Preventing diseases and problems in pets should be a common goal among veterinarians and pet owners. However, sometimes that is a very difficult task. In general, pets, unlike people, do not complain about their problems. They have a higher pain tolerance than humans and genetically are programmed to mask signs of illnesses. Sadly, far too often, diseases are not recognized until they are very advanced.
Teaching pet parents about preventative measures that can be taken to avoid common diseases is one way we advocate good healthcare. It is always better for your pet’s health and more cost effective for you to prevent complications from progressive disorders, heartworms, other parasites, and infectious diseases. This can be achieved through regular examinations, preventive treatment programs for heartworms, ticks and fleas, as well as vaccinations. Most pet owners agree that vaccinations against contagious diseases are an important part of preventative medicine. Vaccinations tailored to each individual pet is a very important step, however, this is only one small part of ensuring the health of our companions.
Dr. Ritchie has put together a list of the most important components of Preventative Medicine:
Physical Exam - Regular physical exams every six months, help us establish an overall health profile of your pet and are useful for tracking trends and being aware of potential health problems before they become difficult and costly to treat. Regular check-ups can detect disease in the early stages, improving your pet’s ability to fight back.
Senior testing (blood and urine) annually on pets over the age of 7-8 years.
Regular COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) with at home daily dental care.
Diet - a well balanced diet that meets your pet's nutritional needs (ie- large breed dogs, senior diets, dental diets, urinary etc).
Monitoring your pets closely - remember age is not a disease! monitor water intake, appetite, watch for stiffness, difficulty with steps; any change in your pet's normal routine should be monitored closely and examined.
Preventative medications - heartworm and flea prevention, joint supplements, approved dental chews.
Regular heartworm and intestinal parasite exams - no medication is 100% effective all of the time.
Our goal is for all of our patients to live as many happy, healthy, pain and disease free years as possible. Preventative medicine is what makes this possible. Perkins Road Veterinary Hospital serves pet owners in Baton Rouge, Prairieville, New Roads, Denham Springs, and other nearby communities.