It's No SCAM - Have your Pet Examined Every Year PDF Print E-mail

Eliot Kaplan, DVM

Dogs and cats are like people. They often develop chronic diseases, which cannot be cured but can often be controlled with medications. Often, these medications need to be given on a daily basis for such conditions as hypothyroidism, arthritis, renal insufficiency, high blood pressure, lupus, and allergies, to name a few. Some clients get very frustrated when they find out that they need to visit the veterinarian at least once a year to ensure a steady flow of the mediation refills.

But I assure these clients; the yearly exams are necessary for many reasons. It is actually considered unethical by the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association for a veterinarian to prescribe any medication for a patient that has not been examined for at least the last year. This is to protect the pet as well as the owner. Over a year's time, many things about the patient can change. Sometimes the weight goes up or down which then requires a dosage change. The owner could be giving too much or too little medication without even knowing it. The patient could develop a new condition, which could make certain drugs dangerous for the pet.

For instance, many of the painkillers utilized for dogs and cats with arthritic conditions should not be given in the face of liver or kidney disease. If they are given, they can be extremely harmful, even deadly. In addition, some conditions can become refractory to one medication, which would necessitate changing the medication. In many of these instances, not only will the patient do better, but also the owner will save money by these yearly visits.

Your veterinarian will make sure the dog or cat is being given the correct medication at the right dosage. Would you want anything less for your pets?
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