Think your pet looks perfectly healthy? There might be a serious disease or condition forming, even before symptoms become obvious.
Annual animal checkups are extremely important and can detect everything from heart conditions to arthritis, but many pet owners don’t head to the veterinary hospital or clinic until they see something that worries them.
“Sometimes animals seem healthy on the outside but things are starting internally,” says Dr. Leah Montgomery, owner and veterinarian at Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospitalin Port Coquitlam. “We find so many things on routine checkups that pet owners wouldn’t notice.”
Here are six reasons why Dr. Montgomery says an annual trip to the veterinarian is well worth the cost:
1. It may be the only vet visit you need. Pets that get regular checkups are often treated on the spot, before a health condition becomes a major problem, and only have to come in once a year. It saves the animal from suffering, and it is less expensive in the long run.
2. Many health conditions are hard to spot.The majority of diseases and conditions that affect animals are difficult for owners to pick up on. Blood work can detect internal issues, and a veterinarian can recognize other problems with a thorough exam.
3. Prevention and early treatment are more successful. Just like humans, animals have a better outcome the sooner a health problem is detected. For instance, routine blood work can detect the beginning stages of kidney failure, and the vet can then recommend supplements or dietary changes to slow the condition and improve your pet’s quality of life.
4. Chronic conditions can be better managed. If a pet has a chronic health condition, the vet can stop it from getting worse. In the case of arthritis, which affects many animals, a veterinarian can recommend affordable treatment options that help minimize pain and discomfort.
5. Better health overall. Animals that have an annual exam have better outcomes when a disease or condition is spotted, but they also have better overall health. Potential problems are spotted in advance and monitored, helping prolong the life of your pet.
6. An important relationship is maintained.Even if your pet is perfectly healthy now, it is important for the veterinarian to have a good relationship with both pet and owner. That way, the pet owner knows who to turn to when their pet’s health declines.