The concern when it comes to keeping your pet healthy is that pets don’t always show signs of discomfort or illness. In the animal world, this is seen as a weakness and a threat to their survival. It is vital that pet parents understand this and have a trained professional health care team to assess their pet’s health on a regular basis.
Several leading organizations advocating for pet health (the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the American Animal Hospital Association, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association), all recommend a minimum of one wellness examination per year and more frequently for senior or geriatric cats and dogs, or those warranted by their medical condition.
Prevention can save lives and money too. For example, kidney disease is one of the leading causes of death in cats, and cats in later stages of the disease on average live less than 6 months after diagnosis. However, if diagnosed early, the disease can be managed, giving cats many quality years of life with their owners. Another example is dental disease, left untreated, can lead to infections elsewhere in the body, which means more medical care required and higher costs to treat those health issues.
Another area of concern is the illnesses that can be transmitted to pet owners from their pets. As pet parents share more intimate lives with their beloved pets, these zoonotic diseases are becoming more common. Problems such as internal parasites, flea or tick transmitted diseases can be avoided with routine parasite prevention prescribed by your veterinarian.
The old saying, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is truer now more than ever when it comes to your pet’s health. At Kortright Animal Hospital we will continue to strive not only to improve the treatments available to your pet when they become ill, but also diagnose them earlier, when treatment is more effective.
Signs of Sickness
Most signs start with subtle changes in your pet’s routine behaviour or attitude. Here are some common signs to watch for:
- Decreased energy or activity (sleeping more)
- Changes to appetite or drinking
- Changes in behaviour: hiding, refusing to play or becoming aggressive
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or straining to urinate or defecate
- Poor coat quality, patchy hair loss or excessive itching
- Weight loss
- Foul odour from mouth, skin or ears
- Abnormal whining or crying
Many times your pet will compensate and may not show these signs until they been ill for weeks, months or longer. Routine examination and testing help find underlying illness many times before it gets severe. Ask our veterinary medical team what your pet requires for their healthcare needs based on their age, lifestyle and breed.