When your cat reaches 8 years of age they are the equivalent of a person coming up on fifty. For humans at that stage of their life, their doctor is usually recommending wellness screening for various cancers, bloodwork and other diagnostics to detect illness and age changes early. As veterinarians we recommend the same for your cat.
Even though you may believe your pet is healthy, there are many age-related disease processes that do not show any outward sign until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases diagnosed early.
Early detection of kidney, liver and thyroid diseases, to name a few, allow us to administer the appropriate treatments to make your cat comfortable and help extend their life.
As well, nutritional needs change as your cat ages. We can discuss an appropriate diet to meet those needs.
For senior cats, it is more important than ever that they have an Annual Visit with their veterinarian, and address all the above issues.
An annual visit includes a thorough nose to tail examination as detailed below, appropriate vaccinations, parasite control, and nutritional, weight and behavioural counselling. As well, your veterinarian will be able to advise you on any preventative care measures you can be taking to help your cat live a long and healthy life. Of course, you can request your choice of veterinarian for your visit.
- Bone, Joint and Muscle Examination
- Skin & Coat Examination
- Heart & Lung Evaluation
- Eye & Ear Health Examinations
- Abdominal Check
- Urinary Tract and Genital Exam
- Neurologic Check
- Nutritional & Weight Assessment
- Lifestyle & Behaviour Consultation
- A thorough dental exam. People often don’t notice how bad their cat’s teeth are. Dental disease can lead to the spread of bacteria through the bloodstream, settling in vital organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver and causing serious illness.
- Recommendations for any age-related screening that may be indicated.
- Recommendation for a Nail Trim if required.
Health problems are always easier and less costly to treat when they are detected early.
There are many vaccines available to protect your cat from all sorts of diseases. Our philosophy at Blue Cross Animal Hospital is to avoid over-vaccination by vaccinating only for diseases that our patients are at risk of contacting. We follow the Guidelines of the American Animal Hospital Association in choosing our “Core Vaccines.” After a cat is two years old we do not vaccinate for every disease every year. Cats need to come in for an annual examination and vaccines will be prescribed as needed.
Many people think that indoor cats do not need vaccines. This is not true. The most common carriers of Rabies in Toronto are bats. A rabid bat is not behaving normally. It will fly into places it would not normally go. It will land places it wouldn’t normally land. From a basement door to a balcony door many storeys up in an apartment building, a bat can fly in and potentially infect a cat. There was such a case in the news recently. The owners had to have post exposure treatment because their indoor cat whose vaccines had lapsed got rabies and bit them. Rabies is extremely serious and nearly always fatal for pets and people. Make sure your cats stay up to date on their vaccines!