Now that the calendar has flipped to 2017, we at Glencoe Veterinary Clinic encourage you to commit to your pet’s wellness this year. Like many pet owners, you might assume your pet is fine if you don’t see any signs of illness. However, true animal wellness is more than the absence of pain or disease. To ensure your pet’s health, happiness, and longevity, commit to the following:
- Make sure that your dog, cat, or other type of pet gets the required vaccines for her species on time. Vaccinations prevent your pet from developing a serious or life-threatening illnesses. They also protect more vulnerable animals from picking up what would otherwise be a highly contagious virus. Optional vaccines are also available depending on your pet’s lifestyle, age, and species.
- Schedule an appointment for adult dogs and cats once a year and senior pets twice a year. Adults are between one and seven years old. Although your pet isn’t necessarily a senior by age seven, this is the average age that we start seeing age-related health and behavioral changes.
- Puppies and kittens need to come in several times during the first year for their vaccines and a health check. The preventive care exam allows us to detect and monitor your pet’s health issues as soon as possible. It also gives you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have.
- Don’t overlook the importance of good oral hygiene. Not only does it prevent gum disease and other problems leading to tooth loss, it reduces the risks of diabetes and heart, kidney, and joint dysfunction. If you’re consistent with your routine and expectations, your pet should eventually accept having his teeth brushed.
- When you consider that millions of pets are euthanized annually because they can’t find a home, spaying or neutering your pet is just the right thing to do. Altering your dog or cat also stops aggressive mating behavior and reduces the risk of mammary gland or testicular cancer.
- Prepare an emergency kit for your pet in case of severe weather, fire, or another type of emergency. It’s better to gather her supplies and food in advance than panic in a sudden emergency and leave everything behind. The kit should contain several days’ worth of food and water, medications, toys, and bedding.
- Managing your pet’s weight is essential to her long-term health and longevity. That means feeding him nutritious food, limiting treats, and making sure that he gets enough exercise. Avoid pet foods with artificial fillers since these don’t provide any nutritional value.
- Protecting your pet from parasites has a huge effect on his quality of life. This includes both internal and external parasites such as fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Our veterinarians would be happy to recommend a specific product to control each type of parasite.
It takes time and effort to commit to these things, but it allows your pet to enjoy complete wellness. You also get to enjoy the gift of her companionship for years to come.
Your pet is a part of your family and you naturally want to include her in the holiday festivities, including giving her a new toy as a gift. At Glencoe Veterinary Clinic, we urge you to consider the following factors when choosing a present for your pet:
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats, particularly when the animal is over age 10. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 50 percent of senior dogs and 33 percent of senior cats die of some type of cancer. No matter what the age of the pet, a cancer diagnosis often comes as a complete shock to his owner. That is because dogs and cats are good at hiding their symptoms and don't have the ability to verbalize that something is wrong.
As a concerned pet owner, it's up to you to know the signs of cancer so you can seek immediate treatment if your pet displays any of them. While having some of these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean your pet has a tumor, it's always best to have them checked out at Glencoe Veterinary Clinic.
• Abnormal swelling on any part of the body
• Labored breathing
• Difficulty eliminating as usual
• Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
• Inability to chew or swallow food
• Unusual body odors
• Non-healing sores
• Bleeding from any bodily opening
• Walking with a stiff gait
• Not as active as usual and tires easily
While dogs get cancer more often, the disease tends to be more aggressive in cats. Early diagnosis and treatment affords your pet the best chance at sending the cancer into remission.
The Top Five Locations for Cancer in Pets
Skin, mammary gland, head and neck, lymphoma, and testicular cancer are the top five types diagnosed in dogs and cats. With mammary gland cancer, 85 percent of tumors are diagnosed as malignant. However, getting your pet spayed before age one greatly reduces the chances of her developing it. The same is true of testicular cancer, which is common in dogs but rare in cats.
Preventive Care Catches Tumors Early
Your pet doesn't always display symptoms when she has developed cancer. This is one reason that regular veterinary check-ups are so important. We encourage you to visit Glencoe Veterinary Clinic at least once per year for a wellness exam in addition to scheduling an immediate appointment if you notice any of the above symptoms.