Unfortunately, sometimes, our pets get sick, and they not only need help from their attentive owners but also from qualified doctors. How can you find the “ideal” veterinary clinic for a kitten, and what criteria should you use when searching for one?
Choosing vet for your Sphynx cat is really important. From routine check-ups, to vaccinations, to distressing times if your Sphynx is involved in an accident or suffers an illness, you want your vet to be someone that both you and your Sphynx trust and feel comfortable with. It is just like choosing your family GP and so this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Be prepared that your vet will play a significant role in your sphynx cat health care.
- Why should you try to choose a clinic?
- Choosing a veterinary clinic for your cat through recommendations
- Availability of specialists and equipment
- Distance from home and work schedule
- Choosing the vet in the clinic and communication with him
- How To choose a Vet For Sphynx Cat
- Questions to Ask a Potential Vet
- Sphynx Cat Health and First Visit to the Vet
- Advices for the Sphynx Cat Health Care
- The Sphynx and Cat Allergies
- Knowing Whether Your Sphynx Is Sick
- Declawing: Pros and Cons
- Serious Risks of Declawing
Why should you try to choose a clinic?
First, a warning for everyone who owns a pet: do not rely on your “internet” knowledge about various diseases and methods of treatment; provide your pet with competent veterinary care. The fact is that cat disease symptoms are divided into specific (that is, inherent in one or few diseases) and non-specific (or general). Non-specific, such as lethargy, loss of appetite or even a complete refusal of eating food, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, accompanied by if not all, then many diseases together. It is extremely difficult for a person without special education and experience to make the correct diagnosis. And untimely seeking help or, moreover, incorrect treatment with “folk remedies” can lead to complications and jeopardize the cat’s health and even cost your cat its life.
It is necessary to know the symptoms but only in order to immediately seek the help of a veterinarian at the first signs of their manifestation!
So we found out: no self-medication! If the disease is properly and correctly diagnosed and treatment is started, then there’s a good chance that the cat will be able to recover without serious health consequences. But how do you choose the right vet clinic for your kitten, where everything will be done as it should be done? After all, it is even intuitively clear that all doctors cannot be equally competent, responsible and attentive, and clinics – equally convenient and equipped with everything necessary.
This is especially true for residents of large cities. People living in rural areas or small towns often have to deal with only one clinic (with a maximum of 2-4), although our material should be useful for them. Moreover, veterinary medicine is developing quite actively. The supply follows the demand (and the demand, as we have already said, is needed), so even in the outback in recent years, more and more clinics have been opened.
Well, the larger the city, the more the variety of specialists and veterinary clinics for cats. On the one hand, it is great, as there is always a choice, it is easy to find a specialist, the necessary equipment, etc. On the other hand– you need to be especially careful because, alas, not all clinics are opened out of love for their profession and animals. Some are only interested in profit, even to the detriment of our tailed patients.
We hasten to reassure you that most owners of veterinary clinics sincerely love animals, and in state institutions, as a rule, only competent specialists work there. But still, and this must be kept in mind – in large cities, the risk of running into a fraudster is higher. So it is necessary to search for a veterinary clinic for your cat in advance without waiting for when it gets sick and needs immediate help.
Choosing a veterinary clinic for your cat through recommendations
The best choice to start looking for one is through a collection of recommendations. Even if you haven’t come across too many vets, you probably have friends, acquaintances, relatives with a pet cat who can suggest a clinic that they think is good, from their opinion.
Do not ignore the reviews on the Internet. Keep in mind that people are different and situations, too, so even the most beautiful institution is unlikely to have 100% positive recommendations. However, if most reviews are negative (as well as a complete lack of reviews), it should alert you. Also, now almost every self-respecting veterinary clinic (especially in large cities) has its website. The presence of good articles and advice about the health of pets and caring for them is a positive sign.
It also makes sense to ask those from whom you took your cat or kitten. You can always ask about suitable veterinary clinics for your cat from volunteers (if you took your cat from an ad) or in the shelter caring for the wards. Not only you will be offered a clinic, but they will also give you other recommendations about treatment – if necessary – on how to care for your pet.
If you purchased an animal from the kennel, ask the breeder which clinic they use and who is the vet they go to. A self-respecting breeder will never resort to the help of incompetent or irresponsible veterinarians. He will be interested in ensuring that his pets are healthy and happy so that when any ailments occur, they are diagnosed as quickly and accurately as possible. The lack of interest in the fate of their kittens will make a person question if the breeder is trustworthy.
An additional bonus will be that in this case, the veterinarian will be well-aware of the health of your cat’s parents – it will help in the presence of a hereditary predisposition to certain diseases.
Availability of specialists and equipment
It is advisable to take note of several clinics at once so that you can choose the one that suits you in all aspects. The next step – be sure to find out whether these clinics have different types of specialists (surgeon, dentist, optometrist, etc.). This will allow you to obtain a faster and more accurate diagnosis and start quality treatment without wasting valuable time. It is simply convenient for prevention purposes – if, for example, you want to explore the cat’s oral cavities, then it’s better to do this with a veterinary dentist and not a simple vet.
As for the necessary equipment, the clinic must have scales, devices for ultrasound, x-rays, electrocardiograms, an otoscope, an ophthalmoscope. Modern veterinary medicine is unthinkable without it! Also, such devices as a gastroscope, endoscope, tomograph, and other modern devices are highly desirable. Check if the clinic conducts microscopic, histological and biochemical studies, express tests.
Also, find out if the clinic provides a hospital service – in some cases, it is better to leave the cat for some time under the supervision of specialists.
Distance from home and work schedule
It is important to touch upon the issue of the remoteness of the clinic. On the one hand, probably everyone wants it to be as close to home as possible. It will be convenient and comfortable, not so much for the owner but, of course, for the pet itself. The fact is that visiting a vet is stressful for the cat, in any case. It is better than it is not delayed.
On the other hand, the criterion of remoteness makes sense to consider, only if everything else that is needed is in equal terms. For example, if you find two or more clinics that have everything you need and have equally good reviews, then it is logical to choose the one that is closer to you (especially if you quickly managed to establish communication with the doctor from this clinic, but more about this below).
But it is not a good idea to give priority to the criterion of remoteness over quality. It is better to go further away and be sure that the cat will be diagnosed correctly and prescribed effective therapy than to “drop-in” to the nearest veterinary clinic, and then for a long time “to be treated,” torturing both yourself and the animal. So – first of all, recommendations, specialists, equipment, and only then should other things be looked into, as the question of proximity to home.
Also, be sure to pay attention to the schedule of the selected clinic. Most vet clinics work 12 to 18 hours a day. If “yours” is also from this number, find in advance the one that works around the clock (and add it to the list of telephone contacts). This type of clinic will be needed if your cat has a wound, an injury (to reduce the risk of getting an injury, avoid self-walking outside and install “anti-cats” nets on the windows), poisoning (keep medicine and household chemicals out of the reach of your pet!) or any extremely disturbing symptom requiring urgent care.
Choosing the vet in the clinic and communication with him
As soon as you have found a clinic that suits your needs, it is time to choose a specific doctor with whom you will mainly work with. Remember that the health and longevity of your pet will depend on the effectiveness of the interaction with the veterinarian! The foundation of such cooperation is mutual trust. The doctor should know that you provide him with correct, complete information, and you must understand that the goal of the specialist is to help the cat and not just make a financial profit.
Here, we would like to save you from two extremes. On the one hand, do not assume that a few articles from the Internet (or even a few dozen) can replace years of professional education. Therefore, do not question the competence of the veterinarian for no reason, only based on the fact that you once read or heard something (but to ask a question, ask to explain this or that appointment, you are welcome to do so). On the other hand, we don’t recommend that you blindly believe any man in a white coat.
Important! If the doctor suggests sterilizing the cat on the kitchen table; recommends doing euthanasia for a suspected lichen; makes a diagnosis at first glance without examination and tests, or, on the contrary, assigns dozens of tests without any explanation; plans to scan the animal’s aura, doubts about the vet’s competence will be completely justified. When you are confused by something in the prescribed treatment, and the doctor cannot explain why he offers such a tactic of therapy, it is understandable if you search for help from a different specialist.
How To choose a Vet For Sphynx Cat
The first thing to do in your search for your Sphynx’s vet is to ask around. Speak to people you know who have pets, ask people at cat shows, or enquire on online forums about recommended vets in your local area. Word of mouth is a very valuable tool as people are generally very happy to recommend professional with whom they have had a good relationship, and warn against those who have treated them or their pets badly.
Other people that you can ask include your breeder and local animal welfare organizations. You can also enquire at a local pet shop about recommended vets in the area. There are also many websites that review veterinary services by location and this can be a very useful guide. You will find tons of useful information about Sphynx cat vets and much more in the book “Sphynx Cats Make Great Pets”.
Questions to Ask a Potential Vet
Once you have made a shortlist of potential vets for your Sphynx you should then call each practice to find out more information about how they operate. Some of the questions that you might wish to ask them include the following:
- Do you have an ultrasound machine?
- Is it possible for the vet to do home visits?
- Does the practice have emergency provisions?
- What are the opening times and how does the appointment booking system work?
- Will the owner be involved in euthanasia procedures?
- What are the current rates for routine treatments and medication?
- Can I come and have a look around the practice before I make a commitment to bring my pet there?
- Is the vet a member of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons? You will know that they are if they have the letters MRCVS after their name. This means that these vets satisfy professional standards relating to training, equipment, hygiene and pricing.
You’ll be able to take the right decision depending on answers and feel much more comfortable with your vet. Be sure that your sphynx will certainly feel your good attitude and definitely shows sympathy for the vet too.
Sphynx Cat Health and First Visit to the Vet
It is very important that you examine your Sphynx cat on a regular basis for any signs of potential sickness or injury. By regularly examining your cat you will be able to detect warning signs or obvious Sphynx cat health concerns at an early stage. Early detection can prevent the illness or injury from becoming worse, which can be a lot more distressing for your cat and for you.
Some people may think that a minor scratch or a small amount of discharge from the eyes are not serious enough injuries to warrant a trip to the vet. However, if left untreated these relatively minor conditions can become infected or become much worse. It is always better to err on the side of caution and either call your vet or take your cat in for a check-up. This simply task may save you a lot of anxiety (and money) should the situation get worse.
Advices for the Sphynx Cat Health Care
When you take Sphynx cat to the vet for the very first time, be sure to ask your vet for information about how to provide the best ongoing health care for the Sphynx.
They will be able to give you some great advice about vaccines, worming and any other cat health concerns that may be particular to your cat. Any time that you contact a vets clinic you will need to provide specific personal information and details about your pet. This may include the breed, sex, age, previous medical treatment and current symptoms. It is a good idea to keep a file handy which contains all this information about your Sphynx cat health in case it is even needed by your vet. Being carefully in tune with your cats behaviour is an important element of recognising when they are ill.
Cats are instinctively tuned to hide away when they are ill or injured so that they can avoid being further harmed or attacked by a predator. This means that your Sphynx may disappear or retreat from human company when they are ill and if you are not aware of this then you might not know that they are sick or in pain. Another obvious sign of illness with your Sphynx is if they are refusing food. It is still quite difficult, even for professionals, to assess the degree of pain experienced by a cat. Research into this field is still at a relatively early stage and cats do not assist in the process as they give little away when they are experiencing pain.
Another difficulty occurs as a result of the fact that the cats liver is biologically significantly different from a humans or a dogs. The enzyme pathway in the cats liver is not as effective meaning that current pain treatment medication is not very effective for cats. Hopefully there will be advancements in modern veterinarian medicine in the future so that we have a better understanding of the way that cats experience pain and how we can manage it.
The Sphynx and Cat Allergies
It is very important to note that Sphynx cats are not a complete solution for people with an allergy to cats. When people are allergic to cats, it can be one of two things that is causing the allergy. The first is the cat hair and the second is a protein (known as Fel D1) which is found in the cat’s saliva and urine.
If the allergy is caused by cat hair, then a Sphynx can be a good solution as although they’re not completely hairless, they have a lot less hair than a regular cat.
If you suffer from the protein allergy then you will be also allergic to a Sphynx as any other cat. There is a common misconception that people won’t be allergic to Sphynx cats because they’re hairless.
Unfortunately, this has meant that many people have sadly had to give up their Sphynx after they have realized that a family member is suffering allergies. If you think that you or a family member may be allergic to cats, it is a very good idea to spend some time with a Sphynx to confirm this before you go ahead and welcome one into your home.
If you have carefully considered all of the factors outlined above and you are still confident that you would make a good owner for a Sphynx cat, then congratulations!! Welcome to the exclusive Sphynx cat community!
Now we can get into even greater detail about how to find your perfect Sphynx and how to best care for it.
Knowing Whether Your Sphynx Is Sick
There are several things that will guide you in understanding whether your Sphynx is in pain or ill. Look for any sudden changes in the behaviour or attitude of your cat as these may be an indication of a health problem. Some of the changes that you should be looking out for include:
- Loss of appetite
- Hiding and/or refusing to interact with humans and other animals
- Tiredness and lethargic behaviour
- Failure to groom OR excessive attention to a particular area of the body (such as continually licking or biting a wound or scratch)
- Sitting or lying in unusual positions or moving with stiffness and soreness
- Failure to use the litter tray where they have previously done so
- Changes in levels of vocalisation (making more or less noise than usual)
- Being more agitated or aggressive than normal
- Puffing, panting, wheezing or other changes to breathing patterns
- Unusual weight gain or loss
Another sign to look for are any general changes in your Sphynx’s overall attitude and behaviour. This, of course, relies on you having a good understanding of what the normal behaviour is for your Sphynx. All animals break up the hours in their day in a fairly consistent way, depending on their environment, breed and personality. For instance, a certain cat may spend about 16 hours a day, 5 hours playing and grooming and the remainder of the time eating and exploring. Take note of the way that your cat generally structures its day and then observe for any changes in this behaviour.
If you notice any of the warning signs outlined above, then there is a high likelihood that your Sphynx is ill or injured. You will then need to make an initial assessment of the seriousness of the situation and whether or not it needs immediate veterinarian attention.
If you believe the situation to be life threatening, then take the cat to an emergency vet clinic immediately. As with human health conditions, it is important not to tie up emergency treatment facilities and resources if it can wait to see the vet during regular clinic hours.
If you think that the situation is not an emergency then decide whether you are comfortable with treating your Sphynx at home or whether you will need to make an appointment to see your vet.
Declawing: Pros and Cons
Declawing is an optional surgery that some cat owners request to stop their cats from using their nails in a dangerous or offensive manner. This is usually in response to a cat who scratches people, other pets, furniture and other belongings in the home. Many people believe that this practice is cruel and inhuman and that we shouldn’t be putting our pets through surgery just to make them more convenient for our lifestyles. Many vets will attempt to suggest alternatives to declawing (such as providing a scratching post for the cat) and some will simply refuse to perform this procedure.
When a cat goes through declawing surgery the entire claw is removed from the toe. This include the cells that cause the claw to grow and part of the bone that connect the claw to the toe. It can be compared to removing a human finger from the first knuckle. The recovery process is a very painful experience for the cat. Declawing will generally only be done on the front feet as these are the ones that the cat uses for scratching.
The cat’s claws are very important in maintaining its balance and agility. Without the claws, the cat may experience difficulty with everyday movements such as walking, jumping, stretching or climbing. It will also be unable to defend itself should it find itself in a threatening situation.
Serious Risks of Declawing
There are some serious risks involved in the declawing procedure. During the surgery, the vet will apply a tourniquet to cut off the blood supply to the paw. This procedure can result in severe damage to the radial nerve which can lead to complete paralysis of the leg. There are also risks involved in the healing process as the wounds may open up and become infected. Mistakes in the surgical process have also be known to occur and this can result in misshapen claws growing back which can be very painful for the cat. The surgeon may also mistakenly remove too much or too little during declawing surgery which can result in infections and/or the need for further surgery.