Services for your cat
At The Cat Clinic we strive to give our feline patients the best of care, and your cat’s health is our priority. As the years go by, the ageing process can create more and more concerns for your cat and just like in people, early detection is the key to successful treatment.
The problems that our senior patients are at risk of developing include:
- kidney disease
- over active thyroid glands
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
Over the last few years there have been excellent advances in the treatment of many of these diseases seen in older cats, especially kidney disease. For these new treatments to have their greatest benefit though, they must start early before you notice any signs of illness.
We consider any cat 10 years of age or older to be a senior cat and re recommend that all senior cats start on our Senior Cat Care Program. The program involves a full veterinary check up, weigh in, dental examination, arthritis assessment, blood pressure measurement and some simple blood and urine screening tests designed to detect early signs of disease. Senior cat checks can be done at the same time as an annual vaccination which saves on one extra trip to the vet.
Senior cats should then be reassessed every 6 months to ensure any disease is diagnosed early and optimal treated provided. A senior cat program allows us to provide your cat with the best possible care and advise you on the special needs of your senior cat to ensure a long healthy life.
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How old is your cat in human years?
The clinical examination is an essential part of preventative health care, however, we need to do some tests to help up see how the body is functioning. A brief description of the tests and what they mean follows.
Blood pressure is just as important in cats as it is in people, it is much harder to measure in cats though. We use an ultrasound detector to amplify the pulse to we can make the measurement. High blood pressure is often caused by kidney disease or overactive thyroid glands.
Urine specific gravity is a test on the urine that lets us know how concentrated a cat’s urine is. Cats are desert animals and they are supposed to have concentrated urine. This is one test where a high result is good. Urine that is not concentrated can be the first sign of many diseases including kidney disease and diabetes. When urine is not concentrated, you will usually see an increase in thirst.
Urine dipstick analysis use test strips to measure the levels of many chemicals in the urine. This is an excellent way of screening for diabetes and urinary tract disease. Information about some parts of kidney function can also be determined.
Creatinine is a waste product that is made in the muscles. The kidneys remove creatinine from the blood. We measure the levels in the blood to help see how well the kidneys are working. If they are not working well then creatinine will build up to high levels. Although it is the best routine blood test available it is not able to detect very early kidney disease
Urea is a waste product made from the breakdown of spare protein, much of which comes from food. Like creatinine we can measure urea and a build up show the kidneys are not working properly. It is not as accurate a test as creatinine but it will often detect kidney disease slightly earlier.
ALT is an enzyme that is found in the liver and elevated levels indicate liver problems. Common causes of liver problems in older cats include bacterial infections, liver cancer and overactive thyroid glands.
Total protein is a simple test that measures the levels of protein in the blood. Abnormalities can be caused by many problems including inflammation, blood loss, liver, kidney, or intestinal disease.
Packed cell volume is a measure of how many red blood cells your cat has in their blood and tells us if anaemia is present or if there is dehydration.
Phone us today to arrange a senior check for your cat and join our Senior Cat Care Program.