California wildfires and earthquakes are issues that are all too familiar for us in Ventura County. It is a very scary and stressful time when the things we care about are in danger. You may be asking, what does this have to do with taking your dog or cat the vet? Stay with us. In the case of an emergency or potential threat, will there be a more successful outcome if regular maintenance and preventative measures have been performed or if the structures and systems in and around our homes have not had regular maintenance or care checks? This is the basic question we should be asking ourselves when discussing the difference between preventive care and reactive care for our pets.
Preventive medical practices are so important to the possible outcomes we are faced with during the course of our animal’s lives and are a crucial piece of healthcare discussed at wellness visits. Recommendations at your checkups to run diagnostics including fecal testing, urine testing, and blood tests are to ensure that we catch anything unusual early and plan ahead for any impending issues. This not only makes a happier and healthier pet (and pet parent), but in most cases, makes the jobs of the veterinary team to provide the best care significantly easier as well. Some of the most difficult cases we see on a regular basis come from animals that either have not been to the vet or ones we have not seen for several years.
As you can imagine, the answer to my original question is simple. If we have planned ahead and taken steps to minimize effects of a particular condition, management becomes significantly easier in most cases than if we simply wait until our dog or cat is showing signs of being sick. After all, animals are designed to hide illnesses as long as possible (this is particularly true in cats). So next time you hear us talking about the importance of running routine testing and having bi-annual exams, remember that prevention includes being proactive vs. reactive!
Authored by Taylor Smith, DVM