New year, new you, as the saying goes. As resolutions are being set, pets (and their people) can also take steps toward a healthy 2020. Below, clinicians from a variety of service areas within UW Veterinary Care, the teaching hospital of the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, share their recommendations for starting the year off on the right foot. Or paw!
Dentistry and Oral Surgery
Gum disease affects four out of every five pets by the age of three. Tooth brushing every one to two days has been proven to help prevent this condition. Resolve to make oral hygiene for your pet a priority in 2020.
Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery
Extra weight = extra orthopedic problems. Resolve to achieve a five percent body weight loss in 2020. We target a body condition score of 4/9.
Diseases are always easier to treat when they first appear, rather than waiting for them to become more serious. Skin conditions are no exception. This year, resolve to carefully look at your pet’s skin and hair coat as you pet or groom them, and bring any abnormalities to the attention of your veterinarian.
Small Animal Surgery
Aging pets are prone to the development of masses within and under their skin. Resolve to give your furry friend a thorough rubdown and have any new lumps or bumps checked by your veterinarian.
Heartworm infection can result in life-threatening heart and lung damage, but can be prevented by giving your dog year-round, monthly heartworm preventative. Resolve to give your dog a heartworm preventative the same day each month in the year 2020.
Early detection of cancer can save lives! All new or growing lumps and bumps should be evaluated by your veterinarian. It’s also important to know that dogs and cats don’t get colds like people do. If you notice your older pet having a runny nose and increased sneezing, it could be a sign of a more serious disease, such as nasal cancer. Resolve to have any abnormal symptoms or new lumps in your pet checked by a veterinarian in 2020.