Senior Cat Care
At 7-years-old, we consider our feline patients to be senior citizens. Older cats tend to be susceptible to many diseases. Thanks to our advancing veterinary technology, many of these diseases are easily and successfully treated if found early. Our hospital philosophy is to provide you with the best veterinary care available for your senior cat. We feel strongly that the preventive care plan outlined below will help us understand the status of your cat’s body and help them stay healthy for as long as possible.
Senior Preventive Care Examination (twice per year)
By performing pet physical examinations on senior pets every 6 months, we can monitor for any changes in internal organ size, shape, or palatability. We can also monitor ocular changes along with arthritic mobility changes. Most of these changes can be treated when internal signs are first noticed, hopefully extending the pets’ lives and decreasing the cost of managing these changes.
We follow the most up-to-date recommendations on vaccinations from the American Academy of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Cats that live indoors need fewer vaccinations. Cats that go outdoors need more vaccines as well as other preventative care due to the environmental hazards that they face. Most cats will receive an FDRC (Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis & Calicivirus) injection every three years. Your cat will be vaccinated for rabies every year with a new, safer, and gentler vaccine. If your cat is allowed outdoors, we will administer a yearly feline leukemia vaccination. We will make specific vaccination recommendations according to the lifestyle of your cat.
Fecal Centrifugation & Giardia Elisa
By bringing a fresh stool sample (not more than 24 hours old), we can look for any intestinal parasites that cats can obtain from contact with other animals or by eating wildlife or bugs. Cats that go outside are at much higher risk for catching parasites, but indoor cats can catch parasites, too. Some of these parasites are contagious to people, especially children, and immunocompromised individuals. If you are unable to obtain a stool sample, we can administer a broad-spectrum dewormer to your cat, which will eliminate the most common gastrointestinal parasites.
Blood pressure screening may be recommended at the doctor’s discretion.
Annual Senior Blood Work & Urinalysis
We will collect both a blood and urine sample from your cat. A complete blood count, biochemical profile, two-part thyroid test, and urinalysis will be submitted to the laboratory for testing. Blood work will show if the patient is starting to have changes to kidney, liver, or organ function. Most of these changes can be treated when internal signs are first noticed, hopefully extending the pets’ lives and decreasing the cost of managing these changes.
Annual Feline Leukemia & Feline AIDS Test
The American Academy of Feline Practitioners recommends that cats allowed outdoors unsupervised are tested regularly for feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline AIDS (FIV) viruses. These diseases are contagious and considered fatal. This test is also performed on new cats entering the home.
Regular Prevention & Control for Internal/External Parasites
Advantage Multi™ (once per month) prevents heartworm disease in cats. Many mosquitoes in Massachusetts are now carrying heartworm larvae. There is no cure for heartworm disease in cats, and it can cause sudden death. Advantage Multi kills fleas. Fleas are very small and can fit through screens or can hitch a ride inside your home on a dog or human. Once inside, they can lay eggs in upholstery and survive many life cycles if they have access to an unprotected pet. Advantage Multi used for an entire season will stop this life cycle. Fleas carry tapeworms, and in fact, many cats get tapeworms from eating their fleas while grooming. Advantage Multi prevents hookworm and roundworm infections. Your cat can become infected with these by eating rodents, cockroaches (and even bugs that have been eating rodent carcasses) and then find their way into the house. These worms are contagious to humans, especially children and immunocompromised adults. Advantage Multi also kills ear mites.
Regular Oral Care: Toothbrushing & Hills T/D Diet
Your cat will live longer, have fewer problems, and may not have to have costly dental procedures if you can maintain excellent oral health in his or her mouth. Ideally, you would brush your cat’s teeth every day. For many cats, this can be difficult. We recommend the regular use of several kibbles of Hill’s T/D diet given as a treat for your cat to prevent dental disease.
*Due to the increasing costs of veterinary products and technology, our prices are subject to change.