Veterinarians are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage diseases in animals. They also help protect the food supply, research animal safety, and control zoonotic disease transmission to humans. Many general health tips can help extend your pet’s lifespan, including a healthy diet and regular exercise. Maintaining your dog’s ideal weight by regularly weighing and assessing their Body Condition Score is another critical factor.
Preventative care is a proactive approach to pet health that promotes wellness, reduces disease risk, and preserves quality of life. It includes annual wellness exams, routine vaccinations, dental care, parasite control, and home care. Yearly wellness exams evaluate a pet’s temperature, skin and coat condition, ear and hearing acuity, and teeth and oral hygiene. They also screen for internal parasites such as fleas, ticks, and worms (i.e., roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and heartworms) and external parasites like mites. Vaccinations prevent the spread of serious diseases such as parvovirus, distemper virus, and rabies. Dental cleanings ensure healthy gums. And routine at-home dental care reduces the bacteria that can enter the bloodstream and cause significant health problems in other organs. The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” certainly applies to pets.
Because pets cannot communicate pain like humans, they must rely on semi-annual exams and blood profiles to catch early symptoms. This allows the veterinarian to detect diseases before they become severe and provides the best chance for effective treatment outcomes. For instance, veterinary services Houston TX, offer many pet care options, ensuring that furry companions receive the best possible treatment. During these routine examinations, our veterinary team will assess your pet from nose to tail, looking for signs of disease that may not be apparent at home. They will also listen to the lungs and heart and palpate (feel) for abnormalities. A routine urinalysis will help determine your pet’s hydration status and detect conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes. These tests and a thorough physical exam can save your pet from disease, prolong their life, and improve their quality of life. This is why it’s so important to schedule your pet’s annual wellness exams.
Many veterinarians complete specialized training to help them deal with emergencies. These can range from the simple (like a pet that has been hit by a car) to the complex (like a cat who has swallowed poison). Even if a cat or dog is not showing any obvious signs of pain, they may still be suffering from internal injuries. Severe trauma from accidents or fights with other pets can be deadly for dogs and cats. If your pet is shaking uncontrollably or losing their back legs, it could be a sign of tick paralysis or spinal injury, which requires immediate medical attention. Any breathing problems or loss of consciousness are severe and require veterinary care immediately.
Pets that are chronically in pain may need different types of care to manage it, like laser therapy, massage, acupuncture, and omega-3 fatty acid and joint supplements. It can also include long-term medications. These medications block the pain receptors in your pet’s brain and body. Unlike humans, your pet cannot vocalize when in pain, so veterinarians must rely on owner observations and other diagnostic tools to determine if they are suffering. A veterinarian trained in pain management (CVPP) can help your pet live a happier and longer life by managing their pain appropriately. Lastly, your veterinarian can provide compassionate euthanasia when the time comes to say goodbye. This is a painless and quick procedure that takes only 10 to 20 seconds.