Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Crucial Checkup
Responsible pet owners know their animals need regular medical checkups. One of the most important is at seven years of age. Even younger for big dogs. Health specialist Marilyn Mitzel shows us why it's crucial in protecting your pet.
WSVN -- Seven can be a lucky number.
But don't gamble on it for your pets sake.
Dr. Chris Stevens from Emerald Hills Animal Hospital: "A lot of problems can start at seven or eight years of age. It's roughly equivalent to about 50 years for a person so it's good to get them into the vet."
Big dogs need that exam even younger.
Dr. Chris Stevens: "For Sprocket I'd say 4 or 5 because they age a lot faster."
So even if they look and act perfectly healthy - take them in for a checkup right after their birthday.
Dr. Chris Stevens: "About 25 percent of the time we're finding things wrong and the owners may not be seeing any signs."
Iain Pizik: "Our pets come before anything else."
Mitch and Iain have seen many health problems arise with their four-legged gang.
Mitch Pizak: "There's a lot that changes."
Dr. Chris Stevens: "The big ones I'm looking for are heart disease, kidney disease dental disease."
Other things that start showing up - anemia - liver problems - cancer and thyroid disease.
The vet will also check their eyes - feel for lumps and bumps.
Take blood - urine and stool samples.
Dr. Chris Stevens: "Get some base line values to compare for the future."
It's also time to switch their food to a senior formula.
It's lower in fat and higher in specific vitamins aging animals need.
Mitch Pizak: "We watch their diet."
Expect to pay more for this exam because of all the tests. But discovering and treating problems early on will help your pets live a lot longer and better.
Mitch Pizak: "We've always had animals, we've always cared for the animals the same way and they've all lived to ripe old ages and that's pretty much because we took care of them."
Iain Pizik: "They're our family that's what it's all about."
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