Dr. Al Townshend
Veterinarians today are extremely dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of animals and humans. The role of a veterinarian is varied and includes public health, human and animal research, teaching, animal welfare, careers in industry, the military, and the general care and welfare of all animals.
When it comes to the care of all animals, many Guardians believe that includes just vaccinations, deworming, neutering, and the diagnosis and treatment of disease. While those criteria are essential, the veterinarian’s obligation goes well beyond that limited role.
Keeping Guardians informed about the best practices for the care of their animals is a key responsibility in the practice of veterinary medicine. The fundamental factors in the best care of pets are preventative measures. The term “Prevention is the best medicine” has been around for centuries and is as relevant today as it has been throughout history.
Regular Veterinary Visits
It is critical to view your veterinarian as an advocate and trusted advisor for your pets’ health and welfare. Veterinarians want only the best for every animal. To provide the best advice and maintain long-term health, it is essential you and your pet visit the veterinarian regularly. Most agree that scheduled annual visits are best until a pet begins the signs that age is having an effect, and then at least twice-yearly checkups are better.
Scheduled visits are an opportunity to ask questions and learn new scientific information. Most importantly, it is a time for the veterinarian to carefully examine the pet and look for subtle deviations in the pet’s behavior and physical appearance you may not have noticed. Catching changes early is essential in preventing a problem from progressing and eliminating the effects.
Regular visits to the veterinarian, especially for older animals, often include in-depth blood, urine, and fecal analyses to detect early changes in the body’s normal functions. Catching age-related changes in organ function early provides the best opportunity to slow the aging process and extend the quality and life expectancy of a pet.
Veterinarians are animal lovers and understand the value of animals in families and society. Finding the right veterinarian and establishing a strong relationship is key to the long-term health of every pet.
The Right Veterinarian
Families today have become much more health-conscious and nutrition savvy. As a result, many have developed a lifestyle that fits their “philosophy for life.” Finding the right family physician and veterinarian who embraces the same philosophy is essential in establishing a strong and trusting relationship necessary for every family and their healthcare providers.
A veterinarian that is well qualified in the diagnosis and treatment of disease embraces prevention, and takes the time to educate Guardians in the many ways that they can avoid issues and maintain the highest quality of life for their pets is key to a long-term relationship.