Even if your pet seems to be perfectly healthy, you should bring them in for a physical exam at least once a year, and more often if they are older. Your pet’s exam will be very similar to a physical you would have, including checking ears, eyes, mouth, internal organs, and the skin/coat.
Fleas and ticks can cause discomfort, itchiness, allergic reactions, and can carry more serious diseases with them. The chance that your pet may get fleas or ticks depends on where you live and the environment around you. Fleas thrive in warmer weather, but may go dormant during the winter in colder areas. Ticks tend to live in wooded areas or areas with high grass. You should keep your pet away from areas like this, but if they do go exploring, you should check them for ticks and fleas after.
Ticks and fleas also pose a threat because it is not just your pet that they can affect. They can reproduce and affect humans as well. If you notice small bites, especially around your ankles, you might have fleas in your house. Fleas and ticks can be eliminated with a medicated bath and proper treatment from your vet. It is important to clean your house, especially areas where you pet frequently lounges, if they have fleas or ticks. As with most diseases, prevention is the greatest defense against ticks and fleas. There are many medications that we can recommend to make sure your pet is protected from these pests.
The greatest threat fleas and ticks pose is that they can be carriers for dangerous diseases. Ticks are a main carrier of Lyme disease, something that can affect both your pet and you. Fleas carry parasites as well like tapeworm and heartworm, so it is important to prevent against them. If you currently don’t have your pet on any flea and tick medication, come see us soon!
The resQ microchip is a safe, simple and permanent form of pet identification to immediately identify lost pets and quickly reunite them with their owners. The microchip is injected under your pet’s skin over the shoulders. Each chip contains a unique barcode (much like those seen on products in stores).
The chip is gentle to the tissues, and does not cause a reaction to the body. When a scanner is passed over the pet, the barcode is read. The PetLink International Pet Directory will supply information on the pet with that barcode, and this service is available nationwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The owner is responsible for keeping information current with PetLink. All veterinary hospitals, shelters, and rescue groups have scanners.
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All cats should be vaccinated to prevent against harmful and potentially life-threatening diseases. The types of vaccines your cat should be given will vary based on the lifestyle of your cat. If your cat lives in the house and does not come into contact with other cats, only the basic vaccines are necessary. If your cat spends time outside and around other cats, the proper precautions should be taken with the necessary vaccinations.
Rabies Rabies is a disease nearly everyone has heard of. It is contracted when an animal is bitten by another animal that has been infected. The disease is carried in the saliva. Rabies vaccinations are required in many states for cats. Even if you have an indoor cat, they should be vaccinated in case they get out, or by chance an animal were to get into your house. In nearly all cases, an animal will need to be put down if it has been infected with rabies.
Panleukopenia Virus The more common name for this virus is “distemper”. It is a highly contagious disease, which is why vaccination is recommended. Symptoms include fever, seizures, loss of appetite, and possibly death. Kittens are born with a natural immunity for the first few weeks of their lives. Vaccinations should start at around 8 weeks old and there are series of about 3-4 follow-ups about 2 weeks apart. Your cat should also receive a vaccination every 1-3 years going forward.
Rhinotracheitis Caused by the herpes virus, Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory infection that is highly contagious. The infection could prove to be fatal in young kittens, so the vaccination is highly recommended. The vaccine lasts for about 3 years, so follow up vaccinations are necessary.
Calicivirus Calicivirus is a virus that causes an upper respiratory infection. It is very contagious through contact with infected cats. Symptoms include fever, gum disease, mouth ulcers, sneezing, among others. More advanced forms of the virus are more severe and can cause fatality. Cats do not need to exhibit symptoms in order to transmit the disease to other cats. The contagious nature of this disease makes it important for your cat to receive a vaccination.
Feline Leukemia Virus This is another virus that is spread through direct contact with an infected cat. For this reason, the vaccine is highly recommended for outdoor cats, or cats that are frequently in contact with other cats. Indoor, solitary cats should still be vaccinated to prevent against the potentially fatal virus, but are not at as high a risk to contract it. Like all vaccines, there are some potential side effects. A small percentage of cats developed cancerous sarcomas where they were injected with the vaccine. Have a conversation with your vet if you have any questions about the vaccine.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis This is a disease that has no cure and is fatal in most instances. The good news is that for households with only 1 or 2 cats only 1 in 5000 cats are affected. The vaccine for this disease has not proven to be very effective to this point, so most cats will not require this vaccination.
Chlamydiosis This disease is much more prevalent in cats that live in a multiple cat environment. The most obvious symptom is usually conjunctivitis, and the disease is carried in the eye discharge of infected cats. Adverse reactions to the chlamydiosis vaccine occur at a higher rate than most vaccines, so if you have an indoor cat it is usually not recommended. Speak with your vet if you have any questions about this vaccine.