This week it was time, once again, to make the annual visit to the vet for Kirby. Checkup, shots, and claws trimmed does NOT make him a happy cat. When I first ran this blog, I included advice from vets about getting your cat used to the carrier, riding in the car, etc. Have found some more information that I will share. I’m also happy to announce that I followed some of what I had read and things are a little better.
Putting the carrier in the family room where Kirby could lay in it or sleep in it (without having to travel in it) did make it a little easier. Now I can just pick him up and put him in because the carrier is already there and open. It makes it easier if I set the carrier on its end so that I can lower him in butt first. I put a towel over the carrier on the way out to the car and keep it there until we’re inside the office. I now stay out of the exam room because that seems to keep him calmer.
Cats are America’s favorite pet, yet they are seen less often than dogs in veterinary clinics. Why? I thought you’d never ask. It’s because of the widely held belief that cats are lower-maintenance pets. They can stay indoors, munch as needed from a brimming bowl of non-stinky dry food, and then poop in a box. They pretty much take care of themselves – right?
Cats who miss their annual exams may go years with painful erosive tooth lesions, making it painful to eat. Other insidious disorders like benign thyroid tumors or kidney failure, a fact of life in all older cats, could be gradually destroying your kitty. Observant owners can make a huge difference. Take a feel along your cat’s backbone once a week. If it’s getting that boney feel, you may have discovered loss of muscle mass.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), also called pancreatic insufficiency and maldigestion syndrome, was thought to be rare in cats. However, because of the results of different studies, it been found to be fairly common. It can be a potential cause of diarrhea and chronic weight loss in cats. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency means there is a decrease or lack of digestive enzymes being produced by the pancreas. In cats with the disorder, proteins, starches and fats from the diet aren’t broken down sufficiently to be absorbed through the intestinal wall. This means nutrients can’t get into the bloodstream to supply nourishment to the body’s tissues. Much of the food that is eaten remains undigested in the GI tract and ultimately leaves the body in feces. If left untreated, a cat with EPI can literally starve to death despite how much food is consumed. Pancreatic insufficiency can have several potential causes, but the most common source in cats is chronic inflammation of the pancreas. Other causes are parasitic infestations, as well as cancer. Talk to your vet if your cat has any unexplained weight loss to see what kind of treatments are available.
Next week I’ll share the rest of the new information I’ve found, including 11 situations that require your getting your cat to the vet immediately. What are your experiences with going to the vet? Would love to hear them.
Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty. Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night. Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667