Wellness and preventative care are the keys to keeping your cat healthy—that includes exams, vaccinations, blood testing and parasite prevention. At Dominion Valley Animal Hospital, we’ll work with you to provide a customized care plan based on your pet’s specific needs.
Congratulations on the new addition to the family! For many pet lovers, there is nothing more exciting and fun than getting a new kitten. We’ll be your partner in making sure your kitten gets started off on the right paw, because the first few months of a young cat’s life are critical to their development, future health and well-being.
You should schedule your kitten to see the veterinarian as soon as possible after you adopt for the following services:
- Comprehensive Physical Exams – monitoring your kitten’s growth, looking for signs of any future health issues
- Vaccinations – Kittens are not fully immune from many life-threatening diseases, so vaccinations are vital, and rabies is required by law.
- Intestinal Parasite Screening/Deworming (if necessary) – It’s common for kittens to have worms, and they can make your new friend very sick and weak.
- FeLV/FIV Screening – Feline leukemia virus and feline Immunodeficiency virus can be contracted from the mother cat, so all kittens should be tested.
- Spay/Neuter – Our veterinarian will discuss the benefits of altering your pet and if you opt for this procedure, when it should be done.
- Microchip – One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to make sure he or she is microchipped. Unlike collars, microchips stay with your pet for life and will make it much more likely your cat will be returned to you if lost.
- Heartworm, Flea, & Tick Preventative – Fleas and ticks are not only unpleasant, they carry disease and can be very detrimental to a young cat’s health. Heartworm can also affect cats and cause severe respiratory problems.
- Behavior & Nutrition Counseling – While it may be true that kittens don’t come with instructions, counseling with our veterinarians about feeding, litterbox training and socialization that will set your new kitten up for success as a family member.
We recommend annual wellness exams and blood testing for all adult cats. Your cat’s wellness exam at Dominion Valley Animal Hospital is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you have about his or her health with one of our veterinary professionals. We encourage discussions about nutrition, dental care, allergies, litterbox habits, mobility issues, risk of infections, and any lifestyle or behavior changes.
Our vaccination protocols are based on American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, but also customized to the individual needs of your cat based on health and lifestyle. We do offer vaccine titers in lieu of vaccination at mid or older age and homeopathic vaccine detox.
Our feline friends unfortunately age much faster than we do, which means disease and illness progress much faster as well. For this reason, Dominion Valley Animal Hospital recommends that cats over age seven have wellness exams and senior blood chemistry panels twice per year.
The goals for senior pet exams are to detect, prevent or delay the diseases and conditions that are common in older animals such as osteoarthritis, hormone disorders, organ failure, cancers, and disease of the kidney, heart, and liver. For this reason, we may also advise X-rays, ultrasounds, urinalysis and blood pressure monitoring for your older pet.
Our veterinarians can also suggest specially formulated food for your older cat, whose changing nutritional needs will benefit from an adjusted diet.
If you have senior feline, we recommend that you call us for an exam if you observe any of the following symptoms:
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Significant decrease or increase in appetite
- Failure to eat for more than two days
- Noticeable decrease in vision
- Increasing inactivity or time spent sleeping
- Excessive panting
- Hair loss, especially if accompanied by scratching in a localized area
- Seizures or convulsing
- Straining at the litterbox/Litterbox problems
If you have questions about caring for your feline companion at any life stage, or to set up an appointment, call us at (703) 753-4444.