Parkside Veterinary Hospital provides a full range of preventive care services to help your cat live a longer, happier life and to increase the odds of detecting problems early, before they become severe.
Our veterinarians make their annual preventive care recommendations based on the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association. We then customize our recommendations based on your cat’s hereditary factors, age, medical history and lifestyle.
Annual Physical Examinations
Examinations are an important tool in providing a long, quality life for your cat. Pets age 5-7 times faster than humans; they can’t talk, and often hide early signs of illness.
During an examination our veterinarians will:
- Take a complete medical history
- Perform an ear and eye exam
- Perform a heart and lung analysis
- Take a temperature reading
- Examine your pet's mouth for signs of gum disease
- Check for fleas
- Examine the skin and coat
- Perform a musculoskeletal examination
Many serious infectious diseases can be controlled by vaccination. With over 30 million cats in the United States, your pet is quite likely to come in contact with an infectious disease at one time or another. Even indoor cats can be exposed to viral diseases carried in the air, in dust or on clothing. Vaccinations are an inexpensive way to protect your cat from these threats.
Rabies is a fatal infection of the nervous system that attacks ALL warm-blooded animals, including humans. Rabies has become synonymous with the image of a vicious cat or wild animal.
Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to all pet owners. New York State requires all cats to be vaccinated against Rabies. Rabies can be transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Even cats that are kept indoors may come into contact with an infected animal in a basement, garage or an attic.
Because there is no cure for Rabies, vaccination is your pet's only protection.
Feline Panleukopenia, also known as “cat distemper” is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in young cats. It is easily transmitted from cat to cat.
Feline Respiratory Disease
This includes several different infectious agents. They are all highly contagious and are widespread. High death rates occur in young cats and “old” cats. Upper respiratory infections are easily spread from cat to cat by sneezing, etc. Even a stray cat that appears to be healthy may be a “carrier” infecting your pet, even through a screen window.
Leukemia is now considered to be the leading cause of death in cats. It is a cancer-causing virus that often suppresses the ability to fight other infections. Kittens can be born with the virus. Cats can have the leukemia virus for years before showing signs of the disease. Leukemia is not transmissible to humans or dogs. There is no successful treatment once signs develop.
Bordetella is a highly contagious bacteria that causes upper respiratory infection, which can lead to pneumonia and even death. Cats that have a strong potential for exposure to this infection are cats that come from shelters, wandered up to your house, go outdoors, are taken to a groomer, are boarded at a kennel, or live a multi-cat household.
Parkside Veterinary Hospital uses a variety of diagnostic tests to ensure your cat is healthy on the inside as well as the outside.
Blood and urine diagnostics are the "window" into your cat's body.
- Annual Exams — For healthy pets, diagnostic testing can detect pre-existing conditions such as anemia or kidney function problems. Also, doing blood work on younger cats will give us a base line in which we can use to monitor and track their health throughout their lives. The slightest change can be significant in diagnosing and treating diseases later in their life.
- Sick Exams — For older or sick cats, it is extremely important to run full panel blood screens. Many diseases are present long before a cat shows any outward signs. For ill or senior cats, diagnostic tests are used to diagnose illness and disease, monitor organ degeneration, and to monitor response to medication.
- Pre-Surgical Blood Work — Blood work helps us better understand organ function and allow us to foresee problems before your cat is showing any outward symptoms. Before surgery, it is important to ensure the cat’s internal organs are healthy and able to process anesthesia. Failure to perform this testing may significantly affect the success of the anesthesia and the overall outcome of the surgery.
- Urinalysis — A urinalysis run in conjunction with blood work gives the most accurate, well-rounded picture of the pet’s health. Urinalysis can also show signs of urinary tract problems, bladder stones, infection, diabetes, and early renal disease.
- Fecal — A stool sample is examined for intestinal parasites. Many parasites cause weight loss, diarrhea, anemia and loss of appetite. It is important for routine fecal examinations as many of the parasites that can infect our cats can also be transmitted to humans.
Feline FELV/FIV Blood Test
Early detection will help you maintain the health of your cat and also allow you to prevent spreading infection to other cats. A blood test is performed to see if your cat has antibodies of either leukemia of feline immunodeficiency virus in their system.
Feline leukemia virus adversely affects the cat's body in many ways. During the early stages of infection, it is common for cats to exhibit no signs of disease at all. However, over time—weeks, months, or even years—the cat's health may progressively deteriorate or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Signs can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Slow but progressive weight loss, followed by severe wasting late in the disease process
- Poor coat condition
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Persistent fever
- Pale gums and other mucus membranes
- Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis)
- Infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract
- Persistent diarrhea
- Seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders
- A variety of eye conditions
- In unspayed female cats, abortion of kittens or other reproductive failures
Early in the course of infection, the virus is carried to nearby lymph nodes, where it reproduces in white blood cells known as T-lymphocytes. The virus then spreads to other lymph nodes throughout the body, resulting in a generalized but usually temporary enlargement of the lymph nodes, often accompanied by fever. This stage of infection may pass unnoticed unless the lymph nodes are greatly enlarged. An infected cat's health may deteriorate progressively or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body.
- Poor coat condition and persistent fever with a loss of appetite are commonly seen.
- Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis) and chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary bladder, and upper respiratory tract are often present.
- Persistent diarrhea can also be a problem, as can a variety of eye conditions.
- Slow but progressive weight loss is common, followed by severe wasting late in the disease process.
- Various kinds of cancer and blood diseases are much more common in cats infected with FIV, too.
- In unspayed female cats, abortion of kittens or other reproductive failures have been noted.
- Some infected cats experience seizures, behavior changes, and other neurological disorders.