Regular wellness exams are important for your senior cat, even if they appear generally healthy. By having your cat examined at least once a year, it allows the veterinary health care team to make note of insidious problems like obesity, arthritis and dental disease, and formulate an action plan for your individual cat before problems become severe. If your cat has health concerns such as thyroid, liver or kidney disease, we recommend an exam at least every 6 months to evaluate the efficacy of your cat's individual treatment plan. Some patients might require laboratory testing to monitor organ function or drug levels at more frequent intervals.
Feline Distemper (FVRCP): we recommend vaccinating against panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis (herpes) and calici-virus. Because it is still important to keep senior cats protected against these deadly diseases, we will work with you and your individual senior cat to determine the best vaccination protocol for your family member. If you have any questions about what is right for your cat, do not hesitate to ask our doctors.
Rabies: cats are more commonly exposed to this deadly disease than dogs because of their tendency to play with bats. We require that your cat be current on this vaccine before any elective procedures, and strongly recommend for legal reasons that you keep your cat up to date on this vaccine.
Feline Leukemia: we recommend vaccinating all cats who have contact with the outside or cats that go outside against feline leukemia, a deadly retroviral disease. A negative feline leukemia test is required. If your cat is strictly indoor only and does not have access to the outside or cats who go outside, we often discontinue this vaccine. Please speak with one of our doctors if you have any questions, and we will be happy to formulate a vaccine protocol tailored to your individual cat’s needs.
Intestinal Parasites: because of the zoonotic (can be spread to humans) potential of common intestinal parasites, we recommend that all cats have their stool examined on an annual basis. This can become especially important in older cats as their immune function can decline making them more susceptible to parasites. Fecal examination entails giardia elisa testing, and microscopic examination of a direct and flotation preparation of feces to check for worm ovum and coccidia.
Fleas/ticks: depending on the season, we recommend Frontline Plus for flea and tick prevention.
We recommend good oral hygiene for your cat and offer a complete line of at home dental care products ranging from tooth brushes and paste to rinses and chews.
Your cat’s teeth and gums will be evaluated at their annual wellness visit. It is very common for senior cats to show signs of moderate to severe periodontal disease.Newer anesthetic protocols have made dental procedures much safer, and your cat will be on IV fluids in addition to being monitored very closely while under anesthesia. It is very important to address periodontal disease, as it can lead to severe pain, poor appetite, weight loss, and kidney disease. If your senior cat has periodontal disease, we strongly recommend having it treated in order to prevent more serious health problems down the road. Keeping your senior cat's teeth healthy has a profound impact on their overall well-being and quality of life.
Senior Health Screening
Laboratory Testing: we recommend at least yearly blood testing for senior pets. Basic screening for senior cats includes a complete blood cell count (red and white blood cells, platelets and hemoglobin), general chemistry panel (BUN, creatinine, Alk Phos, Glucose, ALT, total protein, calcium, phosphorus, albumin, amylase, total bilirubin and cholesterol), thyroid and a complete urinanalysis. Regular laboratory screening allows us to diagnose diseases in your cat much earlier, which enables us to treat any underlying conditions much more successfully than waiting until your senior cat is seriously ill.
Tonometry: glaucoma is a very common eye disease that can lead to pain and blindness if not diagnosed early. As part of a comprehensive senior wellness program, we recommend regular measuring of your cat’s intra-ocular pressure.This provides us with baseline information, and if your cat’s pressure rises, it enables us to begin treating for glaucoma much earlier—before your pet is in pain or loses vision.
Blood Pressure: Hypertension is a common and vastly underdiagnosed problem in our older cats. Regular screenings can help determine if your feline companion needs to be on blood pressure medication to help prolong their life.
ECG: Some cats develop cardiac arrhythmias and other heart problems with age. An electocardiogram can be a good early screening tool to ensure your cat's heart is healthy.
Radiographs: Our older feline companions are more prone to arthritis, pulmonary issues and cancers. Sometimes routine radiographs can help rule out these serious conditions or help our doctors assess the severity of your cat's problems so appropriate treatment plans can be made.
Senior Wellness Packages
We currently offer 3 Senior Wellness Packages to help provide your aging feline companion the best possible care into their golden years. Please feel free to discuss which package will fit your pet's individual needs with our veterinary health care team.
Senior Package A: Includes complete laboratory screening (CBC, blood chemistries, electrolytes, urinalysis and thyroid (T4)), tonometry, blood pressure measurement, ECG and 4 radiographic views.
Senior Package B: Includes complete laboratory screening (CBC, blood chemistries, electrolytes, urinalysis and thyroid (T4)), tonometry, blood pressure measurement, and 2 radiographic views.
Senior Package C: Includes complete laboratory screening (CBC, blood chemistries, electrolytes, urinalysis and thyroid (T4)), tonometry and blood pressure measurement.