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    5 (Non-Vaccine) Ways Your Cat Benefits From Regular Vet Check-ups

    "Do cats really need regular veterinary exams?"

    This is a question I get asked a lot. And there certainly are plenty of opinions and articles on both sides of the "debate." But there's at least one common thing both sides seem to agree on: vaccines. People talk and write about their necessity; the benefits or risks; or some other aspect of vaccines, vaccinations, or "shots."

    While I know that a conversation about vaccines is important, I believe that the specific focus on vaccines in the discussion about routine veterinary visits is, well… out of focus. And I believe that such a focus does a great disservice not just to your cat(s), but also to you. That's because there are many (often very passionate) thoughts and opinions about vaccines themselves, whether that's over the need, frequency, or other aspects of feline vaccines. Also, vaccines are never a "one-size-fits-all" topic. So, if you don't believe in vaccinating, then any article or discussion focusing on vaccines is going to immediately lose you. The problem is that these visits are about much more than just vaccines, and your cat might never receive the many other benefits of routine veterinary exams and care.

    I can assure you, as a veterinarian, that vet visits, check-ups, wellness exams, or whatever else you prefer to call them, truly are never just about vaccines. In fact, in a great many cases, they aren’t about vaccines at all!

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    Topics: Cat Health, Emergencies, Cancer in Cats, Diabetes in Cats, Kidney Failure, Cats, Vaccines, Diabetes, Blog, Hyperthyroidism, High blood pressure, Arrhythmia, Vet Exam, Tooth problems, Heart Murmurs, Wellness Checkup

    My Cat Has Been Diagnosed with Cancer, What Now?

    It’s heart-wrenching to hear that your beloved cat has cancer. You may feel angry, confused, depressed, or otherwise emotional. You may immediately feel a sense of loss and start reminiscing about all the good times you’ve spent with your cat.

    It’s important to recognize these feelings and address them. You’ll need to take time to accept the cancer diagnosis. But it’s also important to remember your cat is not gone yet and they need you now more than ever.  They need you to be their advocate.  

    There are many things to think about when facing major medical decisions for your cat.  Rule number one though: don’t panic. Great, now that you’re not panicking, take these important steps below.

    Find support.  As much as you need to be there for your cat, consider building your own network of support through family, friends, a counselor, and your primary veterinarian or a veterinary specialist.
    Make a plan.  Having a plan can help reduce stress. Know what your cat will tolerate and what they will not handle well, you don’t want to be fighting with your cat to give them their treatments.  Know what you are okay with as well. This includes a medical plan of care for your cat, your own plan for scheduling medical appointments, juggling work and family responsibilities, and time to take care of yourself. You’ll also want a plan for euthanasia, if and when that becomes necessary.

    Educate yourself.  Learn all you can about the diagnosis.  Ask questions.  Learn about and seek out the help of a specialist .  Know what to expect so that the process is not a surprise.  All of this can help lower stress.

    Learn how to administer medications.

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    Topics: Feline Cancer, Cancer in Cats, Cat with Cancer, My Cat has Cancer, Cat Cancer Survival Guide, Cat Cancer

    Cancer Specialists – What is a Veterinary Oncologist and How to Find One For Your Cat

    A veterinary oncologist is a veterinarian that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets.

    They have specific additional knowledge, expertise, and equipment that can all help to maximize not just the length of your pet’s life, but the quality of it too. And their expertise and insight can also help to put your mind at ease as you are facing the difficult decisions that may come with a cancer diagnosis.
    A veterinary oncologist has undergone an additional 3-4 years of residency training in cancer medicine after attaining their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
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    Topics: Cancer in Cats, Chemo for Cats, Oncology, Lymphoma, Osteosarcoma, Pet Cancer, General Topics, Cats

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.