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Cnr Rivonia Road & Outspan Drive, Morningside Shopping Centre, Johannesburg
Tel: 011 784 7418

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Pets are not immune to illness and as their owners, it is our job to take the best possible care of them.

Over the last few weeks, I have realized that as pet owners we are not always sure how vet visits work. For instance, when do you take your pet to the vet? How often do you take your pet to the vet and why?

 

In the old days, a dog’s ancestors lived and hunted in packs, therefore, depending on each other for survival.  If one member of the pack became sick or injured, it negatively affected the rest of the pack, possibly by slowing things down or attracting predators.  Sadly, it wasn’t unusual for these sick and injured members to be left behind or even killed.  So, for that reason alone, it is a common instinct for a dog and cat to hide weakness.

 

Our pets can be masters of disguise; they can hide an illness until it is too late for you or your vet to do anything about it. Although our pet may eat the healthiest of meals, lie in a bed fit for a king and live the life of an “animal star”, it does not necessarily mean they are immune to sickness or disease. However, the family vet will always care and treat your pet to the best of their ability by treating them during a time of illness or by just ensuring they are healthy.

 

Our pets provide us with so much unconditional love, lots of entertainment and companionship. So often we read articles where they highlight how a pet can prolong their humans’ life as they help reduce our stress. For this reason alone, it should be our commitment to them to return the favour by taking care of them and making sure they are happy and healthy. Vet visits can be traumatizing for our pets, so we need to make the experience as stress-free and comfortable for them as possible so that they get familiar with those trips.  A new puppy or kitten will visit the vet quite often during their first year, thereafter once a year for their annual inoculations that include a checkup by the vet.

 

The purpose of these checks is to ensure that there are no new developing problems and that your pet is thriving. Inoculations are provided to help prevent certain illnesses and diseases. Always remember that even if your dog does not socialize much by interacting with other pets they can still catch a disease or infection that is airborne.

 

As pet parents, we can and must check our pets too. We won’t be checking for major illness, but we can still look out for symptoms that suggest our fur babies might be poorly and need to be checked over by your vet.  Listed below are a few things you must look out for especially if they are out of character.

  • Aggression

  • Picky eating

  • Excessive drinking

  • Panting

  • Coughing

  • Lethargy

 

These observations do not necessarily mean anything is wrong, but they will require you to get them checked over by your vet just to ensure there are no underlying problems.  We need to mindful of their character too, so, if your pet is known to be fussy then “picky eating” is not “out of character” but if they start eating less and become lethargic, then that behaviour will be “out of character”.

 

Your vet needs to be your pets’ friend and we all need to feel comfortable leaving the balance of our pets lives in their hands, so make sure you choose the right vet for your fur baby or ask for recommendations, read some reviews, just make sure you are happy with them before making them your pets forever once a year visit.

 

These are the most common conditions we take our pet to the vet for.  It is very important to get an early diagnosis, medical treatment and ongoing maintenance care if that is what is required. 

 

Common DOG Conditions Vets Treat:                                           

  • Skin allergies

  • Ear infection

  • Skin infection

  • Arthritis

  • Upset stomach

  • Intestinal upset

  • Dental disease

  • Bladder or urinary tract disease

  • Diabetes

 

Common CAT Conditions Vets Treat:     

  • Bladder or urinary tract disease

  • Dental disease

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Excessive thyroid hormones

  • Upset stomach

  • Diabetes

  • Skin allergies

 

It is very important too, to make sure our pets get a good, healthy, well-balanced diet.  Although we cannot predict their future from a wellness point of view, it will help us maintain a good balance by reducing the chances of certain illnesses. Just as humans inherit family illnesses, so do our pets. We can help ourselves, but they need us to look after them.

 

 

Although it is expensive and stressful visiting the vet, think about a vet visit this way!  By keeping up and maintaining your yearly vet visits, you are looking after your pet by making sure they are happy and healthy.  If they do pick something up, it can be treated there and then.  Early detection is key!  It will help you avoid those costly unexpected expenses you could incur should an undiagnosed condition be left for too long. Any serious illness that hits us unexpectedly, is traumatic and stressful for us all.

 

The joy we get from a happy and healthy pet is something we all want, so let’s keep up those vet visits with our fur babies!!!