We all know that catching cancer, heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, and other major diseases EARLY can make all the difference in both the success of treatment and an individual’s longevity.
However, we sometimes forget that this very same fact pertains to our cats and dogs. Just like us, their health and longevity depend on how early we are able to catch a problem.
Veterinarians are well aware of the importance of early detection. According to an article in the American Veterinary Medical Association (July, 2003):
“Veterinarians know that early detection allows problems to be treated more easily and more affordably, and usually results in a better outcome for the pet.”
In fact, this recognition is now spurring many veterinarians to request clients to bring in their pets twice a year for routine medical exams, rather than annually.
Statistics show that early detection is the most powerful tool for creating and maintaining good health:
- According to a study conducted by the Pet Health and Nutrition Center, at Corning, NY, in 2000: If detected early, 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be prevented by dietary modifications alone over a one-year period.
- Kidney disease is one of the major causes of illness and death in dogs and cats, but symptoms do not usually appear until 2/3 of kidney function has been lost. If caught early, the animal can live with this condition for many years.
- Unlike some organs, the liver has the ability to regenerate. If the liver problem is caught early and provided proper treatment, the chance of the animal’s recovery are very good.
- Advanced urinary tract disease is often accompanied by the formation of crystals or stones in the lower urinary tract. In some cats, especially males, formation of stones can lead to pain and even death. Early detection can control and sometimes even prevent the formation of stones.
- Early detection of diabetes is extremely important because treatment can be more effective and easier on the animal. Treating diabetes early can also prevent damage to other organs.
You can help your veterinarian find a health problem in its early stage by:
- keeping up with routine veterinary examinations,
- feeding your pets the healthiest diet you can,
- observing your animal’s behavior, appetite, coat, eyes, ears, energy level, and elimination for any changes
- trusting your intuition
- getting medical attention at the first sign of illness
Give your animal companion the advantage of early detection. It is always better to prevent a disease, or to catch it early, than to have to treat it at a later stage.
by Bev Allen
ThePetCheckup—the at-home, early detection health screening kit for dogs and cats.
Now there is something you can do in your own home to help your dog or cat live a longer and healthier life.