Caring for our Purring Friends

cats outdoors

Published on: October 3, 2019

Fall brings forth wonderful weather all across the country. Cats occasionally sneak outside on those nice days and get the inclination to wonder. By receiving a Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV) vaccine, cancer (Leukemia) and other associated long term illness called (caused by the virus from an infected cat) can be prevented. By law, in the state of Tennessee, all cats and dogs must be up to date on their Rabies vaccine. Lastly on the vaccine front, when a new kitten is brought home (usually stray or from a shelter) they might be carrying a respiratory or intestinal virus. This makes the FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici v., Chlamydia, & Panluekopenia v.) vaccine possibly the most important vaccine to administer.

Something that is non-seasonal that is extremely important in our feline patients, is oral health. Unfortunately, most, if not all cats develop oral diseases as they age. Most oral diseases in cats are extremely painful processes, including resorptive lesions and stomatitis. Resorptive lesions are a condition in which the tooth is eaten away (reabsorbed and broken down) by the body due to an unknown cause. Stomatitis is a condition causing chronic ulcers within the mouth. Both of these diseases may contribute to signs such as a decrease in appetite, dropping food when chewing, drooling, lethargy, halitosis (bad breath), and a risk for systemic infection that may cause disease in other parts of the body. Cats also benefit from routine dental cleanings, just like people, to help remove plaque and tartar that can push back gum tissue and cause bacteria to gather and begin breaking down the ligament holding the tooth in place, causing loose teeth and a risk for abscess formation at the base of these roots.

Lastly, Feline health awareness month is a “purrfectly” good time to discuss routine health screening. Because of free choice feeding habits and cats usually being more active at night, we are less acutely aware of their subtle medical changes. That is why physical exam and lab work for cats age 5 and older is so important. Finding the diabetes before it puts you in the hospital, uncovering the thyroid disease before extreme weight loss occurs, and finding that bladder infection before it harms the kidneys are all preventable with routine lab work. Hopefully this article will help to both make you more aware of possible medical changes and keep your furry feline friend “purrfectly” happy!

Your friends at Browndoglodge Veterinary,

Drs. Robinson and Fox