Sunday, Dec 2, 2012
Garza County News


Dr. Kerry Wink

Nothing Is Too Small When It Comes To Prevention

Published March 23, 2012 @ 6 a.m.

Last week I discussed horses and the basic care many new owners may be unfamiliar with.  This week I'd like to do the same about our small animals.  We all know the importance of yearly vaccines for our small pets, but there are other areas just as important as vaccines which should be taken care of on a semi-annual to annual basis.

Dentals - Yes, even our cute Fluffy or Benji need their teeth cleaned.  Did you know our pets require the same dental care as us humans?  Getting our pet's teeth cleaned every 6 months (or at least every year) helps prevent tarter, bad breath, gingivitis, heart problems and kidney problems.  Benjamin Franklin is famous for his quote "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".  This could not be more accurate when it comes to dental health for your pets.

Yearly blood work - Once Fluffy, on Benji, becomes geriatric (older than 8 years of age in cats & small dogs and 6 years of age in larger dogs), it's always a good idea to have yearly blood work done.   If we can detect a problem early, we can stop or slow down the normal progression before it gets really bad.  Even our younger pets benefit from yearly blood work.  A yearly heartworm test is suggested for any age dog, especially in our area.  Most blood work can be performed while you wait.

Yearly exams - Although you may not think an exam is necessary each time your pet has his/her vaccines, it is very important!  With just a few questions and a good physical exam, I can find out valuable information about what is going on in your pet’s life.  I have found several mild issues owners were unaware of, or did not think much about.  Other times I've found major problems while doing my yearly exam on a pet that came in solely for vaccinations.  A prime example was about 2 years ago when a cat came in for vaccines.  I was asking the owner a series of questions while palpating the cat’s abdomen.  I felt a large mass in the cranial aspect of the abdomen.   We ended up performing an exploratory surgery and removed one entire shoestring from the stomach.  (Apparently Fluffy liked Reeboks)  The cat is now living a normal healthy life, however would have developed serious if not lethal problems had we not performed an exam and felt the mass.  This is one of MANY the reasons I perform a physical exam with ALL of my yearly shots instead of just giving the vaccines and sending you out the door.

If you have any questions relating to your pets health or yearly care, give us a call up at the clinic, (806) 495-3726.  If you would like to see a particular subject discussed in this article, let us know.  I’ll do my best to educate (and sometimes entertain) you with my articles!  If you have any need for veterinary services or products Garza County Animal Hospital can help.  We will assist in any way to help you provide a healthy, happy, and long life for your pet.

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