Prevention is the Best Medicine
Prevention is the backbone of good health, and regular wellness exams are integral to helping your pet live longer. We recommend yearly exams, although more frequent visits may be encouraged. For small mammal pets, regular checkups are even more important since age-related conditions tend to develop more quickly in smaller animals.
Owners are often surprised by how much information is obtained during a comprehensive nose to tail exam. A wellness visit involves an evaluation of the following:
- Your pet’s body condition
- Listening to the heart and lungs
- Checking the eyes, ears, mouth, and skin
- Observing the abdomen and joints for abnormal swelling or discomfort
A wellness exam is also an ideal time to discuss any other concerns unique to your pet. When discussing wellness and prevention care for felines and small mammals, we typically address the following:
We want to develop a plan that meets the unique needs of you and your pet, so we encourage you to raise specific questions and concerns. Our team is committed to helping you make sensible decisions that fit your lifestyle.
Vaccinating your pet is key to protecting him or her against common infectious diseases. In general, we believe the following are important for every cat:
- Feline panleukopenia
- Feline calicivirus infection
- Feline distemper
- Feline viral rhinotracheitis
When determining the need for additional vaccines (including feline leukemia), we take into account many factors including lifestyle, environment, and risk of exposure to certain diseases. We also make specific recommendations regarding the best vaccination schedule for your pet.
Your pet’s annual wellness exam is a great time to discuss parasite prevention. Fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites are not just annoying, they can be life threatening. In addition, some of these parasites are zoonotic, meaning they are also transferrable to humans. Because these organisms are not clearly visible, testing and thorough physical exams are critical to protecting your pet. Our team can also make recommendations about the best treatments and products that are appropriate for your companion’s lifestyle and environment.
At Cats & Critters, we believe microchipping is the safest, easiest way to keep track of your pet at all times. Each microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted between your pet’s shoulder blades. The procedure is as simple as receiving a vaccine and remains active for the duration of your pet’s life. If your pet goes missing, most veterinary hospitals and humane societies have electronic scanners, which can read your pet’s microchip to ensure his or her safe return. To learn more about the benefits of microchipping, please read Ripley’s Story.
On the Web
American Veterinary Medical Association:
WebMD Pet Health Center:
Companion Animal Parasite Council: