Q.

“IT SEEMS LIKE ANIMAL CARE CENTER IS VERY CANINE-FOCUSED? IS THAT TRUE? IS THERE A REASON FOR THAT? WHAT ABOUT OUR REPTILES, BIRDS, AND SMALL CAGE PETS?”

A.

Yikes, I hate hearing that!

Animal Care Center is a full- service, small-animal veterinary hospital. We mostly care for dogs and cats; but we also care for bunnies, gerbils, a few pet chickens, and even a few mini pigs!It is true, though, that we are heavily focused on dogs and cats and of the two species, we certainly see more dogs. It’s recommended that both cats and dogs be seen for an exam at least once yearly and twice yearly when they hit middle age to senior status. Despite that, only 30% of cats are seen regularly by a veterinarian while recent studies suggest that over 80% of household cats have problems which should be addressed by a veterinarian!? That is a big issue for veterinarians in general, not just the doctors and team at Animal Care Center. If the majority of cats do not get seen by any veterinarian, that means that the majority of cats could easily have some painful—even debilitating—and yet preventable disease process. The most common problems for kitties are obesity and dental disease. Also common are kidney problems, arthritis, and diabetes. All of these conditions are potentially painful and life threatening, yet treatable if we can address them early enough.

 

You may be asking yourself WHY?!? Why don’t cat owners take their kitties in as frequently as their dog-owning counterparts? There are several reasons, but the most important is that an unsuspecting owner might not see the need. Cats are HARDWIRED to not show signs of pain; they are masters at deception. An average cat sleeps 20-22 hours a day. Would you notice if your family feline was sleeping an extra hour? Would you notice if they were less “active”? Usually not! Most of the time, when I see a cat with Grade 4 periodontal disease (meaning a very painful, really smelly, infected mouth requiring many tooth extractions) the owners had NO IDEA. Their cat had shown no evidence of pain while eating nor any other changes in behavior despite the fact that they were suffering!

Another set of reasons that cat owners are reluctant to bring their fabulous feline to a veterinary hospital is FEAR. 1) Most cats don’t really like to get into a travel crate 2) Even the most fearless felines do not appreciate the magic of the family car.

3) Many an affectionate, friendly feline will become a grouchy man-eating tiger upon entering the veterinary hospital. But FEAR NOT! Animal Care Center is the only “GOLD Certified Feline Friendly” animal hospital in the state of Utah. That means we take many more steps towards ensuring a “good visit” than anyone else.

Give us a call at Animal Care Center to find out about the “Feline Friendly” and “Fear Free” techniques that we use with every pet that comes onto our campus. 

Keep the questions coming. Post questions to the Animal Care Center Facebook or Utah Dog Park Facebook pages; leave a comment on this blog post with your question; or email me your question. (We have to try our best to trick the email spam bots out there; although, they are getting annoyingly smarter and smarter, aren’t they?)

As always, we are here to make good things happen for other people and their pets.

Dr. Pam

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