|Valuable Pet Health Information
CONCERNING YOUR PET'S HEALTH
If you're like most of us, your dog or cat is not just a pet, but a member of the family. So here's some important information to help you keep this special family member healthy and happy for as long as possible!
The best quality diet you can afford is important. The better quality the diet, the better use of the diet the pet's body can make. This is not a good area to "skimp" on. Here at Ojai Pet Hospital, we carry a line of very high quality diets and can recommend others, but keep in mind that generally the better the quality, the higher the cost. Cheaper diets that look like they have the same ingredients as a higher quality diet are not as good.
There are many diseases we cannot provide protection against, but there are some we can. Making sure we do protect against them is the least we can do to improve the quality of life of these four footed family members! While there is some controversy about whether or not all pets need every vaccine every year, giving them every year assures as complete a protection as we can provide. Vaccines are like medical insurance, it's better to have before being exposed to a disease.
At Least Yearly Physicals
Our pets cannot tell us when they're not doing well. It isn't usually until they fall obviously ill that we know something is wrong, but often they have been ill some time before we become aware. During the physical examination we will look for tumors, both skin and abdominal, dental disease, skin problems, vision and ear problems, as well as question you about anything you might have noticed different that might clue us in to some problem. Again, early detection can be critical.
Even a thorough physical and history cannot pick up all of the various problems your pet might be having. To enhance early detection of diseases, we recommend laboratory testing at a relatively young age (around 1-2 years old) to establish the normals for that pet. Then at around 5 years of age start at least yearly testing of the blood and urine. When you consider that one year in the life of our four legged family members is equal to about 7 human years, that is quite a bit of time between tests. Again, the intent is to try to pick up early whatever we can to improve our ability to intervene and either correct or slow down the process of health deterioration. Obviously, we cannot stop our pets from dying, but we can greatly enhance their health and extend their lifetime with a little effort.
This is one of the most important types of care we can provide your pet. Dental disease is a killer of pets. The accumulation of tartar causes the gums to be pushed away from the teeth, resulting in loosening of teeth and infections. The infections and toxins associated with the infections can get into the blood and can be carried anywhere. It can damage any organ system, including the heart, liver, kidneys, joints etc. Pets that get timely dental care live, on the average, 20% longer than pets that do not. It is our opinion, that dental disease is just as serious as cancer.
Lumps and bumps can occur at any age and should be evaluated immediately. Although many are benign (not cancers), many are cancers and the longer you wait to have them removed, the less likely we will successfully prevent the spread of the cancer. Much too often clients have waited too long to have a tumor evaluated because they were afraid we would find cancer, when if we had discovered the cancer sooner we could have successfully removed it.
As our pets get older they are prone to develop arthritis. Most get it as Seniors or Geriatrics, but some sooner, especially if Hip Dysplasia is involved. The sooner we intervene, the more we can slow down the progression of the disease and the pain it causes. Numerous products are available to help. Some only treat the pain without slowing down the progression of the disease. Some do both. Please do not wait until your pet is having serious problems with pain before seeking our help. The longer we wait the more permanent damage is done and the longer your pet is needlessly in pain. At first sign of problems walking or getting up (especially after resting awhile), stiffness, excercise intolerance, joint stiffness or swelling, excess licking over a joint or often just a personality change (more grumpy because of pain) pay us a visit so we can help.
They often have special needs and should be examined at least every 6 months. They should have laboratory evaluations at least every 6 months. Getting old is just a stage of life, it is not a disease. Just because a pet is older does not mean that it has to suffer from arthritic pain or other problems. Often the assumption that a pet is doing something "just because it is getting old" misses the fact that a problem exists that needs attention.
The oldest cat on record lived to be 39 and the oldest dog on record lived to be 29. Obviously, we have a lot of room to improve the time these special family members can be with us. Together we can achieve a lot and we at Ojai Pet Hospital are committed to keeping you and your pet(s) together as long as possible. The next step is yours. Ask for our help or advice.
1120 Maricopa Highway
Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: (805) 646-5555
Fax: (805) 646-1004
"Dedicated to seeing that your pet remains an active, healthy member of your family."