Routine examinations check for your pet’s general health and well being, as well as screen for potential life threatening problems. The American Animal Hospital Association adopted a position in June 2008 stating: “For optimum health and wellness, all pets should have a veterinary examination at least annually. For many pets, more frequent visits may be appropriate.” Diagnosing problem areas before they become serious health issues allow for a longer and healthier life for your pet. It is also much less expensive to prevent problems than to treat serious illnesses.
Routine exams include a complete physical evaluation of 12 different systems of your pet’s bodily function to rule out any abnormalities. Also the doctor will discuss any dietary or behavior issues. Sometimes routine lab work may be ordered to rule out any potential problems. Laboratory tests, including blood and urine analysis, allow your pet’s doctor to evaluate internal problems that are not outwardly apparent. Because animals age much faster than humans, disease processes progress much more rapidly. Having labwork done at an early age not only discovers congenital problems, but also gives a baseline of each pet’s individual labwork parameters for comparison against future diagnostics.
Animals age differently than humans so it is safe to say that their bodies change more rapidly as well. Having your pet seen regularly could mean detecting problems before they can progress beyond treatment.
Contrary to popular belief dogs and cats should not have bad breath. Most causes for the bad smell are dental or periodontal disease. Dental care of dogs and cats is one of the most over looked aspects of their health. The American Veterinary dental society reports that 80% of dogs and cats show signs of oral disease by age three. Dental disease can lead to other diseases including heart disease and kidney disorders. Pets cannot tell us when they have a toothache, but may show signs of discomfort such as reluctance to eat, drooling excessively or rubbing their mouths with their paws or on the floor. They may cry when their mouths are touched or have swelling around their faces.
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The most common complaint pet owners have is that they don’t have their beloved friends long enough and that our animal friends leave us too soon. Developments in Veterinary medicine are changing that. Pets are living longer than ever before. As pets live longer we do see an increase of ailments that can affect you pet’s quality of life. There are a variety of conditions and diseases that they can face, including weight and mobility changes; osteoarthritis; kidney, heart, and liver disease; tumors and cancers; hormone disorders such as diabetes and thyroid imbalance; and many others.
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Preventative medicine is the best health care you can offer your pet. Having your pet vaccinated against contagious diseases to prevent illness may be one of the most important things you ever do for your pet. Vaccines help prevent diseases that are difficult and costly to treat. Some preventable diseases are life threatening and can not be treated at all. We encourage you to discuss with your veterinarian what is best for your individual pet, but here are some guidelines:
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Unfortunately pets can’t tell us where it hurts and sometimes a healthy appearing pet may be masking symptoms of a disease or ailment. Your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic testing to identify a problem and to begin treatment as early as possible. These tests are especially helpful when symptoms are unspecific or hard to define.”
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Parasites can be a problem any time of the year and can cause your pet to become very ill. There are several kinds of parasites that can plague us and our four legged companions. Some parasites can be transmitted to humans as well. Routine screening and preventative medications can take some of the bite out of these bugs. Our goal is to assist you in making your pet’s life happy and healthy as possible. By preventing these common pests your pet will get to enjoy a more comfortable existence.
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