The Importance of Annual Veterinary Check-UpsAuthor: Christa OConner
Most individuals who own pets consider them part of their family, and may even refer to them as their "children". There's nothing more important than the maintenance and upkeep of your pet's health and should be a main concern for any responsible pet owner. Besides simply providing the proper food and nutrition, a pet owner must remember to take their pets into a veterinary clinic for their annual checkup.
So why are annual exams so important for pets? Here are some reasons;
Early Detection: Even if a pet appears to be healthy, an annual visit to the veterinary clinic can help detect potential health problems and diseases which can lead to early treatment, prevention, or avoidance of diseases all together. Many pet owners may feel that they do not need to take their pets to the vet if they appear healthy, but the problem is that many diseases are not evident in the early stages (such as heart disease and high blood pressure) and the longer you wait, the worse it will get.
Nutritional Counseling: One of the most important things to the health of your pet is proper nutrition. Proper nutrition will not only optimize your furry or feathered loved one's health, but it's extremely important in the management of health problems and the prevention of diseases. If a pet is over fed or considered obese, a veterinarian will counsel the pet owner on how to properly feed their pet and possibly consider a weight loss program.
Training & Obedience: At the annual checkup a pet owner can find answers for questions regarding their pet's behavior and training issues. Making sure that your pet is well-trained and obedient will not only keep them safe and healthy, but it will make everyone happy all around.
Parasites: Parasites, whether they have taken residence on the inside or outside of your pet can cause serious health issues and even death so early detection, treatment, and prevention is absolutely necessary. Some parasites will cause weight issues, and others will cause heart and lung issues so catching this issue before it causes more problems is essential.
As you can see, having your beloved pet checked on a yearly basis can ensure that they will be around to keep you company for many years to come. Pets cannot explain when and if something is wrong, the only way to tell is to make sure they get annual exams to determine their health status. Every responsible pet owner can appreciate the health of their furry or feathered friends.
Thomas Vet is a veterinary clinic that specializes in animal and pet care. Keep your furry or feathered friends happy and healthy and don't forget their yearly vet exam!
Ways To Make Vet Visits AffordableAuthor: Larry Volwiler
Cutting down on your pet's health expenses without compromising its health is possible, veterinarians say. Pet owners can forgo some procedures and even discard inoculations from their pet's protocol without risking their animal's lives. But the process of choosing which ones to keep, and which ones to drop, depends a lot on the pet's habits. Here are some factors to consider in seeking more affordable care options.
Pet Care by the Numbers
American pet owners spent an estimated $12.2 billion on veterinary bills in 2009, according to the American Pet Products Association. Nevertheless, some veterinarians have seen a severe downturn in income from non-medical procedures and services, such as boarding. To cut expenses, many are cutting their employees' hours. But, unfortunately, most are not cutting their fees.
Tips for Lowering Costs
Cost cutting can begin with evaluating your pet's annual inoculations. Not all inoculations need to be administered yearly, as many vaccines stay in the bloodstream longer than was previously thought.
"People who have been getting vaccines for their pets every year, probably could slide on some of them," says Dr. Bernadine Cruz, a veterinarian at the Laguna Hills Animal Hospital in Laguna Hills, CA.
If there is any doubt how much of last year's inoculation is still potent in the pet's bloodstream, the vet can conduct what's called a titer. Talk to your vet about whether the fee for a specific titer is less than the potential savings from skipping the inoculation.
In evaluating which vaccines to drop and which to keep, a pet's location and lifestyle are also important factors to consider.
"An out-and-about pet needs more vaccines more than a couch-potato kitty or dog who takes it easy," Dr. Cruz said. An indoor cat may simply not require a leukemia vaccine booster. A pooch romping through a deer-tick ridden field in Connecticut needs a vaccine for Lyme Disease; but a city dog strolling a Southern California sidewalk may not.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners issues protocols of what vaccines are needed at each life stage. Though the AAFP "highly recommends" the FeLV vaccination for all kittens, booster inoculation is recommended only in cats considered to be at risk of exposure.
There are just some procedures pet owners can't stint on, however.
"Hard times are not an excuse to skip your pet's annual shots," said Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, ASPCA's Executive Vice President, National Programs and Science Advisor, "but it does make sense to talk to your vet about personalizing your pet's vaccine protocol. Some vaccines are optional, while others are essential in preventing serious diseases."
But skipping on the pet's annual exam altogether is not an option. "It's much more expensive—and risky—to treat illnesses than to protect against them," Zawistowski said.
Evaluating Other Types of Pet Care
Owners can also cut economic corners in other modes of preventative care, such as for periodontal disease. Dental care—vital for keeping bacteria in the gums from leaching into the bloodstream and ultimately into an animal's kidneys, liver, or joints—does not have to be conducted under anesthesia in every case, not even for cats.
Although not all veterinarians conduct dental work on conscious animals, the difference in price could well be worth seeking out a veterinarian with that expertise. Gas anesthesia can cost from $94 to $112 for a 60-pound dog, plus $27 for anesthesia monitoring, according to a 2009 study by EC Veterinary Economics & Wutchiett Tumblin and Associates. Though tooth cleaning can be less effective when not done under anesthesia, this option is preferable to not cleaning the teeth at all.
As with all types of care, because every individual pet is different, be sure to talk your veterinarian about the best protocol that will work for your pet. Courtesy of RadioFence.com, a leading online retailer of Pet Doors and Dog Training Collars.