Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

Tales from the Pet Clinic

with Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM

This blog has been retired. We appreciate all of the insights that Dr. Hohenhaus shared with our readers.

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cats Are Medically Underserved

In my last post I wrote about how little attention has recently been paid to the cat in the articles published in the New York Times. Although I believe in fair and balanced reporting, the lack of newsprint devoted to the cat only hurts their feelings, not their health. As a cat owner, you might not be able to influence the editorial staff at the New York Times, but you can protect your cat’s health. 

cats underserved

Over the past decade, veterinarians have noticed an alarming trend. Cats see a veterinarian half as often as dogs do. Just like dogs, cats can get sick and do need annual examinations by their veterinarians. Without regular medical care, your cat misses the opportunity to undergo screening tests to find disease before it becomes untreatable. Cats also need preventive healthcare, such as vaccinations and parasite prevention. I find three particular trends in feline health care particularly disturbing.

1. Rabies in cats is increasing.
In a recently published survey in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association of rabies cases in the United States, the occurrence of rabies declined in all wildlife and domestic dogs, but in cats, rabies increased. Rabies presents a double whammy: it is fatal in cats and poses a huge health risk for the cat’s family members.  The good news is rabies is safely and easily prevented by a vaccination which can be given when your cat visits her veterinarian.

2. Feline diabetes is on the rise.

The Banfield State of Pet Health 2010 report documented a 16% increase of diabetes in cats and a much higher occurrence of diabetes in cats than in dogs. The epidemic of diabetes in cats is likely linked to the increase in pet obesity. Annual wellness examinations will include measuring your cat’s body weight, and if your pussy cat is getting a little porky a weight reduction diet can be developed to help keep her from developing diabetes.

3. Dental disease has increased 10% in cats over the past 5 years.
A study from France reports in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry that cats have a high rate of fractured teeth with retained roots, periodontal disease and bone loss around teeth.  Every cat studied had periodontal inflammation. Cat owners can help prevent dental and periodontal disease in their cats with regular tooth brushing. Annual wellness examinations by your cat’s veterinarian can identify dental problems early, and teeth cleaning using special equipment is done with your cat under general anesthesia.
 
Don’t delay, call your veterinarian today. Your cat will thank you.

Photo: Dr. Philip Fox

Posted by: Ann Hohenhaus, DVM at 11:42 am

Comments

Leave a comment

Subscribe & Stay Informed

WebMD Healthy Pets

Sign up for the WebMD Healthy Pets newsletter and get the latest on food, exercise and health news for Fluffy and Fido.

Archives

WebMD Health News