Cat Health Care

From kitten care to geriatric cat medicine, consistent


can make all the difference in the quality of life of your cat.

Since 1991 the Veterinarians and support staff at Harlingen Veterinary Clinic have sought to achieve the highest standards of veterinary medicine. We feel that cats are part of the family, yours and ours. Our clients response to the care we provide is the strongest testament to the quality of care we provide for their cats.

Harlingen Veterinary Clinic veterinary hospital offers preventative health care as well as advanced diagnostic and surgical services. Our commitment to quality service has lead our clinic to become well known and respected throughout the township.  Since 1991 our clinic has been accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.


We Support Every Stage Of Your Cat’s Life

As your feline friend grows, he/she will move through six distinct stages of life:


0–6 months


7 months – 2 years


3–6 years


7–10 years


11–14 years


15+ years

Naturally, as a cat grows and progresses through life, he/she will undergo physiological changes and face a variety of life events that will require care and attention. From kitten care to geriatric cat medicine, consistent preventive care can make all the difference in the quality of life of your cat. Ultimately your cat’s health will impact your relationship with them.

Cats are very good at hiding illness. In fact, most cats will simply become less active and less interactive when very ill. Any signs of illness that a cat may show will be very subtle. Any change in their behavior should warrant a consideration that they may be ill. Many clients will return from work to find that their cat simply does not greet them at the door as usual. This may be an indication that your cat is ill. Because the signs of cat illness are so subtle, if you should notice any obvious changes in behavior please call our office.

Cat Health Services and Treatments

At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic we specialize in the following cat health services for cats of all ages, breeds and circumstances:

Cat Cancer Treatment

Our first rate facilities, equipment and professional knowledge gets to the heart of your cat’s health and wellness matters.

At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we understand that feline cancer is a devastating diagnosis. It is natural to feel highly emotional. However, a cat cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a hopeless one. Depending upon how early it is identified and the type of cancer involved, there are certainly options that can lead to very positive outcomes.

Our veterinarians and support staff are well trained, highly empathetic, and understanding of the fact that it is necessary to focus on both the emotional and medical aspects of treating cats with cancer. We are here to work with you to make sure you have a good understanding of your cat’s illness and to help you make decisions that will be best for you and your cat.

Similar to human beings, cancer in cats is a leading cause of death among older felines. Although the specific causes of cancer in cats is currently unknown, many experts consider the feline leukemia virus to be a contributor. Other factors that might increase cat cancer include toxins from the environment, second hand smoke, and environmental toxins.

It is important for you to understand that depending on the specific circumstances of your cat’s condition, feline cancer may be treatable. Medical advancements have provided us with more treatment options for cats with cancer. However, the best way to prevent cancer in cats is to emphasize a healthy lifestyle and adhere to a preventive health care regimen. This includes scheduling regular wellness checkups with your veterinarian.

First and foremost, fighting cancer in cats begins with spotting symptoms of the disease while it is still in the early stages. However, spotting symptoms can be tricky because cats are very good at hiding illness. Many forms of cat cancer can be externally noticed. Therefore, periodically inspecting your feline friend is key to spotting cancer symptoms. Some of the more common cat cancer symptoms include:

  • Any lump that changes shape or size
  • Any sore that does not heal
  • Change in bowel or bladder habits
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Difficulty urinating or defecating
  • Unexplained bleeding or discharge from body
  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Stiffness
  • Oral odor

Should you spot any symptoms, we urge you to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. Only then can they perform the necessary diagnostic tests to determine whether or not cancer is present, and to what extent. Cat cancer can be aggressive, and requires immediate intervention. If cancer is diagnosed early, the prognosis for recovery increases significantly.

There are various types of feline cancer. We have compiled a short list here, meant only to serve as an introduction to some of the more common types of feline cancer. If you suspect your cat may have cancer, please schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.

  • Ceruminous Adenomas These small tumors are dark blue, brown or black and are usually confined to the external ear canal.
  • Lymphoma- lymphosarcoma (LSA) is common among cats with feline leukemia virus infections. It affects the intestines and other lymphatic tissues in the abdominal area. Symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, and constipation. LSA can only be formally diagnosed through medical procedures your veterinarian can administer.
  • Myeloproliferative tumors are genetic, and can be passed on through reproduction. It affects bone marrow and blood. Symptoms include weakness, labored breathing, pale mucus membranes and a loss of appetite.
  • Melanoma tumors are basal cell tumors. They are not very common in cats, but can occur nonetheless. They usually are found around the neck, head, ears and shoulders in cats. They are mostly benign, and form as solid lumps underneath the skin.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas affect areas lacking natural pigmentation, such as the oral cavity, tonsils, lips, nose, eyelids, external ear, limbs, toes and nails. They can also occur in areas under constant irritation or trauma. Diagnosis takes place by performing biopsies.
  • Mast cell tumors appear as skin nodules that are ulcerated or pigmented. They can be located anywhere on a cat’s body, and must be biopsied to diagnose.
  • Osteosarcoma tumors affect the bones, joints and lungs. These tumors can lead to swelling, lameness, coughing, and breathing difficulties. Diagnostic tools include X-Rays and biopsies.
  • Fibrosarcomas tumors occur in the fibrous tissue just beneath a cat’s skin. They can appear as solid, irregular masses underneath the skin. A biopsy is the most accurate diagnostic tool.

Lumps underneath the skin do not always indicate cancerous tumors in cats. It is also possible to find what seems like the symptoms described above without the presence of cancer. Therefore, if your cat is exhibiting any of these symptoms, we recommend making a veterinary appointment immediately, and avoiding the urge to make your own diagnosis. Only your veterinarian can accurately diagnose cat cancer, or another potentially dangerous illness or condition that might be developing in your feline friend.

The first key to cancer treatment for cats is proper diagnosis. At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we begin with a full physical exam. We commonly look at blood work and when necessary employ the use of diagnostic imaging such as radiography or ultrasound. We will also perform needle aspirates, which is a form of biopsy where a needle is inserted into the tumor to collect cells for use in determining tumor type. This is a non-painful and minimally invasive method used for diagnosis. Some tumor types require a core biopsy for diagnosis. In certain cases, cancer specialists may be employed for further diagnostic testing (such as MRI and CT scans) and to be part of our team in treating your cat’s cancer.

Communication with you is important throughout the process of diagnosis and treatment. This includes discussing all possible cancer treatment options for your cat, and the various possible outcomes. Our number one concern is the best interest of your cat. We also evaluate the costs involved, your expectations, possible lifestyle changes, and any possible side effects of treatment to ensure that you are able to make informed decisions.

Treating cancer in cats varies greatly depending on the location and stage of the cat cancer. Traditional cat cancer treatments may involve:

Oral medication
Intravenous chemotherapy
Radiation therapy
Surgical reduction or removal of the tumor
Ancillary pain management
Complementary treatments may include acupuncture, immunotherapy or nutritional therapy.

Fortunately, for all the unknowns where cat cancer is concerned, we do know more about cancer in cats now than we ever have before and because of this, you now have more options than ever when pursuing cat cancer treatment.

If you suspect cat cancer, whether finding a lump or noticing behavioral changes, please contact us immediately to schedule an appointment. Our veterinarians and veterinary support staff will provide you and your feline friend with compassionate, comprehensive care and support services. Although cat cancer can be frightening and painful, we are here to help ease your cat’s pain and suffering and eliminate the cancer through the best veterinary care available.

Cat Dermatology

Diagnosing skin conditions early is highly beneficial in treatment. However, if a skin condition has already developed, it must be addressed before it worsens

Most cats will scratch on occasion but if you notice that the occasional scratch and regular grooming turns into a cat who appears uncomfortable, cat skin problems may be present and you should schedule an appointment with one of the veterinarians here at Harlingen Veterinary Clinic.

Excessive scratching, hair loss and a mildly frantic cat are signs that cat skin problems may be present and your feline friend needs medical attention. While cat skin problems are rarely an emergency, an uncomfortable cat will have trouble enjoying daily life until those symptoms are under control.

In comparison to dogs, cats typically require less care for their coats and skin. Dermatologic treatments in cats are much less common than in dogs. By performing a weekly brushing, you will be familiar with your cat’s coat and skin and will be more likely to catch any potential cat skin problems early on and bring it to the attention of your veterinarian.

So how do you recognize cat skin conditions? Here are some key signs to look for:

  • Hair loss is a common sign of cat skin problems. Have you noticed any bald patches? Is your cat shedding more than normal?
  • Excessive grooming can also indicate cat skin conditions are present. If the grooming appears more frantic and less relaxed than normal, it may be because your cat is pruritic (itchy) and uncomfortable.
  • While brushing your cat, if you notice any red, scaly, patchy, or scabby areas, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
  • Fleas are common parasites which may be found on the skin.
  • If your cat shakes his head excessively, this could indicate he may have a skin problem or an issue with his ears.

The following are some types of common cat skin problems you should be aware of:

  • External parasites such as fleas can cause itchy skin and cat skin allergies. The cat will then scratch and bite and potentially cause secondary infections.
  • Mites, or ear mites, can produce itchy ears. This is more commonly seen in kittens. The cat will hold his head sideways indicating discomfort. Cats can also have ear infections which need to be treated promptly by your veterinarian.
  • Cats can also develop polyps in their ears. A thorough exam includes an otoscopic exam of the cat’s ear canals.
  • Cats can also be prone to food allergies. Your cat can develop an “itchy face,” or itchiness all over. Your veterinarian will determine if you need to change your cat’s diet. This will generally include a food trial and may require several attempts to rule out food allergy.
  • Contact allergies can also be present in cats. This is very similar to how people develop allergies to common substances in their environment.
  • Cat skin cancer. As in humans, cat cancer is a potentially life threatening condition. If you notice new or changing skin spots, make a veterinary appointment ASAP.
  • Cat acne. Some cats are prone to cat acne. While this may appear similar to a rash, the treatment of cat acne may involve prescription medication.
  • Cat dermatitis. Typically cat dermatitis is due to an allergic reaction to grooming products, food or environmental irritants.

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you see any of these symptoms. Sometimes it takes a while to diagnose the problem; the sooner, the better.

Your veterinarian has many types of tests available when it comes to cat dermatology issues, such as:

  • One common test is to collect some of the material in the ear and look at it under a microscope, this is known as cytology.
  • Your vet can also take a small scraping of the hair follicles or the debris on the skin and look at it under a microscope. They will be looking for mites, yeast or bacteria or certain types of cells to determine the cause of the discomfort.
  • Dermatophytosis, or more commonly referred to as “ringworm” is a common fungal infection of the skin of cats. This fungus can be transmitted from your cat to children or adults, therefore this is something that needs to be diagnosed by a veterinarian and treated immediately. In order to diagnose this condition a fungal culture is required.

There are many things your veterinarian will be looking at to determine what is the most appropriate treatment.

Getting a diagnosis from your veterinarian is the first step. It depends upon what we are dealing with and it may take time to get to the correct diagnosis and treatment.

  • If you are dealing with fleas, your vet will treat for flea control.
  • If you are dealing with food allergies, your vet may have to switch your cat’s food.
  • Your vet may have to use an immune modulating medication to suppress allergic response in your cat.
  • Anti-itch medications may be used to make your cat feel more comfortable.
  • If ringworm is present, antifungal medication will be prescribed.
  • Some medications must be injected by a veterinarian while other medication can be administered by you at home.

It is important that you work with your veterinarian to accurately describe the symptoms of cat skin conditions. Then, your vet will perform a thorough exam and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Cat Medications

When your cat requires medication our doctors will provide the right prescription.

If you’re like a lot of cat owners, you know your cat’s daily routine. If you notice your cat is not following his usual activities, or if you see a change in behavior patterns, those could be subtle but important clues that your cat is sick. As a pet parent, it’s time for you to step in and get the vet on speed dial.

Behavioral changes are nothing to fool around with. When your cat starts to hide, instead of purring on the windowsill, it’s time to find out why. Cats are so good at hiding pain and illness, that even the smallest changes in their behavior can be a sign of a serious problem.

If one of the veterinarians at Harlingen Veterinary Clinic discovers that your cat has a short term illness, or an ongoing chronic health issue, your kitty may need prescription medication and it will be your job to give it to them. Giving medication to a cat can be challenging when he doesn’t want to cooperate. At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we are here to explain how you can give your cat his medication successfully, without stressing out your feline friend or yourself.

Veterinarians prescribe medication to cats for various reasons. One of the most common reasons cats are treated with medication is for IBD, (inflammatory bowel disease). Sounds uncomfortable, and it sure is. This type of condition requires daily medications and a special prescription cat food along with lots of TLC.

Corticosteroids are also commonly used for the treatment of IBD. To make things easier on you and your pet, cat medications can be compounded into a flavor tab or a flavored liquid for easier administering (and who doesn’t like salmon flavor!) Our veterinary technicians will train you on what to do and will help you manage your cat’s medication schedule.

Another common reason for giving your cat medication is for infections. Whether the infection is from a wound or some other reason, antibiotics are used for a specific period of time until the infection is gone and your cat is up to his old tricks again.

In some cases, pain medications are needed to keep your cat comfortable and pain-free for a period of time. A little extra care and attention, fluffing of the cat bed and some gentle petting may help the medicine go down easier.

There are also long lasting antibiotic and pain relief injectables available. Talk to one of our veterinarians about these options at your next appointment. With proper instruction from our veterinary team, you can be successful at giving your cat his medication. And at the end of the day, you know you’ve done your best to make your buddy feel comfortable throughout his healing process.

Cats who are hyperthyroid may be given a transdermal gel medication. In some cases this type of medication may be easier to apply for the pet owner.

Other common reasons your veterinarian may need to treat your cat with medications may include:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Some forms of cancer, intestinal lymphoma
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • IBS/Inflammatory Bowel Disease

If you have ever attempted to give your cat medication, you know it can be quite a challenge, for both of you. We’re here to give you some tips to get the job done right, the first time, and still be buddies with your cat. Some cats may run and hide, while others may be curious. The following tips may help:

  • For administering pills to your cat, you can use Pill Pockets. These are soft tasty treats that you insert the pill into to disguise the cat medication.
  • Pill guns are designed to place the pill on the back of the tongue where the cat is least likely to reject the medication.
  • Some medications are available in liquid form. Your veterinarian will talk to you about dosing and how to properly administer the liquid medication. Liquids can be compounded to a flavor your cat enjoys.
  • Some medications are available as Transdermal Gels, meaning that they are applied topically like a lotion. With transdermal gets, it is important to understand the absorption rate and pay close attention to dosing.

If you have to medicate your cat for a long period of time, have a game plan. You will want to be prepared with a plan of action. While every cat is different when it comes to taking medications, most cats respond well to positive reinforcement when administering cat medications. You will have a quick window of opportunity to medicate your cat, before he changes his mind. Trying to medicate your cat on the ground is much more difficult and tough on both of you, so try placing the cat comfortably on a high table.

Most vets have a well stocked pharmacy for their patients. It is best to get your pet’s prescription filled at your veterinary hospital. Some drugs that need to be compounded or flavored have to be made and then either picked up or mailed to you. For refills on medications, call your veterinarian. Your pet may need to have occasional blood tests to make sure he is on the correct dosage throughout the prescribed treatment.

Prescription cat food is formulated for specific health issues your cat may have. There are certain health conditions that will benefit from prescription cat foods. These foods are formulated by veterinary nutritionists. Your cat may turn his nose up at first when you introduce a new food, but mixing with the current diet and slowly changing over to the new food often works.

What should I do when my cat displays unwanted behaviors? Human sometimes don’t have a clue as to why their cat has suddenly become a “totally different animal.” Is there anything I can do to help guide him toward a positive behavior? There are many behavior modification medications for cats. It depends on what behaviors the cat is displaying. There are also some natural pheromones that can be used for behavior problems. A combination of behavioral medicine and behavior modification techniques is a good starting point to help your cat overcome negative behaviors.

It may take time for your cat to respond to the medication and time to learn new positive behaviors. It takes humans time to learn new behaviors too!

Preventive Care

Our comprehensive preventive care program is the first step to ensuring that your cat has a long healthy life.

At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we understand that prevention is truly the best medicine where the health and wellness of your cat is concerned. This is why we offer our feline patients and their human counterparts a comprehensive array of cat preventive care services that promote cat health, wellness and longevity of life.

A cat preventive care program consists of:

  • Annual or Semi-Annual Physical Examinations
  • Blood and urine analysis
  • Ongoing Health and Wellness Education
  • Periodic At-Home Monitoring

The focus of a preventive care program is to ensure that your cat is receiving everything they need to live a healthy life including proper nutrition, good hygiene and adequate stimulation, as well as early detection of any illness or disease that may be developing. In the fight against various feline diseases, early detection makes a significant difference in the scope and effectiveness of treatment. Most feline diseases are much easier to treat in the early stages, while some diseases can actually reach a point where treatment is no longer an option. And, unfortunately, cats are so good at hiding signs and symptoms of disease that by the time symptoms become obvious, it may be too late. This is why regular exams are critically important.

A semi annual wellness exam should be performed by your veterinarian every six months. The physical exam is a comprehensive assessment of your cat’s health. Your veterinarian will review various aspects of your cat’s health, including:

  • Vaccination Status
  • Parasite Control – to include both internal and external parasites
  • Dental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise and environmental enrichment
  • Ears and Eyes
  • Internal Organs
  • Behavior
  • Coat and Skin
  • Bloodwork to help assess metabolic function

Based on the findings, your veterinarian will discuss any concerns, make recommendations and work with you to keep your cat as healthy as possible.

A sizeable portion of a cat’s health involves self-bathing and grooming. A cat can manage its own skin, fur and digestive health through self-grooming. However, there are things you can and should do as a cat owner to help ensure optimal hygiene by following a simple preventive care regimen. This includes:

  • Brushing your cat’s hair regularly to limit knots and furballs
  • Trimming your cat’s claws
  • Physical interactions including petting and playing to maintain a health comfort level with interaction and engage the cat’s senses

Of course, the temperament and disposition of your cat can affect your ability to maintain this regimen. If you are unable to do so, or if you have any concerns, our veterinary staff would be happy to discuss options and alternatives with you at your next appointment.

Cancer is among the most frightening and painful diagnosis a cat owner can hear. It is also a disease that stands a better chance of being defeated if it is detected early on. As a cat owner, if you notice the development of lumps or conditions that look worrisome, please schedule a veterinary appointment immediately. However, it is important to understand that most of the cancer symptoms that a veterinarian will be able to spot early on, will not be noticeable to you. Again, because most signs of illness in cats remain subtle until they are in a more serious condition, it is very important to have a veterinarian give your cat a thorough physical on a regular basis. During the exam, our veterinarians will review with you what signs to look for in a cat which may be developing a serious illness.

Preventive care for cats also includes various fields of integrative medicine. Integrative medicine consists of alternative practices that enhance or enrich standard, or classical preventive and treatment-based protocols. Some of the many forms of integrative medicine that promote cat health include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathy
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Laser Therapy

Integrative medicine can be very effective in promoting cat health when used in conjunction with other veterinarian recommended therapies or treatments. Ask your veterinarian what types of integrative medicine can help you have a happy and healthy cat for many years to come.

One of the most overlooked facets of preventive care for cats is dentistry. Cats do not tell you when they have oral pain or discomfort. In general, by four years of age, most cats have developed some dental or gingival disease that will require veterinary intervention. A thorough exam requires anesthesia and dental x-rays. The majority of dental disease in cats lies underneath the gum line. For this reason, x-rays are required to identify any disease that may be present in the tooth and the root of the tooth which may be a source of chronic pain. Some of the causes of dental disease and discomfort include:

  • Gum Disease
  • Malocclusion
  • Tooth Loss
  • Mouth Sores and Ulcers
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontal Disease

A thorough cat teeth cleaning is something you should trust to your veterinarian every 6-12 months, but regular brushing can be performed in the comfort of your home. We would love to assist you in learning how to approach and brush your cat’s teeth. Many cats will tolerate daily teeth brushing if done in a gentle and respectful manner. You can also help facilitate excellent cat health by providing toys and treats formulated to help strengthen and/or clean your cat’s teeth and gums.

For more information on feline dentistry, visit our cat dental care section.

No insects are as troublesome to you and your cat as fleas. Fleas can cause severe skin irritation and can infest your home if you do not have a good preventive plan. Both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk for fleas, as these parasites can thrive in almost all geographic locations.

This is why flea prevention is a cornerstone of comprehensive preventive care for cats. It is important to be aware that there are numerous products on the market that our Veterinarians would strongly suggest you avoid. Every year, our veterinarians review all available flea products to ensure that our recommendations are as up to date as possible. Our considerations include safety, effectiveness and cost. Based on these factors we will work with you to customize a parasite prevention plan for your pets and family. As part of the preventive care for your cat, we will help you choose the safest, most effective parasite products.

For more information on flea prevention for cats, visit our cat flea section.

Raising a healthy cat depends heavily on the type and amount of food they consume on a daily basis. Low quality cat food, and treats high in fat or carbohydrates can negatively affect many aspects of your feline friend’s health. Feline obesity is the most common health problem we see in our otherwise healthy cat patients. Developing a nutritional plan from an early age which includes a diet selection, a feeding plan and exercise plan is the best way to avoid feline obesity. Cats will have different nutritional requirements during each stage of their lives which include:

  • Kittens
  • Adult Cats
  • Senior Cats
  • In addition, there are health conditions which will require special diets

Your veterinarian can help determine if you cat is following a healthy diet, and also help formulate one tailored to your cat’s nutritional needs, lifestyle and current condition including prescribed feeding frequency and serving size. In general, we recommend high quality canned food as the primary source of nutrition. However, some kibble in the diet may be ok in small amounts. Most cats will overeat if allowed to free feed. Remember, your cat will not tell you if they are full, nor can they make positive nutritional changes themselves. Therefore, you must take control of their dietary program, in order to ensure their health and wellness throughout every stage of life.

Vaccinations are a fundamentally essential component of cat care. They consist of a series of immunizations given to your cat as a kitten, and then boosters given periodically throughout its lifetime. Vaccinations help prevent and fight various serious, even potentially fatal diseases that cats are at risk of contracting. They also help prevent the spread of diseases between felines, as well as to human beings.

Although the rabies vaccine is the only vaccination currently required by law in most states, we strongly recommend fostering good cat health by making sure your feline friend completes his or her recommended vaccination protocol on time. This program is determined with your veterinarian, and is based on the lifestyle, geographic location and pre-existing medical conditions of your cat.

Semi-Annual Wellness Exams

A cornerstone of preventive care, semi-annual wellness exams help prolong life by allowing health issues to be identified and addressed early.

It is very important to have a veterinarian examine your cat at least once a year. Cats age significantly faster than humans and therefore it is imperative for cat owners to stay on top of wellness exams in order to catch any potential health problems before they begin. Most cat illnesses are much easier and less expensive to treat and cure when caught in the early stages before they progress or develop complications. Therefore, regular cat wellness exams are the cornerstone of preventive veterinary medicine.

Cats are good at hiding any type of illness, by being quiet and hiding, You may not be fully aware that something is wrong since cats can be experts at hiding pain or discomfort. By nature, cats are independent animals, however they still need to be examined by a veterinarian on a at least a yearly basis.

As a cat owner, you should be aware of any changes in eating habits, playfulness and general overall health. Any changes in behavior, such as a change in eating habits, not greeting you the way they normally would, reluctance to jump up or move around the way they typically would may be the subtle signs of what could be a serious health problem, and it is time to schedule a veterinary exam.

At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic, we recommend performing basic lab tests at least once a year, as well as reviewing nutrition and any behavioral issues you may be noticing.

Of course, we realize that some cats don’t like getting into the cat carrier and going for a ride. In these circumstances, we recommend coaxing your cat into his carrier by using a treat, and trying to soothe your kitty during the car ride.

A wellness exam is the perfect time to discuss your cat’s daily habits, diet, and any problems you may have noticed. Your vet will discuss the following topics with you:

  • The appropriate food and weight for your cat
  • Behavioral issues
  • Daily water consumption
  • Your cat’s stool production, or litter box habits
  • The amount of activity your cat gets daily
  • Whether or not your cat is alert and content

We will do a dental exam and look for any abnormalities in the mouth. By age 4 many cats may have some form of a painful dental issue. In addition to problems with their teeth, cats can develop tumors inside of their mouths and since they are so adept at hiding pain, especially dental pain, it is very easy to overlook these issues. However, make no mistake, dental issues are painful and seriously affect the quality of life.

At Harlingen Veterinary Clinic we assess the body condition of the cat, and determine if he is the correct weight. A wellness exam also includes palpating the abdomen for organ size making sure that all is normal and checking for any lumps or bumps. We will also collect urine and blood samples for yearly labs. Preventative care is extremely important, along with vaccines, parasite control and deworming.

This is the time to bring up any issues you are not sure about. If you notice that your cat coughs a lot and you think it may be a hairball, mention this to your vet. Some cats are prone to asthma, a condition that can be diagnosed and treated to improve the quality of life for your cat.

Your cat should be examined at least once per year. You may not be aware that kitty is not feeling well, and it’s better to stay one step ahead of any potential medical issues. Older or geriatric cats should have a semi-annual (twice yearly) wellness exam.

Cats age much quicker than we do, so doing yearly labs are advised. Cats can be prone to kidney disease a condition we see quite often. If we can catch the kidney disease early, we may be able to change their diet to control or reverse it to improve their quality of life. We will also check your cat for intestinal parasites by checking a stool sample. Depending on the condition of your cat, any symptoms you have noticed, concerns you have or test results, diagnostic imaging may also be recommended when appropriate to provide our doctors with the information necessary to make an accurate diagnosis and come to a recommendation for treatment.

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Harlingen Veterinary Clinic will be closed on the following days due to staffing shortages. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Saturday, October 8th 

Saturday, October 22nd 

Saturday, December 24th  

Monday, December 26th

Saturday, December 31st