When to Look Online for Information on Cat Health
At the onset of this piece, I must state a LARGE disclaimer: I am not trained in veterinary medicine and lack the requisite knowledge.
I have faith that my personal veterinarian, who is already acquainted with my cats, will correctly diagnose any illnesses affecting them.
I only write from the perspective of someone who has spent a similar period of time living in a home with dozens of cats. I frequently had cats with various illnesses, including dental disease, FLUTD, distemper, cancer, cancer, cancer, abscesses, and others. I’ve been to the vet a good amount, and I’ve also had a lot of mysterious (but treated) diseases. And I learned at a very young age how occasionally vital those journeys may be.
People routinely send me letters requesting my opinion on the causes of the various symptoms their cats are displaying. Even while I occasionally have ideas or comments, my response is usually the same: “Even if I were a veterinarian, I would not attempt to diagnose your pet without a detailed personal examination. Your cat needs to be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Here are my top three recommendations.
- The very first rule is to “Know Your Cat.”
I cannot overstate how important it is to have a thorough grasp of your cat. Through daily observation and your petting sessions (during which you’ll learn the typical “feel” of your cat’s body), learn everything there is to know about your cat’s typical physical state. Knowing what is “normal” will help you spot your cat’s “out of whack” behavior more quickly. Watch out for your cat’s behavior such as this:
- His Eating Habits
Does he “graze” throughout the day or does he finish everything in one sitting? Rapid loss of appetite that is accompanied by additional symptoms is cause for concern.
- His Techniques for Removal
Find out what your cat’s excrement looks like and smells like. Note his regular urination patterns, including how often and how much he urinates, as well as the hue of his urine. Having trouble urinating, having diarrhea, or experiencing constipation are all indications that your cat needs to see a veterinarian right away.
- His Typical Posture
Cats typically move slowly and deliberately when walking. If a cat’s gait alters and indicates an injury or arthritis, a veterinarian can offer treatment.
Is your cat always itching to play? Is he usually energetic, moving from one place to another by running rather than walking? If the toilet is clean and there have been no recent environmental changes, inappropriate urination is typically an indication of a lower urinary tract obstruction or infection, both fairly serious conditions (new pet, new baby, change of house, etc.). Your cat may suddenly become less active if it is suffering from sadness, lethargy, or an injury, all of which call for a trip to the vet.
- Grooming Traditions
Cats are often careful creatures that groom themselves for a sizable chunk of their waking hours. Regular lack of grooming, which results in an oily, matted coat, can be caused by a variety of diseases, including depression or arthritis, and is an indication that the cat needs help. On the other hand, a cat that begins overbrushing a particular area of its body may have skin sensitivity brought on by fleas, mites, or the grooming itself and should be evaluated by a doctor.
- His Social Aptitude
Cats are generally very sociable with the other humans and animals who dwell in their home, despite their reputation for independence. Despite this, we continue to closely monitor him after these incidents, and if he ever exhibited any other signs of illness (such as lethargy, weakness, persistent vomiting, or the infamous “3rd eyelid”), we would take him to the veterinarian straight away.
- Behavioral Changes
The typical occurrence is when a cat suddenly starts urinating outside of the litter box. Because older cats often become less energetic as they age, even a senior cat should play when given an interactive toy. He has to see a doctor immediately.
“Call the vet if you’re unsure,” is the second guideline.
If your cat exhibits any one of the aforementioned symptoms for more than 12 hours, or many symptoms for more than that, I would advise calling the vet straight away. It should go without saying that emergencies are just that, and any delay could put your cat in danger.
A few examples of emergencies are unintentional wounds, burns, potential poisoning, insect stings or bites, convulsions, or eating foreign objects. All of these signs indicate that you should either call your veterinarian during regular business hours or the nearest after-hours emergency veterinary clinic. Another potentially severe symptom that necessitates rapid attention is abrupt and persistent projectile vomiting.
Our senior cat Bubba frequently throws up, usually directly after meals. We’ve had our vet check him out multiple times, so we know not to worry too much about it. Some cats just eat too rapidly, and because their stomachs are so delicate, as a result, they vomit. A cat who was once active but is now hiding in a corner is experiencing emotional or physical problems and need professional help. There are a few reasons why we should do it.
The third criterion is knowing when to use a web search engine.
A excellent illustration of the wonderful variety of knowledge that can be discovered online for individuals who are interested in it is the number of veterinary articles regarding various diseases and afflictions. As I’ve done countless times with Bubba, I can aim the mouse just as rapidly as the next person to hunt for more information about a particular illness. I waited to do so, though, until our vet had examined Bubba and started the required treatments. because after reading an article, I would call our veterinarian and inquire about a likely diagnosis. He probably believed I was a bother. He was compassionate, though, and put Bubba through each test I suggested just to soothe my concerns. He also listened when I suggested an alternative treatment plan that I had read about. If he thought a holistic approach may be beneficial and, more significantly, wouldn’t be dangerous, he would give it a try. If not, he would explain why it might not be the best course of action.
The main line is that you should call your veterinarian first if your cat exhibits any strange symptoms or a combination of symptoms. Pick up the mouse and browse to your heart’s delight to learn more about Kitty’s condition once your veterinarian has checked her and given her a treatment plan.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your family pet, know the pet’s health history, and may make the best recommendations for your pet.
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