or cat from an animal shelter you will be very happy that you did! Support your local UK shelter.  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Canine

  Distemper (Canine) 

Canine distemper is a viral disease that affects dogs worldwide. The disease is most common in young, unvaccinated dogs. Initially, fever and ocular and nasal discharge will be seen, but this will progress to include clinical signs involving the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and central nervous system. The mortality rate can reach 50 percent.

Common name: Distemper, Hard pad disease.
Scientific name: Canine distemper virus diagnosis.

Signalment
Canine distemper can affect dogs of any age but is more common in young dogs 3 to 6 months old or older dogs with a compromised immune system. Poorly vaccinated or unvaccinated dogs of any age can develop distemper. Some breeds may be at higher risk than others, but this has not been proven.

Incidence/prevalence
Not well established. In a well-vaccinated population, incidence may be fairly low. On the other hand, in a poorly vaccinated population, it may be fairly high.

Geographic distribution
Canine distemper affects dogs worldwide.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, anorexia, adipsia (not drinking), Oculonasal discharge, dyspnea (trouble breathing), coughing, Myoclonus (repetitive contraction of muscles), seizures (chewing gum‚ seizures), depression, ataxia (drunkenness), paresis (weakness of the hind legs), paralysis, muscle tremors, hyperesthesia (increased sensitivity to stimuli), blindness, Hyperkeratosis (thickening) of nose and footpads, Enamel hypoplasia (malformation) of teeth (neonates only). 

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 Lyme Disease (Canine)   

 

Canine Lyme Disease is a multi-symptom disease that is transmitted to dogs by ticks. Ticks can also transmit Lyme disease to people, but infected dogs cannot directly transmit disease to people or any other animal. Many dogs that are exposed to Lyme disease do not show any signs of illness, but may test positive on screening tests. Vaccines are available for prevention. Antibiotics are used for treatment of dog Lyme Disease although recurrence is possible.

Common name: Lyme Disease
Scientific name: Borrelliosis

Canine Lyme Disease Diagnosis

Signalment
All dogs that are exposed to ticks are susceptible to Lyme Disease.

Incidence/prevalence
In endemic areas (areas where the disease is most common) it is reported that up to 75% of dogs will test positive for exposure to Lyme disease. It is believed that only 5-10% of these positive dogs will ever show clinical signs of the disease.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Lameness (different limbs are affected at different times), swollen, painful joints, general malaise/lethargy, anorexia (not eating), enlarged lymph nodes, fever.

Clinical signs (secondary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Kidney disease, neurologic disease.

Cause (scientific, common term)
Borrelia burgdorferi.

Organ system affected (most to least affected)
Joints, renal (kidneys), central nervous system.

Differential Diagnosis
Injury, arthritis of other origin, renal disease of other origin, nervous system disease of other origin.

Jan 2013 NEWS UPDATE! Lyme disease risk for UK dogs ‘higher than thought’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16706942 
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Parvovirus Infection (Canine / Feline)  

Parvoviral enteritis (or parvo) is a viral disease that affects young, unvaccinated dogs and cats between 6 weeks and 6 months of age. It attacks rapidly dividing cells in the intestinal tract and bone marrow, causing severe vomiting, diarrhea, impaired immune function and sometimes death.

Common name: Parvo
Scientific name: Canine Parvoviral enteritis / Feline Paneukopenia

Diagnosis

Signalment
Any unvaccinated dog is susceptible to contracting parvoviral enteritis; however dogs between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 months are especially susceptible. Breeds at increased risk include Rottweiler, Doberman pinscher, Labrador retriever, American pitbull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, German shepherd and Alaskan sled dogs.

Incidence/prevalence
Parvovirus particles can be found everywhere in the environment. They are hardy and can survive for five months or more. Infected dogs shed the virus in their feces, and infective virus particles can be found in grass, on concrete and anywherean infected dog has defecated. The virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted from infected dogs to susceptible dogs through ingestion, nasal exposure or fomites (humans, clothing, bedding, bowls).

Geographic distribution
Canine parvovirus is found throughout the United States, Western / Eastern Europe, the Far East and Japan. Different strains are prevalent in different regions.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Severe vomiting, inappetance, diarrhea (with or without blood), rapid dehydration follows , Lethargy, decreased activity, Fever (sometimes very sick animals have a low temperature), Secondary infection and sepsis, Sudden death.

Clinical signs (secondary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Intussusception (the telescoping of one segment of intestine into another), Clotting disturbances, Neurologic signs, Ulceration of skin, mouth, footpads.

Causes (scientific, common term)
Canine parvovirus strains 2a, 2b and 2c, Canine parvovirus-1 (less common).

Organ systems affected (most to least affected)
Gastrointestinal tract, Cardiovascular system, Central nervous system, Skin.

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  Ehrlichiosis (E-Canis) (Canine)

 

Canine ehrlichiosis is an acute to chronic infectious disease that is transmitted to dogs by ticks. Ehrlichiosis can affect multiple organ systems and present with a variety of clinical signs.

Common name: Canine hemorrhagic fever, Tropical canine pancytopenia, Canine typhus
Scientific name:Ehrlichiosis, Ehrlichia canis (Canine moncytotropic ehrlichiosis), Ehrlichia ewingi (Canine granulocytotropic ehrlichiosis)

Diagnosis

Signalment
There is no age or sex predilection. German shepherd dogs are more susceptible than other breeds and have more severe disease and a poorer prognosis.

Incidence/prevalence
The exact incidence and prevalence of canine ehrlichiosis is not known because of the existence of chronic, subclinical carriers. The prevalence is dependent on the distribution of the tick vector, which is located primarily in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the United States.

Geographic distribution
Ehrlichia canis: worldwide distribution, including Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, most common in the southwest and Gulf Coast areas of the United States. Ehrlichia ewingi: southern and southeastern United States.

Clinical signs (primarymost to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
The following is for E. canis: Fever, Depression, Bleeding disorders, Weight loss, Anorexia, Enlarged lymph nodes, Enlarged spleen, Nervous system signs (seizures, stupor, ataxia, tremors, hyperesthesia (increased sensitivity to touch), Ocular disease (hyphema (blood in the eye), retinal disease, corneal edema, uveitis), Lameness with a stiff gait. The following is for E. ewingi: Fever, Depression, Lethargy, Lameness, Neurologic signs.

Clinical signs (secondarymost to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms) 
Secondary infections by opportunistic bacteria, Arthritis, Kidney disease (glomerulitis), Pneumonia.

Causes (scientific, common term) 
Ehrlichia canis is transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick), Ehrlichia ewingi is transmitted by Amblyomma americanum (deer tick).

Organ system affected (most to least affected)
Blood, blood vessels, and bone marrow, Spleen, Lymph nodes, Liver, Central nervous system, Eyes, Kidney, Musculoskeletal.

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  Giardiasis “Giardia” (Canine) 

Canine giardiasis is an intestinal infection in dogs by the protozoan parasite, Giardia canis. Giardia exists in two forms, the trophozoite and the cyst. The trophozoite is found attached to the epithelium of the duodenum and jejunum within an infected host. The cyst is the infectious form found in feces of infected animals and in contaminated water. Cysts remain viable for several weeks to months in cold wet environments. Animals and people can be infected by consuming food or water containing cysts.

The world wide prevalence of Giardia infection is 1 to 3%. The incidence is higher in young animals and animals confined groups. It is the most frequently identified intestinal parasite of humans in North America.

Infection usually initially causes acute diarrhea. This is followed by the chronic phase with waxing and waning diarrhea, weight loss and abdominal pain lasting a period of many months.

Common name: Canine Giardiasis, Giardia.
Scientific name: Giardia canis, Giardia intestinalis/duodenalis (formerly lamblia).

Diagnosis

Signalment
Canine giardiasis occurs most frequently in young dogs (up to 50% of puppies). Infections may occur in any dog breed.

Incidence/prevalence
The worldwide prevalence of Giardia infection in dogs and cats is1% to 3%, although clinical signs of illness is rare. The incidence is higher in young animals and animals confined in groups.

Geographic distribution
Canine giardiasis is endemic throughout the world and is commonly encountered in dogs and cats. The parasite is known to infect a broad range of hosts, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, and it is the most frequently identified intestinal parasite of humans in North America.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Acute diarrhea, Intermittent diarrhea.

Clinical signs (secondary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Chronic diarrhea, weight loss, fever, asymptomatic (sub-clinical in mature animals).

Cause (scientific, common term)
Giardia canis.

Organ system affected (most to least affected)
Intestinal, muscular.

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  Heartworm (Canine)

Heartworm disease is a parasitic disease of dogs that is spread by mosquito bites. The adult worms are large and live in the heart and lungs, causing disease both by their physical obstruction of blood flow and by the immune response they induce in the dog’s body. Although easily preventable, once established the treatment for heartworm disease can have serious side effects.

Common names: Heartworm disease
Scientific names: Dirofilariasis

Diagnosis

Signalment
All dogs not receiving a preventive are susceptible, with male dogs and those being housed outside in mosquito endemic areas more commonly affected. The typical age at diagnosis is between 3 and 8 years.

Incidence/prevalence
Incidence and prevalence vary widely depending on geographical area, with incidence of up to 45 percent in the most affected regions of the United States, with most of North America having infection rates of 5 percent.

Geographic distribution
In the United States, the Mississippi River Valley, Atlantic-coast area and gulf-coast region have the highest rates of infection. The disease is found in Japan, Australia, South America, Southern Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East as well.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Often asymptomatic, cough, occasionally bloody (hemoptysis), exercise intolerance.

Clinical signs (secondary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Pulmonary hypertension, Congestive heart failure, Ascites (fluid in abdomen), liver dysfunction, kidney dysfunction.

Causes (scientific, common term)
Dirofilaria immitis (heartworms).

Organ systems affected (most to least affected)
Heart, Lungs, Kidneys, Liver.

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  Rabies (Canine / Feline)

Rabies is justifiably one of the most feared infectious diseases known. Once symptoms develop, rabies is incurable and fatal. All warm-blooded animals including humans are susceptible, with dogs and cats being important natural vectors and thus sources of exposure for people. Vaccination is protective. Rabies is reportable.

Common name: Rabies
Scientific name: Rabies

Diagnosis

Signalment
Any age or sex can become infected, but adult animals that have contact with wildlife are at highest risk.

Incidence/prevalence
More than 27,000 cases of animal rabies are reported yearly worldwide, with a much larger number of cases going unnoticed in wildlife. Human deaths from rabies are estimated at up to 50,000 per year, mostly in developing nations. In the United States, canine and feline rabies cases typically number under 1000 per year, with feline cases currently more common due to a higher rate of vaccination among dogs.

Geographic distribution
There are only a few known rabies-free areas in the world, mostly small island nations and peninsulas. Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England, Ireland, Iceland, Scandinavia, and Antarctica are notable areas with no naturally occurring rabies.

Clinical signs (primary most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms) 
Abnormal behavior, aggression, disorientation, seizures, ascending paralysis, vocalization changes (caused by paralysis of the larynx).

Clinical signs (secondary most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Fever, hypersalivation, death in 7-10 days from the onset of clinical signs.

Cause (scientific, common term) 
Rabies virus (Family Rhadoviridae, Genus Lyssavirus).

Organ system affected (most to least affected) 
Central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, salivary glands, musculoskeletal tissue (at the site of virus entry).

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Feline

  Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) (Feline)

Feline immunodeficiency virus infects cats and can lead to immune suppression, opportunistic infections and cancer.

Common name: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), Feline acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (FAIDS)
Scientific name: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

Diagnosis

Signalment
FIV can infect all cats, but intact male cats, because of their propensity for fighting, are more likely to be infected. While signs of the disease are most likely to be seen in adult cats, FIV infection often occurs in cats under 1 year of age.

Incidence/prevalence
Up to 4 percent of free-roaming or stray cats may be infected with the virus.

Geographic distribution
FIV can be found throughout the world. Prevalence is higher in areas with large populations of free-ranging cats.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth), Neoplasia, Neurological signs.

Clinical signs (secondary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Weight loss, Inappetence, Diarrhea, Anemia.

Cause (scientific, common term)
Feline immunodeficiency virus, genus Lentivirus (retrovirus).

Organ systems affected (most to least affected)
Immune system, Mouth, Gastrointestinal tract, Hematopoietic, Lymph nodes, Brain.

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  Toxoplasmosis (Toxo) (Feline)

Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite that lives inside cells. Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease, which means that people can acquire the infection from animals. Any mammal can be infected, but only cats can produce the infective form of the organism, called an oocyst. Many cats, dogs, and people have evidence of exposure to the toxoplasma organism, but clinical disease is very rare. Contrary to popular belief, owning a cat is not a common way to acquire toxoplasmosis. In fact, the primary risk factors in the United States for acquiring toxoplasma infection are eating undercooked meat or ingesting contaminated water or soil. Animals become infected by ingesting tissue cysts (eating contaminated meat), ingesting oocysts (fecal-oral infection, like drinking contaminated water), or by congenital infection (infection across the placenta). Most cats are infected congenitally or by hunting behavior soon after weaning.

Common name:Toxoplasmosis
Scientific name:Toxoplasma gondii infection

Diagnosis

Signalment
In cats, illness is most common and most severe in kittens who are infected across the placenta or by nursing. Many are stillborn, and others die shortly after birth. Surviving kittens can show signs of inflammation in the liver, lungs, and brain. Infections in adult cats are rare. Exceptions include an overwhelming infection in a cat never before exposed to the organism, or an exposed cat who becomes immuno-suppressed for some reason (like a virus or immuno-suppressive medication).

Incidence/prevalence
Studies have shown that 30% of U.S. cats and dogs show evidence of exposure (not infection) to the toxoplasma organism. Twenty five to 50% of Americans show evidence of exposure to toxoplasma. Actual infection and disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii is very rare.

Geographic distribution
Animals and people living in rural areas are more likely to be exposed to toxoplasma.

Clinical signs (primary,most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Clinical signs are fairly non-specific, meaning that they could be caused by many other things besides toxoplasmosis, depression, lethargy (tiredness), dyspnea (difficulty breathing), fever, weight loss, muscle pain, central nervous system abnormalities, icterus (yellow coloring to skin, whites of eyes, etc.), ocular abnormalities (uveitis, chorioretinitis), vomiting and diarrhea.

Clinical signs (secondary,most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Ascites (fluid build-up in the abdomen), enlarged spleen or lymph nodes, joint pain.

Cause (scientific, common term)
Toxoplasma gondii.

Organ system affected (most to least affected)
Lungs, central nervous, system/brain, liver, pancreas, heart, eyes.

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  Leukemia Virus FeLV (Feline)

Feline leukemia virus is a viral disease of domestic cats that impairs immune system function and causes some types of cancer. It is caused by a retrovirus that cats shed in high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions, but it is also found in the urine, feces and milk of infected cats. Cat-to-cat transfer of the virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming and, rarely, through sharing litter boxes and feeding dishes. It can also be transmitted across the placenta and milk.

Common name: Feline leukemia virus infection (FeLV)
Scientific name: Retrovirus (Gammaretrovirus genus)

Diagnosis

Signalment
Feline leukemia virus infection is responsible for more cat deaths than any other infectious disease. Cats at greatest risk of infection are those that are exposed to infected cats, either via prolonged close contact or through bite wounds. Cats living with infected cats or cats of unknown infection status are at risk.

In addition, cats allowed to roam outdoors, where they may be bitten by an infected cat, and any kittens born to infected mothers could contract the disease. Males are 1.7 times more likely to be infected than females, and younger cats are more susceptible to infection than older cats. Feline leukemia virus infection is found most often in cats from 1 to 6 years old. All breeds of cats are equally at risk.

Incidence/prevalence
Feline leukemia is one the most devastating feline diseases worldwide, and the incidence of infection varies greatly depending on each cat’s age, health, environment and lifestyle. It is estimated that 2 percent to 3 percent of healthy-appearing cats are infected with the virus. Approximately 25 percent to 50 percent of the healthy-appearing cats living in infected multicat households and catteries are infected. Rates rise significantly in cats that are ill, very young or otherwise at high risk of infection.

Geographic distribution
Feline-leukemia-virus-infected cats are found worldwide.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Loss of appetite, Anemia, Weight loss, Persistent diarrhea, Enlarged lymph nodes, Fever, Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis), Infections of the skin, urinary bladder and upper respiratory tract.

Clinical signs (secondary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Chronic, recurring infections, Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin, whites of the eyes, mucous membranes and body fluids due to liver dysfunction), Neuropathies (seizures, paralysis, blindness, behavioral changes, loss of balance), Cancer, Eye conditions (anisicoria – uneven pupils), Spontaneous miscarriage or other reproductive failures.

Cause (scientific, common term)
Retrovirus (Gammaretrovirus genus).

Organ systems affected (most to least affected)
Immune, Hematologic, Lymphatic, Gastrointestinal, Respiratory, Neurological, Urinary, Reproductive, Eyes, Skin.

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  Peritonitis, Infectious (Feline)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is an often-fatal version of a feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). It is found primarily in cats less than 3 years of age. Despite recognizing its existence for decades, the complex pathogenesis of this disease has left many questions unanswered. As a result, testing for FIP is not simple, and treating it is often unrewarding.

Common name: FIP
Scientific name: Feline infectious peritonitis

Diagnosis

Signalment
FIP primarily affects cats under 3 years of age, cats housed in dense populations and cats under stress. A genetic predisposition may also exist. Purebred cats such as Birmans, Abyssinians and Himalayans, among others, may also be at increased risk. Kittens with littermates or mothers definitively diagnosed with FIP are also at higher risk.

Incidence/prevalence
Although the incidence of feline-coronavirus-positive cats is high in most populations, and particularly high-density ones, the incidence of clinical illness associated with the FIP version is low. Serologic studies performed in the United States have shown that between 75 percent and 100 percent of purebred cats in catteries have feline coronavirus antibodies. This compares with 30 percent of non-purebreds living in pet households.

Despite this high number of seropositive cats, only approximately 7 percent to 8 percent of those with antibodies will become ill with FIP. If outbreaks do occur in crowded environments, morbidity and mortality can be high, particularly in younger animals.

Geographic distribution
FIP is found worldwide, especially in dense populations such as in shelters and catteries.

Clinical signs (primary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Often nonspecific, Fever, Anorexia, Lethargy, Wet form (distended, fluid-filled abdomen), Dry form.

Clinical signs (secondary, most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Jaundice, Unthrifty/poor growth.

Cause (scientific, common term)
Mutation of common feline enteric coronavirus.

Organ systems affected (most to least affected)
Multisystemic (intra-abdominal structures/organs), Urinary , Ophthalmic, Nervous.