Your kids go to the pediatrician once a year, you see your dentist every 6 months, and even your car gets an oil change every 5000 miles. So why aren’t people taking their cats to the veterinarian for routine care? It seems hard to believe, but according to the American Humane Society, cats go the veterinarian half as often as dogs, and many people only take their cat to the vet when their cat is sick.
The fact is cats get sick too! While they are masters at hiding illness, they also suffer from many of the same diseases as their canine and human counterparts. You wouldn’t dream of skipping your kids’ doctor appointments, so why should your cat’s veterinary check-ups be any different?
So what does your vet do during these Preventive Care visits and why are they important?
Preventive care examinations allow veterinarians to check for signs of illness. In cats, these can be subtle and easy to overlook. Problems like cataracts, dental disease, thyroid disease, heart murmurs and abdominal masses are not obvious. Your vet will also do a head-to-tail exam to look for changes or abnormalities. The earlier medical issues are discovered and addressed the better the outcome.
Immunizations are an important way to protect pets from preventable infectious diseases. Your veterinarian will determine which vaccines your cat needs depending on their age, lifestyle and risk exposure.
Your veterinarian will check your cat for external parasites like fleas, ticks and ear mites, and check a stool sample for internal parasites, like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and coccidia. They will also discuss products available to prevent internal and external parasites.
Depending on your cat’s age and physical exam findings, your veterinarian may recommend either an Early Detection lab profile or a Comprehensive lab profile. These tests are an important way to detect diseases early, even before they become symptomatic. As cats age, diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease become more common. These lab tests are a great way to establish baselines, monitor trends, and detect these diseases early so treatment can be started right away.
If we haven’t seen you cat in a while, this is a great time to make an appointment to bring your feline friend to the vet for a check-up! The goal of Preventive Care Exams is to prevent preventable illnesses and to detect diseases early while they are easier and more economical to treat. Take advantage of the exceptional veterinary care available and bring your cat to the vet!
If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call! We want to be your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your cats.