Why Every Pet Owner Should Invest in Preventative Medicine

Avian, By Species, By Topic, Care & Wellness, Cats, Dogs, Exotic

Every pet owner dreads the day their beloved animal might come down with some serious illness. However, it doesn’t have to be a surprise. Despite its seeming obviousness, many people still do not realize the full benefits of regular preventative medicine.

Perhaps the most common type of preventative medicine is vaccination. Medical science is unambiguous about the benefits of preventing diseases before they happen. However, the strange side effect is that, by diminishing the overall occurrence of disease, vaccines have led many people to not take these diseases seriously—Ironically, they question the necessity of vaccines. One of the main reasons we do not see certain diseases very frequently is because we vaccinate our pets regularly. Take, for example, rabies. Rabies infects pet dogs so rarely that most people only know about them because of pop culture, like Old Yeller. However, rabies is quite common in Virginia—foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and other wild mammals all carry it. The only reason rabies feels so rare is because vaccines are so effective. The same holds true for the other diseases we vaccinate against like Leptospirosis and Lyme disease. Both of these diseases can have a devastating effect on the health of our pets but also can be largely prevented via vaccination.

Heartworm is another example of a deadly disease that is preventable but extremely difficult to treat when diagnosed. As with the diseases prevented by vaccines, waiting to diagnose or trying to treat a pet with heartworm disease can be both expensive and stressful. Other intestinal worms and parasites, while not always deadly, can cause illness in our pets and can sometimes be easily transferred to children and other people. Preventing the spread of these parasites to humans is a major reason to use prevention and stay current on diagnostic testing before pets show signs of the worms.

Even with some age-related diseases, which ultimately may not be avoidable, the prevention of the onset of those conditions or addressing these conditions early on, can add years of comfortable living for your pet. Also, since most age-related conditions can be chronic, the earlier in the process they are detected, the less intense many of the therapies can be. Prevention comes in the form of regular health visits and certain diagnostic blood work for our pets older than 7 years of age.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you about the importance of routine preventative medical care, consider the cost of the alternative. Rabies is fatal and incurable. Pets infected with Lyme incur medical bills that eclipse the price of a lifetime of vaccines. And if you’ve ever had to deal with a worm-infested litterbox, then you surely prefer the minor inconvenience of preventative care.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic has preventative care programs for all sorts of pets. Call us at 540-943-7577 to schedule your pet.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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