Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Time for Your Cat's Wellness Visit? #AskYourVet About Kidney Disease Screening

Contrary to how thrilled (not) Mudpie looks, we really do love our vet!!!

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but one of my greatest fears in life is going to the doctor. Thankfully I've tended to be a pretty healthy person and have made use of my local immediate care whenever something has popped up, but as the years pass by I know I won't always be so lucky. As the big 4-0 looms next year I think about all the preventive screenings that the experts say you should start having and I can't help but shudder.

Routine check-ups are just as important for our cats as they are for humans, especially since they age so much faster than we do. When our pets are young and healthy, visiting the vet might not be something we put at the top of our "To Do" list. I think for cat owners especially it's particularly easy to put on the back burner because it's such a hassle to get our little furry homebodies into the car and then brace ourselves as they sing the song of their people (loudly) all the way to the vet's office. Still, consistent vet check-ups are vital for your pets to keep them healthy and happy for life.

Photo courtesy of IDEXX.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has been using the entire month of August to educate cat caregivers on the importance of routine check-ups. Eighty-three percent of cats are taken to the vet in the first year of ownership, yet over half of them don't return! That's a scary statistic given the fact that routine check-ups allow your veterinarian to detect conditions that may affect your cat’s health long before they become significant so they can be managed or cured before they become painful or more costly. Check-ups also allow your vet to get to know your pets, making it easier to detect any changes in their health and behavior. Cats are notorious for masking signs of illness, so a vet's trained eye is needed.

Screening tests such as chemistry panels and urinalysis are some of the most important parts of a wellness visit, not only as your pet ages but in your cat's earlier years too in order to provide a baseline of what's normal for your cat. All of my cats up until Truffles were older when I adopted them, so although they had regular blood work done, I didn't have anything to compare them to from when they were young and healthy. I had planned to have Truffles' first blood work done around age 5, sadly she didn't live to see that age. My plans are the same for Mudpie...we actually might even begin testing earlier in her case because circumstances have led me to become hyper-vigilant (some might say paranoid) about my cat's health.

Wasn't it nice of Mommy to blur out my weight? --Mudpie

If cats have been a part of your life for any length of time chances are good you're familiar with feline kidney disease. Kidney disease is a leading cause of death for cats, just as heart disease is for humans. Over 1 in 3 cats are likely to develop kidney disease in their lifetime, and as they age the likelihood of developing it increases. In fact, more than half of cats over 15 are afflicted. Since cats hide illness so well they typically show no symptoms (such as drinking and urinating more than normal) until their kidneys have lost most of their function - permanently.

Now IDEXX SDMA™, a breakthrough new test that screens for chronic kidney disease, can detect this serious disease months to years earlier, when there is still time to do something about it. This is great news for cats, as IDEXX SDMA™ can detect kidney disease when much of a pet's kidney function is still intact, giving you and your veterinarian the chance to take action and give your pet the best shot for a healthy, happy, long life - even with kidney disease.

The IDEXX SDMA test is available to all veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada. Even better, 2 in 5 veterinarians in the U.S. are already including IDEXX SDMA in their routine testing, almost always at no added cost. If your veterinary hospital is not doing so, just ask your veterinarian to send your pet’s samples to IDEXX’s Reference Laboratories.

Ask your veterinarian for the IDEXX SDMA™ kidney screening test at your next appointment!

Follow the Pet Health Network on Facebook to learn more about IDEXX SDMA

Do you take your cat to the vet for regular wellness visits?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of IDEXX. The opinions and text are all mine.


Summer at sparklecat.com said...

As a therapy cat, I am required to have a health certificate from my vet, which is updated annually. So it's a good reminder for my human to keep up regular visits to the clinic with me. Binga and Boodie are older, so she is a lot more diligent with them, to make sure they are doing well as seniors.

Unknown said...

It's time for my vet visit! Thanks for reminding my mom!!!

The Menagerie Mom said...

All of my girls (Astrid, Thimble, and Eddy) just had their annuals within the past month or so. My boy Evan is due in December and will be going then (and his mommy here will be suiting up for it, as he has a very, very nervous bladder). These furbabies of mine are all 3 years old and under, but I also intend on getting them annual bloodwork earlier than is typically recommended.

I am so happy that IDEXX manufactured this kidney screening test. Although she responded wonderfully to treatment and did not pass from it, my angel Rosie lived with renal disease for 3 years. I will definitely be asking my vet about this screening blood test for my current furbabies.

Thank you so much for bringing awareness to the importance of visiting our vet, Mudpie and Melissa! And for passing on info about the awesome kidney screening test! Purrs!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa. Mudpie looks quite comfy, on the scale. I tend to avoid them. :)

Unknown said...

Excellent post. Our cats go the vet regularly. While it's tempting to skip the wellness visits because of the hassle (and the expense), it's so much better to keep our kitties healthy and find problems early instead of waiting until they become catastrophic.

The Island Cats said...

We go regularly for vet visits. And the mom makes sure we get blood tests and screened at least once a year.

Fur Everywhere said...

Melissa, as you know my angel Jewel had CRF. She was 14 when she was diangosed. Because her former owner never took her to the vet, we had no baseline numbers for her.

Our new vet's staff already knows me, Lita, and Carmine quite well(!) They have both had the SDMA test. They are both in the middle of the "normal" range, which I am beyond thankful for. I will have them retested in six months - I try to get yearly blood work on both of them given that they are seniors and have medical issues.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Good info for kitty mommies. We always get all our check ups too
Lily & Edward

pilch92 said...

Excellent post, I am happy they have a test to detect kidney disease early. I wish there was a cure though.

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

I'm definitely going to ask about this at Bear's next wellness visit. Since he was 7, we've been doing yearly blood screenings ... but I think I'd feel better if we get this one done too.

The Swiss Cats said...

Great post ! We don't like it, but we have annual visits to the vet for our own good. Purrs

Sweet Purrfections said...

Yes, we do go to wellness visits once a year. We know once we get older that we'll need to go twice a year. We don't like it, but we go.


Great info, thanks so much for the post!

Cathy Keisha said...

Yep. I go every year. The cats of TW’s who have lived the longest were the one’s who saw the vet the least.

Three Chatty Cats said...

Oh yes, our kitties get regular checkups. And I'm with you, I dislike going to the doctor as well.

Robin said...

I am paranoid about my cats' health too. Health problems can get really bad really fast. I love that we are getting better testing for our cats. Manna has been tested with the IDEXX SDMA test and it has brought me a lot of piece of mind. :)
-Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

Cats Herd You said...

Making sure you're healthy is so important, so going to the vet regulary for preventative medicine and early detection is key!