The ideal way to avoid health problems is by early detection and prevention -- just like with people -- with twice-yearly physical exams after age seven. And always examine your pet regularly at home for lumps and other abnormalities to try to catch things early. Weigh your pet regularly. Any changes should be reported to your veterinarian.
(Vocus) May 27, 2009
Avoiding common diseases in pets is not only possible but by being proactive, you can save a great deal of money in medical expenses, says leading veterinarian Dr. Arnold Goldman, president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation (http://www.petsafetyct.org) and director of the Connecticut State Animal Response Team.
Dr. Goldman explains, "There are very serious pet health issues that can be completely avoided or minimized with a little common sense and proactive attention by owners. You can save thousands of dollars, and keep your companion healthy and safe."
The top reasons for costly veterinary visits, according to The CVMF, and how to avoid them include:
Motor vehicle trauma:
- Use a six foot leash -- not a flexilead, when outside, especially near roads.
- Do not rely on an electric fence. They may be inoperative when you least expect it.
- Do not rely on your belief that your pet will never leave your yard. It takes just one squirrel to lead to serious injury and needless pain. Trauma care costs may exceed $5000.00
- Keep your dog and cat lean (obesity can cause arthritis, as well as diabetes and other ailments).
- Avoid running with your pet on pavement
- Do not force dogs with "specialized" conformation to perform like a wolf (for example: toy breeds dogs cannot run alongside their owners).
- Use a leash at ALL times.
- Do not allow eating things off the ground,
- Do not vary diet or feed people food.
- Do not allow your dog to make contact with other dogs' stools or where parasites may be present. (This is common at dog parks, many doggy day cares and wherever dogs congregate).
- Practice strict tick and flea control.
- When the dog has a history of skin disease, see your veterinarian early for preventative measures such as antihistamines to avoid more costly interventions later.
- Most often ear disease is linked to allergic disease, so see your veterinarian early for ear discomfort.
- Train puppies that brushing is normal -- start early.
- Brush the teeth and gums. You must train them to accept it. Teach them this is not optional.
- Allow regular professional dental cleanings from age two on.
- 85 percent of dogs and cats have moderate to severe periodontal disease due to not brushing or cleaning. It leads to many other ailments, all of which cost more to treat than prevent.
- Feed two equal meals daily of a measured amount.
- Avoid exercise after eating.
- Be aware of signs of bloat (non-productive vomiting, abdominal distention).
In addition to those common issues, Dr. Goldman says "The ideal way to avoid health problems is by early detection and prevention -- just like with people -- with twice-yearly physical exams after age seven. And always examine your pet regularly at home for lumps and other abnormalities to try to catch things early. Weigh your pet regularly. Any changes should be reported to your veterinarian."
The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Foundation mission is to be a safety net for domestic animals and to enhance their health and welfare while promoting the human-companion animal bond (http://www.petsafetyct.org).