At first sight, all puppies and kittens are infinitely appealing and lovable. When we bring a pet into our homes and hearts, either by adopting or purchasing, we will be making a lifetime, unwavering commitment to give them a permanent, loving home – to keep them safe and to make sure their physical and emotional needs are met.
It goes without saying that the top priority in caring for pets is to keep them healthy. Cats and dogs are quite adept and skilled at hiding their pain or illness (a remarkable survival strategy). In fact, cats and dogs may appear perfectly healthy until their discomfort becomes so unbearable that it becomes obvious to their guardian that something is drastically wrong.
In order to ensure our beloved furry family members stay healthy, annual veterinary check-ups are the most effect ways to quickly detect any underlying problems or serious medical condition. This makes it feasible for the veterinarian to be able to treat these conditions more effectively before they become chronic. This is why it is essential to have your veterinarian perform an annual wellness exam.
Since overweight pets are at a high risk for heart disease (and other serious medical conditions), the annual wellness exam is the optimum opportunity for your veterinarian to monitor any changes in your pet’s weight. Based on these changes, your veterinarian’s recommendations for any necessary dietary management can be more accurately prescribed. Additionally, as your pet enters into his or her “golden age,” having a pet wellness exam performed every six months is highly recommended.
Just the same as it is for humans, yearly dental checkups (especially for older pets) are critical for their overall health. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of the mouth – checking for, and treating, cavities. Oral infections and bad breath can be symptomatic of serious underlying medical conditions which can then be treated to help preserve your pet’s health and well-being. Guardians also will reap the rewards from having their pet enjoy their healthy pearly whites and sweet-smelling breath.
Compared to humans, sadly pets age at a vastly accelerated rate. Almost before we know it, our adorable kittens and energetic puppies will develop into elder pets. In most cases, cats can be considered senior when they are between seven and ten years old. With canines, it’s the size of the dog that determines when the species reaches “seniority.” For example: Great Danes can be considered geriatric at seven but a Chihuahua when it is in its twenties.
As pets age, routine blood work, urinalysis and other necessary diagnostic tests can detect any underlying serious medical conditions. For early detection, FloridaWild highly suggests having a Metabolic Blood Analysis ran. Older pets are at risk for kidney disease, diabetes, thyroid conditions and other medical issues. With early detection and treatment this can add many years of an excellent quality of life for your pet. What’s more, through early detection, the cost of veterinary care is frequently far less expensive than a condition that has become chronic.
The annual pet wellness exam is also an ideal opportunity for the guardian to discuss any puzzling behavioral problem that may have developed. Litter box avoidance in cats and aggressive behavior in both cats and dogs may be symptomatic of a medical problem requiring veterinary attention.
The veterinarians and staff at FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital are not only dedicated to improving the quality of your pet’s life, but also adding years to it. The practice offers a wide variety of Well Care Plans that suits your pet’s life stage, health needs and your budget. Well Care Plans help guardians begin saving on all veterinary diagnostics, treatments and medications. Talk to your veterinary assistant to learn more about these plans and which one would be most ideal for your pet.
Since FloridaWild Veterinary Hospital is celebrating August as Pet Wellness Month they are offering $10.00 off any bloodwork and The Funky Mutt Market is offering a free 1/2 day play-date with any purchase.
Please join in the festivities to celebrate this special occasion as well by making an appointment for your best furry friend and family member to get a thorough pet wellness exam. The expression “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is right on the money. It truly reminds us about how important these annual pet wellness exams are since we want to keep our beloved pets happy and healthy.
By: Jo Singer, (MSW, CSW, LCSW (Ret.)