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Posted on 11-12-2015

Preventative care is better than reactive care when it comes to pet wellness. With more and more vaccine clinics popping up, pet healthcare is actually declining. You may, or may not save a few dollars by going to a vaccine clinic but you are missing the most important part of your pet's annual visit - the exam. Regular visits to your veterinarian are an essential part of keeping your pet healthy. Preventative care allows for early detection of problems and often saves money on overall veterinary costs. This blog will present some of the topics your veterinarian may discuss with you.

Spay and neuter - Not only does this help reduce overpopulation, it can also prevent medical problems such as mammary tumors, uterine infections, testicular tumors, and perianal fistulas.

Nutrition counseling - Your veterinarian keeps track of your pet's weight loss or gain. Obesity has become an epidemic. Fifty-three percent of dogs and fifty-five percent of cats are overweight or obese. This predisposes them to diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Being overweight can also increase your pet's surgical anesthetic risk and decrease the overall quality and length of life. On the other hand, a sudden unexplained weight loss can be an early indicator that something is wrong. Routine visits give us a good baseline of your pet's normal weight.

Parasite prevention - Common internal and external parasites include heartworms, fleas, ticks, lice, giardia, and intestinal worms. During a physical exam, stool analysis, and heartworm tests these parasites may be found. Heartworm disease is very expensive to treat and there is no guarantee the treatment will be available or that your dog will be able to survive the treatment. There is no treatment for feline heartworm only prevention. Fleas can cause sever skin irritation and anemia. Ticks can spread disease to humans and pets. Internal parasites can cause severe gastrointestinal distress and some can be passed to humans. Your veterinarian can prescribe medications that can prevent all of these things.

Dental care - Preventative teeth cleanings performed when tartar is mild to moderate is the key to preventing periodontal disease. If a teeth cleaning is delayed until periodontal disease is present then oral surgery may be required, teeth can be lost, and the monetary cost can be high. Our pets are living longer and keeping their teeth healthy is vital. Preventatives such as daily brushing, dental powders (Vetri Science Perio Support Powder), or chews such as Dentahex or Ora Vet Dental Hygiene chews can extend the amount of time between professional teeth cleanings. Remember that we brush and floss daily and still have to go to the dentist every 6 to 12 months. Imagine not brushing your teeth for seven years or more. During your pet's annual exam we can advise you what steps to take to make sure your pet's mouth stays healthy.

Senior care - Fluffy and Spike are now over 7 years of age, which puts them in the senior category. Pets in this category should see their veterinarian more often. Common issues seniors can have include liver or kidney disease, diabetes, tumors, arthritis, thyroid conditions, and cognitive problems. In our un-nuetered/spayed seniors - prostate disease, testicular tumors, and uterine infections.

Pets should visit their veterinarian at least once a year. Annual exams are a great opportunity to check the overall well being of your pet and allow you to make necessary changes in your pet's daily routine and care. Your veterinarian can also taylor an individualized vaccine program for your pet. Not every pet needs the same vaccines depending on its lifestyle. Are you picking the right package at the vaccine clinic? Are you over/under vaccinating your pet?

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I am moved beyond words for the staff at Lancaster Animal Clinic! They have gone above and beyond helping me with the feral cats I inherited when my father in law passed away. I'm amazed at the extend of care they provide. They genuinely have a passion and love for what they do and the animals that come into their care. I am forever grateful for them. They have totally won me over!

Melissa F.
Lancaster, OH

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