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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Case of the Week: Gambit
Today's Case of the Week is a simple story of how regular maintenance care and physical exams help to keep your cat healthy. Gambit is a 2 1/2 year old Egyptian Mau. He has been very healthy and his owner has brought him in regularly for his wellness exams and vaccines.
We first met him a year ago when he was due for his vaccination updates. He received his FVRCP and Rabies vaccines as usually recommended for indoor cats. These protect against Feline Panleukopenia (often referred to a distemper), the upper respiratory viruses Herpes and Calici, and Rabies. We also started him on Heargard to protect him against heartworm disease. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, cause severe lung damage, and can be difficult to diagnose. By giving your cat a monthly dose of Heartgard or Revolution, you prevent the spread of the heartworm larvae through your cat.
At his following six-month wellness exam, Gambit was doing well at home. On exam, I found that he had gained over half a pound. We calculated his daily caloric needs so that his owner would know how much he should be eating each day. I also found that he was starting to develop gingivitis, an inflammation of his gums, due to plaque accumulation on his teeth. Cats can start developing dental disease as early as one year of age and it can become severe with time. We started a new diet of Purina DH, a dental diet that helps to clean the teeth and break down plaque and bacteria as the cat chews.
Last month, we saw him again for a six-month wellness exam and to update his Rabies vaccine. I did a complete exam as usual and he looked very good. His teeth looked great, no tartar build-up and the gums appeared normal without any gingivitis. He also had lost a quarter of a pound. He is still a little heavy with a body score of 7/9 (5/9 is ideal) but at least he is going in the right direction. Many cats gradually increase their weight each year if their food intake is not controlled. By bringing Gambit in regularly, we were able to find two medical problems that were just starting and work toward reversing them before more severe medical problems could develop. With good care by his owner, he is very likely to live a healthier, happier life.
Dr. Judy Karnia