Owning a cat can be both a delight and a challenge. Compared to other popular domesticated animals, cats are pretty self-sufficient. In fact, you will sometimes need to actively look for your cat to make sure that she is okay, as they like to find warm and comfortable places to hide and relax. Westport pet owners who are concerned about the long-term health and longevity of their pet cats should bring them in for a regular check-up at their local Dartmouth animal hospital. Vaccinations, check-ups, preventive solutions, feline dental care, and other types of treatments, are all available through your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian.
Urinary Tract Disease
Veterinarians have been warning pet owners for years about the prevalence of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), especially in male cats. Approximately three percent of cats that are seen by vets are diagnosed with FLUTD, which is a group of different diseases that can have multiple causes. It is not the same type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that commonly affects humans, in fact, it can be much more severe. While both female and male cats can get FLUTD, it is important to know all of the risk factors involved. Cats who are overweight, do not get regular exercise, and solely eat dry food are often more at-risk than cats who are a healthy weight, get regular exercise, and eat a high-quality brand of wet food.
Symptoms that should cause you to bring your cat to the Dartmouth animal hospital include:
- urinating in unusual places
- crying when urinating
- difficulty urinating
- blood in urine
- licking around the urinary area (due to pain – not normal cleaning)
- depression or a lack of appetite
If your cat exhibits any of the symptoms above, contact your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian right away. If your cat is unable to urinate, you should always consider it to be an emergency. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect that your cat might have a urinary tract problem or other serious condition.
Pests & Parasites
Fleas, ticks, and tapeworms are the most common pests and parasites to affect your cat. Westport pet owners should take a pro-active approach to preventing these pests through the use of medications, treatments, and regular check-ups at the vet. Fleas are very common throughout the United States regardless of the season, while pet owner in New England are very aware of the risks associated with ticks and the diseases that they carry. Regular check-ups can reveal the presence of tapeworms and other internal parasites, so they can be treated right away.
Some of the signs of pests and parasites in your cat can include:
- constant scratching or licking
- red or irritated skin
- skin infections or hair loss
- vomiting or weight loss
- visible sightings of fleas, flea “dirt” or ticks
Speak with your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian about other precautions that you can take, as well as other signs that you can look for, to help keep your cat healthy and free from pests and parasites. Tapeworms are a serious problem and can grow to be up to two feet in length, living inside your cat’s small intestine. Tapeworms and fleas go hand-in-hand, as most cats will get tapeworms after swallowing a flea. Make sure to take care of any flea problems to ensure that your cat doesn’t become infested with tapeworms again in the future.
Diarrhea & Vomiting
While these are two symptoms that you should be on the look out for with your cat, they can also be signs of other diseases, parasites, allergies, infections, and conditions that require treatment from your local Dartmouth animal hospital. Westport pet owners who notice diarrhea and vomiting should at least contact their veterinarian to determine whether a check-up or other action is required. Diarrhea can be a sign of liver disease, internal infections, and even cancer. Vomiting can be caused by eating something poisonous or inedible, as well as serious diseases, such as FLUTD, diabetes or hairballs.
One area that many pet owners overlook is the eyes. Cats can have problems with the eyes that are symptoms of other underlying conditions. Inflammation, retinal disease, conjunctivitis, cataracts, glaucoma and any type of eye trauma should all be treated by a licensed Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian right away. Symptoms to watch for include watery eyes, cloudiness, gunk in the corners of the eye, pawing at the eye, squinting, red eyelid lining or a third eyelid that remains visible. If you see any eye problems, make sure to contact your vet to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Westport pet owners and pet owners from all over the South Coast region have been bringing their pets to our Dartmouth animal hospital since 1975. To schedule an appointment for a check-up, feline dental care or vaccinations, give us a call at 508-996-3731. Anchor Animal Hospital is also an emergency veterinary hospital, providing a wide range of emergency services to cats, dogs, and pocket pets.