January is Feline Health Awareness Month at CFVC. Dr. Robin Westwood, Associate Veterinarian, describes the importance of an annual exam for your cat, whether he/she spends his time indoors or outdoors.

As much as we love our cats, it’s sad to realize that they often do not receive the appropriate amount of veterinary care.  As per the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook2012 edition, in2011 30.4% of all U.S households own a cat and only 55.1% of those had at least one visit to the veterinarian.   Cats need routine wellness exams at least once a year just like dogs and us humans.  It may be even more important as cats are extremely good at hiding illness due to their independent nature and high pain tolerance.  Sometimes we do not know they are sick until they are severely suffering.

Wellness exams are an exceptional way to catch things early, such as weight gain, weight loss, periodontal disease, heart murmurs, ear infections, intestinal parasites, all of which can dramatically impact your cat’s well being and lifespan.  Catching these early will decrease needless suffering, increase the odds of a complete recovery and likely decrease long-term costs.  Cats that go outside, whether it is just occasionally or all the time, are also much more likely to harbor intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms some of which can be spread to humans.

By bringing your cat in for wellness exams allows us to tailor preventive needs such as deworming and vaccines specifically to your cat.  In addition to a complete physical exam we may recommend some of the following preventatives and testing:

  • Profender:  deworms for intestinal parasites.
  • Revolution:   heartworm prevention and flea prevention that is applied topically by you at home on a monthly basis
  • Rabies Vaccine
  • FVRCP Vaccine: a vaccine against common upper respiratory infections
  • Feline Leukemia Vaccine: a vaccine that protects cats from deadly Feline Leukemia virus
  • FELV/ FIV test:  checks for the presence of Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Intestinal Fecal exam with giardia Antigen: checks for common intestinal parasites.
  • CBC and serum chemistries: detects organ abnormalities

Dr. Robin Westwood would like to reassure pet owners that at Country Friends Veterinary clinic we tailor all wellness preventatives and testing to fit your cat’s specific needs.   Financial arrangements may be made using Care Credit and Payment Banc to allow you to provide the best care for your 4-legged furry family member.  Please call us today to schedule an appointment for your cat’s wellness exam.