A Healthier Pet, a Stronger Bond, and More Money in Your Pocket: The Benefits of Preventive Medicine
The average person will have vaccines as a young child, annual exams and dental care as an adult, and routine screenings as a senior. Has your pet received the same care?
Some diseases and complications in humans can occur in pets. In many cases, good preventative care can lead to early diagnosis and treatment, avoiding extensive and expensive chronic disease management. The best way to have affordable healthcare for your pet is to have a comprehensive wellness plan. This includes an assessment of weight and mobility, in addition to monitoring other vital signs by your veterinarian. Wellness plans are also age specific; a young pet has different needs than a senior pet. Through communication, you and your veterinarian can create a wellness plan that will keep your pet healthier, increase the human-animal bond, and save you money by avoiding large bills associated with preventable disease. Here are a few preventive measures you can take right now!
Annual/ Bi-Annual Exams:
Although vaccines are very important, the annual exam is far more than just a few shots. A history, an assessment of vitals, and an overall exam help in early detection of disease. Remember that dogs age 7 years to every human year, and cats about 4-5 years! A lot can happen in 7 years metabolically, which is why we recommend bi-annual exams with annual blood work for your senior pet. An exam also offers time to discuss changes in mobility, weight, nutrition or behavior that is concerning to the owner. It’s our goal to keep your pet healthy, so they can continue the activities that make you both happy.
One of the most common problems for companion pets is dental disease. For many owners the idea of brushing their pet’s teeth is new and intimidating. Although it is the best option for preventing dental disease, it is not the only option. Talk to your vet about learning how to brush teeth or diets and approved supplements that can help reduce plaque buildup. Most dogs with no preventative treatment need a dental cleaning every 3-4 years; many cats need them more frequently. Our pets are tolerant so it is common for dental disease to progress to an advanced stage before the owner notices. Advanced disease requires tooth extractions under general anesthesia. However, with proper preventative care, you may be able to avoid this.And remember, just because your pet is eating doesn’t mean he doesn’t have dental disease!
Watch the Weight:
Obesity in pets is becoming an epidemic in the United States. According to a Purina study, 45% of pets are now considered overweight. The study found that overweight pets on average live 2 years less and are at increased risk for many diseases. The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention lists some common risk factors for overweight pets including diabetes, arthritis and joint disease, cranial cruciate ligament injury, heart and respiratory disease, kidney disease and cancer.