I recently took my two 10 year-old cats to the vet for their annual check ups. Although I can’t refer to the experience as being fun, it certainly was educational. It seems that no matter how long I’ve owned cats, I always have more to learn about issues surrounding cat health. This visit, three particular health concerns caught my attention.
1. A Cat Needs Oral Health Care
The first health concern surrounds cat’s teeth. Did you know that cats can suffer from dental problems just like humans? I had no idea – until the vet stated that one of my pets has periodontal disease. As explained by Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, periodontal disease is common, as it affects an estimated 85 percent of cats over the age of six.
If not treated, this disease can cause layers of plaque to cover the surface of the teeth. It can also cause swelling of the gums. Ultimately, if left too long, the only treatment option may be extraction. As you can surmise, I’ve scheduled my beloved cats for much needed teeth cleanings!
2. Yeast Infections are No Laughing Matter in Cats
The next health problem in cats that warrants attention sounds harmless enough: yeast infections. Yet, these infections, especially in a cat’s ears, can be quite uncomfortable for the animal.
According to petmd.com, cats who dig at their ears and who also shake their heads may have such an infection. Another symptom is a blackish or yellowish coating on the inside of the ear. Sad to say, but I had not even noticed this discharge in my own cat.
Although I feel a bit guilty for not realizing he was ill, I feel happy that my kitty is now on the mend. The vet says that one squirt of medicine in my cat’s ear daily for a week will be enough to cure him.
3. Rabies Vaccinations Last Varying Lengths of Time
Finally, I had been aware of rabies and the importance of vaccinations; however, I did not know that some rabies shots last longer than others. When a cat is first immunized for rabies the shot lasts one year. Later on, shots can also last one year, but some vaccines last up to three years.
On this visit I decided I need to pay close attention to when my cats’ next shots will be! The first thing I did when I arrived home was make a note the date on my calendar.
As I stated earlier, I learn something new every time I visit the vet’s office with my two cats. One reason for this is that there is simply a lot to know about feline health. Another reason is that treatments and available medicines change over time. Just like humans, health care for cats continually improves.
My advice to cat owners: listen up at your cat’s next vet appointment. I guarantee you will learn something new as well.