Why Prevention is the Best Cure

Veterinary medicine is the best profession, in my opinion. I meet many exciting and interesting pets and people. I can make a difference in pets’ lives. I can provide sound information to people so they can be well-informed about illnesses and medications. In the warmer weather, people and their pets can be exposed to ticks, fleas, worms (intestinal parasites) and mosquitoes – commonly lumped together in the term “parasites.” We take care of ourselves to be safe; why not our pets? Here are a few of the comments that I’ve heard over the years in regards to pets’ health.

1) “My pet has never had fleas or ticks.” That’s good. I have never been in a serious car accident. However I still wear my seatbelt so in case I am in an accident, it may save my life. We have a much higher risk of being exposed to parasites. Who wants welts from mosquitoes, diarrhea from worms or a chronic, debilitating illness like Lyme disease? The parasites that you are exposed to will also affect your pet. If your pet has a preventative, then those parasites will be killed and no longer a risk to you or your pet.

2) “My pet does not like the taste.” My pet does not like anything on its skin. Pets are individuals, just like us. Therefore, just like people, many of them will respond well, and a few want to a particular product. Your veterinary team is here to help you. Please let them know what your pet has experienced, and they can help you find an alternative preventative. Your pet still needs protection. We want your pet to have an enjoyable experience, and benefit from the protection that the preventative provides.

3) “It’s not natural.” You’re right it’s not. Years and years ago we had colder, the more consistent weather did not know as much, and people travelled less. However we now know more, people travel more, and our climate is changing. We need to change it. It’s not natural for people to be on heart medication, daily insulin injections or be on dialysis to live with kidney failure. But we do it because we now have the knowledge and want to live as long and as comfortable as possible. Your veterinary team wants the same for your pet – protection during the season when your pet is most at risk to ensure that you both enjoy a long happy life together with the best health possible.

4) “My pet never goes outdoors.” That’s okay; your pet can stay inside all its life and still become infected. Ticks, fleas and mosquitoes travel. They can comfortably fit through cracks and crevices. Ticks and fleas are good at detecting heat, and we commonly see infestations in the spring and fall as they travel to warmer locations (your home!). Worm eggs are microscopic and can be easily carried indoors from shoes and clothing and contact with other pets.

5) “My pet does not look sick.” Just like people, you do not seem or act sick until your body cannot control/contain an issue. I am sure everyone can think of somebody they know who went in for a regular visit to their Doctor or who had something they thought was nothing and they received some devastating news. We just don’t know. It takes months and years for Lyme disease and heart damage to developing in pets.Worms can be passed onto people, and they can have a severe effect on us too. It will take a lot more time, energy and financial commitment to treatment instead of providing a regular preventative. Unfortunately, it may be a condition that your pet now has for the rest of its life. We don’t want your pet to be sick with an illness that can so easily be prevented. We are passionate about pet health care. We want you and your pet(s) to enjoy a long and healthy life together. Your veterinary team has medication that can help avoid issues in your pet and reduce health hazards to you as well. Contact us; we want you both to be safe and enjoy the warm weather without any worries or concerns!

Written by Dr. Rhonda Boulter