Most often pet owners only take their cat or dog to the animal hospital when they in need of vaccination or are sick. It is important to remember that, like humans, pets need preventative care as well. Regular checkups are imperative in keeping pets healthy.  Additionally, early detection and treatment of disease mean the difference between comfort and pain for our furry friends.
 Make sure to schedule an annual exam for your dog or cat with your veterinarian even if they appear to be the epitome of health. Veterinarians monitor weight to make sure pets are not over or underweight — it is vital to check this annually.  Checking your pet’s teeth is another crucial part of a yearly appointment to prevent dental disease. Additionally, at the yearly appointments, you will have established a rapport with your veterinarian and they can tailor their advice based on how your pet is aging, their habits, etc.
 Every dog and cat should have annual tests or labs for heartworm and internal parasites. Parasite infections can cause vomiting and diarrhea and be transmitted to humans. Senior pets require a more senior exam where your veterinarian may recommend monitoring organ function and overall health with blood and urine testing, blood pressure monitoring, radiographs (X-rays), and ultrasound.
 Even if your pet lives only inside (cat), every pet should receive year-round parasite control to prevent heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks. Depending on your pet’s lab results, your veterinarian will prescribe the best meds for your pet.  On top of that, a regular rabies vaccine is required and every 1-3 years depending on that state’s regulations, your vet will make sure you are compliant.
If you would like more information on the different types of preventive care and early detection testing available for your canine, please do not hesitate to contact the Cumberland Animal Hospital. Preventive Care – It’s your job to keep your dog healthy and safe.  Cumberland Animal Hospital’s veterinarians in Fayetteville, NC are always available to assist you. Please call 910-822-3337 to schedule an appointment and boarding.