Each time you bring your pet in for a check-up, your veterinarian probably talks to you about vaccines. They may draw your pet’s blood or recommend preventative care routines such as dental cleanings or grooming. Today we’re going to discuss some of the most common diseases in cats and dogs that we want to help you prevent and control.
1. Obesity: Obesity has become an epidemic in our pets. The majority of our patients older than 5 are obese, and it makes them more prone to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and premature death. So check with us regarding feeding and exercise guidelines. You can help your pets live longer by giving them the tools to stay light on their paws.
2. Parasites: Parasites are very common in dogs and cats and may be living on or in your dog or cat right now. They cause skin issues, intestinal issues and many other health problems. One parasite, heartworm, can kill your pets. It is treatable, but that treatment is not cheap. The best way to protect your pet from parasites is through a monthly preventative that we can prescribe for you.
3. Dental disease: Dental disease is one of the most common diseases in cats and dogs, and both can develop tartar, gum disease, and tooth problems that require professional care. It can also lead to dangerous kidney, liver, and heart conditions in pets. Teach your pets that brushing their teeth is a normal part of the daily routine, and have their teethed cleaned by a vet as often as is recommended – they will thank you for it by living longer1!
4. Parvovirus: Commonly called “parvo,” this is a scary disease. Parvo vaccines, when given appropriately are very effective and absolutely saves lives. It most often occurs in puppies, especially those who have not been vaccinated appropriately. Cats can also get it (know as panleukopenia). The mortality rate depends on how quickly the symptoms are caught and addressed and the strength of a pet’s immune system. Most survivors of the disease do not experience long-term effects.
5. Flea and tick borne diseases: Fleas and ticks are more than just unwelcome pests. These tiny passengers can carry serious diseases that can cause serious illness in both pets and people. To keep your cats and dogs healthy use a monthly topical flea and tick preventative, vacuum your floors regularly, and always check your pets and yourself after playing with other animals or in grassy fields.
6. Arthritis: This is another of the more common diseases in cats and dogs. When pets suffer from arthritis, they may seem slow to rise in the morning, or a bit reluctant to jump up to their favorite spot on the couch. While there is no cure for arthritis in pets, there are there many effective options to make them more comfortable and help keep your pet as mobile as possible for as long as possible.
7. Diabetes: Just like us, pets can develop diabetes. The best way to avoid diabetes, especially in cats, is be keeping them at a healthy weight.
8. Kidney disease: Kidney disease is common in senior cats, and can be congenital or develop as pets age. While cats with kidney disease can be treated and kept healthy for several years in most cases, dogs typically deteriorate more quickly. Kidney health is typically evaluated with annual bloodwork at your veterinarian.
If you would like more information regarding these and other common diseases in pet cats and dogs – or if you think your pet might be experiencing some of these symptoms – call our office today to schedule an appointment