Pet Health Issues – Why the Increase in Common Pet Diseases?

Pet Health Issues – Why are we seeing such an increase in common pet diseases?  Most of these diseases are preventable. 

The primary reason is that pets are not being taken to their regular doctor visits.  Veterinarians do not have the opportunity to detect a disease before it can develop to a dangerous level.

Many of the common pet diseases that veterinarians are seeing today could have been prevented.  They include dental infections, ear infections, diabetes, intestinal worms and heartworms.  Some of these could have been detected in their early stages before they had time to develop.  Others could have been completely prevented by proper shots and vaccinations.

Unfortunately, many of these common pet diseases have developed to the point where the pet cannot be saved.

This is a sad situation.  Studies show that the vast majority of pet owners love their pets.  So why aren’t they taking better care of them?

The economy is certainly to blame.  But lack of knowledge is another factor.  Pet owners are just not aware of the consequences resulting from reducing the number of regular vet checkups for their pet.

I read an article on the topic of increasing common pet diseases.  This is one of the most important pet health issues.  The article is entitled “U.S. pets getting sicker; decline in vet visits blamed.”

Here is a quote from the article:

Troubling trends
AVMA research shows that veterinary visits for cats and dogs have been on the decline for at least a decade. The average number of annual veterinary visits dropped between 2001 and 2006 from two visits a year for dogs to 1.5 and from one visit per year for cats to 0.7 visits, according to the AVMA’s 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that, while veterinary care appointments have been declining, incidents of pet diseases have increased. In particular, totally preventable diseases are on the increase. The Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health 2011 Report found that since 2006 flea infestations were up in dogs by 16 percent and 12 percent in cats, diabetes increased 32 percent in dogs and 16 percent in cats, and hookworm infections in dogs were up 30 percent and 3.5 percent in cats.

An ounce of prevention
The vast majority of pet owners care deeply about their pet’s health, says Carlson. In fact 59 percent of dog owners and 53 percent of cat owners say they would, in fact, take their pets to the veterinarian more often if they thought it would help their pet live longer, according to the Veterinary Care Usage Study.

“This study shows us that pet owners really do care about their pet’s health and well-being, but they may not correlate the importance of regular checkups with maintaining health,” Carlson says. “Pet owners shouldn’t wait until a pet is sick to take it to the veterinarian, because pets, particularly cats, will often hide the symptoms of illness when they are sick. So your pet may be sick or in a great deal of pain and it would be very difficult for you to know.”

The complete article can be found here.

Have you seen any evidence of an increasing number of common pet diseases?  As you know, this is one of the most serious pet health issues.  I do encourage everyone to take their pet for regular vet visits.  This will allow your pet to live a longer and healthier life.

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