The adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Preventative care includes regularly seeing a doctor for screenings and tests that allow doctors to catch problems early on, when treatment options are more effective and cost less than treatments required later if a problem goes untreated.
Vaccines are one of the most effective preventive health measures available to your pet. Diseases like rabies, distemper, and parvovirus have killed or seriously injured unvaccinated pets and can be transmitted to people.
A vaccine contains a small amount of killed or altered microorganisms that stimulate the immune system without the simultaneous threat of disease. When your pet is later naturally exposed to the same pathogen, his immune system will be ready to recognize and fight it off — or at least reduce the severity of the disease if he gets sick.
Annual wellness exams at the Humane Society of New York animal clinic can also reveal issues that, if left untreated, could lead to costly, possibly life-threatening emergencies. Fortunately, pet insurance can help defray these costs and keep your pet healthy.
Dental care is an essential part of keeping pets healthy. It reduces bad breath (halitosis), promotes oral hygiene, and prevents serious health problems like tooth loss and damage to internal organs. Pet dental disease is common and often goes untreated.
It can cause pain, lead to tooth and bone loss, and even impact internal organs like the heart or kidneys. Dental disease is preventable by regular brushing and cleanings, a diet low in sugary foods, and routine dental checkups.
The use of dental X-rays also helps detect tooth decay and other problems below the gum line that are not visible on physical exams. A quality improvement committee developed and implemented four prevention measures to improve outcomes at a free clinic and helped them obtain Patient-Centered Medical Home certifications.
Routine Blood Tests
Blood work is one of the most important diagnostic tools veterinarians have. It allows them to assess a pet’s internal ecosystem, including kidney function and liver health.
A complete blood count (CBC) tells your vet how many of each type of cell your pet has – red cells that transport oxygen, white cells that fight infection, and platelets that help blood clots stop bleeding. It can also detect early signs of disease such as diabetes or liver disease.
A biochemistry profile is a more in-depth look at your pet’s internal chemistry and can help them detect problems such as low protein or high sugar levels. In addition, a urinalysis can detect early signs of disease, such as kidney or urinary tract infections.
Keeping a pet at a healthy weight can lower the risk of disease and injury, saving money on veterinarian visits and treatment costs. It also gives pets. Veterinarians should try to offer nutritional counseling, as most obese pets need help managing their weight.
Obesity is a common problem that requires a multi-faceted approach to be successful. Fortunately, many resources are available to help veterinarians and technicians facilitate nutrition conversations.
These include various CE courses, weight-track presentations at veterinary conferences, and online resources. Additionally, comprehensive pet insurance can help offset the cost of preventative care.