Here at Oxford Veterinary Hospital, we are equipped with a state-of-the-art, in-house laboratory, allowing us to perform both routine and emergency blood and urine tests right in our hospital.  This gives us the ability to communicate results to you quickly and determine the best treatments for your pet.

When needed, we also utilize the comprehensive diagnostic support of a nationally known veterinary laboratory and in most cases receive results within 24 hours. Our doctors have immediate access to this laboratory’s numerous veterinary specialists whenever they want to consult or get a second opinion.

Why is this so important? Sometimes, our pets don’t do the best job of showing us that something is wrong, especially cats! Remember Grumpy Cat? The internet sensation recently sadly passed away. The frowning feline became an internet sensation when a photo of her was posted on Reddit in 2012, and that photo was used in many later internet memes. In the following years, Tardar Sauce (Grumpy Cat’s real name) was featured in advertising campaigns for major corporations, made appearances on national television programs, and experienced rapid growth of her social media following—she now has more than 8.5 million followers on Facebook.

But, it’s not what people know about Grumpy Cat. It’s what people didn’t know about Grumpy Cat. At just over 7 years old, Tardar Sauce—whose underbite and feline dwarfism caused her perma-frown—died last month due to complications from a urinary tract infection (UTI).

When a cat is suffering from a UTI, she may strain to urinate, frequently attempt to urinate, experience pain when urinating, have blood-tinged urine, or urinate outside the litter box. Would you recognize if your cat were straining or frequently attempting to urinate? Would you assume your cat had a UTI if her urine were darker than normal or if she urinated outside the litter box? Did Tardar Sauce’s owner recognize the signs of a UTI?

Cats are so good at hiding their symptoms, and they’re unable to tell us when something is wrong. Even if they could tell us something was wrong, they probably wouldn’t. Cats are notorious for hiding signs of illness, and a cat owner often won’t recognize changes in a cat until the cat’s disease is advanced and her prognosis is poor.

This is exactly why Oxford Veterinary Hospital recommends regular check-ups and preventative exams. A preventive examination includes an evaluation of all of your pet’s major organ systems. We’ll use the preventive visit to ask you questions about your pet’s behavior, appetite, exercise habits, and regular activities at home. This is also an excellent time for us to discuss any routine diagnostic testing that may benefit your pet or to recommend any vaccinations that may be due.  If your pet seems healthy, a preventive examination gives us the opportunity to analyze and record baseline values, such as temperature, body condition, and lab work. We measure these when your pet is healthy, to provide better care in the event of illness or emergency. A dental health exam and a weight check are always important parts of a wellness exam and may indicate problems that can progress rapidly and can have a significant impact on your pet’s overall health.  Early detection and correction of medical problems will help to ensure that your pet will love a long, healthy and active life.

With cats, what seem to be small changes in behavior can actually mean big underlying medical conditions, and our exam and preventive blood work help to reveal disease processes in their early stages before they advance and make treatment difficult. The earlier we are able to diagnose your cat’s medical condition, the easier and more successful treatment will be.

Does something feel off? Please do not hesitate to contact us today!

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