Preventative care is very important for the health of your pet – it is far easier to prevent illnesses than to treat them and can help to extend the life of your pet.
There are several parts to ensure good health; vaccinations are the first of these.
As puppies or kittens our pets get two vaccines to ensure immunity develops, they then require a booster yearly to maintain this immunity. Sometimes we let vaccines lapse, but the only way to be sure that your pet is fully protected is to get them vaccinated every year.
As pets get older, they need these boosters even more as their immune systems stop working as well – which is why older people are given the flu vaccine. If you have any concerns about the individual needs of your pet, please pop in to discuss these with us.
During the health check that accompanies the yearly booster vaccine, your pet will receive a full examination by the vet. This can help to pick up conditions that you may not have noticed at home and help treatment to start sooner. The most common condition that we find at annual check-ups is dental disease – it is estimated that by the age of three, 70% of our pets will have some degree of dental disease. The sooner we catch it, the sooner we can perform a scale and polish (in exactly the same way as at our own dentist, but with some anaesthetic to hold them still!) and extract any problem teeth to help your pet to hang on to fresh breath for as long as possible. Left untreated, dental disease can lead to other health problems, including liver and heart disease, so the sooner we catch it, the better the long-term health of your pet.
Parasites are another problem that is easier to prevent than treat; we recommend treating monthly with a product that prevents fleas and lungworm and every six months with a tapewormer. We recommend Advocate and Drontal for these tasks as they are only available on prescription and are therefore much stronger than anything available over the counter from other shops.
Lungworm is a particular dangerous problem, it’s a worm that lives in the lungs of dogs and is spread by slugs and snails – even licking the snail trail is enough to swallow the worm larvae! Once the worms are in the lungs they can cause a cough, internal bleeding or sudden death with no prior symptoms. There is no product available without coming to the vets that will prevent lungworm.
Advocate also prevents roundworms and hookworms, which can be spread from dogs to children and are therefore very important to prevent.
That’s why we created smartpet… your comprehensive preventative healthcare membership programme. Unlike insurance, smartpet is an active, service-led treatment routine, keeping a regular eye on your pet’s health and preventing potential problems before they have a chance to happen (or get worse). Join today for one affordable monthly payment starting from £15 per month.