If you love your pet like you would another member of your family, you will want to do everything in your power to ensure that she is safe, healthy and happy for the duration of her lifetime. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you put preventive health care measures in place. These can help reduce the likelihood of your pet suffering from illness or disease and will enable our veterinarian at Goodwin Animal Hospital & Pet Resort to spot any problems early so that treatment can be started quickly. This will significantly improve the outcome for your beloved pet.
Here are the 5 important preventive health care measures that you should be taking for your pet.
1. Regular wellness examinations with our veterinarian
These provide an opportunity for our vet to comprehensively assess the health of your pet. Exactly what is included in a wellness examination can vary but in addition to a physical assessment, most vets will insist that your pet undergo a complete blood count and blood chemistry profile. These provide information about the levels of red and white blood cells in her body and how well her internal organs are functioning. Blood tests are often the most reliable indicator as to the health of an animal. Other aspects of wellness examinations often include fecal testing and urinalysis.
2. Keep her up to date with her vaccinations
There are just as many viruses and infectious diseases that can affect our pets as there are those that can impact humans. Many of these are either highly contagious, extremely serious or both, putting the health of our pet and other animals around them at risk. Fortunately, it is now possible to vaccinate your pet against the majority of these conditions so that she does not become affected. Nevertheless, most vaccinations are only effective for a set period of time and this means that diarized boosters will need to be planned so that there is no period when your pet is left vulnerable to disease.
3. Don’t forget parasite prevention treatments
Most animals will experience at least one parasite problem at some point during their lifetime. These small creatures live either on or inside animals, consuming the blood of their host for survival. Not only can they may your pet unwell through blood loss, they can also pose a variety of other health problems. For example, heartworms can multiply and clog the blood vessels in the heart and lungs, causing permanent damage to your pet’s body and in some cases, premature death. Ticks are an external parasite that is capable of carrying infectious diseases including Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis – all of which can make your pet very sick.
There are a wide range of parasite preventative treatments available, and these range from oral medications to spot-on ointments and even collars that release anti-parasite chemicals. It is essential that you choose a preventative that is designed for the species and weight of your pet, and that you take note of the longevity of each treatment so that you can ensure your pet is protected all year round.
4. Dental check-ups are important for your pet too
Periodontal disease affects animals as well as humans, and the condition can just be detrimental for our pets. Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, occurs when the plaque that normally builds up on your pet’s teeth begins to spread onto and under the gums. This causes irritation, inflammation and eventually infection. Left untreated, the infection can cause the soft tissue of the gum to erode, the jaw bone to deteriorate and the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and pass to her major organs, causing potentially irreversible damage. Periodontal disease has been linked to many chronic health problems including heart disease, diabetes and thyroid disorder.
Many veterinarians now offer dental wellness services alongside their usual preventative care measures. Speak to your vet to find out if this is something that can provide to help ensure that your pet’s teeth remain healthy for as long as possible.
Many inexperienced owners believe that spaying/neutering animals is a procedure done purely for population control. While it will indeed reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy – something which is extremely important in at a time when we already have millions of animals living in shelters or on the street instead of in safe, loving homes – spaying/neutering your furbaby will also benefit her health. It has been shown to reduce aggression in males, reduce the risk of uterine infections and some gender-related cancers, as well as completely eliminating the possibility of cancer of the reproductive organs.
For further advice about early detection testing services and any of the preventive health care measures mentioned above, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly, knowledgeable veterinarians in Montgomery at Goodwin Animal Hospital & Pet Resort.