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How Often Should Cats See the Vet?

Cats need to visit the vet at least once per year, but ideally they should be seen every six months.

February is National Cat Health Month, so we’re going to look at some of the reasons why you need to make an appointment for your kitty ASAP!

 

  • Teeth cleaning & dental care (it’s also Pet Dental Health Month!)
  • Spaying & Neutering – cats are prolific breeders, so it’s a must
  • Changes in a cat’s health can happen quickly, so preventive care is important
  • Sick cats often show no signs of being ill – they hide symptoms and pain well
  • Early diagnosis of health problems equals early intervention/better outcome
  • Regular vaccinations are vital to protecting your pet from diseases

Don’t wait for veterinary visits – make regular head to toe exams for your cat part of your routine. While you might not know what to look for, you’re far more likely to pick up on any changes in your pet’s health, and as a bonus it helps your pet get used to being handled.

So when is the last time your cat got a health check up? If the answer isn’t within the last six months, then it’s time to give us a call.

How do you brush a cat’s teeth?

When asked ‘how do you brush a cat’s teeth?, cat owners and veterinarians will most likely answer, “VERY CAREFULLY”.

While the joke is good for a small giggle, the better question is WHY you need to clean kitty’s teeth. The answer? Because they’re teeth. They get dirty.

Adult cats have 30 teeth – so there are a lot of places for problems to begin. Regular brushing at home combined with dental cleanings at the vet helps reduce plaque and tartar build-up that kickstarts inflammation and allows disease to creep in.

So, how’s your cat’s breath?

Get up close and personal to get a whiff of your cat’s breath. Is it regular old cat breath (meaning slightly fishy, but not overwhelming) or ‘OMG…I can’t even, oh noooooo…’ breath?

If it’s the first, great – that means you still have time to establish a preventive dental care plan.

If it’s the second – you and your cat have a real problem. Foul breath is the first indication of oral health problems and disease. Make an appointment with your vet. Don’t delay.

Still good? Go a bit further…

If your cat will allow it, gently flip their lip to reveal the teeth and gum area. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding, or inflammation of the gums. You’ll probably see discolorations on the teeth, too. Are any of the teeth chipped or broken? Any of these conditions require professional care.

Call your vet and make an appointment. Don’t delay.

Speaking of appointments with the vet…

All cats and dogs should have an annual health check up. Part of a thorough health check includes checking the pet’s teeth and gums for signs of disease. Sadly, too many domestic cats and dogs don’t get regular veterinary care until they are injured or they show definite signs of being sick.

Remember, your pet can’t tell you their teeth hurt, and cats are notorious for hiding pain. Don’t wait until your pet is clearly in pain or distress.

Not quite convinced?

February is Pet Dental Health Month, so you’ll save $50 off a dental treatment at any Arizona PetVet location. Find the nearest location.

Flip the Lip: Recognizing Dental Disease in Pets

Periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed preventable disease in dogs and cats. By age three, nearly 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some form of dental disease, which can lead to more severe health problems.

There are strong links between gum disease and heart disease in humans and animals, so prevention is the key. Here’s why:

Get down on their level. Flip the lip. Take a close look at the REAL condition of their teeth.

Are their gums pink and healthy, or red and inflamed?
Can you see discolorations on the teeth or at the gum line?
Is there evidence of any loose, cracked, or broken teeth?

We’re betting there’s a lot more going on in there than you realized. Luckily, it’s National Pet Dental Health Month, so pet parents can save $50 off a dental cleaning for Fido or Fluffy at any AZ Pet Vet location.  We’ll even help you create a simple, regular home care plan for keeping doggy and kitty grins brighter.

 

Common Signs of Pain in Dogs and Cats

pet painSeptember is Animal Pain Awareness Month, but what does that really mean? We all sincerely believe we’d know if something were wrong with our pets, but the truth is, many of us will miss the signals.

Would you recognize the most common signs of pain in your pet ?

Behavioral and other changes are the ways our animals communicate to us that there is something wrong and they need help. Here’s what you need to watch for:

Common Signs of Pain in Dogs

  • Decreased social interaction
  • Anxious expression
  • Submissive behavior
  • Refusal to move
  • Whimpering
  • Howling
  • Growling
  • Guarding behavior
  • Aggression; biting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Self-mutilation (chewing)
  • Changes in posture

Common Signs of Pain in Cats

  • Reduced activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Quiet/loss of curiosity
  • Changes in urinary/defecation habits
  • Hiding
  • Hissing or spitting
  • Lack of agility/jumping
  • Excessive licking/grooming
  • Stiff posture/gait
  • Guarding behavior
  • Stops grooming/matted fur
  • Tail flicking
  • Weight loss

If your pet is exhibiting one or more of these behaviors, it’s best to take them in for a wellness exam. There are many options available to treat pain in animals including: pain medications, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, laser therapy, and therapeutic massage.Your vet can provide insight into what’s happening, and discuss your treatment options.

Find an Arizona Pet Vet location

Stop Procrastinating – Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day

Cat vet visitAccording to CatFriendly.com, 83 percent of cats make a visit to the vet during their first year. We believe 100 percent is a goal worth working for, however, there’s a problem much bigger than that 17 percent gap.

More than 50 percent of the kitties that got those important checkups and vaccinations before age one won’t see a vet again until they’re sick or in pain. Fifty percent.

Why Postponing the Vet Visit is a BAD Idea

Regular Checkups Make Purr-fect Sense and Help Lower the Lifetime Cost of Care

Domesticated cats also tend to be indoor cats, so their potential exposure to diseases carried by other animals or pests is lower than that of an outdoor or feral cat. This decreased risk somehow translates into fewer vet visits. This is NOT the way to go about keeping pets healthy.

Here’s why: Cats are notorious for hiding when they’re not feeling well or in pain. In fact, they’ve practically perfected the art of hiding potentially harmful symptoms until they can’t any longer.

Regular wellness checkups can help your vet detect health changes in your cat. Early detection means problems can be treated BEFORE they become chronic health conditions that may require potentially expensive treatment.

Benefits of Routine Wellness Checks for Cats

So consider this your reminder: today is National BRING YOUR CAT TO THE VET DAY. While you’re thinking about it, call your vet and book the appointment. You’ll be glad you did.

Find an AZ Pet Vet location