Cat Care – Giving a Basic Home Exam

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 25,220
    Dr. Candy Olson, owner of Greenbriar Animal Hospital demonstrates how to give a basic home exam to your cat.

    Candy Olson

    Dr. Candy Olson graduated from veterinary school in 1978, and has been working as a small animal veterinarian ever since. She started her own practice, Greenbriar Animal Hospital, in Fairfax, Virginia in 1993 with a goal to providing a very personal level of service, like an old fashioned family doctor’s office. The hospital has grown into a busy 2 doctor practice with a full time dog and cat groomer. The practice and Dr. Olson have received several awards for top quality service to her patients and their owners, but what she enjoys the most is fine tuning the day to day care of her patients, and helping their owners cope with medical and behavioral issues that pop up in today’s lifestyles. Dr. Olson is particularly interested in the care of geriatric pets and in pets with multiple medical and/or behavioral problems. She keeps her veterinary knowledge current by reading more than 8 veterinary journals every month, and by attending more than 80 hours of continuing education meetings each year (Virginia requires 15 hours per year). She also serves as a mentor for student veterinary technicians and high school students interested in veterinary medicine. Her hobbies include gardening, travel, and photography (photography is an extended family hobby). Some of her photos and some of her family’s photos are framed and on display at the animal hospital.

    Hi, I am Dr. Candy Olson, owner of Greenbriar Animal Hospital. This is part of a video on how to take care of your cat. This particular section is how to do an at home exam. The reason that you would want to this is just to check and keep an eye on whats going on with your cat. Cats are really good at hiding things, and so its really helpful to have a day-to-day or week-to-week idea of whats going on. You would be amazed at what you can pick up. Some of the things that you want to be looking at is youre going to want to look at your cats ears, and just kind of fold them back and look and see, do they look nice and pink? Does it seem to bother them to look at your ears? So, you will be able to see if there is a change, particularly if youre doing this every week. You want to look at their eyes. This is Wellington by the way, he has got gorgeous eyes. See is there any redness or discharge. You want to look at their teeth. Some cats are not real thrilled about this, but you can see, and kind of pull their lips back a little bit, and look at the teeth on each side. He is got beautiful teeth. He also has freckles on his gums, which is a common thing for kitties. You want to check and see how their glands feel. Cats have glands just like you have glands right here, and right kind of under the ears you can give them a little scratch and a little massage at the same time. Then you want to just kind of run your hands all over their body. You are checking to feel for lumps and bumps, is there anything different? Here, slide around here, Oh, what a good kitty, thats excellent. He likes to hide his head. So, youre just kind of feeling all the way down to his toes on each leg to see He has got a lot of hair coat, a lot of cats do, so you cant always see everything. Thats good, that was excellent. One of the other things thats helpful to know is where do you find the pulse on the cat. This is his back leg here, and its on the inside of the back leg, right up on the top here. So, if you extend his leg out, and just put your hand underneath on the side, kind of flat fingers, you will be able to feel where the bone is in the leg and the pulse is right there. Just let him relax for a minute and you will be able to check his pulse. Normal pulse for a cat when theyre at home is between 120 and 180 beats per minute. His is right about 180 right now, cat gets a little stressed here, but he is doing fine. The other thing that you can check and see is how is his breathing rate? Again, you can just kind of watch him breathe, there is one, two, three, four. Again, breathing rate at home is a little bit less than here. Anything under 20 is very normal at home, oftentimes here its 20-30, but those are really typical things that you can do, and check and see. The other thing you want to do is the kind of the last part of your at home exam, is just kind of look at his skin and coat; does he have any red spots, any scabs, any little spots that seem to be tender? Youre looking at his skin as well, and just kind of ruffling him all up here. One of the things that you dont want to do is try and roll him over and look at his belly, cats really hate that. So, it is a good idea, is being cooperative to use your hands, and you can feel the belly and the chest and everything, just kind of like Im doing here. Youre doing it almost like youre giving him a massage. Thats basically how to do an at home exam for you kitty. Now, were going to be covering how to give cats medicine, oral medicine like pills and liquid in the next section.