Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to minimizing the effects and damage of any health problem but is something that can be a significant challenge for pet owners. However, since you are your adorable kitty’s biggest advocate and she can’t speak for herself, she is completely reliant on you to keep her healthy and get her medical support when she needs it. Unfortunately, our feline friends are particularly adept at hiding any illness, an instinctive trait that harks back to when they lived in the wild. This makes identifying any illness and getting prompt treatment more than a little difficult, and this could have disastrous consequences for the health of your furbaby.
Most vets strongly believe that prevention is always better than trying to deal with a developing health problem, and for this reason, any competent and compassionate veterinarian will offer a number of preventive care services to animals and their conscientious owners.
What are preventive care services?
Preventive care comprises of a number of different services, all designed specifically to provide information about the health and wellbeing of your cat. This data can then be monitored over time to build up a picture of how the health of your feline is changing over time. This is important since our pet’s bodies age must faster than our own, and therefore changes to your cat’s body systems happen much more rapidly – including those which are detrimental. Spotting potential problems early using the results from preventive testing mean that action can be taken more quickly. This can protect your pet from the unpleasant effects of illness and halt the problem before it becomes much worse and causes irreversible damage – or worse!
Preventive care comprises of a range of different services, including:
· Physical examinations of your kitty’s body to check for any abnormalities. This can include lumps and bumps, skin lesions, bloat or unusual odors.
Urine and stool analysis. Your pet’s waste products can tell our vet at Your Family Veterinarian a great deal about how well her body is processing the food and water that she consumes, including whether her kidneys and liver are functioning normally. Internal parasite infestations such as tapeworms and hookworms can usually be spotted in fecal samples too, although heartworms can only be detected via a blood test.
· Blood testing. Your cat’s blood can reveal a lot of information about her health including whether she has sufficient red blood cells (if not, she is probably anemic), if her organs are working correctly, if her hormones are balanced and if she is at risk of diabetes or high cholesterol. Her white blood cell count will also reveal if she is already suffering from an infection or illness, as high numbers mean that her immune system will be in overdrive.
· Vaccination program. While there are many different infectious diseases that can be passed to your feline, there are just as many vaccinations available to protect her. These should be given on a specific schedule so that there are no gaps whereby your kitty is vulnerable to illness. Our vet will be happy to speak to you about which vaccines your cat needs and how often they should be administered.
· Dental check-up. Periodontal disease affects 1 in 3 cats by the time they reach three years of age, and this inflammatory condition has been shown to be a contributory factor in the development of a range of health conditions including diabetes, thyroid problems and liver/kidney disorders. By monitoring your cat’s dental health closely, our vet may be able to support you in preventing the development of periodontal disease.
· Spaying/neutering. All pet owners should make spaying/neutering their animal a priority. Not only will this be a small step in preventing further overpopulation of animals, millions of whom are living on the streets or in shelters having been abandoned, but it can also protect your kitty from certain health problems including feline uterine infections, unwanted pregnancy and female cancers.
Ready to get started with your pet’s preventative care and early detection testing? Give our friendly, knowledgeable veterinarians in Orlando and call to schedule your cat’s appointment and help her enjoy a longer, healthier and happier future.