The importance of preventative healthcare for pets

By Vet Graham Lewis

Are you doing everything you can to prevent your pet from becoming ill?

Animals - just like humans - can live longer and happier lives if we are able to prevent illnesses from occurring in the first place. Prevention is not only easier than treatment, very often it is considerably cheaper too.

There are a number of tried and tested steps we can take to keep our pets free from common diseases and conditions. 

One of the most crucial is vaccination. For dogs the core vaccinations are against distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus and leptospirosis. For cats, this includes feline calicivirus, feline herpes virus, feline panleucopenia virus and feline leukaemia virus vaccination.  These infections can be nasty and sadly sometimes fatal. 

To keep immunity levels effective, pets need an annual booster, and this is an ideal time for a check-up. 

Your vet will carry out a full examination and we often pick up on conditions which the owner may not have noticed at home, allowing us to start treatment sooner.

One of the issues we commonly find is dental disease. Around 60 to 80 per cent of dogs and cats have signs of dental disease by the age of three. We can help you to implement a regime to manage dental health. Ignoring dental disease can lead to problems including liver and heart disease. 

Regular treatments to control parasites are important for your pet’s health – and your own. Intestinal worms cause illness in pets and some types of worms can spread from pets to humans and cause disease. Left untreated fleas can multiply quickly and make pets ill. Fleas may also bite humans and can carry diseases. 

Ticks spread diseases such as Lyme disease, and harvest mites can also cause skin infections. Regular anti-parasitic treatments are simple to use and effective in controlling all these issues.

Keeping your pet at a healthy weight is more important than many realise, as excessive weight is associated with serious conditions including heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis. 

We also recommend neutering for most pets and one reason is that it prevents certain cancers, and infection of the uterus in bitches which can be fatal. 

We have just launched a Lifetime Care Club. Members can spread the cost of care and enjoy discounts including on vaccinations, anti-parasite treatments, neutering, blood and urine tests and pet food as well as unlimited free telephone consultations. To find out more click here.