Physical Exams Senior - Cat
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Physical Exams Senior - Cat
It is estimated that there are 10 million more cats in the United States than dogs. That's almost 82 million cats as of the end of 2006 and the number continues to rise. But with the increasing popularity of cats, the fact that these furry felines receive less veterinary care than their canine cousins makes me want to yowl.
The latest figures reveal that in a single year, 83% of owners take their dogs to the veterinarian as compared to only 64% of cat owners. Are cats just healthier than dogs? No. They can experience just as many maladies but often mask their signs of illness much to their own detriment.
Use the following checklist every month to discover potential health issues. Your cat will benefit from early treatment. You will profit by finding these problems before they become more involved and more expensive to treat.
- Is your cat is acting normally? Does it appear to be in good spirits?
- Is the appetite is normal? It is able to chew and swallow without difficulty?
- Does it breathe normally? There should be no straining to catch its breath and no episodes of repeated coughing.
- How are its urinary habits? Your cat should urinate in the usual amounts and frequency. It should use its litter box on a consistent basis.
- Are the bowel movements normal? There is no evidence of pain on elimination. You see no blood or mucus on the stool.
- Does your cat walk without stiffness or pain? It should be able to jump or climb with ease.
- Are its nails are not overly long and appear healthy?
- Your cat's coat is supposed to be full, glossy and not shed excessively. Normal skin is not flaky, greasy or odorous.
- On close examination, the skin should reveal no evidence of external parasites such as fleas.
- Are the eyes bright, clear and free of discharge?
- Healthy ears are clean, without debris/odor.
- Is your pet's nose is free of discharge? An occasional sneeze is ok but repeated episodes may indicate a respiratory problem
- Are the teeth are clean and white? There should be no mouth odor. It is not normal for a cat to drool excessively.
- When you run your hands over your pet's body, are there lumps or bumps, or indication of pain or sensitivity? If you notice any of these signs, bring it to your veterinarian's attention immediately.
A home physical examination only takes a few minutes to perform. If you get yourself into the habit of doing this on a monthly basis from the time that your cat is a kitten, the two of you will come to consider this time one of bonding rather than a chore.
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