An important part of long-term pet health care is preventative medicine. Animals are vulnerable to a wide range of illnesses and injury. Many of these can be slowed or eliminated with preventative medicine. You can work with your veterinarian to learn more about the best preventative medicine for your pet.
One of the most fundamental kinds of preventative medicine is vaccinations. These can ward off a wide range of problems like feline leukemia, parasites, rabies, distemper, hepatitis and parovirus, among others. There are some optional vaccines that your veterinarian may recommend depending on where you live, the pet’s age and your lifestyle.
An annual exam is a key part of preventative medicine. Annual exams are not just a time to update vaccinations. A veterinarian can learn a lot about your pet through an annual exam. If your dog or cat has gained a significant amount of weight, the animal should be tested for diabetes. If your pet has diabetes, you can manage it through a weight loss diet and medication. If the animal is slowly gaining weight, your veterinarian may recommend a food change to prevent more weight gain.
There are some issues that affect certain breeds of animals that should be checked on a regular basis. Certain types of animals may develop joint problems or heart issues that can be managed if they are checked regularly. Your veterinarian can also administer screening tests and genetic screening tests so that you can develop a plan for the animal’s long-term health.
Dental health is an often-overlooked part of preventative medicine. Many animals are vulnerable to gum disease which is not only painful for the animal but can affect the pet’s general health. Your veterinarian may recommend daily or weekly brushings and annual professional cleanings.
Dogs need annual heartworm testing and should receive a prescription for heartworm prevention medications. Depending on your location, the doctor may also recommend tick and flea control actions. Older male cats are vulnerable to urinary tract problems which your veterinarian can assess on an annual basis. If these issues aren’t addressed, the animal can experience a great deal of pain. Over the long term, these problems can threaten your pet’s life. That’s why prevention is so important for animals.