How do you take care of your dog’s health?
This can seem like an alarmingly simple question. You make sure to feed them twice a day, take them out for regular walks and have already had them spayed or neutered. You keep an eye out for pet journals and make sure to monitor any strange behavior you see. What else should you be doing to keep them on the up and up? As it stands, taking your pet to a clinical diagnostics laboratory can be a great way to spot potential problems before they become worse. Not everything can be caught at a glance, after all, and some of the most painful issues happen to be some of the most easily avoided.
A canine heartworm antigen is a great place to start if you feel your dog’s personal health plan could use a little fine tuning.
Fun Facts About Dogs In America
Dogs are one of the most popular pets of all time. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re smart, loving and provide us everything from companionship to protection. According to an interesting PetFinder.com poll, around 65% of dog owners (and nearly 60% of cat owners) will give their pets gifts for Christmas. With over 80 million dogs in the United States and counting, it’s important to be proactive when it comes to pet health. This can be getting your dog neutered to prevent surprise litters or spotting the warning signs of heartworm early on.
Common Warning Signs Of Heartworm
A common issue many dogs face today is heartworm. It’s estimated around one million dogs are tested as heartworm positive every year. Infected dogs can have up to 30 or more worms in their heart and lungs before showing warning signs. Compare this to cats, who often need just one or two to start feeling ill. Heartworm treatment is best done as a preventative measure, as the actual treatment can cost up to $1,000 and put you out of pocket when you least expect it.
Preventative Measures For Heartworm
While heartworm can seem incredibly scary, it’s a condition that can be avoided with the aid of a heartworm prevention plan. Puppies under seven months of age can be started on heartworm prevention without even taking a test (which is particularly smart, as it takes six months or more for a dog to test positive after an infection). They should still be tested six months after your first visit, then tested again six months later. After this you can reach out to clinical diagnostics laboratory services on an annual basis to keep up.
Additional Health Concerns
What other health concerns should you keep an eye out for? Bloating is a common issue faced by many pets, particularly older dogs and purebreds. This is caused by wolfing too much food too fast, ingesting additional air and leading to bloating in the stomach. This can cause your pet pain, lethargy and even affect their appetite. This is easily avoided by rationing out their food and discouraging rapid eating. Other issues you can keep an eye out for are signs of boredom and loneliness, which can manifest in chewing on furniture and constantly barking.
Reaching Out To A Clinical Diagnostics Laboratory
When in doubt? Just let the professionals take care of the rest. While you can conduct a dog heartworm test at home, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get a certified diagnosis. A clinical diagnostics laboratory has the equipment and the experience to make sure your dog’s health is always sound. They can provide you with a yearly heartworm test or get your puppy started on a prevention plan, both of which will go a long way in keeping your pet happy. Additional factors such as pet insurance plans and daily diets can also be discussed. Your pet’s safety is important to you, after all.
Make sure you take care of your dog as much as they take care of you.