Wellness Consultations

Help us keep your pet healthy by bringing him or her in for regular exams and vaccinations. Pets age far faster than people, so significant changes in their health can happen in a short time. Wellness programs allow us to diagnose diseases and conditions early, when they’re easier to treat or manage. Often, we can help prevent diseases entirely, just by ensuring that your pet has received appropriate vaccinations and preventives. We recommend that healthy cats and dogs visit us once a year. Pets with health issues or illnesses need more frequent checkups. We’ll work with you to create a wellness program, including a vaccination and prevention protocol, for your pet. Call us today to schedule your pet’s wellness exam.

Feline and Canine Wellness Consultation Overview

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Feline and Canine Wellness Consultations – Expert advice from your veterinarians serving Niagara, Welland and St. Catharines.

Our Healthcare Team at the Dog & Cat Clinic of Niagara includes you! Your careful observations at home are important for the overall well being of your cat or dog and our goal is to make a difference in your pet’s life by working with you.

Cats are the “Masters of Disguise!” Their natural instincts for survival predispose them to hide when they are not well. Cats and dogs also age at a much quicker rate than humans, meaning that significant changes in your pet’s health happen in a very short time.

For these reasons, Wellness Consultations are essential to ensure the health and well being of your canine or feline and provide them the best chance for a happy, healthy and long life.

What happens during a Wellness Consultation?

The specific components of a Wellness Consultation will depend on the unique situation of your pet. Age, breed, sex, lifestyle, and the presence of any known medical conditions are taken into consideration. “Consulting” with you and gathering information about their history provides a unique window into their daily life and helps determine their care.
Every consultation always includes a “nose to tail” complete physical examination by our Veterinarian.

However, that is not all that happens! At our Niagara veterinary hospital you and your cat or dog will spend time with each member of our healthcare team in order to complete the steps outlined below.

Here’s a look at the steps in our comprehensive Wellness Consultations…

  1. An update from you! Every consultation begins with a discussion about your pet’s day to day life. We will ask you a series of questions about their environment and daily activity. We always want to know what makes your cat or dog unique! Often the answers to your questions will give us some subtle clues about his/her overall health. Come with a list of questions—no question is too big, small, or silly!
  2. Nutritional Counseling! You are what you eat—and so is your pet! Every Wellness Consultation is your opportunity to ask questions and gain valuable knowledge from our team of Certified Nutritional Counselors. A key factor in wellness care is assuring quality nutrition is provided specific for each life stage, weight management, disease prevention and/or disease management. Many pets can be finicky about their food and we understand that! We offer many choices and many of our high quality diets are guaranteed for palatability.
  3. Parasite Detection and Prevention! It is important to know that every cat and dog needs to be dewormed as part of their wellness care. This treatment primarily addresses roundworms in cats since they are carriers and these worms are contagious to people. Carriers include indoor cats! As part of your pet’s wellness care, we will discuss their individual risk of contracting other common parasites, such as fleas and tapeworm. Your kitty or puppy also requires a yearly fecal analysis (testing of a stool sample) to look for protozoan parasites that live in stagnant water. Like fleas, these parasites can hitch a ride into your home on you and your belongings.
  4. Oral Health Assessment! Approximately 85% of all cats have some form of dental disease at just a few years of age. This process generally begins with an accumulation of soft plaque on the teeth and this inflames the gums. Cats are also prone to a unique cavity below the gum line, known as Feline Odontoclastic Resorption Lesions (FORLs). These cavities can be quite painful but cats rarely show us this pain. A thorough oral health assessment, as part of a Wellness Consultation, allows early intervention. Check out our information about Dentistry for more great information on Oral Health.
  5. Laboratory Testing! Screenings are important at any age. Blood and urine testing are vital for assessing their overall health. When laboratory testing is not performed until a cat or dog is showing signs of illness, abnormal results are often quite advanced. Early Wellness Testing can detect subtle changes and allow for early intervention, even before your pet is showing any signs of being unwell.
  6. Viral Screening!  It is particularly important to test your pet for viruses when they are a kitten or puppy but knowing their viral status is important at any age. We will discuss your pet’s risk and the importance of testing during your Wellness Consultation.
  7. What about Vaccinations? Vaccinations are important but, as you can see, they are not the only reason we should see you and your cat regularly. Indoor cats do require the Rabies Vaccine yearly—it is required by law. Other vaccines will be customized based on the risk factors determined during your Wellness Consultation, which means that the vaccinations given to your pet are dependent on many factors. For more information, check out the information on dog and cat vaccinations.
  8. Relationships! We love to establish a great sense of rapport with all of our clients and patients. We recognize that we can provide a lot of information at once, so at the end of each Wellness Consultation we will summarize your visit and outline the necessary steps to maintain your pet’s health. Our aim is for you to leave with a clear understanding and feel assured that we are here at any time to answer your questions. Additionally, we value what you have shared with us and your input. We strive to continue our relationship following an appointment by checking in for updates and extending any help that we can. Stay in touch and keep well!

Kitten Wellness

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Our kitten Wellness Consultations offer your new kitten all the benefits of veterinary services available to him/her from 6 weeks of age to several months of age. In partnership with you, we want to get your new addition started on the right path to a healthy and long life.

The first few months are a critical period in your kitten’s development, and we can give you the support and tools necessary to help him or her grow into a well-mannered, healthy cat, including information and advice on nutrition, litterbox training, and behavior.Included in this service is a series of examinations to ensure that your kitten is developing well and not hindered by any health complications. Additionally, a series of vaccinations will be given, including panleukopenia (distemper), rhinotracheitis, leukemia, and Rabies. Schedule your kitten for his or her first exam as soon as possible. Until your kitten has received a series of vaccines, he or she is susceptible to many serious but preventable diseases. We will make sure your new kitty is protected.

In addition, your kitten will be tested for worms (fecal testing) and be treated for a variety of common intestinal worms, including roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Often these parasites can cause your kitten to vomit and/or experience diarrhea; however, it is possible for your kitten to have worms and not show any signs of harboring them. Most kittens do have roundworms, which specifically can cause coughing, weight loss, and a potbellied appearance in cats, although these symptoms may not always be present. It is important for kittens to be treated for parasites, not only to help rid them of the infection but also to prevent you and the rest of your family from becoming infected. Roundworms, in particular, are a zoonotic parasite, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring that your kitten is properly treated, you can keep your entire family safe. A microscopic fecal examination will allow us to evaluate their presence and both topical and oral treatments are effective in eradicating them.

Our staff will also recommend viral testing for your kitten to determine whether or not they are affected by feline leukemia and/or feline immunodeficiency virus. Viral testing is a blood work test that is performed in clinic and it can rule out whether your kitten is affected by either of these diseases.

When your kitten is approximately 5-6 months of age it is time to have them spayed or neutered. Spaying (Ovariohysterectomy) involves the surgical removal of the uterus and the ovaries of a female cat. Not only does this prevent unplanned litters, but studies have shown that spaying our little girls at an early age significantly reduces their risk of developing breast cancer and/or uterine infection (pyometra). This surgery can be done any time after five months. Neutering (Orchiectomy) involves the surgical removal of both testicles in the male cat. Neutering our boys prevents urine marking of territory (spraying). It has also been demonstrated that neutering     reduces the likelihood of fighting with other cats that can lead to the spread of deadly viruses, such as feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, and can result in wounds/abscesses. This surgery can also occur any time after 5 months, so long as both testicles have descended. These comprehensive surgeries are performed here at our clinic and can be scheduled by our staff. We would be happy to discuss the surgery in more detail with you.

We look forward to meeting your new kitten! Please contact our clinic to schedule your kitten’s Wellness Consultation!

Adult Cat Wellness

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The Cat Clinic of Niagara has a focus on preventive medicine. We try to be as proactive as possible and advise routine examination and wellness testing in order to promote early detection of potential problems. Cats are experts at hiding signs of illness. Oftentimes there may be no symptoms present or subtle changes in their health or behavior might be easily overlooked. Therefore, cats may give little or no indication as to how they are feeling. Given that felines age far quicker than humans, it becomes even more crucial for our cats to receive regular exams. The risks of arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, pancreatitis, hormone disorders, dental disease and kidney and liver problems all increase with age and this makes routine visits of utmost importance.

Bringing your cat in for an annual diagnostic and wellness checkup can help reassure you that your cat is at their optimum health and help us detect and address hidden diseases or conditions early, when they are most treatable. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatments can result in your feline living a longer, healthier life. We provide diagnostic and wellness services for your adult cat such as blood screening, fecal testing, and urinalysis, in combination with a complete physical assessment. Dental examination and care is also extremely important to overall health and longevity. Your cat’s personal yearly exam is likely to include many of these aspects and tests, and we are equipped with radiography and ultrasonography if further diagnostics are required. Because you spend the most time with your feline, you are their expert, as well as his or her greatest advocate. Please let us know if you have noticed any physical or behavioral changes in your cat, as well as any other concerns you might have.

Call us today to schedule your cat’s Wellness Consultation!

 

Senior Cat Wellness

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Our Senior Wellness Consultations can help your cat remain fit and healthy as he or she ages and helps us catch any potential problems earlier, when they are much more manageable. Regular veterinary exams can actually help your pet live longer, too!

As your cat ages the risk for developing certain diseases increases greatly and more attention and special care are necessary. By educating our clients to recognize health changes and by performing wellness testing on our aging patients, we are committed to detecting possible health concerns in their early stages. As we know, cats are experts at hiding illness/pain and usually exhibit very subtle changes, if any. Symptoms of very serious diseases may not become evident until they are quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases diagnosed early.Some early signs to watch for include an increase in the amount of water they drink, very small or very large urinations, weight loss, an increase or decrease in appetite, trouble with mobility and jumping, a dull coat, muscle loss and/or an increase in sleeping times.

Senior cats are prone to a decline in kidney function, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, dental disease, arthritis, liver disease, cardiac disease, cancer, pancreatitis, glaucoma and senility. If your cat is overweight, the risk for developing many of these problems is much greater. However, even when watching for these signs, many diseases can remain undetected without the help of diagnostic tests. We would like to work closely with you to evaluate your cat’s overall health and to monitor the physical effects aging has on both their mind and body. Our wellness testing gives us a complete picture of your cat’s health and includes a full physical exam, blood screening and urinalysis.

As discussed in our dult cat wellness section, we recommend that you bring your pet in for a baseline exam and diagnostic workup even before they reach senior status. This will give us a record of what is normal for your cat so we can keep track of any changes. Thereafter, your senior cat will benefit from more frequent veterinary exams and diagnostic testing, usually biannually, and will be accustomed to wellness testing procedures.

Most symptoms that are commonly attributed to age are easily treated and can greatly improve your cat’s quality of life in a variety of ways. These methods include identifying, preventing, and reducing pain, recommending an appropriate nutrition and exercise plan, and suggesting environmental modifications to keep your pet comfortable.

Our goal is to work together to achieve longer and healthier lives for your cats, through preventive medicine. We will design a wellness plan based on your cat’s health status and individual needs. If you have any questions, we would be happy to discuss our senior wellness program in more detail. Call us today to schedule your cat’s Wellness Consultation!