The same principal of health applies to pets just as it does to humans: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A pattern of clear and consistent client-doctor communication, combined with regular physical examinations, bloodwork, and dental care are the best means to ensure that every health issue with your pet that can be prevented, is prevented.We recommend physical examinations for your pet both on his or her first appointment and annually thereafter. When these checkups catch problems and diseases early, many of them can be prevented, and they are in general better handled the earlier they are detected. At these checkups, it is important that you share as much information which you think may pertain to your pet’s health as you can, as any behavior or condition you have noticed may alert us of potential problems. Many puppies and kittens are born with intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. Others acquire these or other parasites shortly after birth, while still others are exposed to parasites as they grow and age. Furthermore, a puppy or kitten who has been dewormed by a breeder may nevertheless not be completely cleared of their infestation, or may have acquired a new one. Screening for parasites, therefore, is an important part of your pet’s preventative care. We recommend that fecal examination is performed annually. Additionally, some cases of unexplained weight loss or diarrhea are signs that your pet should be dewormed, even if the fecal examinations yield no results. The nature of the diarrhea and/or of your pet’s history could suggest a specific type of parasite. In this case, they may be used to choose the therapy the patient needs.Heartworm prevention is essential for dogs, as these parasites are spread relatively easily, are difficult to detect in the early stages, and are lethal when left untreated most. Heartworm preventative medications also grant protection from re-infestation by some kinds of internal parasites. Since neither de-worming nor these preventative products are full-proof against all parasites, it’s important that dogs and cats are routinely screened, so they can be treated before becoming ill.Dental Disease the single most ubiquitous health problem we see in both dogs and cats, and there is a high probability that your pet will be in need of dental cleaning when he or she comes in for the check up. Cleaning must be done while the patient is under general anesthesia. A trained veterinary technician, under the supervision of a doctor, will clean and polish your pet’s teeth. Cleaning serves to prevent abscesses of the teeth, and prevent any bacteria from contaminating the bloodstream. In many cases, we may recommend blood work is performed in your pet. Blood work can give your veterinarian with crucial information on the status and functionality of your pet’s major organs. Speaking generally, this testing should be done every year, and this is particularly important in the case of senior dogs and cats, as they are more likely to develop illnesses like diabetes and kidney disease. These diseases are more easily discovered in their early stages through the use of blood testing, and without them they often remain hidden.The combination of this clear communication and annual checkups will ensure that your pet receives the best care available. We are more than happy to help you, please call us at 215-732-7321 to schedule an appointment or for assistance with any questions or concerns you may have. We will gladly discuss the available options and results with you.