Archive for the ‘ProActive Pets’ Category

How can regular check-ups benefit my pet?

Regular check-ups for animals might not seem so important if they appear healthy, after all, we don’t usually go to the doctors’ just for a check-up!  So why is that different in our pets? Hopefully, this blog should highlight how they can benefit your pet whatever stage of life they are at.

Firstly, what is a check-up?

It’s a chance to discuss any changes or concerns you may have about your pet. This involves a full nose to tail exam – including checking teeth, weight, body condition (another way of assessing if your pet is an ideal weight), heart, lungs and abdomen. This full check over allows us to pick up any problems like heart murmurs or dental disease early and discuss what we can do to monitor or combat them.

The majority of owners would agree that their pet gets nervous at the vets. In fact, one of the most common things said in a veterinary surgery is “my pet doesn’t like it here”. By regularly attending the vets when there are no needles and plenty of treats, you can slowly teach your pet that being with us isn’t always bad by creating positive experiences. If they become less anxious about seeing the vet, it will be less stressful for everyone involved if they do get sick and have to come in.

With regular check-ups, any problems like arthritis and diabetes can be picked up at an earlier stage. Our pets cannot always tell us when something is wrong and will only begin to show signs when the problem gets worse. If we pick up these hidden issues at an earlier stage, we may be more able to treat it, giving your pet a better and longer life. You may have noticed small changes in your pet’s behaviour and a check-up is a great opportunity to ask if these are normal and get them investigated further if not.

Use us for advice!

Not everything you read on the internet can be believed and this can lead to confusion as there is so much conflicting information. When you bring your pet in, we are more than happy to explain both sides of competing theories and why some may not be as helpful as they look. We can give advice about anything from feeding to neutering, common toxins or a recent article you read. We can debunk any myths and give you sound advice so you can give your pet the best care possible. That is what we are here for so, if you have a question, this is the perfect moment!

Monitor that waistline!

Weight can be gained so easily and can slowly creep on over time, so it can be difficult to notice. Whenever you visit us, the weight of your pet will be recorded and we can let you know how they are doing. The sooner it is recognised if your pet becomes overweight, the easier it is to correct.  Being the ideal weight is important to stay happy and healthy, especially as pets come into their senior years when arthritis starts to become a problem.

Preventative care is at the centre of what we do, we want happy and healthy pets. By bringing your pet in for vaccinations annually you have already got a semi-regular check-up as well as protecting your pet against serious and fatal diseases.

Just bringing your dog in to weigh them for flea and worming treatment is an easy way to keep an eye on your pet’s weight as well as reducing stress by creating positive memories. Even by signing up to ProActive Pets, you can take care of all your pet’s preventative healthcare, get discounts on vet consultations, and have two nurse assessment checks per year, along with a whole host of other benefits – because we think this is so important.

Want to know more? Pop in and ask us!

Affordable preventative healthcare for your pet with ProActive Pets

This month, we’ve been looking at some of the parasites that can infest, bother and distress our pets. But that’s only part of Preventative Healthcare for animals, so in this blog we’re hoping to draw all the threads together and give you some idea of what the ideal preventative health plan for your pet would look like!

So what is Preventative Healthcare?

We can divide all health interventions into two categories – responsive healthcare, also known as treatment or fire brigade (!) work, kicks in when a problem occurs – a disease, illness or injury that needs to be treated.
Preventative healthcare, on the other hand, works to reduce the chances of the illness or disease occurring in the first place. In general, preventative healthcare is much more cost effective – because as always, prevention is better than cure.

What does it include?

There are 4 key aspects to preventative healthcare:

1) Maintain good health to PREVENT illness and disease
This encompasses things like providing a good, balanced diet, making sure your pet is a healthy weight, and keeping them fit and active. It could also include training, love and attention, to maintain good mental health and reduce the risk of behavioural problems. A healthy pet is more likely to be able to fight off illness, and has more reserves to help them cope with injury or disease, should they occur.
We could also include interventions like neutering here – for many dogs, cats and rabbits, neutering can prevent a wide range of diseases from developing. For example, a tomcat cannot develop testicular cancer if he hasn’t got testicles, and a bitch cannot develop a pyometra if her uterus has been removed.

2) PREVENT parasites
Unfortunately, good diet and a clean coat will not prevent parasitic infestations from developing. We recommend the use of antiparasitic medications to prevent the development of clinically significant infestations of fleas, mites, worms and other unpleasant visitors. These work by killing the parasites before they have a chance to damage your pet’s health, preventing the disease by killing the parasite. In some cases, they also act to prevent the parasites developing to the stage that can cause disease – for example, lungworm treatment and some flea environmental treatments will kill the immature parasites, before they develop to the disease-causing part of their life-cycle.

3) PREVENT infectious disease
While a healthy animal is more likely to survive infection with potentially lethal viruses or bacteria, initial good health does little to prevent infection in the first place. However, vaccination protocols can “prime” the immune system to seek and destroy the invading microbes before they can get a foothold in your pet’s system. Vaccination is one of the most important interventions in keeping your pet healthy, and we strongly recommend it for all our patients.

4) Early detection of disease to PREVENT it from getting worse
Of course, there are many, many other diseases that develop insidiously and subtly – like thyroid disorders, or heart disease, or kidney problems. Often owners don’t notice the initial, subtle, signs until the disease is quite advanced. Unfortunately, the more advanced and severe the disease, the harder it is to treat or manage.

However, our vets and nurses are highly trained and qualified in spotting these early signs, so regular check ups (we usually recommend every 6 months or so) can help to pick up the earliest stages of these conditions, often while they are still treatable, allowing us to get on top of them before they are more severe.

How can it be made more affordable?

While there is some outlay – flea and worm medications and vaccines all cost money, as do good quality food, and checkups with highly trained professionals – prevention will almost always save you more money than waiting and then having to treat!
We really believe in preventative healthcare, so we’ve set up the ProActive Pets scheme. Essentially, it’s a package covering all the key points we talked about above (except the exercise, play and training bit – that’s your job!). It includes all parasite prevention and vaccinations, regular check ups, as well as money off food, neutering, and a wide range of other services!

Do you want to know more?

Then check out the ProActive Pets page on our website – or just give us a ring and our staff can help you find the best plan for your pet, to keep them in tip-top condition all year round!