Don’t be a stranger about your pet’s health. Your pet’s annual or semi-annual visit to Mt. Horeb Animal Hospital is essential to their general wellbeing and their longevity. While you may not think your pet needs to grace our exam table when they look healthy and happy, regular wellness care (i.e., preventive care) can prevent many common pet health conditions and diagnose others in their earliest—most treatable—stages.

Let’s take a look at the advantages that regular wellness screenings provide your pet.

Disease prevention for pets

The best treatment is always prevention. And, with regular veterinary care, your pet will receive every safeguard against preventable diseases. Our approach considers your pet’s total health—not only one or two areas—to ensure a strong defense against any threat. Preventive strategies include:

  • Vaccinations Vaccines strengthen your pet’s immune system against contagious—potentially deadly—pet diseases, including parvovirus in dogs, panleukopenia in cats, and public health threats, such as the rabies virus.
  • Heartworm prevention — Year-round heartworm prevention protects your pet from deadly heartworm disease. 
  • Flea and tick prevention Parasites are more than a nuisance—they can transmit debilitating conditions, such as Lyme disease, tick paralysis, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Year-round prevention can keep biting bugs from harming your pet.
  • Weight management — Maintaining a healthy weight can add years to your pet’s life, and reduce their risk for cancer, orthopedic issues, heart disease, and arthritis. 
  • Home care — Caring for your pet’s health at home with routine tasks such as tooth brushing, ear cleaning, and basic grooming can keep them healthy and happy. Our veterinary team can show you how to perform these tasks.

Early disease detection for pets

As in human medicine, early disease or health condition detection in pets can improve their prognosis, minimize complications, or prevent illness altogether. Routine wellness exams and screening tests help our veterinarians detect subtle changes in your pet’s health before they become big problems. And, because we can compare your pet’s records and previous results, we can identify patterns and trends that otherwise wouldn’t be available.

We can identify early diseases with the following tests: 

  • Heartworm disease testing — Annual testing ensures we can catch heartworm disease in its earliest stages, when the worm burden (i.e., the number of adult worms in the heart and large lung vessels) is low, treatment is safer, and cardiovascular system damage is minimal.
  • Tick-borne disease testing — Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis signs may be subtle or non-existent, making an annual screening test the best chance for early diagnosis.
  • Fecal parasite screening — Your pet’s stool can contain parasitic eggs or other infectious organisms, including giardia, which may not always make pets visibly ill, but can be transmitted to people.
  • Blood work — Annual blood work evaluates your pet’s internal health, and can reveal small changes to critical organs, such as the kidneys and liver, as well as blood abnormalities, such as anemia, and infection. Abnormal results can signal that further investigation, such as X-rays, ultrasound, or additional testing, is necessary.

Less invasive treatment or disease management for pets

When your pet’s regular wellness screenings reveal early health changes, treatment is often simple and successful compared with more advanced or severe disease. 

One common example is dental disease—our Mt. Horeb Animal Hospital team always assesses a pet’s dental health during their annual visit, and may recommend a dental cleaning under anesthesia that will include a thorough exam and a deep cleaning. Pets who do not receive regular exams may present with severe periodontal (i.e., dental) disease and require numerous dental extractions to relieve the pet’s pain, treat infection, and save their health.

Regular wellness care is economical for pet owners

Annual examinations and preventive measures can reduce lifetime veterinary costs for your pet. Services such as vaccinations, screening tests, and examinations are much less expensive—both financially and emotionally—than risky surgery, extensive dental procedures, or chronic pain, injury, or disease treatment.

For example, deadly heartworm disease is preventable for as little as $5 to $15 per month, while treatment is often more than $1,000. Additionally, heartworm disease treatment in dogs is painful, lengthy, and can be dangerous, and no safe treatment is available for cats.

Regular wellness care adds years to your pet’s life

Seemingly small changes in your pet’s health—including inflammation, pain, and extra weight—can negatively impact their quality of life. Chronic irritations can compromise your pet’s comfort, weaken their immune system, and leave them vulnerable to progressive, debilitating diseases—ultimately shortening their life.

Maintaining your pet’s annual care ensures these small changes don’t go unnoticed. And, when our veterinarians identify the changes, they can recommend small corrections (e.g., daily medication, toothbrushing, prescription food, or environmental modifications) that will change the course of your pet’s health—and add years to their life.

With veterinary care, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. If you’ve considered postponing your pet’s regular wellness check-up because they “look healthy,” remember—pets instinctively hide weakness, illness, and pain. Don’t hope for the best about your pet’s health—schedule an appointment at Mt. Horeb Animal Hospital. Your pet will receive optimal care and you will have real peace of mind.