Kittens need a lot of attention to ensure they have a good start
in life. Routine physical examinations are administered to make sure
that everything is normal and that there are no problems. Your vet will
check the kitten’s ears, eyes, teeth, heart, lung, abdomen, bones and
All kittens should be tested for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) before being introduced to a household, especially if there is another cat living there. FeLV and FIV are the biggest causes of illness and deaths in cats, and need to be detected early if the diseases are to be managed. The blood test for FeLV and FIV can be done quickly and safely in our lab. There is currently no cure for either infection, but there are options for managing the disease to allow the pet to have a good, comfortable life.
An internal and external parasite examination and some vaccinations are essential for a healthy life. We will help you choose the best product for deworming and to keep your pet free of other parasites. The following vaccines are available in our clinic:
This viral disease is always fatal and can be transmitted to humans. It is one of the oldest known, highly fatal, infectious diseases caused by a Lyssavirus. This virus affects the central nervous system of virtually all warm blooded animals. Rabies in cats is rare, but it is necessary to know that it can happen.
The vaccination for rabies is required by law.
“Feline distemper” causes upper respiratory problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and often, death. Panleukopenia occurs wherever there are cats. Cats at any age can be infected. Young kittens, sick cats, and cats that have not been vaccinated are most susceptible.
Rhinotracheitis, Herpes and Calicivirus (“Cat Flu”)Rhinotracheitis is a common, acute viral disease of cats. It is characterized by sneezing, inflammation of the nasal passages (rhinitis) and the trachea (tracheitis), fever and eye infection. Rhinotracheitis means inflammation of the nose and windpipe (trachea). Upper respiratory signs of a calici-virus-infection including sneezing, eye/nose discharge and mouth ulcers.
“Feline Upper Respiratory Disease Complex” is the term used to describe a condition affecting the mouth, nasal passages, sinuses, and upper airway in cats and kittens. 80-90% of the cases are caused by feline herpesvirus and calicivirus. Chlamydia, reovirus, bordetella pasteurella and mycoplasma can be associated in the disease.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
This virus causes symptoms as varied as anemia, chronic infections, and cancer. It is the cause of more cat deaths, directly or indirectly, than any other organism. FeLV infections can be transmitted in several ways: by the saliva and blood of infected cats and by the mother to fetuses (developing kittens) during pregnancy. Eighty-five percent of cats with FeLV die within 3 years of the diagnosis. Cats should be tested for FeLV and then vaccinated if they will be outdoors at any point in their life. Kittens can be tested at any age.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
FIV is the virus that causes AIDS in cats. This virus does not infect humans. There is a long asymptomatic period before AIDS occurs. Infection from FIV is discovered using a screening test performed in our clinic. Virus transmission is possible by bite wounds, mating and via improperly screened blood transfusions. As there is no cure, our job is to prolong the asymptomatic period. The average life expectancy from the time of diagnosis for FIV is 5 years. The normal vaccination scheme should be continued for FIV infected cats.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
FIP is a caused by an infection with the feline coronavirus. It results from wide-spread infiltration of the body’s organs with a type of inflammatory tissue called pyogranuloma. This leads to global inflammation and fevers unresponsive to antibiotics. The “wet” form of FIP includes the effusion of thick, yellowish fluids in chest and/or abdomen. The “dry” form is more insidious, leading to death over a much longer period (often years). Both forms are felt to have 100% mortality. Dogs and humans cannot get sick from feline coronavirus. The feline coronavirus is definetly not involved in SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) although SARS is also caused by a coronavirus.
We advise that you keep your kitten indoors until 2 weeks after their second vaccination to reduce the risk of picking up diseases. The vaccination schedule for kittens depends on their contact with other cats (indoor and outdoor cats). Please ask our veterinarians for more details.
After six months of age we recommend spaying or castration for all cats that will not be used for breeding purposes. These surgical procedures are highly routine. We first perform a pre-anesthetic blood test to help us determine the animal’s overall health status (especially the kidney function). We also administer pain medication to reduce discomfort during and after the surgery.
This is also great opportunity to apply any necessary vaccination (and to implant a microchip in your pet’s skin for permanent identification, which is compulsory in Dubai).
Our veterinary team will recommend vaccinations depending on whether or not the cats spend any time outdoors. Also, as your cat gets older, regular health checks becomes much more important. Our goal, together with you, is to find problems and diseases before they become serious. Regular blood checks and tests for Feline Leukemia (FeLV), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) are also important even if the cat doesn't show any symptoms any!
For your cat to have a long and happy life, regular health
checks are essential for a long and happy life. This means your pet
needs regular vaccinations and medical exams.
For elderly cats an additional routine blood test is available to check for hyperthyroidism, a common health condition in senior cats. Depending on your individual pet’s condition and other factors, other tests and assessments might be recommended. Routine diagnostic imaging such as x-ray, ultrasound and echocardiography become important in this period of life to find irregularities before they become a problem.
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