My dog Sammy and my cats, Boo, Jolly and Smores, are part of my family. Our house would not be a home without them! As a veterinarian for over three decades, I have seen a transition in the profession, from a focus on treating disease to preventing disease. As human medicine and dentistry focuses on things like how to prevent cancer, how to prevent heart disease and how to keep your teeth healthy, it’s the same in veterinary medicine – prevention and early intervention saves lives and helps keep families whole.
What does a preventive care visit entail for your pet? In our clinics, we focus on prevention and early detection of disease. By providing regular check-ups, vaccinations, and other preventive measures, our veterinarians can help to ensure that your pets stay healthy and avoid potential diseases or conditions that can cause serious illness or even death.
One critical element of preventive care is vaccination. Many diseases are rare today, thanks to the amazing technology of vaccines. It is critical to keep your pet up to date as many vaccines have a short duration of protection. Another critical element to prevent disease in your pet is routine parasite prevention. Our pets, both indoor and outdoor, are exposed to parasites every day. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes; other parasites are transmitted by fecal contamination.
Your dog walking in the yard and then cleaning their feet is all that it takes!
There are many safe and effective prescription products to prevent these devastating diseases. Ask your veterinarian what is best for your pet. These products will not only protect dogs and cats but also the two-legged family members in the home, as many of these diseases are transferable to people.
The other, and equally important, part of your routine preventive care visit is the early detection of disease. Most diseases or ailments that affect our pets are much more successfully treated when identified early. Examples include cancer, kidney disease, arthritis, dental issues, and heart disease. Early detection will help lengthen the quality and quantity of your pet’s life, and it will also reduce the costs of treating most diseases. By preventing health problems before they occur, pet owners can avoid the need for more expensive treatments or procedures that may be required if an animal becomes seriously ill.
Our pets cannot verbally tell us when they are feeling “off”. They instinctually hide their symptoms as a survival mechanism. But while this instinct certainly serves them well in the wild, our pets tend to suffer quietly. They need to be examined to determine if everything is OK.
The most critical part of a preventative care exam is the physical examination. The doctor will also include some basic blood and urine testing as some diseases are found much earlier and easier through testing. Having your pet seen twice a year for an exam and having their blood and urine tested once per year will enable the veterinary team to detect and treat any sign of disease early.
In 2018, I founded Cara Veterinary with a belief in shaking up the industry. As pets have moved from the backyard to sleeping in our beds, the focus of veterinary medicine at our Cara clinics has also changed: we are there for you when your pets need urgent care AND we are there to prevent disease and keep them healthy and happy, along with detecting disease earlier than we ever thought was possible. Much like what mammograms have done in human medicine to detect breast cancer early, dramatically improving survival rates. Preventive care visits for your pet can have the same impact.
Cara Veterinary is a family of hospitals in the greater Seattle area. Cara’s newest clinic is Island Animal Hospital, on Mercer Island. We offer a VIP Membership plan that ensures your pet gets the best care possible, providing all your preventive care needs with a convenient monthly payment plan. The VIP membership includes preventive care exams, necessary testing, annual parasite prevention, required vaccines, discounts on food and supplements, and many fun perks like priority appointment availability for members. The plan was designed by the amazing doctors that work at Cara with the objective of keeping your pet a part of your family for as long as possible.
Overall, preventative care is an essential part of responsible pet ownership and can help to ensure the long-term health and well-being of the pets who mean so much to our own health and happiness.
We offer a VIP Membership plan that ensures your pet gets the best care possible, providing all your preventive care needs with a convenient monthly payment plan. The VIP membership includes preventive care exams, necessary testing, annual parasite prevention, required vaccines, discounts on food and supplements, and many fun perks.