Dr. Brian Hurley began his career in animal care in 1985 as a receptionist/technician. Upon completion of a degree from the University of Florida Veterinary School in 1994, he began work as a licensed veterinarian in the state of Massachusetts. In 2000, Dr. Hurley joined the Gardner Animal Hospital where he went on to become co-owner in 2004. He branched out to do additional consulting work for the AmeriVet Veterinary Partners and in 2018, was named the National Medical Director for AmeriVet Veterinary Partners.

What are the top common health problems you see in your feline patients right now? Has that changed over time?

  1. Vomiting
  2. Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
  3. Skin issues – Fleas
  4. These have changed over time as a direct result of cats spending more time in the household rather than outside.

Why is it important to bring your cat to a veterinarian regularly for a check-up? Why do some people not prioritize bringing their cat to the doctor?

The most important thing for a veterinarian visit is to identify medical issues early. Our feline patients hide illnesses well and if we are not seeing them routinely, they will not show the illness until it is advanced and more difficult to treat. It is often a stressful experience for both the pet owner and the cat to visit the veterinarian. However, there are tricks and tips that your veterinary team can discuss with owners to minimize the stress of a visit to the veterinarian.

What are some of the best approaches to combating allergy dermatitis in cats? Why do many cats experience different forms of dermatitis?

  1. Annual veterinary visits
  2. Flea and tick control including strictly indoor felines
  3. High quality diet that your veterinarian recommends.

Cats experience different forms of dermatitis due to environmental stimulus, fleas and other parasites, and food sensitivities.

How can I tell if my cat is experiencing a urinary tract infection?

  1. Straining to urinate
  2. Frequent trips to the litterbox
  3. Bloody urine
  4. Urinating outside the litter box
  5. Painful urination

How can you tell if a bite wound is serious enough to bring your cat to the veterinarian?

Due to the infectious and traumatic nature of bite wounds, I recommend all bite wounds are examined by a veterinarian.

What are some of the best ways to help maintain the overall health of your cat as they age?

  1. Annual to biannual visits to your veterinarian.
  2. Preventative medications
  3. Proper nutrition
  4. Dental health
  5. Socialization and affection
  6. Exercise