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Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Dental x-rays in cats are similar to those taken in humans. An x-ray machine using small amounts of radiation is used to “see” the inside of your cat’s teeth and those areas below the gum line that are hidden from view.

  • A lustrous coat signals vitality and can indicate the health status of a pet. Pets with a dry, flaky, or unkempt coat may be suffering from conditions such as thyroid disease, hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease), kidney or liver disease, or nutritional disorders (for more information on these conditions and how they can affect your pet’s skin, see the individual handouts as well as “Coat and Skin Appearance in the Healthy Dog”). In fact, one of the main ways your veterinarian assesses the health of your dog or cat is by looking at the condition of her coat and skin.

  • As veterinarians become more conscious of the details and nuances of how cats experience pain, they search for more methods with which to battle both acute and chronic pain in these patients. It is quite common now to look to human medicine for ideas and techniques that can be applied to cats who are dealing with pain issues to help them feel better and to help relive their pain and discomfort. Therapeutic massage is one example of a physical medicine technique that has found a place in the feline pain management armamentarium.

  • Therapeutic ultrasound is used as a treatment modality (method) to exert thermal, mechanical, and chemical effects on the treated tissues to enhance and facilitate healing. Physical therapists have used therapeutic ultrasound on human patients since the 1940s, and veterinarians have used it on animals since the 1970’s.

  • Therapy pets are animals that visit hospitals, retirement homes, hospice centers, nursing homes and schools. Although most therapy pets are dogs, other species such as cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses are good candidates. These lovable pets are well trained, have good temperaments, and are people-friendly. Plus, they have a good work ethic!

  • Transdermal means the application of a medicine or drug through the skin. In the simplest terms, a drug is placed on top of the skin, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Transdermal medications have many advantages, chief among them ease of application. Medications that can be absorbed through the skin bypass the need for pills or liquids, which can be a challenge to administer to some pets.

  • The tympanic membrane or “eardrum” is a thin membrane that separates the outer ear canal from the middle and inner ear. The middle ear contains the three tiniest bones in the body, the malleus, incus and stapes, more commonly referred to as the “hammer, anvil and stirrup.” The Eustachian tubes are also located in the middle ear. If the eardrum is perforated or tears, bacteria and fungi from the outer ear canal may enter the sensitive middle ear resulting in middle ear infection (otitis media).

  • Ulcerative keratitis is a type of inflammation that occurs in the cornea of the eye. It is most commonly associated with the surface layer- the corneal epithelium- causing an erosion of the surface tissue.

  • One of our greatest frustrations occurs when a cat develops an infectious disease against which it has been vaccinated. There are five basic reasons for vaccination failure: ineffective vaccine, inherent characteristics of the vaccine, the cat is too young or is unhealthy when vaccinated, interference due to maternal antibodies, and overwhelming exposure.

  • Primary vaccination is essential in order to prevent the return of the once common infectious diseases that caused high levels of fatality in kittens and cats. Recent research indicates that not all vaccines require yearly boosters.

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3070 8th St SW
Altoona, IA 50009
Phone: (515) 967-4281
Fax: (515)967-8824


After Hours Emergency
IVS: (515) 280-305
IVRC: (515)727-4872



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