Felines are now becoming victims of the poor economy when it comes to routine medical care. In the past few years, a large number of pet owners are not bringing their cats in for annual examinations, vaccinations, spay/neuter, or routine dental cleanings. This means that these pets are not getting the preventative or necessary care that they should receive and deserve. This is surprising given that more households are homes to felines over canines, and that most often these are multiple cat homes.
The annual wellness exams are about much more than vaccinations. This head to tail evaluation looks at the eyes, teeth, ears, heart, coat, abdomen, bones, and everything in between. For senior patients, those seven years and older, a health visit is recommended twice a year.
The main value in these exams is to identify disease or illness at the earliest stage possible. Keep in mind that animals age more rapidly than people do. Outcomes are better when issues are addressed early on. Cats are very good at hiding illness. This is a survival trait. This means that pet owners may often not always realize when health issues are present. If you do notice problems, bring your pet in for an evaluation early on. This will help give comfort to your feline sooner, and helps to provide the best possible prognosis for your cat.
Diagnostics are recommended to further evaluate the health of your pet. Annual internal parasite screenings can help to identify intestinal parasites. These organisms are typically not visible to the naked eye in your pet’s feces; but they can cause serious illness for your feline, and can be spread to you as well. Do not let your pet lick you on the lips, and use good hand washing practices. Keeping your cat on a veterinary recommended routine deworming product will aid in reducing internal parasites. We recommend Profender. Blood screenings for Heartworm are also recommended every 2 years, and allow you to keep your pet on Heartworm preventatives. We recommend Advantage-Multi for cats.
As pets age, additional laboratory testing may be recommended to evaluate organs such as kidney, liver, and thyroid, as well as other important parameters. Please remember that your veterinarian is the best person to provide medical guidance for the care and welfare of your cherished feline. Preventative care will help to extend the longevity as well as quality of life for your cat.