Designing a medical care program for cats of all ages (Proceedings)
My perspective – I am an internist in private practice. Because I am not associated with a university or large referral hospital, I have a better understanding of "real life" in a veterinary practice. My job as a veterinarian is to make medical care recommendations based on what the patient needs. The following is my opinion regarding what I believe to be an ideal health care program for cats of all ages, even before they develop the chronic illnesses that I typically deal with. With a program like this in place, I believe you can help these cats achieve a longer, higher-quality of life. As you develop or modify a comprehensive feline health care program for your practice, be sure to include all your employees in the implementation of the plan. Make it easy, make it clear and most of all, be consistent with the program.
Kittens – Birth to one year of age
You will see the new kitten often during this first year of life. Each visit is an opportunity to educate the client on the type of care that you believe is best for that kitten. Remember, the client is at your hospital wanting your advice."What does my kitten need?"
Comprehensive health care program for kittens:
Focus on education of client regarding pet's needs – Feline behavior, dental care, dietary counseling/exercise, and individualized parasite control programs. Handouts are helpful to the client. Your recommendations should be echoed by all employees.
Adult cats (healthy) – One to seven years of age
This cat will visit your office twice a year. Since the pet is apparently healthy, the client may not be aware of health risks and the importance of detecting disease at an early stage (before signs of illness).
Comprehensive health care program for adult cats (healthy):
Senior cats (healthy) – Seven years of age plus
This cat will visit your office twice a year. The client is probably more aware of health risks as the pet ages, but may be unsure what those risks are and what age is considered "senior".
Comprehensive health care program for senior cats (healthy)