Most people visit their doctor an annual check-up. They want to make sure that everything is okay and troubleshoot any potential problems. You ensure that you and your children are seen by a physician regularly; so why not make sure your beloved pet also has regular visits to the veterinarian? Too often, people find themselves rushing their pets to the veterinarian only after their pet exhibits symptoms of a serious problem or disease. Spotting problems early is key to preventing illnesses and reducing suffering and stress. In addition, the veterinarian can give pet owners hints and tips on how to more effectively care for their pets.
The kind of medical examinations cats receive depend partly on the feline’s age. If the cat is a newborn, the doctor will help determine gender and will ask questions, such as how the mother is nursing the kittens. When the kitten is older, shots and vaccinations will be administered and the decision of whether to spay or neuter the cat will be discussed.
When your kitten grows, your veterinarian will ask whether the cat is an indoor cat or spends a great deal of time outdoors. The kind of checkup the medical experts give will depend on where the cat spends most of his or her time. Fleas and ticks are a problem for outdoor cats, as well as skin problems that can be caused by exposure to chemicals and outdoor pests. It is easy to miss skin problems in cats, but they are quite common. The veterinarian will examine the thin hair on the cat’s chin for feline acne, and will look at the ears for signs of fungus and parasites. If the cat is itching, lice should be ruled out. Medical advice on how to get rid of these problems should also be helpful in preventing them from returning.
At your cat’s medical checkup, the doctor will ask you about the cats’ personal habits, including his or her eating, drinking and sleeping schedules. If your cat is older, the examination may include extra tests. Obesity is a problem among many cats. When a feline becomes overweight, the risk of diabetes rises. At the other end of the spectrum, hyperthyroidism is common among older cats, and is often the cause of rapid weight loss. Many older cats also suffer from arthritis. The doctor will ask about how active and alert your cat seems, or if the cat shows a reluctance to move too much. The cat’s body should also be inspected for lumps that could be signs of tumors.
Be sure to take your cat for its annual checkup, especially as it ages. You can dramatically prolong your cat’s life and increase his or her sense of well-being with checkups. Check-ups are essentially designed to spot problems early on and allow the veterinarian to give advice on how to care for your cat. You may groom and examine your pet regularly, but an expert can give you advice on what else to look for. In addition, your cat may require regular vaccines to keep away illness and to prevent potential problems from arising.