Here at All Cats Hospital, we are pleased to have a large amount of veterinary services available for our patients. We are proud to be able to serve Largo, FL and our surrounding communities to give your pet the best care that they deserve!
Our staff at All Cats Hospital is filled with passionate animal lovers who are here to help you and your pet! They are highly trained and dedicated to making sure that your pets receive the care and compassion every time that they walk in the door!
We offer the following services to keep your pets healthy:
Wellness care is the single most important component of your cat’s health care. Vaccines, routine blood work, and wellness exams allow us to help your cat live a healthier, longer life. At All Cats Hospital, every cat is an individual. We take their age, lifestyle, breed, and health into consideration. An 18 year old indoor kitty that lives on the 12th floor of a condominium has significantly different risk factors than a 6 month kitten that sneaks out the door whenever they get the chance. Over-vaccination can be just as dangerous as under-vaccination. We will educate you on the relative risks so you can make the best decisions for your cat.
We don’t often take the time to consider our cat’s dental health. Most of us never see their teeth, and may only become aware there could be a problem when we notice a foul odor from their mouth. But dental disease hurts and it can also cause severe medical problems. Every physical examination includes an oral examination. The doctors and staff will discuss your cat’s dental health and make recommendations to make sure your cat is comfortable and healthy.
Senior Cat Care
Our goal is to keep your older kitty feeling well and in your arms for as long as humanly possible. And when it comes time to make the decision to prevent suffering (one that none of us ever wants to make), we will walk with you as you make your decision and stand by you during the process. We have adapted the “Quality of Life Scale” from Dr. Alice Villaloboos to help you determine the state of your kitty’s quality of life. Click here to view.
”Vaccination is a medical procedure, and the decision to vaccinate should be based on a risk-benefit assessment for each cat and each vaccine. Vaccination may indeed be beneficial, but it is not innocuous, and the benefit of vaccinating a cat must be balanced against the risk of adverse events associated with vaccination.”
The 2006 American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel Report
At All Cats Hospital we will discuss your cat’s lifestyle and risk of exposure to disease before making recommendations for vaccination. We choose the safest vaccines available to help reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening side-effects such as vaccine associated sarcomas (a type of cancer that occurs at vaccine sites). To learn more about Vaccine Associated Sarcomas (VAS): http://www.vas-awareness.org/
The vaccines that we use routinely are:
- Heska Feline UltraNasal Vaccine (feline panleukopenia, calicivirus, herpes virus)
- Merial Purevax Rabies
- Merial Purevax Recombinant Leukemia Vaccine
Managing Chronic Illness
Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Hyperthyroidism, Cancer, Arthritis
Although we love cats of all ages, (nothing cuter than a kitten), our favorite patients are our older kitties (we have some older kitties of our own). And older kitties often have chronic disease. Our goal is for your older cat to be blissfully unaware of any medical problems they may have. We strive to do this in the following ways: Regular monitoring – we want to know about a possible problem BEFORE it happens and prevent it. To do this we may recommend regular examinations and blood work.
Easy to administer medications – we do everything possible to find a method of giving your cat medications that is not stressful to either one of you. Some cats do well with liquids, some with good tasting chews, some do better with tablets, and still others do best with transdermal gels (the medication is applied to the skin where it is absorbed into the bloodstream). Occasionally injections may be necessary and if it isn’t something that stings, we can teach you how to give these at home.
Counseling – We have all walked in your shoes. Our own older kitties have had medical problems and we know how difficult it can be to make decisions regarding their care. We will provide you with the information to make the right decision for your cat. When the time comes when there it nothing more we can do, we will let you know, and help you make that decision too. And when it comes time to make the decision to prevent suffering (one that none of us ever wants to make), we will walk with you as you make your decision and stand by you during the process. We have adapted the “Quality of Lfe Scale” from Dr. Alice Villaloboos to help you determine the state of your kitty’s quality of life. Click here to view.
Euthanasia – What to Expect When It Is Time
This is such an important question, but one that really can’t be answered. The answer is different for every person and with every cat. What we can tell you is that there is no “right” time. There is either too early or too late. If we euthanize before your cat is truly suffering, you will wonder if you made the decision too soon. If we euthanize after your cat is suffering, we have waited too long.
Using the Quality of Life Scale can help you through the process. We can print out a copy, or you can find it on our website at
Can I Be There?
Of course you can be there, but don’t feel you have to. If you don’t feel you can be with your cat, we will stay with them during the process so they will not be alone.
Every veterinarian has a slightly different procedure. Our procedure is as follows:
1. We have you sign a consent form
2. We will verbally walk you through the process to make sure you are as prepared as possible
3. We administer an injection of a sedative called Telazol. This injection just goes under the skin. Some cats find it mildly uncomfortable, but most don’t pay any attention. Over the following 5 minutes (length of time varies between cats), your cat will gradually relax in your arms, and slip into a surgical plane of anesthesia (we could do surgery at this point and they wouldn’t feel a thing).
4. When your cat is completely anesthetized, the doctor will administer an overdose of a drug called pentobarbital. The pentobarbital doesn’t hurt, but it needs to be given intravenously. The sedation ensures that we don’t need to restrain your cat, nor do we need to worry about causing discomfort if we have any trouble finding the vein. We usually do not place an IV catheter.
5. Even after a cat passes away, their eyes will remain open. The muscles that hold their eyes open are stronger than those that close them.
What Should I Do With My Cat’s Remains?
1. Cremation: If you decide on cremation, you will need to decide if you want
2. Burial at home. Many people who own their homes chose to bury their pets in their yards. Great care must be given to bury them deep enough (at least three feet) and to wrap them in plastic, to deter predators. Many cities in Pinellas County have ordinances against home burial so check with your local officials before laying your cat to rest.
3. Cemeteries. Similar to human burial, a casket and headstone are selected. Services are available with or without viewing of the remains. Several of our clients have been very happy with Curlew Hills Memory Gardens Pet Cemetary. They are located at 1750 Curlew Rd. (between Belcher & CR 1),, Palm Harbor, FL. (727) 789-2000. . www.curlewhillspetcemetery.com
Can Euthanasia Be Performed In My Home?
Dr. Faber offers in home euthanasia by appointment. If she is not available, or if it is the weekend, we recommend Dr. Buisson of Helping Hands Pet Hospice for in home euthanasia. Click here for information. It is important to remember that the decision to euthanize a terminally ill patient is not a failure. It is a humane and loving treatment option; one that will prevent needless suffering.
We see more than 40 diabetic cats regularly. With our recommendations regarding diet and life-style, about 50% of these cats do not require insulin. Of those patients that require insulin, more than 90% require 1 to 2 units twice daily. Our goal with diabetic cats is eliminate their need for insulin. When this isn’t possible, our goal is to control their disease in such a way that it impacts minimally on your cat’s overall health and on both of your lifestyles.
This condition is becoming more and more common in older cats. The good news is that it is very treatable. If diagnosed early and treated appropriately, hyperthyroidism does not need to shorten a cat’s life expectancy. For cats that do not have coexisting kidney disease, radioactive iodine therapy is usually the best treatment option. Surgery is a second, but rarely best option.
Methimazole, a drug that controls the amount of thyroid hormone produced is the most popular treatment for this disease. Because many cats are difficult to pill, we are able to have methimazole compounded into a good tasting liquid, a chewy treat, or even a transdermal gel (a gel that is applied to the skin on the inside of your cat’s ear where it is absorbed into the bloodstream). Methimazole is not a cure however, and your cat will need to take it for the rest of its life. Starting In October 2011, we now have a dietary treatment option for the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Hill’s Prescription Diet Feline y/d reduces the production of thyroid hormone by limiting a necessary building block, iodine. To learn more: click here.
To learn more about hyperthyroidism, visit http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/Pages/Feline_Hyperthyroidism_Web.pdf.
To learn more about radioactive iodine therapy, visit http://www.catthyroid.com/.
Chronic Kidney Disease
This common and incurable disease can often be slowed down and most cats can live many years after their diagnosis. We utilize special low protein diets (if your cat will eat them) and we carry several of them to increase the likelihood that you can find one that your cat will eat. Quarterly monitoring allows us to find complicating factors such as elevated phosphorus levels (causes nausea) and low potassium levels (causes weakness and life-threatening heart problems) before you see any symptoms. When it is appropriate, we can teach you to give subcutaneous fluids. To learn more about kidney disease visit http://www.felinecrf.com/.
Different types of cancer have different prognoses and treatment recommendations, but in general, our goal is to maximize your cat’s QUALITY of life for as long as possible. To learn more about cancer, visit http://www.zzcat.com/.
We want our sweet older friends to be as comfortable as possible. To do this we usually use a multi-pronged approach. Glucosamine products – we have one that is a yummy treat that most cats love. Adequan – an injectable product that improves joint health. Non-steroidal inflammatory drugs – we use Meloxicam. There are some risks associated with this drug, but most cats do very well on it. We will need to run some blood tests and discuss the risks and benefits before starting this drug. Acupuncture – we’re continually amazed at how much acupuncture can help these older cats, and most of them don’t seem to mind the needles. Heating pad – there are special heating pads that are safe for pets. Some of them are incorporated into a snuggly cat bed. Cats are smart and will quickly learn the heat will help their achy joints. Lifestyle changes – Sometimes a change as simple as a lower sided litter box or a ramp up to the bed can help improve your senior cat’s quality of life. We can make recommendations specific to your cat.
All Cats Hospital was one of the first veterinary hospitals in the southeast to embrace laser surgery. Our patients are so much more comfortable post-operatively that we would never go back to using a scalpel blade.
Behavior Problems in cats can be divided into 4 categories:
- Unpleasant (to humans) behavior caused by a medical problem. An example of this would be the cat that urinates on the kitchen counter because she has a bladder infection.
- Perfectly normal behavior that we don’t like. An example of this would be the cat that scratches your brand new couch.
- Truly abnormal behavior – this is actually fairly uncommon when compared to the other categories. An example of this would be the cat that chews on its tail until it becomes so badly damaged that it requires amputation.
When presented with a behavioral issue, our first goal is to rule out a medical problem. If we treat a medical problem with behavioral modification, the kitty will continue to suffer discomfort and the behavior will not improve. Whenever possible we use changes in environment (see link to the indoor cat initiative below) and behavioral modification techniques to deal with non-medical issues. This may mean advising a much larger litter box, changing your home so your cat can spend some safe time out of doors, or using a Scare Crow sprinkler to scare that tom cat away from the window. We will usually pair these changes with an anti-anxiety herbal remedy and/or Feliway.
In cases where our initial therapies are not successful or when the behavior is so objectionable that we need to progress more rapidly, we will prescribe one of a number of recommended behavior modification drugs. Which drug we choose depends on the behavior, your cat’s age and pre-existing medical conditions, and how difficult your cat is to medicate. We also can refer you and your cat to a veterinary behaviorist board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behavior.
Flea Treatment And Heartworm Prevention
The Tampa Bay area is the flea capital of the world. Our flea season is 12 months long and our fleas are hardy and numerous. If you live in this area, it isn’t if you will get fleas – it is when…
Heartworm disease is also a significant problem in the Tampa Bay area. Cats do not develop the signs of heart disease that we see in dogs with heartworms. They develop respiratory problems which can be fatal. For this reason, we recommend using a product that kills fleas AND prevents heartworms. Be wary about flea products that are sold over-the-counter. Many of them are ineffective, others can be downright dangerous.
Nutrition is a vital aspect of any animal’s health, and as a cat owner it is one of your main responsibilities. We are happy to offer nutritional counseling and prescription cat foods for our pet patients. There are a variety of different diets designed for animals in different stages of life. We would be happy to speak with you about what type of diet is appropriate for your cat.
We offer radiology, along with an in-house laboratory to figure out what is wrong with your cat quickly and efficiently. We also have other tests available so we can narrow down the problem.
At All Cats Hospital, Ultrasound and Echocardiography is performed by a board certified veterinary internist, Dr. May-li Cuypers. She has had an additional 3 years of training and is extremely well qualified to perform and interpret these tests. She is usually at All Cats Hospital on Tuesday afternoons, but is frequently here at other times to care for ill cats.
Pulse Oximetery Monitor
Cats can have high blood pressure just like human beings can. And it can be especially troublesome because there are few outwards signs of high blood pressure. That is why we encourage blood pressure screening, especially for senior cats. This diagnostic tool provides our veterinarians with a non-invasive way to analyze your cat’s health.
Feeding Different Things to Different Cats
A common challenge for cat owners is when all the cats in a household can’t eat the same thing. We see this when one cat is obese, but another is too thin or when one cat needs a special diet for kidney disease, but the protein content of the diets isn’t enough for another cat in the household.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us today.