Keeping your dog healthy involves not only good nutrition and lifestyle but also proper dog health care with your veterinarian. Sam Meisler DVM, a small animal veterinarian, discusses the preventive health care needed for your dog. Health care in dogs includes periodic vaccinations, parasite prevention and annual physical examinations.
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Health Care in Dogs
This segment covers the basics of canine preventative healthcare. Preventative healthcare is an important aspect of your dog’s life because prevention, early detection and intervention are vital to keeping your dog healthy with a good quality of life.
Vaccinations, usually given on a yearly basis, can protect your dog from a variety of diseases and your veterinarian can help you determine which vaccines are needed and how often they should to be administered.
Fecal checks can detect the presence of intestinal parasites and should be performed 1-2 times a year even if your pet is acting normal and looking healthy. De-worming is also recommended once to twice a year even if the fecal check is negative. Protection against the Canine Roundworm is not only important for your dog but also for you. A study by the CDC found that 14% of the general population has been infected with the canine roundworm, a potential problem for humans. You can prevent heartworm disease and other problems by giving your dog a monthly preventative against heartworms. Your vet can determine which preventative product is best to use.
Yearly blood profiles (twice a year for older dogs) are important to determine if the liver and kidneys are doing what they are suppose to do and to make sure there are no underlying diseases.
Yearly physical exams can uncover certain conditions that may not be obvious to the owner as dogs are very good about masking problems. Dog years make it extremely important to stay current with exams and it is doubly so for older pets who should receive a physical exam at least twice a year, if not more. Ask your vet about available senior programs.
- Sam Meisler DVM
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