What is Preventative Care

Jun 28

NW Vet Staff

What is Preventative Care

by NW Vet Staff

What is preventative care?

Preventative care is a well known term that is commonly misunderstood.  In my mind it is a simple concept with powerful implications.

Let’s use this simple question to drive our preventative care choices: 

What can I do to help my pet live longer?

The answer: A LOT!

The choices you make every day at home for your pet are part of preventative care, as well as the choices you make at their vet visits. 

We should be utilizing safe home environment, emotional enrichment, quality nutrition, and safe exercise at home to help our pets live longer. 

There are also many things you should be asking your vet to do as well.  The following list are all things that should be considered important prevention tools that help us keep your pet healthy and happy for a long full life.

Annual or biannual exams: Help us catch problems early on before they can have a negative effect on your pet’s body.  We need to remember that our pets age much faster than we do.  A dog is considered very old at age 14 - I liken that to be similar to a human in their 90’s.  What does that mean for our dogs who are 7?  A 7-year-old dog is like a human in their early 60’s – still young and happy and able to do a lot; but they need to be thinking about planning ahead for senior changes.

Vaccines: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  I personally would rather keep up with my pet’s vaccines which are easy, than take the chance that they could get sick from a life-threatening infection.  Diseases like feline leukemia, leptospirosis, rabies, parvo, distemper, panleukopenia, and canine influenza are all potentially fatal diseases, BUT they can be prevented with vaccines! Hurray!

Blood work: Don’t underestimate the value of doing blood work on your pet.  There are many instances throughout their life time that you should be getting blood work done.  Their first panel is typically done prior to spay or neuter to make sure they are safe for anesthesia.  They should then also have their blood work checked any time they will be needing an anesthetic procedure (such as dental or wound repair) and/or anytime they get sick.  Next you should be trying to plan for the cost of annual blood work for your pet starting around the ages of 5-6 years in preparation for expected changes with senior status.  Regular blood work is the best way to catch illness and systemic changes early so we can manage them and PREVENT your pet from feeling the consequences of those illnesses.

Parasite control: The pacific northwest has a wonderfully mild climate.  Unfortunately, that means many parasites thrive here.  Regular deworming, fecal testing, and flea control is needed to make sure your pet is not experiencing any detrimental effects of subclinical parasite infections either internally or externally.

Elective/Corrective procedures: Not only does this include things like spay/neuter and dental cleanings, but also things like retained deciduous tooth extraction, soft palate resection, cherry eye repair, entropion or macroblephron correction, and vulvaplasty are surgical procedures we can do to PREVENT the side effect of problems created by nature.  Did you know that just simply spaying or neutering your pet earlier rather than later can significantly lower their risk of mammary or prostate cancer later in life?  I would rather PREVENT these problems than try to manage them after they have already occurred.

Diet and Supplemenst:  You are what you eat! And so is your pet! Our food and supplement recommendations should be tailored to your individual pet’s needs.  Choosing the right food and considering supplements, for example for healthy joints, is a powerful but subtle way to help your pet stay active and healthy for many years.  Did you know we have prescription foods for all the following things? Diabetes, kidney and thyroid disease, liver disease, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, skin allergies, etc.

Preventative Care 

What can I do to help my pet live longer?

A LOT!  Ask us how.

Broadway Animal Hospital (425)252-8266 and Northgate Veterinary Clinic (206)363-8421

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