Animal Health Week is a national public awareness campaign organized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and promoted by veterinarians across Canada. The 2012 campaign is taking place September 30th to October 6th, and its theme is: Preventative veterinary care… for the health of it! Promoting preventative care is something that our veterinarians work constantly to do, so we felt that the topic was worth revisiting this week.
To start, let’s explore what the term ‘preventative veterinary care’ means. If you were to look through literature dealing with the topic of veterinary medicine through the last century, much of the focus was on the care of farm animals and food safety. Over the last few decades, however, pets have become increasingly important in our society, and veterinary care for our family friends has markedly improved. Veterinarians and the public have realized that owners should not just be visiting the vet when their dog and cat is very ill or for “just the shots, doc”; it is vitally important that dogs and cats have a thorough examination once or twice per year (if senior). Animals of all types are masters at hiding the fact that they are unwell, but a complete physical examination by an experienced pair of hands can help to diagnose problems before that pet becomes very ill.
Along with a good physical examination, the concept of preventative care encompasses many other things. A visit to the vet means that your pet will be weighed and diet and nutrition discussed. We are given the chance to assess oral health and make recommendations here that may make a huge difference to your friend’s well-being long term. Parasites of all types and vaccines can be discussed and addressed based on each particular pet’s lifestyle. Living in Toronto, we routinely recommend stool testing or parasite control strategies against gastrointestinal parasites (“worms” spread by the city wildlife) plus prevention from deadly heartworm disease and tick infections. We also recommend blood testing routinely, especially for senior pets; we think of this as our ‘exam of the inside’ of your pet, allowing us to check whether there are any issues with organ function that need to be addressed.
Eglinton Vet focuses every day on preventative veterinary care. However, Animal Health Week is a good reminder to discuss the issue with our clients and team in greater length. Whether it be a comprehensive physical exam, routine blood testing, dental health recommendations, nutrition counseling, or parasite control, our goal is to try to help you prevent problems for your family friend(s), recognize them if they do occur, and make the best care recommendations possible.
Preventative veterinary care at Eglinton Vet… for the health of our furry, four-legged friends!