Protect Your Precious With Regular Health Check-UPS
Dr Yanglem Pushpa
As a pet parent you take care of all the needs of your pets and give them all the love and care they need. Taking care of their health is of utmost importance. Like you schedule regular health check-ups for yourself and your family members, you should do the same for your pet as well. Talk to your vet about annual or bi-annual check-ups.
Cats should be vaccinated against potentially fatal diseases and receive regular preventive treatment for fleas and worms. Apart from this, regular grooming is also an essential part of their overall health and well-being.
Vaccines – Best protection for your pet
Vaccination protects your pets from various contagious viral diseases like Feline Calcivirus, Feline Rhinotracheitis and Feline Panleukopenia which cause respiratory distress, gastrointestinal disorders, immune deficiency syndrome and nervous system disorders. Also, it is highly recommended that cats are vaccinated against rabies virus too. Vaccination is initially given at a number of set intervals, as recommended by your vet. Thereafter, annual booster vaccinations provide protection for the life of your pet.
Worm woes no more with timely de-worming!
Cats should be given regular treatment against worms to protect from both endoparasites and ectoparasites. Your vet will give the best advice about which de-worming medicine to use and how often it should be repeated. As a pet parent you should know that some species of worms for cats can also have harmful effects on humans, so you should also get de-wormed regularly. Fleas can cause itching, irritation, hair-fall, and licking. The skin becomes reddened and inflamed by flea infestation. Most times fleas are visible to the naked eye and you’ll also notice small dark flecks (flea dirt) in the fur and on the skin.
Good grooming: Keep your kitty happy and healthy
All cats need regular grooming. Long-haired breeds need more coat care than short-haired ones. A long-haired cat should be combed and brushed once daily while cat with short hair will usually need brushing twice a week. Get a brush and comb that are suitable for the hair type of your pet. Use a pet shampoo and conditioner to keep their coat and skin healthy. Never use human shampoo for bathing your pet.
Keep an eye on these symptoms
You should check your pet each day for any sign of illness. These might include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Drinking much more or less than usual
- Consistency of stool
- Significant weight change (in either direction) over a short period
- Lack of energy/sleeping more than usual
- Movement/activity of your pet
- Skin and fur conditions
- Signs of pain, such as sensitivity to touch
- Runny eyes or nose
- Changes in behaviour
The burning question – when to seek vet appointment?
If you are worried about the health of your cat, contact your local vet at the earliest. Changes in breathing like wheezing, rapid breathing, shortness of breath and raspy breathing should never be ignored. If your pet is not breathing normally, it may be best to go to an emergency clinic.
An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure
Many pet parents ignore the importance of routine veterinary care for cats. They may wait several weeks to take their cats to vets. It is understandable that you might want to avoid putting your pets through unnecessary stress, but catching early signs is the best way to get timely treatment. Rather than waiting, try to find a veterinary practice that is less stressful for your cat. Annual health check-up is essential for older cats. Senior cats can benefit from biannual check-ups and routine blood tests. These visits give the vet an opportunity to examine your pet and he/ she may find minor abnormalities or early signs of diseases. Early detection of any abnormalities will save your pet before the illness progress.
You can also keep your cat as healthy as possible by feeding a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help your cat avoid obesity and a wide array of other health issues like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Keep fresh water available at all times and make sure the litter box is clean. Provide a happy, loving, and low-stress environment for your pet and your care and affection will help them sail through!
(Dr Yanglem Pushp is Consultant & CEO at Dr Yanglemcha Pets Clinic, Imphal West, Manipur)