Pet Health: An Owner's Bigger Responsibility
Wed, April 14, 2021

Pet Health: An Owner's Bigger Responsibility

As a pet parent, it is part of our responsibility to make sure that our furry buddies are receiving the best care they deserve. When they get sick, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of common illnesses and seek professional help as soon as possible / Photo by: dolgachov via 123RF

 

As a pet parent, it is part of our responsibility to make sure that our furry buddies are receiving the best care they deserve. When they get sick, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of common illnesses and seek professional help as soon as possible. There are a lot of diseases and other medical conditions that pets can acquire, which is why it is better to be knowledgeable about them so that we can immediately act when something seems amiss.

In 2016, Banfield Pet Hospital, one of the world’s largest veterinary practice, released a report that looked through the medical data of more than 2.5 million canines and 500,000 felines. The pet hospital published the first edition of the pet health report in 2011 where they analyzed five-year trends of common illnesses of pets, finding out that most were on the rise. Five years after, the researchers looked into the said illnesses and used the initial statistics to come up with a unique perspective that allowed them to explore the prevalence of the pet diseases that were included in their findings. 

In connection with the prevalence of these diseases, the need for comprehensive pet healthcare services has also skyrocketed. Pet Life Today, a free online resource for pet health information, noted on their web report that in America alone, veterinary care in 2020 is estimated to reach $16 billion. This figure doesn’t even include those over-the-counter pet medications that most pet owners have to avail of at one time or another. 

 

Healthcare in Pets

In a study in 2011 conducted by Harris Interactive, a market research company, findings showed that 68% of dog owners said that they were willing to spend money on pet healthcare even amidst bad economic conditions. 
Aside from the fact that most pet owners are making it a priority to keep their furry buddies in good shape, the increasing number of pet health spending can also be attributed to the advancements in veterinarian technology. This means that even complicated medical procedures have become more available for pet owners who are willing and have the capacity to pay for them. 

Surgical procedures usually cost pet owners a yearly average of $474 for canines, $242 for cats, and $45 for birds. Meanwhile, consultations in a year amount to $204 for dogs, $244 for cats, and $138 for birds. 

American Pet Products, a leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of pet product manufacturers and importers, mentioned that the average number of vet visits per year is 2.7 for dog owners, 2.2 for cat owners, and 3.1 for bird owners. Meanwhile, the most common vet services that pet owners avail of are routine physical checkups and vaccines. 

Common (but Serious) Diseases in Pets

Bringing a pet into your life and family can provide a lot of benefits for your health. But pet ownership also means that you have to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with it. This includes being aware of the possible diseases that can affect your pet, some of the most common are listed below.

Cancer

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals, an organization that is responsible for keeping animals safe from abuse, stated that cancer is one of the leading diseases in pets. It added that cancer is a multifactorial disease, which means that it has no known single cause and it could happen due to the influence of genetics and environmental factors. Pet owners must watch out for unusual lumps and swellings in their animals. Should they discover them in their pets, owners should consult their veterinarians immediately for a possible needle biopsy. 

Diabetes

There are a lot of reasons as to why our pet can have diabetes. This can be due to genetics, pancreatic disease, and certain medications that the animal takes. Pet owners should know that the development of diabetes seems to be connected to obesity, gender, and age. To properly diagnose the condition, it is best to consult a health professional who will perform a physical examination and then assess the medical information. 

Heartworm

This condition is due to parasitic worms that live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of the animal. The worms travel through the bloodstream and complete their journey in the pulmonary artery and the heart chamber after six months from the initial infection. 

The symptoms of this condition include labored breathing, vomiting, coughing, and unusual weight loss. Unfortunately, pet owners can only be certain of the condition only after their pets have undergone certain medical examinations such as radiographs.

Just like humans, pets are also susceptible to diseases and other health conditions. Thus, it is not enough that owners merely provide them with meals every day. Making sure that they are healthy is even more important if they want to see their pets living their lives to the fullest and to enjoy their companionship to the maximum.

Bringing a pet into your life and family can provide a lot of benefits for your health. But pet ownership also means that you have to be prepared for the responsibilities that come with it / Photo by: thamkc via 123RF