Preventive Health Care

Your cat will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may cause diseases, some of them serious and life threatening. You know your cat better than other do. Your cat can't let you know what's wrong if it isn't feeling well. Many diseases of cats can be prevented, treated, or controlled. You can keep your pet in the best shape possible with understanding the most common threats to its health. You and your veterinarian can discuss the best ways to prevent or control them.


Rabies is a generally fatal viral disease that affects the central nervous system and can infect all warm-blooded animals. This disease is zoonotic, which means it can be transmitted to humans bitten by an infected animal. People exposed to rabies must undergo an immunization regimen.

Signs:  Changes in behavior that can include uncharacteristic restlessness, aggressiveness,                agitation, shyness, and paralysis.

Prevention:  Vaccination by your veterinarian.


Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
Feline leukemia virus is one of the most prevalent causes of feline cancer. Exposure to FeLV isn't necessarily cancer-causing, but rather it weakens the immune system. Therefore, with FeLV cats become more susceptible to other diseases (both bacterial and viral). The disease is highly contagious among cats (although it can't be spread to humans). It is spread through contact with infected saliva, urine, feces and milk. Sharing food bowls and even grooming an infected cat can expose a healthy cat to this potentially fatal disease. Even if the cat doesn't show any signs of disease, it may carry and transmit the disease the rest of it's life.

Signs:  Anemia, weight loss, diarrhea, blood in the feces, respiratory problems, excessive drinking and urination. Cancerous tumors can occur in some cats and can interfere with respiration or digestion, cause kidney disease, or affect the central nervous system.

Prevention:  Vaccination. There is no cure for FeLV, but symptoms can be treated and remissions of varying lengths of time can be achieved.


Feline Panleukopenia (FPV)
Feline panleukopenia, or distemper, is caused by a highly contagious and potentially fatal virus, especially in kittens. Even though vaccination has effectively controlled feline panleukopenia (FPV), the disease is still occasionally seen in cats and kittens, particularly those that come from animal shelters. The disease is often seen in wild, unvaccinated cats. The main way cats become exposed to FPV is by eating the feces of an infected cat.

Signs:  Rapid onset is one of the main characteristics of this disease. Loss of appetite, fever that drops dramatically in late-stage disease, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, and dehydration. Pregnant cats with panleukopenia will lose the pregnancy or have stillborn kittens.

Prevention:  Vaccination. The outlook for young kittens who develop FPV is poor - up to 90% do not survive.

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Feline Respiratory Complex (FVR, FCV, FPN)
Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), feline calicivirus (FCV), and Chlamydia are responsible for upper respiratory infections known collectively as upper respiratory disease complex or "cat flu." FVR and FCV cause 80-90% of cat flu cases and are spread from cat to cat by contaminated litter boxes and water bowls or contact with infected fluids such as saliva, nasal secretions, and eye discharge.

Signs:  FVR is characterized by inflammation of the cat's eyes, nose, or windpipe; discharge from the eyes or nose; lethargy; fever; loss of appetite; and constant sneezing. The symptoms of FCV include runny nose; more serious symptoms are tongue ulcers, excess salivation, weight loss, poor physical appearance, and a refusal to eat.

Prevention: Vaccination. Treatment consists of keeping the eyes and nasal passages clear, keeping the cat warm in a quiet environment, using antibiotics if appropriate to control any secondary infections, and force feeding the cat if it will not eat or drink water.

Fleas & Flea Infeatation
Fleas are common parasites. Adults feed on warm-blooded animals, including humans, causing irritation and, in some instances, allergic reactions. They can also transmit  Tapeworm & certain diseases. During the immature stages of its life cycle, the flea can hide in bedding, carpeting, and shaded areas. A flea infestation may become apparent only when people realize they've been bitten.

Signs:  Flea bites cause itching and may cause inflammation of the skin called Flea Allergy Dermatiis (FAD). You should also look for signs such as black specks on your cat or in your cat's bed. Also, your cat may become nervous or annoyed and will scratch excessively if infested with fleas.

Prevention:  Use of an approved product like Advantage & FRONTLINE Plus (fipronil/(S)-methroprene) will kill fleas that are already on a cat and prevent fleas from reinfesting your animal. Once a flea infestation is serious, a number of control measures may be required, including the use of appropriate flea control products in indoor and outdoor pet areas, frequent cleaning of pet bedding and blankets, vacuuming, and sanitizing.


Ticks & Tick Born Diseases
Ticks are parasites, called ectoparasites, that attach themselves to a host animal (including humans) to feed on the animal's blood. Ticks may transmit serious, even fatal, diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, and cytautzoonosis.

Signs: Symptoms of tick-borne diseases include fever, anemia, lethargy, depression or general flu-like symptoms.

Prevention:  Use of a tick-killing product like FRONTLINE Plus as directed.

Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is caused by the worm Dirofilaria immitis, which is transmitted from animal to animal by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes initially become infected when they bite dogs that are already infected. As the name of the disease implies, the adult worms live in the host animal's heart and lungs. In cats, heartworms may also live in the host's central nervous system and other organs.

Signs:  Heartworm disease affects not only the heart, but also the lungs and central nervous system. Symptoms include respitory and cardiac problems, vomiting and in some cats, sudden death.

Prevention:  There is no approved treatment for heartworm disease in cats. However, regular use of a heartworm prevention product as directed will kill early stage larvae before they have the chance to mature and damage the heart.


Intestinal parasites
Common intestinal parasites of cat  are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms & toxoplasmosis. They affect cat of any age but kitten are mostly affected.

Signs: Gastrointestinal - weight loss and diarrhea are common signs.

Prevention:  Proper sanitation can limit the incidence of  roundworm & hookworm-related problems. Use of an appropriate deworming program as directed can control  roundworm & hookworms. Tapeworms can be prevented by flea control and regularly treated with droncit.

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6909 Norwood Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32208
Telephone #: 904-764-9559 Fax #: 904-764-5049
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