Attention pet owners! It has been observed that the health status of our pets is declining. Over the past ten years there has been a steady increase in obesity, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. The reason for this may be the drop in visits to the veterinarian resulting in undiagnosed changes in your pet’s medical condition.
Since 2001, visits to the veterinarian have dropped 21 percent for dogs, and 30 percent for cats. The average time between visits has gone from 11.4 months to 16.9 months, and pet owners are becoming increasingly more comfortable with the lengthening time between routine visits. It is important to remember that pets age much more rapidly than we do so waiting an extra 6 months would be like you skipping you annual visit for 3 years.
Not everything that goes on with your pet’s health is necessarily something that can be observed with the naked eye. Subtle disease processes can be underway for years before the pet begins to display symptoms, and by then, damage that can reduce your pet’s lifespan, may have already taken place. It is much more cost effective to identify and manage early-stage disease then it is to wait until the pet becomes ill.
“Forty-eight percent of pet owners report that they look for information online before calling the vet.
Your veterinarian is trained to detect many preventable conditions at their earliest stages and to monitor your pet for issues before they become serious. PetMD may be a wonderful resource for information but it is no substitute for medical school and years of experience.
A recent 2014 study determined that 56% of cats and 52% of dogs examined were either overweight or obese leading to obesity-associated pet illnesses like diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. About 10 percent of dogs between the ages of 5 and 8 years are affected by heart disease, most going undiagnosed for too long
The prevalence of arthritis has also increased 38 percent in dogs and 67 percent in cats over the past five years.
Wellness strategies will differ depending on the pet’s age and condition and will change over time as the pet gets older. That is why it is important to have regular examinations and diagnostic tests performed in order to maximize your pet’s lifespan and quality of life
The moral of the story is “don’t procrastinate!” The Scottsdale veterinarians at Horizon Animal Hospital are here when you need them, seven days a week. To schedule an appointment call us at 480-800-4559.
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