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Feline Wellness Care
We treat our cats as one of the family therefore it is important to maintain their health. We recommend that your cat comes in atleast annually for an examination. Starting with the first visit as a kitten the doctors will make the appropriate recommendations to support your cat during all life stages.
During a wellness exam the doctor will check your cat for irregularities and abnormalities starting at the head with the eyes, ears, face, mouth and teeth, and moving onto the limbs and chest (lungs and heart), before finally examining the coat and skin. During the appointment the doctor will discuss all aspects of your cat's health including; their finding upon physical exam, nutrition, behavior, vaccination protocol and any concerns you may have.
Just like people, pets need to be vaccinated against diseases. Vaccines are intended to trigger protective immune responses in pets in order to protect them from future disease infections.
Vaccinations can protect your cat against serious infectious illnesses. The vaccines we recommend for cats are Panleukopenia, Feline Herpesvirus-1, Feline Calicivirus, Chlamydophila and Rabies. The first three are usually combined in a single injection that is given to kittens starting at 6-8 weeks of age and boostered every 3-4 weeks until at least 12 weeks of age. Adult cats receive two doses initially, given 3-4 weeks apart. Thereafter, the combination vaccine is repeated every 1-3 years. The Rabies vaccination is given first at twelve weeks of age and then once a year.
Feline Panleukopenia, or Feline Distemper, is a serious gastrointestinal disease. Symptoms resemble Parvovirus in dogs and include fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, loss of appetite, miscarriage in pregnant cats, and nervous system damage in newborns. It is highly contagious and commonly fatal in non-vaccinated cats. Panleukopenia is rare in properly vaccinated cats.
Feline Herpesvirus-1 (Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus) and Feline Calicivirus cause respiratory illness. Non-vaccinated cats may get severely ill or even die. These viruses are extremely contagious. Vaccination gives incomplete protection, but vaccinated cats get only mild symptoms if they get sick at all.
Rabies is an incurable disease of the nervous system that is nearly always fatal. Worse yet, it is transmitted between most animal species, including humans. Although rabies transmission requires direct body fluid contact, even indoor pets can be at risk since sick wild animals may enter homes. Regular rabies vaccination is mandated by law in many areas.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV)is transmitted by close, direct contact between cats, so vaccination is most important for cats that go outside or otherwise contact potentially infected cats. Cats should be tested for FeLV before vaccination, since the vaccine doesnt help cats that already have the virus. Two doses of vaccine are given 3-4 weeks apart, as early as eight weeks of age. Annual revaccination is recommended.
Feline Chlamydophila causes a severe eye infection. Its spread by direct contact and is common in places where large numbers of cats are housed together. Vaccination is recommended for cats at risk.
Feline Leukemia/FIV Combination Test
We recommend annual testing if your cat is outdoors at anytime or if you are introducing a new cat to your household. We offer this testing and it takes only ten minutes for results. In the case that the result is negative we offer vaccines to protect your cat against Feline Leukemia. This test is offered for about $65.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is an incurable immunosuppressive disease that causes cancers and makes cats extremely vulnerable to other illnesses. Although infected cats can remain healthy for several years, it is eventually fatal in most cases.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is another incurable immunosuppressive disease, sometimes called Feline AIDS. Infected cats often appear healthy for years, but many suffer from chronic recurrent illnesses and can develop cancers. Cats can die from the FIV virus, much as humans can died from HIV. FIV is usually transmitted by cat bites. Therefore, the best prevention is to keep the cat away from outdoor stray cats or cats know to be positive for the FIV virus.
Pets have teeth too! The only difference with pets is that they are not able to brush and floss their own teeth. Good oral health is an important part of good general health for your pet. By the time most cats are 1 year old, they have some degree of gingivitis. Prevention is the key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
For cats, canned food is beneficial to the urinary health, so dry food alone is not recommended. Some cats develop more tartar than others and require more frequent cleaning. Good oral hygiene can slow the progression of dental disease. Feel free to ask one of our staff members how you can care for your petís teeth!
Without good oral hygiene, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) develops. This is the first stage of dental disease. With progression, there is breakdown in the gum tissue attachment and pockets develop below the gum line where bacterial infection sets in. This is called periodontal disease. Over time the bone becomes weak, the teeth can become loose and need extraction. Also, bacteria associated with periodontal disease can spread to other parts of the body and cause infections in the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs. Because periodontal disease is below the gum line, a professional teeth cleaning under anesthesia is the only way to properly treat periodontal disease.
Signs of oral and dental diseases in dogs and cats: Bad breath, also called halitosis, loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar, disliking having the mouth touched, drooling, bleeding from the mouth and loss of appetite.
If you are concerned about your petís oral health please contact us for a FREE oral exam.
Annual fecal testing is recommended for your pet.
A fecal test checks for intestinal parasites, microscopic protozoa, and occult blood. May parasites, particularly protozoan parasites, are not prevented through traditional "wormers" and most parasites can't be seen without the aid of the microscope. Parasites affect your pet's health, and can put your family at risk in some cases! A fecal test is only $28!
Unspayed female cats can go through several heats in one year. Cats are induced ovulators, so they do not actually ovulate, until there is mating with a male cat.. During her heat period, your female cat may be much more vocal and have increased activity. The cat may roll around or stand with her rear up in the air. She will also make every effort to sneak out to find a mate. As a result, she is at high risk for being hit by a car.
Unspayed female cats suffer from a high incidence of mammary tumors, false pregnancies, uterine infections, and reproductive cancers. Spaying your cat greatly reduces the risks of these cancers. It has been said that it may be beneficial to let your cat produce one litter of kittens before she is spayed; however, this is not true.
The normal behavior of an un-neutered cat is often incompatible with being a household pet. Intact cats tend to wander from home, seeking a mate or defending their territory. This puts them at risk for being hit by a car or being injured in a fight. Urine marking and some types of aggression are more pronounced in un-neutered cats as well. Although neutering may not entirely eliminate these behaviors, it can diminish them by 50-90%. Since un-neutered male cats are more prone to get in cat fights. They are more susceptible to the deadly Feline Leukemia and FIV viruses.
It is important to understand that your cat requires a properly balanced food that involves both canned and dry food.
During an examination a weight and body score assessment will be determined. Obesity can happen to any of our cats. To reduce the risk proper feeding schedules and activity are to be encouraged. Take 10 minutes a day to play with your cat. We have seen may overweight cats that develop diabetes, so please maintain a proper diet for your cat. We are here if you need help developing a feeding plan.