By Jenny Anderson
Special to Today’s News-Herald
Many of the top ten costly pet health issues , and the resulting veterinary treatments, might be prevented with some basic preventative measures. These measures include feeding biologically appropriate nutrition, keeping your pet lean and well-exercised, brushing his teeth, avoiding unnecessary vaccinations, and keeping up with both at-home and veterinary wellness exams.
According to Veterinary Pet Insurance the top ten reasons for veterinary treatments in 2013 were for: skin allergies, ear infections, non-cancerous skin masses, hot spots or skin infections, arthritis, upset stomach, dental disease, intestinal upset, urinary tract disease, and soft tissue trauma.
A species specific and balanced diet that is anti-inflammatory can prevent many illnesses. Dr. Karen Becker, a proponent of veterinary wellness programs, believes the right nutrition can prevent or alleviate diet-related skin allergies and infections (including hot spots), ear infections, gastrointestinal issues, and bladder and urinary tract disease.
Keeping your animal healthy and fit with regular exercise and weight management will ensure better joint health, making it less likely to develop debilitating arthritis and degenerative joint disease. Fitness can help prevent some injuries, too. Also, when an animal is supervised carefully, it is less likely to sustain certain injuries. A responsible pet owner can prevent many of the top injuries, such as lacerations, bite wounds, and torn ligaments.
Brush a pet’s teeth at least several times a week to prevent or control buildup of plaque that leads to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral conditions. Follow through with professional veterinary cleanings as needed. When good oral hygiene is practiced, these professional cleanings aren’t required very often.
A responsible pet person also frequently does at-home overall health examinations, noting any parasites, lumps, coat condition, among other things. This, coupled with a couple veterinary wellness visits each year, can catch most conditions early, when they are most treatable. Your veterinarian can show you what symptoms you might observe.
If you want to save money, it’s often a matter of being proactive with your companion animal and his health. Together you can maintain overall wellness and enjoy many years of good health.
The Western Arizona Humane Society is open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with kennel hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 855-5083 for details. For found or lost pets, call 855-4111. View animals found at www.lhcpd.com.