Addison's disease (the common name for hypoadrenocorticism) is caused by a decreased production of two hormones from the adrenal gland. These hormones are cortisol, a stress hormone, and aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid hormone that regulates the body's water balance through its effects on sodium and potassium.
Amyloidosis occurs when proteins called amyloid are deposited outside of cells in various tissues and organs, causing tissue and organ dysfunction.
Antibodies are specialized proteins, also called immunoglobulins that are primarily found in the bloodstream. They are produced by specialized white blood cells called plasma cells, a form of lymphocyte.
An aortic thromboembolism results when a blood clot is dislodged and travels through the aorta, becoming lodged in a distant location. This causes severely reduced blood flow to the tissues receiving blood from that particular part of the aorta, leading to decreased oxygen in the tissues. Sudden paralysis and pain, usually in the rear legs, are the most common clinical signs of aortic thromboembolism.
Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions, or 'twitching', of the heart muscle, confined to the atria, or the top chambers. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in cats occur secondary to heart disease.
The bile acid test is a very useful test that helps to determine if the liver is working properly.
Bone marrow is the soft material found in the central core of many bones. Bone marrow is vitally important for the production of blood cells, specifically red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Although many bones contain marrow, samples are collected from three main sites in cats and dogs: hip bone, top of thigh bone, or the forearm below the shoulder.
The first step in processing a blood sample is centrifugation. The blood is placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun in a small circle at high speed (much like a spinning ride at an amusement park).
Cerebrospinal fluid (or CSF) is formed within the brain, primarily at specialized sites called the choroid plexuses. CSF is found within the brain and in the space that surrounds both the brain and the spinal cord (this space is called the subarachnoid space).
Chronic degenerative valve disease (CVD) is a consequence of degeneration of the valves between the atrium and ventricle on both the right and left side of the heart. The changes in the valves stops them from forming a tight seal between the atrium and ventricle when the heart is squeezing or pumping. This causes the valves to leak blood backwards into the upper chambers, and an abnormal sound called a heart murmur.