As the proud owner to a furry canine companion, you will undoubtedly be prepared to embrace the responsibilities that a conscientious pet parent has. By far one of the most important is your pet’s health, which is just as fragile as our own. Keeping our animal’s healthy is crucial if they are to enjoy the long, happy and active lifestyle that they deserve.
Unfortunately, most animals, including dog’s, instinctively try to mask sickness so that they do not appear weak or vulnerable – a trait that has been instilled in them throughout evolution. This means that all too often, by the time an owner has realized there is a problem, the underlying illness and its effects are significant. In some cases, there may be irreparable damage to your pet’s health – or worse.
Fortunately, there is one way in which you can ensure that you are on the ball when it comes to the health and happiness of your furry best friend – preventive care.
What is preventive care?
Preventive care is the name given to a group of services that are now offered by the majority of veterinarians, although you may here of them referred to by many different names, including wellness checks, wellness examinations or annual check-ups.
As the name suggests, preventive care is designed specifically to help your dog avoid many of the common health problems that affect canines in the U.S. In doing so, your furbaby can avoid the painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms associated with the development of doggy illnesses and the need to put your dog through invasive or unpleasant treatment. You can also enjoy fewer trips to the veterinarian and less expensive bills!
What does preventive care involve?
Exactly what is included in preventive care can vary between veterinary practices. Sometimes different aspects of preventive care are grouped into ‘packages’ that can be bought, rather than paying for individual tests or treatments.
Some of the most common preventive care treatments offered by U.S. veterinarians include:
Just like human blood tests, the results from the canine variety can give our vet a great deal of information about the health of your dog, including: whether she is anemic, if she is at risk of diabetes, whether her organs are functioning correctly and if her immune system is already in overdrive because is it battling an underlying illness. However, by monitoring the results from regular blood tests, our vet at The Animal Clinic will be able to spot any potential problems developing before they turn into serious health issues.
Urine samples can be very beneficial in identifying health concerns, including diabetes, urinary tract infections and kidney disease. Most vets will request a urine sample for analysis if you suspect your pet is unwell, as well as part of a preventive care service.
There are many different infectious diseases and illnesses that can affect your furbaby. Fortunately, there are also now more preventive vaccinations available than ever before, and these can keep your dog protected from potentially life-threatening sickness. Our vet will be able to give your guidance on which vaccinations your pet would benefit from and explain to you about the importance of adhering strictly to the routine so that there are no gaps where your dog is vulnerable to illness.
Similarly, it is just as important to protect your dog from parasites. Fleas, ticks and other parasitic infections can be very debilitating, and in some cases cause serious health problems. This is because some parasites carry infectious diseases such as tapeworms, Lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis. There are many parasite prevention treatments available and our vet will be able to recommend which is right for your furbaby.
Although these are one-off procedures, they can help protect your pet from a range of problems including unwanted pregnancy, cancers of the reproductive systems and hormonal problems. Plus, you are taking a highly responsible step towards helping the pet overpopulation crisis that is seeing hundreds of thousands of dogs euthanized every year as a result of there being no homes or spaces in shelters to accommodate them.
If you would like more information on the different types of preventive care and early detection testing available for your canine, please do not hesitate to contact our vet in Hendersonville, TN and speak to our friendly, knowledgeable veterinary team who will be happy to assist you.