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ABC's of Pet Health Care

Anesthesia can be safe for all pets, both young and old, IF the correct anesthesia is chosen for the pet’s needs.

Believe in your gut feelings. You know your pet best. If you think there is something wrong and your doctor won’t listen to you, get another opinion.

Communication is extremely important. If you and your veterinarian can’t communicate effectively, your pet’s health is in jeopardy.

Diet is important. Feed your pet the best, most wholesome diet to ensure proper health.

Educate yourself. Sometimes what you know can guide the doctor in helping your pet. For great information on pet care, check out the articles I post on www.petcarenaturally.com.

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for testing and treatment.

Give your pet all the love and attention you can. They are only with you for a short period of time.

Hope is always possible for even those cases deemed hopeless by conventional medicine when using an integrative approach to health care.

Investigate a second opinion if there is any doubt about the proper diagnosis or treatment.

Join groups, including email discussion groups, to learn about proper care for your pet and get support from like-minded pet owners. However, keep in mind that even the pet owner with the best intentions is not a doctor, and his or her advice isn’t necessarily medically correct or in your pet’s best interest.

Know as much as you can about your pet. As a doctor, it’s very frustrating when a pet owner comes to my practice and can’t tell me the exact names of the pet’s diet and any medications or supplements the pet is taking. The more I know the more I can help your pet.

Listen to your veterinarian. He is the expert on pet care and usually knows more about medicine than the groomer, breeder, pet store clerk, or internet “expert.”

Monitoring is critical when a pet is anesthetized. Proper monitoring may be the difference between life and death.

Nothing is more important than preventing disease. A preventive approach to health care is better for your pet than constantly treating illness.

Open your mind to all of the available options for keeping your pet healthy and treating illness.

Personalized pet practice is a term I coined to indicate that your pet is unique. No 2 pets are alike, and no 2 pets are ever treated the same.

Quality should never be sacrificed just to save money. You can have high quality or low cost, but not both.

Regular checkups are important to allow early diagnosis and treatment. I recommend annual visits for pets under 5 years of age, and twice yearly visits for pets 5 years of age and older.

Say No to drugs when safer, less expensive, alternative therapies exist.

Titer testing should be used in place of vaccines to determine if and when your pet might need a booster vaccination.

Understand that your doctor and staff are human. We all make mistakes, and medicine is NOT an exact science. There’s actually a lot of art to the practice of medicine. Work with us to do the best for your pet.

Vaccines are NOT needed in most pets on a regular basis.

Watch your pet. Signs of illness can be subtle, so pay close attention to any changes in your pet’s normal behaviors.

X-rays can be useful tools to show the reasons for illness when other testing doesn’t reveal a cause.

You are the most important person in your pet’s life. You ultimately have the final say on the outcome of your pet’s care.

Z is a tough letter with which to start a word! Seriously, approach life, including your pet and its health, with a lot of zeal and zest!

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