Previously we have discussed veterinarians as leaders in prevention of disease and suffering.
If you, or your pets, have high blood pressure the potential for blindness and kidney damage apply to all species and heart attack and stroke for people. Several common conditions in pets can result in excessively high blood pressure including hyperthyroidism in cats and kidney disease in both dogs and cats.
Obesity is an epidemic in people and is extremely common in pets. Being overweight predisposes people and pets to worsening blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, joint damage and diabetes, among other conditions. When your veterinarian is committed to preventive care he will feel obligated to suggest ways to fix the unhealthy condition.
Veterinarians excel at preventive care. We have been on the forefront of maintaining strong immune systems through vaccines for decades. Our record of regularly testing for intestinal parasites and heartworms is excellent, and recent years have shown veterinarians in the vanguard of wellness testing.
Laboratory testing pets for wellness is a proactive, preemptive method of catching problems early. If your pet has reached a “certain age” or has DNA of a breed with predisposition for serious illness, testing may catch those problems before they have a chance to grow out of control.
Baseline testing will typically include what is called a “minimum database,” consisting of Complete Blood Count, Chemistry Profile and Urinalysis.
Cats over seven years of age will usually have a thyroid level included. Patients at risk for certain other problems might have a chest X-ray, ECG (electrocardiogram) or other special test added to the workup.
Today’s pet owner considers his pet to be a family member. That’s why our practice motto is “The Family Practice For Family Pets.” Veterinarians and pet parents alike want their dogs and cats to live as long as they possibly can. Waiting until an illness or abnormality appears is not the way to achieve longevity.
Preventive care is.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.