Besides a thorough physical exam, kittens require a series of vaccines, dewormings, stool tests to screen for intestinal parasites, and flea and heartworm treatments. These tests & treatments include one or more of the following:
During a physical examination, we perform a "nose-to-tail" examination of your pet. We examine your pet's nose, eyes, ears, check your pet's teeth and oral cavity, listen to your pet's heart and lungs, carefully examine the skin and coat, look for any unusual lumps or swelling, palpate the abdomen and muscles and perform an orthopedic evaluation of the bones, joints and back.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is contagious among cats. Unlike many other viruses that enter specific cells in the body and destroy them, FeLV enters certain cells in a cat’s body and changes the cells’ genetic characteristics. This permits FeLV to continue reproducing within the cat each time infected cells divide. This allows FeLV to become dormant (inactive) in some cats, making disease transmission and prognosis (outlook) difficult to predict.
Kittens or cats being introduced into the home should be tested for FeLV and FIV, especially if they are ill. Kittens whose mothers were infected with FIV may test positive when they are very young but test negative later as the antibodies they received while nursing from their mother wear off. Some veterinarians, therefore, recommend retesting young kittens when they are older (for example, at 6 months of age) to verify whether they are still positive. With FeLV infection, some kittens may test positive at first but test negative later if their immune system has been able to eliminate the infection. Similarly, some cats may be FeLV-negative at one point and test positive later as the virus progresses through various stages in the body. Because infection with FeLV or FIV can be complex, your veterinarian may recommend re-testing at some point.
There are many intestinal parasites that kittens can catch from their environment or from their mother. These parasites are very common in kittens and some of them can infect humans. Routine deworming kills roundworms and hookworms. Other common parasites include giardia, coccidia and tapeworms, and can only be treated when diagnosed on a fecal examination.
Revolution is a topically-applied medication that provides all-around protection from parasites for your dog or cat. Revolution kills adult fleas, prevents flea eggs from hatching, prevents heartworm disease, and treats and controls both ear mites and roundworms. After applying Revolution, it enters your pet's bloodstream and redistributes itself from the blood to the skin and other tissues, where it provides protection against parasites.
A fecal examination is the microscopic evaluation of feces. The test is indicated for pets with diarrhea, straining, lack of appetite or vomiting. Annual fecal examinations are recommended on all animals as part of a yearly health exam. Fecal examinations are also recommended on all puppies and kittens.
This is commonly referred to as a “distemper” shot, but is really a combination of the following vaccines: Distemper, Rhinotracheitus, Calicivirus.
Distemper, also known as Panleukopenia, is a highly contagious disease characterized by a short course and high mortality rate. The disease is caused by a parvovirus similar to the parvovirus seen in dogs. It is very resistant and may remain infectious in the environment for up to a year. The disease is most severe in young kittens, but can affect cats of all ages. The first symptom is loss of appetite, followed by vomiting and diarrhea. A blood count usually shows a lowered number of white blood cells, a fact which helps in diagnosing the infection. Infected cats usually must be hospitalized with intensive treatment such as intravenous fluids, antibiotic and supportive care. Mortality rate may reach 90% in young kittens under six months, and may approach 50% in older animals. The vaccine is very effective in preventing the disease.
Rhinotracheitis is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. Severe in small kittens, it can cause sneezing and profuse discharge from the eyes and nose.
Calicivirus is an infection that causes a variety of symptoms including fever, excessive salivation and mouth ulcers.
Core cat vaccine. Rabies is 100% fatal to cats, with no treatment available. Prevention is key.
Cats are now the most frequently reported domestic rabid animals in the United States. Because of the rabies risk to cats and their owners, feline rabies vaccination is strongly recommended for ALL cats.