Ann Arbor Cat Clinic offers a wide range of veterinary services for our patients. Just a few of our wellness and preventive care services are listed below. For more information on these or other services, please call (734) 973-9090.
Getting your new kitten off to a healthy start sets the stage for their lives as healthy adults. Regular physical examinations, core and elective vaccinations, fecal testing for parasites, and deworming are all important elements of ensuring good health for your kitten. Our knowledgeable staff can help your family learn about potty training your kitten, performing nail trims, dietary recommendations, and potential health hazards for your new pet.
Spaying and neutering are additional topics to consider; the appropriate age for the timing of sterilization surgery may vary. You may also want to consider Pet Health Insurance – a great way to get your new little family member off to a good start. Last but not least, you’ll also want to consider whether your new kitten may need preventives such as monthly heartworm prevention and flea/tick preventives. We realize that adding a new family pet can come with lots of questions… but don’t forget, we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call.
At Ann Arbor Cat Clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we believe that regular checkups and wellness exams are critical to your cat’s and kitten’s well-being. These wellness exams give us a chance to evaluate the overall health of your cat or kitten while also giving us a baseline for their own unique bodies and tendencies.
Not only do these exams keep us up to date with your cat’s and kitten’s health, but they also allow us to detect potential problems before they become serious ones. Your cat and kitten will be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian and this checkup gives us vital information to help keep your cat and kitten healthy.
Regular wellness exams also make your cat and kitten more familiar with our veterinary hospital and make future visits easier for them and you. Please contact us today if you have any questions or would like to learn more about how we care for your cats and kittens.
Preventive and wellness care is the cornerstone of keeping your cat at its healthiest so that you and your pet can have more great years together. Since pets age more quickly than people do, it is critical to have regular physical examinations done to assess your pet’s health. During routine preventive exams, your veterinarian will assess:
- Overall Body Condition
- Heart and Lungs
- Abdominal Organs
- Musculoskeletal System
- Neurologic System
- Urogenital System
- Lymph Nodes
When health problems are identified, a medical plan will be outlined to evaluate the problems in depth. If your pet appears to be healthy enough for routine preventive care, your veterinarian will discuss which immunizations are advised, as well as parasite prevention including heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, etc.). Annual age-appropriate lab tests, testing for heartworm and/or tick-borne diseases, and fecal tests for parasites may also be recommended for your pet. Finally, your pet’s nutrition, diet, and exercise routines can be assessed and optimized to help your pet be in the best physical condition for its lifestyle and age. Remember, keeping up with preventive care for your pet is the best way to keep your pet happy and healthy for life.
At Ann Arbor Cat Clinic in Ann Arbor, MI, we believe that one of the most important aspects of caring for your pet’s health is vaccinating them against potential diseases. There are a variety of diseases that affect our pets and animals, so proper vaccination is vital in protecting them from the many types of illnesses they are susceptible to. It’s important to consult with us about the unique risks of living in our region. We will be happy to discuss the benefits of protecting your pet with vaccinations, as well as provide you with information on the required vaccinations for your pet.
It is our goal to provide the highest level of care for your pet, and vaccination is an integral part of your pet’s overall health. Please contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s vaccination.
At Ann Arbor Cat Clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we want to make sure your cats and kittens live a long, healthy life. As senior cats get older they face health issues and having a yearly physical exam is crucial, especially for cats 7 years and older.
Our physical exam includes the following:
- Listen to your cat’s heart and lungs for any abnormalities.
- Feeling your cat’s abdomen to make sure all internal organs are normal shape, size, and location.
- Examining your cat’s eyes, nose, teeth, and ears.
- Looking at the condition of your cat’s skin.
- Recording your cat’s vitals, including weight, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature.
- Assessing your cat’s nutrition and discuss any weight issues.
- Blood and urine testing allow our veterinarians to diagnose and treat any illness.
It’s our goal to provide your cats and kittens with the highest quality of care while offering great value. We offer a discounted senior screen which includes a physical exam, full CBC, organ chemistries, and urinalysis.
Please note: Screening tests may pick up problems that require more intensive testing and possible referrals to a veterinary specialty clinic.
Pets are a part of our families, and preventing parasite infestations is an important part of keeping them healthy. Both ectoparasites (external parasites) and endoparasites (internal parasites) can affect your pet at some point in their life. Ectoparasites, such as fleas and ticks, are not only a nuisance to your pet, but can transmit vector-borne diseases to humans and pets such as Bartonella (cat scratch disease, transmitted by fleas); Lyme, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. Fleas can also cause a severe dermatologic condition for your pet resulting in very itchy, inflamed skin, due to flea allergy dermatitis.
Roundworms are the most prevalent endoparasite in pets. Others include hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Pets are typically infected with these parasites through accidental ingestion of parasite eggs (which are microscopic) from areas that have fecal contamination from other infected animals. Alternatively, some parasites are acquired through ingestion of intermediate hosts such as rodents (Taenia tapeworm species; Toxocara roundworm species) or fleas (Dipyllidium tapeworm species). These parasites are also a health risk to humans and are considered zoonotic – meaning they can be transmitted from animals to people. For example, if a person accidentally ingests roundworm eggs, the larvae can migrate in the body and cause organ damage and potentially blindness. Hookworm larvae in the soil and grass can infect bare skin and cause a condition in people known as cutaneous larval migrans.
Heartworm is another important endoparasite, but one which is not zoonotic. Heartworm infections result from pets being bitten by infected mosquitos. The larval form of the heartworm travels through the bloodstream to the heart where it develops into an adult. The adult heartworms live in the right side of the heart and left untreated, result in progressive heart failure and death. In initial stages of heartworm disease, pets may be asymptomatic. As the condition progresses, symptoms may evolve including a cough and exercise intolerance in dogs, and vomiting/coughing in cats. Treatment of heartworm disease can be very risky for the pet, and very costly.
Because of the health risk to your family and pets, it is important to keep your pet on a year-round parasite prevention program. There are several preventives that when used properly, are very effective at greatly reducing the risk of your pet acquiring heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, and tick-transmitted diseases. Additionally, you can help prevent the risk of zoonotic disease to your family by practicing good hygiene (frequent hand washing), avoiding eating unwashed raw vegetables or undercooked meats and cleaning up pet feces in your yard. For more information about pets and parasites, visit petsandparasites.org, and consult with one of our friendly staff!
Your veterinarian may recommend that your cat have a dental procedure. This handout is an explanation of the dental services we provide. Dental procedures may range from cleaning, scaling, and polishing all the way up to full mouth extractions and x-rays. Please be aware that it is very challenging to provide a specific treatment plan without evaluating your cat’s teeth in person. Periodontal disease often lies below the gum line and can only be sufficiently evaluated while the patient is under anesthesia.
Prior to having a dental procedure, your cat will need pre-anesthetic blood work. This allows us to screen for underlying disease or other abnormalities that may affect the anesthetic procedure. Older patients, or those with previously diagnosed illnesses, are at a greater risk for anesthetic-related complications and may require more extensive pre-anesthetic diagnostics. Your cat may be asked to come in 2 to 3 days prior, and no longer than 30 days prior, to the procedure to have these diagnostics performed.
Most dental procedures will not require an overnight stay. The patient is admitted between 8:00 and 9:00 am the day of surgery, and will usually be released between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. All patients who will be anesthetized will need to fast overnight. This means no food after midnight the night prior to the procedure; however, access to water is allowed.
Components Of The Dental Procedure
- IV Fluids: An IV catheter will be placed on all patients undergoing anesthetic procedures to allow for the administration of fluids and injectable anesthesia. If indicated, your cat may also receive subcutaneous fluids. A small area of your cat’s leg will be shaved to place the IV catheter.
- Anesthesia: Although anesthesia is very safe, as in human medicine, it is not completely risk-free. We minimize this risk by creating an individual anesthetic protocol for your cat based on a physical exam, age, and pre-anesthetic blood work.
- Cardiovascular Monitoring: Your cat’s ECG, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure are continuously monitored by a licensed veterinary technician and the veterinarian.
- Scaling/Polishing/Oral Exam: The dental technician carefully scales each tooth with an ultrasonic scaler, cleaning the surface of the teeth, and checking for abnormalities. The technician also performs root planning, which involves removing the tarter under the gum line with a special tool. When all the teeth are free of tartar and plaque, they will be polished for a smooth surface. The attending veterinarian then performs a full oral exam, charting each tooth and recording any abnormalities such as pockets, enamel breakdown, or missing teeth.
- Dental Radiographs: Dental radiographs are often necessary to fully evaluate a tooth below the gum line and make treatment decisions.
- Tooth Extraction: During your cat’s oral exam, the veterinarian may find teeth that are too damaged to be saved. In these instances, the veterinarian will extract the teeth. This will help prevent future pain and infection.
- Periodontal Treatment: A special antibiotic therapy administered to deep pockets around a tooth to stimulate healing of the gingiva. This can be done on early periodontal disease only.
- Pain Control: Often when oral surgery is performed, the veterinarian will administer an injection of pain medication. Pain medication will be sent with you at discharge to be continued at home.
- Antibiotics: Your cat may need to start an antibiotic a few days prior to surgery. Antibiotics decrease bacteria and help improve the health of the gingival tissue. If your cat is placed on an antibiotic prior to surgery, they will likely continue treatment post-surgery. Further instructions will be given at discharge.
When your pet is sick or injured, they can’t tell us what’s wrong. A thorough physical exam and history (symptoms you’ve noted at home) are the first important step. If the diagnosis is not immediately evident upon initial assessment, your veterinarian will recommend specific diagnostic tests. These may include:
- Laboratory testing for baseline blood counts and organ function tests, or infectious disease. Blood and/or urine samples may be collected from your pet, for point-of-care testing, or reference lab tests. Point-of-care tests are those tests that are done on-site in our hospital so as to be able to determine results and make treatment recommendations in the most timely fashion possible. In other cases, lab samples may need to be sent off to off-site laboratories (reference laboratories) – when the test cannot be performed with in-hospital lab equipment, or when the test results are not needed urgently.
- Imaging such as x-rays or ultrasound, which allows diagnosis of conditions of the heart and lungs, gastrointestinal obstruction, tumors of the internal organs or bones, fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity, urinary stones or gallstones, reproductive diseases, and bone/joint disorders. For most patients, gentle restraint can be used for these procedures, however, in some cases, sedation may be necessary.
- Microscopy is quite useful in the evaluation of lab samples such as ear swabs, skin impressions and scrapes, and needle biopsies of tumors. These tests are helpful in diagnosis of dermatologic and otic (ear) conditions.
- Ocular conditions may warrant evaluation for tear production (Schirmer Tear Test), corneal injuries (fluorescein stain), or abnormal intra-ocular pressures (Tonometry).
Diagnostic testing is an important step in the development of a treatment plan for your pet, allowing your veterinarian to most effectively target the underlying problem(s) and assess the probability of successful treatment. Your veterinarian can explain the purpose of each diagnostic test for your pet, and help prioritize which tests may be most helpful in determining the cause of your pet’s illness.
When your pet becomes suddenly ill or in event of an emergency, timely diagnostic test results are extremely important to help your veterinarian determine the best treatment plan. We have state-of-the-art in-hospital laboratory equipment capable of yielding lab results within minutes. Baseline laboratory testing for your sick pet may include:
- Determination of blood cell counts: changes in white blood cell count, red blood cell counts, and platelet counts can indicate problems such as anemia, dehydration, infection, auto-immune disease, and certain types of cancerous conditions
- Blood chemistry tests: these tests assess liver function, kidney function, blood sugar, blood proteins, calcium and phosphorus levels, and pancreatic function.
- Electrolyte tests: Sodium, potassium, and chloride levels may be abnormal when your pet is dehydrated or having fluid losses through vomiting or diarrhea. Intravenous fluids and/or supplementation may be indicated when electrolytes are severely deranged.
- SNAP tests: point-of-care “snap” tests are available for Feline Leukemia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, and Heartworm as well as to screen for hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis, and early signs of renal disease.
- Coagulation tests: these tests detect deficiency in clotting disorders, which can be present in cases of certain kinds of rodenticide poisoning and in severe liver disease/failure
- Microscopy: microscopic evaluation of bodily fluids including blood, urine; samples of skin and ear secretions, and needle biopsies of swellings or tumors can be performed in-clinic to assist in the diagnosis of systemic diseases, urinary disorders, skin and ear diseases, and differentiation of benign vs. cancerous tumors.
Our veterinary team will help explain which tests are most important for your pet. It is very important to us to include you in the decision-making process for your pet, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question if you need clarification.
Whether you’ve recently adopted a cat or kitten or you’re considering it, one of the most important health decisions you’ll make is to spay or neuter your cat or kitten. Spaying—removing the ovaries and uterus of a female cat or kitten—is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits. Neutering—removing the testicles of your male cat or kitten—will vastly improve your cat’s and kitten’s behavior and keep him close to home.
At some point in your pet’s life, they may need a surgical procedure. Whether your pet is having an elective surgery such as spay or neuter, or an emergency surgery for intestinal obstruction, you can rest assured that our staff will provide the very best care possible for your pet.
Our facility offers the following surgical services for cats:
- Dental Prophylaxis and Extractions
- Spay and Pyometra
- Routine and Cryptorchid Neuter
- Mass and Tumor Removal
- Aural and Pharyngeal Polyp Removal
- Perineal Urethrostomy
- Abdominal Exploratory
- Multiple Organ Biopsy
- Femoral Head Ostectomy
In the best interests of our pet, we require a physical examination appointment with one of our doctors prior to scheduling procedures. Before the procedure is scheduled, our staff will explain the process including:
- Any pre-surgical testing that is recommended – baseline laboratory testing is beneficial so that there are no surprises on surgery day. Knowing that your pet has normal blood test results can help prevent anesthetic complications or surgical complications such as excessive bleeding, which can occur when patients have low platelet counts or abnormal clotting. When there is liver or kidney disease, this may affect the choices of anesthetic drugs recommended by your veterinarian, to prevent anesthetic complications and promote a smooth anesthetic recovery.
- Food and water intake restrictions prior to surgery – a period of fasting may be necessary prior to your pet’s procedure. Our staff will let you know what is advised.
- What procedures are to be done on the day of surgery – from initial intake to sedation and general anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring, the procedure, and recovery, the staff will walk you through what will happen with your pet once you leave the hospital.
- Discharge and aftercare for your pet – some patients may be able to go home the same day as their procedure, whereas others may need an overnight stay or referral to a 24-hour care facility. The veterinary team will advise you as to what is best for your pet, and also discuss aftercare for your companion and any rechecks needed.
What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?
Virologists classify the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus (or “slow virus”). FIV is in the same retrovirus family as the feline leukemia virus (FeLV), but the viruses differ in many ways including their shape. FIV is elongated, while FeLV is more circular. The two viruses are also quite different genetically, and the proteins that compose them are dissimilar in size and composition. The specific ways in which they cause disease differ, as well.
Why should I have my cat tested?
Early detection will help you maintain the health of your own cat and also allow you to prevent spreading the infection to other cats.
At Ann Arbor Cat Clinic, we are happy to offer microchips. Every year, thousands and thousands of cats go missing. Not knowing where your cat is or how to bring them back can be a helpless, hopeless feeling. It’s a tragedy that happens all too often. But there is a simple, safe, and effective way to ensure your cat’s safety and retrieval should they ever become lost. Microchipping is a standard procedure that implants a tiny chip underneath the fur. It is a painless and relatively fast procedure and is completely safe.
This microchip is registered with your cat’s vital information and can be scanned by any veterinarian or animal shelter so that they can return your pet directly to you. Save yourself the heartache and stress of a lost cat, make an appointment to have them microchipped today.