What’s in an ounce of prevention?

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2014
Category: Animal Airwaves
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With 70 million doted-on dogs and 74 million coddled cats kept as pets in the U.S., we Americans love our four-legged companions. But as veterinary visits have dropped by 30 percent over the past decade, our pampered pets are suffering from growing health problems.

In the past six years, excess weight and outright obesity have increased by nearly 40 percent in dogs and an astounding 90 percent in cats. The obesity epidemic has also inflated rates of associated diseases, like diabetes and arthritis.

Although 55 percent of dogs are on heartworm preventative, many others are unprotected against potentially fatal heartworm disease. Dental disease and flea infestations are increasingly common, as are rates of thyroid and kidney disease.

Pets need veterinary visits annually and more often as they age. Veterinarians can catch small problems before they become big ones, saving dollars and lives.