PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE FOR YOUR DOG AND CAT FOR A LIFETIME
Your pet will very likely be a most loyal follower for it’s entire life. What is that worth? The answer is obvious and we cannot neglect or cut corners or procrastinate in our obligations to provide for their well being. And as we often say, “life is short”, how does that translate for your biggest fan?…an even shorter time. Let’s make it a good ride for them.
Oftentimes people are initially excited and anxious to provide the best preventive health care for their new pup or kitten and that’s great. But a good start is only the beginning. It is just as important to keep on a planned schedule of continuing care throughout your pet’s entire life. All too often this enthusiasm and commitment to provide for the future health of the pet wanes to some degree as the pet ages.
The key to good health is to be proactive and not reactive.
In most cases it is better to prevent a disease than to have to treat a disease. One of my biggest challenges as a veterinarian is to try to educate and in some cases to re-educate owners about these matters. Much of what seems common sense to the health care professional is not so clear cut to the public in large part due to misinformation from friends, family, unqualified “authorities” and oftentimes misunderstanding of the various and oftentimes valid differing points of view.
Perhaps the most discouraging and, I think, most misinformed idea I deal with on a regular basis is that a senior pet is too old to receive necessary care. (A good example is the old dog or cat with horrendous dental disease with accompanying infection). This idea wasn’t even true in the old days before laboratory tests and modern diagnostics were available or within practical reach. Today sedation and anesthesia are safe for the senior and geriatric pet with appropriate pre-screening and proper monitoring.
Here is what the well-informed pet owner will do:
- Establish a relationship with a veterinarian
- Schedule a 1st and then regular visits with your veterinarian
- Provide initial appropriate vaccine series, then keep up with boosters
- Provide proper parasite control, both internal and external
- Spay or neuter with your regular veterinarian, not a cut rate operation
- Socialize and train your pet to be obedient and cooperative
- Feed a high quality diet appropriate for age and condition of the pet
- Prevent obesity and other health risk factors
- Schedule regular health exams with your veterinarian and follow all
- Contact your veterinarian early if your pet is sick or not acting right
- Have your pet’s teeth cleaned before periodontal disease occurs and then
- Have regular blood and urine tests
- Be more proactive and vigilant with the geriatric pet by providing your pet with more frequent visits to the veterinarian – things can change quickly!
- Provide treatment that enhances the quality of your pet’s life.
Dr. Don Ducor practices in Farmington, CT. To go to his site click on the link. www.farmingtonanimalhosp.com