Although there are many true emergencies that require a trip to the emergency vet, many can be prevented. Below are the top four things that you, the pet owner, can do to decrease your chances of needing to use our services in the middle of the night or on a weekend!
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Just like in human births, dogs and cats can require medical assistance and emergency intervention, like cesarean section. Such a problem could be prevented simply by spaying or neutering. In addition, neutered pets typically roam less, which decreases the likelihood of injury from other animals, contracting of disease, or trauma like being hit by a car. Spaying also decreases the likelihood of uterine infections that can also require emergency surgery, and various forms of cancer. Learn more here.
Regularly Visit Your Family Veterinarian
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Vaccines prevent infectious diseases such as parvovirus, a serious ailment affecting puppies and dogs, which can require emergency care. Also, many conditions can be detected by your veterinarian on physical exam before the situation becomes dire. Heart and kidney disease can be found and treated early. Heartworm testing and preventative will prevent heartworm disease, and vaccinating for Lyme Disease as well as testing for other tickborne disease can also decrease your likelihood of emergency vet visits. Spending money to prevent these illnesses early can spare you a potentially higher cost for treatment when they become an emergency.
Keep Human Food, Toxins, & Hazards Away From Your Pet
Emergency visits peak over the holidays. Know why? A majority of emergency veterinary visits result when a dog or cat eats something he shouldn’t have, even when he doesn’t normally get into things. And in the busy holiday season, hazards like tinsel, chocolate, and rich holiday foods abound, while our attention is often distracted from sneaky pets! Keep garbage secured and monitor pets’ access to non-food items whenever outside. Also, keep rat and mouse poisons where your dog can’t reach them. Better yet, don’t use them in a home where you have pets! For a comprehensive list of pet poisons, click here!
Maintain a Healthy Weight for Your Pets
Keeping your pet slender is one thing we can do that we know can prolong their lives, and give them good quality of life. Breathing problems and arthritis are made worse by even mild obesity, and obesity can contribute to the development of diabetes, even in pets! Learn how you can help your pet lose weight here.
Follow these tips, and you’re much less likely to need a visit to our ER! If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health, contact your family veterinarian for more information.
Written by Abigail Albright, DVM.