Puss Puss highlights the importance of regular check ups for senior pets

Puss Puss is one of our very special patients. She is a 10 year old Tortoiseshell cat who has, over the years, had numerous health concerns, but is still doing very well despite all of this.

Puss Puss’s worries started early 2005. She had some liver changes detected on a pre-anaesthetic blood test prior to a dental procedure. These were followed up a month later and found to be secondary to an overactive thyroid gland. This is a common disease in older cats, usually causing increased appetite and weight loss as the major symptoms. Puss Puss was started on tablets to reduce her thyroid levels and when she was stabilised, went to the Werribee Vet School for radioactive iodine treatment, which is a permanent treatment for the thyroid condition.

A few months later Puss Puss had renal (kidney) disease detected on a routine follow up check. This is a very common condition in cats, especially as they get older. She started on a special diet that we recommended, and we also scheduled regular weight, blood pressure and urine checks.

Another few months later Puss Puss developed hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension in older cats is commonly associated with, and can worsen, kidney disease, hence it is something we like to check regularly. Puss Puss was started on a daily tablet to reduce her blood pressure. She had a very good response to medication, and currently remains on these tablets.

Puss Puss has also had some urinary tract infections detected on her routine screening. These infections are not uncommon in cats with kidney disease and can worsen the condition of the kidneys. Puss Puss was treated successfully with antibiotics.

Puss Puss’s latest adventure is being diagnosed with diabetes. She is currently on twice daily insulin injections and doing well. Interestingly, her human Mum is also diabetic!

We do see many older cats with the above problems that Puss Puss has been diagnosed with, not usually all in the one cat though! We do recommend that any cat over 7 years of age has regular blood pressure, weight and urine checks to detect these diseases early, so that we can successfully treat them or keep them under control.

Now, one would think that with all of these problems Puss Puss would not be a very well cat and would be a bit tired of coming to the vets by now. On the contrary, Puss Puss is looking fantastic and even putting on weight at each visit, and does not seem to mind coming to see us at all. It helps that she is very well looked after and spoilt at home!