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Cats are the #1 pet in America, with 81.7 million owned kitties according to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). However, AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) statistics reveal that they are severely under served compared to dogs when it comes to routine care and annual examinations.
Cats have ESP. They KNOW when you are going to stuff them into THE TINY BOX and take them in the LOUD MOVING BOX to the place with the PROBING and the POKING. Thinking about the uphill battle to get your cat to the clinic and the days of pouting you will endure when they return may discourage you from making that appointment. You can minimize the kitty drama with a little bit of preparation. Acclimatizing your cat to the carrier by feeding and treating them in it is a good start. Check out the following video: http://www.catalystcouncil.org/resources/health_welfare/cat_carrier_video. Feliway, lavender oil, Rescue Remedy, and other natural products may also help calm things down. If all else fails, your veterinarian can prescribe drugs for the most difficult felines.
Our kitties are long-lived (15-18 years for indoor housed domestic shorthair cats) and are adept at hiding illness until it is quite severe. There are a host of “middle age” diseases that can be difficult to detect in their early stages, when they are most treatable or even curable. Examples include diabetes mellitus, overactive thyroid and chronic kidney disease. With early detection, some of these diseases can be controlled by diet alone. This July, August, and September, in order to enhance feline wellness care, Verde Veterinary Hospital is excited to offer a mini-panel consisting of 2 liver enzymes, 2 kidney enzymes, glucose, blood count, and thyroid hormone. This screens for the most common diseases of cats.
Cats that spend any time outdoors are at risk for FeLV (Feline leukemia virus) and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus). Transmitted by saliva (FeLV) and blood (FeLV and FIV), these diseases present the most risk to cats that roam a large territory and cats that tend to fight. These diseases may also be transmitted from a mother cat to her kittens. Some cats will become very ill shortly after contracting FIV or FeLV, but others may harbor the virus and transmit it to other cats for years before showing any signs of illness. It is critical that you know if your cat has one of these viruses, because it may not be able to fight off minor infections as well as a cat with a normal immune system.
Following guidelines set by the AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners), we recommend that all newly obtained kittens and cats be tested for FeLV and FIV before integrating them into a home with other cats. We also recommend yearly testing in all at-risk cats (cats that are not stictly indoors). There is an effective vaccination against FeLV which we recommend for any cat in a household where at least one cat ventures outside. This year we are again discounting the combination test for the months of July, August, and September.
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