Nothing is more important than trying to get ahead of problems with your dog.
Nothing is more important than trying to get ahead of problems with your dog. Preventative care is one of the single greatest investments you can give your pet. It relies on the idea of coming in when your pet is healthy to help prevent avoidable health problems in the future. We like to see most adult dogs once a year for preventative exams with the exception of senior dogs who we like to see twice a year for preventable exams. In addition to a thorough physical exam, immunizations, annual heartworm test, flea/heartworm prevention should be done for every dog. I also recommend annual comprehensive bloodwork +/-tick prevention. Why is preventative care so important? 1-Keeping them healthy, keeps them happy: we don't want your pet to spend anymore time in the hospital than necessary. That's why it's important to do things like they're annual exam, vaccines, heartworm test and monthly heartworm prevention. Remember- a disease like heartworm disease is 100% preventable. But if they contract heartworm, treatment is pricey and comes with risks. You see, the only (real) way to get rid of adult heartworms is by injecting an arsenic like compound deep into their back muscles MULTIPLE times. You, dog mom and dad- are smart enough to know how important it is to avoid this and be diligent with our prevention. If you just have a knack for forgetting the monthly pill, ask your vet if the Proheart injection that lasts 6 to 12 months is available. 2- Established Trusting Relationship with your doctor/vet clinic: Friends- I have good news on this front: there are SO many great vets and vet clinics out there. Find one that understands you and your pet and listens to you. Then, listen to them. Go there at a minimum of once a year for their annual visits when your pet is healthy. As a doctor, if I am familiar with your pet when they are healthy, it can provide insight in guiding diagnosis and treatment when they are sick. For urgent visits, established clients have a greater chance of getting in last minute on busy days then nonclients. And if you simply can not be fit in last minute, we can guide you to a trusted ER clinic in the area. For help finding a trusted vet, I am partial to AAHA and Fear Free certified practices, but they do not need to have these qualifications to be good. 3- Keeping up to date on important relevant events for your pet: alot happens in a year that you may miss out on. In the summer of 2018, the FDA and veterinary cardiologists around the country issued statements on a possible link between grain free, boutique diets and a serious heart disease called DCM. Though, the call to action is still unclear- I would say about 80% of owner's were unaware of the grain free diet debate. And even though information and recommendations are evolving, for my patient's that experienced healthy visits with me- we were able to discuss and keep clients informed. 4- That exam, though: folks- the importance of the physical exam every 12 months (or 6 months for senior pets) is critical. I have diagnosed abdominal masses, foreign bodies, cancer, arrhythmias, heart murmurs and more on seemingly healthy pets allowing us to begin looking diagnoses and treatment for these pets before they are feeling lousy. Remember, a year that passes for your pet is the equivalent to 7 years in human life. Alot can happen in that timeframe especially for senior pets which is why at our hospital, we recc. seeing our senior pets every 6 months. For the young and healthy, we can see them every 12 months.