, Salem, MA


June 28, 2013

Vet Connection: Why cats should see a veterinarian on a regular basis

People often admire cats for their independent nature, but that same self-sufficient attitude may also be responsible for a lack of veterinary care. Cat owners often think that their kitties are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and don’t need any medical attention. Many cats are never brought to the vet for a wellness exam in their lifetime, while silent but easily preventable conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism and dental disease are quickly rising among our cats.

There are many reasons to get your apparently healthy cat to the veterinarian. Reason No. 1 is that it is a law in Massachusetts that every cat be vaccinated against rabies. That is how we prevent humans from contracting rabies — by protecting our hunter cats from getting it.

All indoor cats are at risk of contracting rabies from a bat and then transmitting the killer disease to their human housemates. Within the past two years, a person died in Massachusetts from rabies.

Another reason to get your cat to the vet once or twice a year is parasite prevention. A stool sample should be examined every year to protect you and your cat from parasites. Cats may contract roundworm and hookworm. Even an indoor cat can contract eggs from digging in potting soil or from worm eggs being tracked in on shoes. The eggs, if ingested or touched by a human, can infect the human, migrate throughout the body and cause blindness.

Your cat can contract heartworm from one mosquito bite. Symptoms are asthma-like symptoms, vomiting or sudden death. Heartworm in cats is an easily preventable disease.

Fleas are what transmitted the bubonic plague. They also transmit Bartonella, which is cat scratch fever. Cat scratch fever can cause very bad skin infections and lesions on humans. You do not want fleas in your house. For a good summary of how parasites are contagious to people and some really gross pictures of what a migrating animal parasite can do in your body, go to

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 21

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Wesley Williams will be the featured guest for the 9:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, July 27, at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church, 16 Sylvan St., Danvers. Williams will use the sermon time to lead in the singing of spirituals and give

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, July 19 Church Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Church, 50 Walsh Ave., Peabody. Church-sponsored yard sale features home furnishings, clothing, children's items, furniture and more. Portuguese food will also be available. All

    July 19, 2014

  • North Shore Gardener: Can 10-year-old plant food be used? Q: As I am getting older, my gardening is less and less, but I do have three potted cherry tomato plants on my deck. I wonder if some Vigoro Water Soluble Tomato and Vegetable Plant Food that I have had in my garage for about 10 years would be safe a

    July 18, 2014

  • Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: 6 strategies to help your child build self-advocacy skills As tweens enter middle school, they are expected to manage increased responsibility and independence. Included in this set of expectations is their ability to self-advocate for their needs. Self-advocacy refers to an individual's ability to effective

    July 18, 2014

  • doughboys_2 Book Notes: Author discusses World War I at Wenham Museum All the veterans Richard Rubin interviewed for "The Last of the Doughboys," which was published in 2013, are dead now. Given that his subjects ranged in age from 101 to 113, and he started looking for them in 2003, that is hardly surprising. What re

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • womaninyard Quick pick 'East End Open Studio' An art show featuring the work of 15 artists who all live and work in the East End District of Ipswich is on view this weekend at the Ipswich Moving Company Studio at 2 Cogswell St. in Ipswich. The show is called "East End Open

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker