Thursday, May 29, 2014

Preventive Healthcare for Pets

Health care in the US is a real hot-button topic these days, but one thing is for certain... preventive care saves lives ... human or canine!

IMG_20140502_175642_766I'm proud to say that I have never missed an annual checkup with any of the Lapdogs.  After all, annual checkups are just as essential as food and love!  I find it absurd that a pet parent would even think of skipping one to save a few bucks or because they're too busy.  Preventive health care helps to ensure your pet leads the happiest, healthiest life possible.

If you've been a follower for awhile, you know that we have been dealing with a variety of health issues within the Lapdog pack as they age (still can't believe all four of my babies are now considered seniors... how did that happen?).  And, sure, several of these issues were not preventable, but so many are. 

My big guy is having a rough couple of days with his #megaesophagus Breaks my heart. #dogstagram #instadog #seniordog #ilovemyseniordog #UnderTheWeatherWe first discovered Zeus' elevated liver levels as during his annual checkup in 2012.  If we hadn't have run his blood work back then and found out, who knows what could have happened.  As a result of this simple preventive measure, we discovered his elevated levels early on, which lead to a few different tests to rule out causes such as Cushing's Disease.  After all was said and done, we never got a clear-cut answer as to why his liver levels were elevated, but we did start him on supplements which not only brought the levels done, but have kept them in check for well over 2 years now.

While the majority of my pet parent friends are responsible, loving pet owners who never miss an annual exam (in fact, many actually visit their vets for semi-annual or even quarterly exams due to their pet's age or health issues), there are so many folks out there who think if their pet is acting normal, they don't need to "bother" with an annual vet visit.  I've heard some people say they're saving money or just don't have the time.... REALLY?  And, yes, I do realize that many of those folks do indeed love their pets.  Perhaps they just have not been educated on the benefits of preventive health care for their fur-kids.  I hope that my post will aid in the education efforts... even if I reach just one of those pet parents, it's all worth it.

While annual vet exams are the first and foremost in preventive health care for our pets, there are several other steps you can take to ensure your dog or cat's healthy lifestyle.
  • Vaccinations offer the best protection for many diseases.  
  • Monthly heartworm preventative protects your pet from possibly deadly internal parasites.
  • Proper nutrition and regular exercise will help your pet maintain a healthy weight and conditioned body.
  • Routine grooming gives you a chance to notice anything unusual about your pets' coat - perhaps dry skin, or even ticks. 

Bottom line, if your pet hasn't had an annual check-up for over a year, please call your vet and schedule one today! 


Sue said...

Great post! ! I'm doing a similar one and will link back to yours.

tubby3pug said...

I love this post! I go to the vet every year ofr younger dogs and usually ever 6 months for seniors. We had the exact same liver issue with our Ping and no cause found but diet changes have stabilized her levels. I am cautious about osme tests and always ask why and about effects before more invasive tests, for example we declined to do a liver biopsy on Ping. We knew that if she had liver cancer it was not very responsive to chemo and we knew that she didn't have genetic or poisoning issues. so we knew it was either a senior issue or cancer. We decided to do an ultrasound and check up levels and diet and supplements, thank goodness she is still with us so no cancer.

We do not do a lot of vacines here though, basically only puppy vacs and then every three years after that.

retro over

Do the lap dogs go ounce or twice a year?

Marjie said...

Your babies may be seniors, but they still act like goofs, right? They are great guys/girls. This is a good reminder - and also a good reminder for humans, who, especially the humans of the men variety, often don't go for annual checkups. Happy weekend, Nic; hope the track is good to Matt!

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