Annual preventive care for cats typically includes:
Proper cat teeth cleaning consists of an oral exam and x-rays under anesthesia in order to properly diagnose any dental disease that may be present. Most of the dental disease in cats is under the gum line. Many cats produce feline odontoclastic resorption lesions (FORL) in their teeth. These are cavity like lesion at the neck of the tooth (where the gum meets the tooth). These lesions cause the roots to be resorbed. These lesions are painful. Unfortunately, your cat will naturally adapt to live with the pain these lesions cause. In these cases, the treatment usually requires extraction of the affected tooth/teeth. Not all cats are plagued with feline odontoclastic resorption lesions (FORL). Only a thorough exam involving x-rays taken by your vet can determine if your cat is living with these lesions. Treatment is curative. However, cats who produce these lesions are likely to produce more in their lifetime and will require annual care.
Preventative care is a cat’s first line of defense. Annual exams help by preventing, diagnosing and treating disease in its early stages, often before any noticeable symptoms begin. The earlier treatment starts, the more effective it is, keeping your pet from unnecessary pain and suffering.
Cat Adoption and Rescue Efforts, Inc. (C.A.R.E.) is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to the rehabilitation, care and adoption of cats and kittens rescued from euthanizing animal shelters in Richmond, VA and surrounding areas. And, accepts on a limited basis animals from alternative sources. We are committed to the highest principles of humane care and obtain professional medical treatment for all animals in our systems.The first step in creating a palliative care plan for your cat is to meet with your veterinarian to discuss the expected course of the disease and how it will affect your cat’s quality of life. This visit also gives you a chance to talk about your cat’s activities of daily living. This is a crucial first step because it allows everyone to participate in the palliative care planning. The cat’s lifestyle is an important consideration for defining good quality of life versus poor or unacceptable quality of life (see the handout “Quality of Life at the End of Life for Your Cat”).Veterinary palliative medicine is a philosophy of care in which a decision has been made to decline or withdraw the pursuit of curative therapy for a life-limiting illness. Some diseases that we treat in cats are managed over the long term without any hope for a cure. These include osteoarthritis, chronic kidney disease, and congestive heart disease. Managing these and other chronic diseases is not the same as palliative care.Pain management is the most important facet of palliative care in cats. Pain is best managed from a multimodal perspective, which means using various techniques—both pharmacologic (medications) as well as nonpharmacologic—in conjunction to achieve the goal of maximum comfort.Once a cat’s activities of daily living have been identified, it’s appropriate to define family beliefs, the family’s needs as care unfolds, and the goals for the cat as death approaches. An essential part of establishing goals of palliative therapy is understanding the expected course of the life-limiting disease—in this case, cancer. Knowledge is power, and knowledge about disease allows for development of a personalized palliative care plan.In addition to standard feline veterinary care, Dr. Cousins offers an additional option of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) for your cat’s well-being. TCVM can oftentimes be incorporated in conjunction with standard Western medicine to provide a truly holistic approach to your kitty’s well-being.