Have you ever wondered what the most common vet procedures are? Maybe you want to know what medical conditions and health problems to watch out for, so you have a better idea of when to visit your local vet. Veterinarians recommend that older pets get checkups twice each year, while most adult pets should visit the vet once per year. While most common vet procedures take place during these routine checkups, sometimes you need to bring your furry friend in for the occasional in-between animal treatment or visit.
Top Reasons for Visits: Discovering Common Vet Procedures
Whether you’re curious about the most common vet procedures out there or you just want to learn more about pet healthcare and wellness, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common vet procedures, including the reasons people are most likely to need to take their pets to the vet. From dental health to fleas and skincare, keep reading to learn all about the most common vet procedures and reasons for going to the vet.
Skin Allergies and Ear Infections
Some of the most common health problems faced by dogs and cats alike are skin allergies and ear infections. While they may not seem to have much to do with one another, ear infections and skin allergies can often be closely related.
When it comes to ear infections specifically, this condition often strikes pets that have a lot of hair in their ears. This is because all of that fluff limits ventilation, creating warm and moist areas inside the ears, which are sadly perfect breeding grounds for yeast. Fortunately, preventing ear infections is simple: routine grooming by removing excess hair and regular pet ear cleaning should be all you need to keep your pet’s ears free of infection.
But how are ear infections related to skin allergies? Skin allergies can lead to repetitive ear scratching for some pets. Bacteria is easily introduced into your pet’s ears as a result, or they might disturb the natural balance of their skin. Either way, a nasty ear infection can result. Routine checkups with your local veterinarian can ensure that conditions like skin allergies are noticed and treated early on.
Hyperthyroidism in Cats
You may not have heard of hyperthyroidism before, especially if you don’t really read about common vet procedures and medical conditions for cats. But it’s a common ailment among older felines, coming in as the fifth most common cat health condition according to statistics by Nationwide pet insurance.
Cats become susceptible to hyperthyroidism as they age, and it can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, and even death if left untreated. The most obvious sign that your cat has the disease is that they might eat enormous amounts of food, but be losing weight at the same time. Hyperthyroidism can be treated with medications or with iodine injections, depending on what your vet recommends.
Did you know that many toys intended for pets are made with materials that are actually toxic for them? If you’re like most pet owners, you probably purchase toys for your pet without realizing that they can be harmful to your pet’s health. The harmful toxins used in toys can be ingested by pets if they’ve been broken, cracked, or beginning to deteriorate during play.
As the first line of defense against poisoning, you should always pay attention to your pet while they’re playing, as well as to the condition of their toys and accessories. If that rubber squeaker toy got cracked at the dog park or is breaking down from age, you should take it away from your pet right away and replace it. You should also make sure that when you buy toys, they’re specifically labeled as being free from BPA and other harmful toxins. Keep in mind that many toys are beneficial to your pet’s health, such as by helping to keep their teeth clean. It’s a good idea to have as many of these in your pet’s collection as possible and to avoid the ones that aren’t advertised as toxin-free.
If you’re concerned that your pet may have ingested toxic materials from toys or anywhere else, you should get them an appointment at your veterinarian’s office. You should also remember to take your pet in for regular checkups, even when there aren’t any noticeable health problems present. Getting to see your pet regularly will help veterinarians detect early signs of toxin poisoning, and allow them to identify the most likely culprit.
Pets can get intestinal parasites rather easily — not surprisingly, as even the cleanest pet can’t be kept away from bacteria-laden garbage all the time. Pets can be exposed to parasites by other animals that may wander into your yard throughout the year. No matter how clean your house is, your pet can still be exposed to parasites just be going outside.
Because of this, screening and treating pets for parasites is one of many common vet procedures conducted by animal care specialists. Screening for parasites is done using stool samples, and it should be done regularly to avoid serious health complications. Fortunately, the screening process is inexpensive and usually quick, so it’s a small price to pay to avoid future problems.
Aging Pet Care
A more specialized form of pet care involves taking care of pets as they age. Aging pets need to see the vet once every six months because older animals are more likely to experience problems like thyroid, heart, liver, and kidney issues. During these appointments, pet owners should update their vets on things like changes to their pet’s behavior or eating habits, as these can be early warning signs of oncoming health issues.
Besides checking your aging pet for potential discomfort and disease, regular checkups can be reassuring for the pet owner as well. Realizing that your four-legged friend is nearing its last days with you is saddening, and you want to ensure that the rest of your pet’s life with you is as happy and comfortable as possible. Regular checkups offer a convenient way to communicate with your vet about your pet’s aging process. This will give you the chance to learn how best to care for your pet as it gets older. Veterinarians can also help get pet owners’ support when a beloved pet is nearing death. These are just some of the many reasons you should visit your local vet more frequently as your pet gets older.
Going to the vet isn’t just about helping your pet recover when it’s sick. Rather, the most important reason to visit your veterinarian often is to prevent diseases that your pet may be at risk for.
Too often a pet will experience the onset of a disease that their owner simply isn’t equipped to recognize. If you’re like many pet owners, you would probably like to believe that you know your pet well enough to immediately know if something is wrong. But you probably also know that, even if you sense that something might be wrong with your pet’s health, it can be hard to know for sure. You may even put off seeing a veterinarian for a day or two while you wait to see if your pet recovers on its own.
However, since pets can’t talk, it’s quite simply impossible for the average pet owner to identify most diseases in their earliest stages. Besides calling the vet when you think your pet might not be feeling well, getting a checkup once or twice each year will give them the chance to screen your pet for common diseases and health conditions.
Answering Your Questions
As we mentioned earlier when discussing care for older pets, visiting the vet on a regular basis is important because it gives you the chance to talk through any questions you might have about your pet’s health. It’s not unusual for pet owners to have questions and concerns about their pet’s behavior or wellbeing, but without immediate access to a professional, it’s hard to get useful advice. Just like visiting your own doctor regularly, seeing your local veterinarian gives you the chance to ask these burning questions, not only about recognized changes in your pets, but about routine animal care as well.
The latest news and research in pet care isn’t always readily available to pet owners, even though they often need it the most. Veterinarians provide this useful health information, from serious health issues to regular pet care, that can help you keep your pet healthy down the road.
Avoid and Diagnose Aggression-Causing Conditions
If you find yourself the victim of another owner’s aggressive dog, you’ll be glad that dog bite attorneys are there to help you get the compensation you deserve. However, you’d probably prefer to avoid being the dismayed and hapless owner in such a situation. And if your pet shows signs of an aggressive temperament, this isn’t something you should ignore.
Some common vet procedures involve determining why a dog has aggressive tendencies. Some pet owners think they need a trainer to help them teach their dog to be more mild-mannered, and sometimes this is the case. But often an underlying medical condition could be causing your dog to act out.
There are quite a few conditions that can potentially cause unusual or aggressive behavior in dogs, ranging everywhere from teeth and eyesight problems to joint pain. However, sometimes the temperament problem turns out to be genetic in nature. In these cases, the likelihood that the animal can be cured of their aggressive tendencies completely is quite slim. Fortunately, all is not lost for pets like these: treatment that focuses on management of the behavior, rather than an absolute cure, can go a long way towards helping these dogs live healthy and normal lives.
Other conditions that cause aggressive behavior, such as Hypothyroidism, can be treated quite effectively with prescription medications from your veterinarian. Any condition that causes inflammation of the brain, thus leading to neurological problems, can also be dealt with effectively. Usually, this is the result of a chemical imbalance that makes behavior unstable, and medication can often rectify the issue. It’s also important to consider that a dog that frequently acts out aggressively may be in pain, which could cause them to react to things violently or defensively (see our section on laser therapy below).
Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery
You might not have thought of plastic surgery as being a viable option for pets. But in fact, there are a variety of animal cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery methods that can help improve a pet’s quality of life. Although your pet doesn’t care whether it looks like a movie star or not, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries can actually improve a pet’s health, as well as strengthen the bond between the pet and its owner.
The most common vet procedures for cosmetic purposes are probably tail docking and declawing. In fact, these procedures are so commonplace that you might not have thought of them as cosmetic surgeries before. Tail docking is a cosmetic surgery that’s applied when a pet owner wants their pet to meet a certain breed standard. Usually, this is done to dogs while they’re still puppies, between two and five days old.
Declawing is more commonly done to cats than to dogs, usually to prevent them from scratching. Elderly pet owners may have their pet declawed simply because their health is too vulnerable to support accidental exposure to the bacteria that reside in animal claws. In other circumstances, declawing can be medically necessary because tumors exist under the claw, or the claw is injured and unrepairable.
Other cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries include nose surgery, usually performed on dog breeds whose noses aren’t fully functional to help them breathe better; liposuction, to remove fatty deposits and tissue growth that pose a significant health risk, such as of cancer; and cleft lip surgery, which can help restore pets’ ability to eat and drink after suffering from cleft lip.
Veterinary laser therapy is a non-invasive, pain- and drug-free way to treat several conditions. Laser therapy for pets uses deep-penetrating light that promotes chemical chain reactions known as photobiostimulation. These chain reactions help relieve pain by triggering endorphins to be released, and it causes injured cells to heal faster than they would on their own.
While laser treatments aren’t the most common vet procedures on this list, they are among the most exciting, especially for owners of pets who suffer from serious medical conditions. Laser therapy can be used to treat muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries; back pain; post-surgical soft tissue trauma; ear infections; and many more conditions that are common for pets.
The best candidates for laser therapy are often older animals suffering from musculoskeletal ailments. There aren’t many treatment options available for owners of pets who struggle with discomfort from aging. Laser therapy can be a wonderful, side-effect-free way to help your beloved pet feel relief from lingering pain and move freely again.
These are some of the most common reasons people go to see their local veterinarian, as well as some of the most common veterinary procedures out there. Hopefully, this article has inspired you to make your pet’s health a significant priority, just as they deserve.