When to take your pet to the veterinarian

Pets are beloved additions to the family. In fact, there are over 75 million pet dogs in this country alone. That is more than any other country. To you, your pet is more than an animal that you adopted. They are a member of your family so you are always going to keep their health in mind. Here are some good examples of when to take your furry family member to the vet clinic.

Dental health

The dental health of cats and dogs goes largely unchecked in the United States. An estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will have some form of dental disease by the time they turn three years of age. Even with the local veterinarian explaining the importance of brushing your pet’s teeth, 65% of pet owners will not put the proper care into the area. This is a disappointing turn of events when you consider that 90% of your dog’s teeth can be reached by brushing. There is no need for flossing.

Be sure to take your pet to the veterinary clinic to ensure they are not dealing with Periodontal disease. This dental disease is the same in pets as it is humans. It is the destruction of bone, gum tissue, and structures that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, it destroys the bone around the tooth roots leading to loose and painful teeth. Most pets with severe Periodontal disease will need an operation to remove multiple teeth.


Fleas are one of the most common annoyances for pet owners. If you have ever owned any animal with fur, chances are you have at least taken steps to prevent these parasites. Take your pet to the local veterinarian to ensure they do not have fleas before it happens. Fleas can multiply very quickly. If they go unchecked, one single flea can lay between 50 and 100 eggs a day. One single female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. Even if you do not find these little critters on your pet, they can be nearby. They have the capability to live more than 100 days without a blood meal so always be sure to be on the lookout for them.

The most common signs that your pet has fleas is if they are scratching a certain area of their body regularly because it is agitated. In some cases, your pet can produce an allergy to the flea’s saliva. This is called flea allergy dermatitis and makes your pet’s skin so sensitive that one single bite and lead to them scratching that area for the next month. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the flea on your pet, as they will bite at and sometimes eat the flea to get rid of the sensation.

If your pet has eaten a flea, they may need to see the local veterinarian to ensure they have not taken in a tapeworm. According to Guthrie Pet Hospital, “For tapeworms to complete their life cycle, they must go through an intermediate host, such as a rodent or a flea. When a cat eats an infected flea, the tapeworm larvae will develop into an adult tapeworm in their intestinal tract.” Be sure to talk with the veterinary hospital and find the next best steps.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are another common ailment for cats and dogs and should be checked out by your local veterinarian. There can be a number of causes for your pet dealing with an irritated ear. Ear mites have a tendency to leave behind infections and inflammation in the ear canals, or the ear can fill with blood, making it look like a balloon. This is called ear hematoma. If not treated properly, the condition can become chronic and according to Lorie Huston, can lead to “paralysis of the dog’s facial nerves, deafness, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (“dry eye”) and Horner’s syndrome. Horner’s syndrome consists of drooping of the upper eyelid, prolapse of the third eyelid, the recession of the eyeball or constriction of the pupil.”

Your cat or dog is considered a family member. Be sure to treat them like it with regular check ups with the veterinarian.

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