Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Cats' Trip to the Vet

Did you know that yesterday was National Take your Cat to the Vet Day?  At In-Sync Exotics, yesterday was just like any other day, when we make a trip to our vet's office!  Thankfully, we have new staff members  ready to assist our wild ones (you'll meet them later on in this posting) when they go to the vet's office.

When you take your beloved pet to the vet, have you ever noticed that the waiting area seems to be filled with more dog owners than cat?  One would think there were more companion dogs living in our abodes than that of the cat persuasion.   

Here are some interesting facts on pet ownership from the Humane Society of the United States:

  • There are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the United States
  • Thirty-nine percent of U.S. households own at least one dog
  • Most owners (60 percent) own one dog
  • On average, dog owners spent $248 on veterinary visits (vaccine, well visits) annually
  • There are approximately 86.4 million owned cats in the United States
  • Thirty-three percent of U.S. households own at least one cat
  • Fifty-two percent of owners own more than one cat
  • On average, owners have two cats (2.2)
  • Cat owners spent an average of $219 on routine veterinary visits

Based on statistics above we can hypothesize that cats are more popular than dogs as companion animals, but when it comes to routine veterinary care, dogs receive the lion’s share (no pun intended).  With the numbers of cats living in households exceeding those of dogs, according to a survey conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), 58 % of dogs receive these all important routine health exams, as opposed to just 28% of our beloved felines. So why do dog owners take their pets more often than those of cat owners?

Many cat owners believe that cats do not need medical care. This misinformation is often based on the myth that cats are more self-sufficient.  Unfortunately serious symptoms of disease often go unnoticed because cats tend to hide their signs of illness.  Dogs tend to be thought as more “dependent” and needier than felines, so they are often taken to the vet more often than cats.

Yesterday we took a few of our own cats to the vet—Tobias (lynx), Franklin (domestic), and Sox (domestic).  Why did our three cats go to the vet's office?  Well, since Tobias’ arrival, we've been treating our lynx for a reoccurring cough.  He was treated three separate times and each time his cough went away.  Unfortunately, his cough is back again, so our vet took a closer look to find out why his cough keeps returning!  Our vet also checked out the mystery spots that shows up and disappears between his front and back legs.  The only spot that seems to bother Tobias is the one located on his left inner thigh.

Sox at the vet
Franklin went in for a follow-up to see if it was time to take him off the heart medication.  Good news--the vet gave Franklin a clean bill of health and he is no longer on the heart medication.  In two weeks, Franklin will go back to the vet's office to be retested to see if he can remain off of the heart medication.  

We noticed Sox has an irritated left eye and his head is starting to bob (as if he’s shaking his head “yes”). Sox underwent several tests and so we are praying there is nothing seriously wrong with the boy.

Tomorrow, we plan to take in Gideon (time for his shots and micro-chip); Spirit (follow-up check-up); and Sketcher (chronic sneezing).

We will give you an update on all our cats as soon as the exams are completed and the test results are released to us.

If it’s been awhile since you took your cat to the vet, you may want your cat examined.  Even though your cat may appear perfectly healthy right now, if it’s been more than a year since your cat received a routine check-up, then it is time to make an appointment!  Your kitty’s wellness exam is the ideal opportunity for your vet to become aware of any health problems before they evolve into serious illnesses. Your vet will weigh your feline, listen to her heart and lungs, and give her a thorough dental exam.

Be sure to advise the veterinarian of any health issues that you have noticed in your cat, such as “odd” behavior”, coughing, a decrease or increase of appetite, frequent urination, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, coughing, weight loss or gain, sluggishness, always hiding when normally social, or excessive and/or loud vocalization.
As part of the wellness exam, your vet may want to perform routine diagnostic tests, such as blood work, fecal and/or urine analysis, or perhaps an x-ray, if necessary.

At In-Sync Exotics, we recognize the importance of maintaining good health of our young, senior and geriatric cats and will continue to provide our cats with top-notch vet health care!

Meet Our New Keeper!

We have a new full-time animal keeper at In-Sync Exotics who will help ensure our wild ones receive the love and care they deserve!  Our new keeper is no stranger to In-Sync Exotics.  She completed two internships with us (May - August 2011 and November 2011 - May 2012), an internship with Tiger Creek, Fossil Rim, and at the Wild Animal Sanctuary.  She earned a bachelor of science degree in Organismal Biology (think Zoology) in 2010 and is excited to be In-Sync's newest keeper as this is truly her "dream job."  

Alysia with Stryker
Please welcome Alysia Lavender to the In-Sync Exotics' staff (she now wears a "black shirt")! You may recall, Alysia was featured in our January 2012 blog posting as she described what it was like to Intern at our sanctuary (click HERE to read the posting).  She has always wanted to care for tigers, now she loves caring for all our carnivores! 

It should come as no surprise that Stryker is still her favorite cat, but she told "Cat Tails" that she really loves all the animals -- big and small. She misses Mr. Kitty, her seven year old kitty, as he lives hundreds of miles away in Virginia. So while she misses her fun loving kitty, she is grateful that she has a lot of exotic and domestic cats to care for each day!  Welcome back, Alysia and congratulations on your selection as our exotic wild animal keeper! 

Meet Our New Intern!

We also want to welcome Julie Vria from Garland, Texas, as our new Intern! Julie just graduated in May 2012, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Texas State University.
Julie with Tobias at the vet's office

Julie is no stranger to domestic or exotic wild animal care as she used to work with animals at the VCA Animal Hospital and interned at G.W. Exotics.  Julie's goal is to be a keeper at a zoo or wild animal sanctuary.  She has a keen interest in the conservation of endangered species with a focus on the big cats.

Two lynx paws up and a mighty chirp of approval to Julie as our new In-Sync Exotics' Intern!

We hope you enjoyed today's blog posting and will join us again tomorrow for more news and updates on our wild ones! Don't forget to let us know your reaction to this posting by clicking on one of the reaction buttons below--and share this blog posting with others please ~ Thank you!



  1. I hope soxsies is doing alright. I absolutely love that cat!

  2. Who is "Sketcher"? and do you have 3 keepers now?

    1. As you can see in the picture above, Sketcher is a domestic cat who calls In-Sync Exotics home.

      Yes, we have 3 full-time paid keepers now!

  3. How do you get that crate into the vet's office? (I have a local feral DSH I'm trying to TNR, and she's kinda trap-savvy...)

    1. Fortunately for us, our vet has a large enough entrance so we can safely bring in and take out our "crated' cats!