Back to School in White Center with Cascade Heights Veterinary Center
The end of summer is coming near and that means fall is right around the corner. For many of us, fall signals the upcoming football season and fantasy football. Here in the Pacific Northwest it generally also means the start of the rainy season. But wait! We can’t forget the most important thing…going back to school!
I’m not going to lie, I dreaded the start of the school year. It was a rude awakening to the procrastination which was my summer. Looking back, the part I despised more than the actual return to the classroom was the build-up surrounding the first day. There was the new clothes shopping, filling the list of necessary classroom supplies, getting my haircut, etc. But the most important box on my checklist was the yearly physical exam. Really? You can probably note the tone of sarcasm in my voice but for me it was the single most important step prior to the first day, because without a clean bill of health I couldn’t participate in sports. Why else does a prepubescent boy go to school? Certainly not to learn.
So where am I going with this long-winded introduction? I was reading an article on preventative healthcare in the human arena and it got me thinking about my patients. One of the most overlooked parts of healthcare for both humans and veterinary patients is the prevention component. We often live in a world of reaction, busy moving from one point to the next. Better check in on Facebook and see how many likes the picture of Crumb wearing sun glasses got! I get it. I am just as guilty.
Unfortunately, it is all too common for my patients to present with maladies that are quite advanced and often require extensive treatments and financial costs to correct, or in the unfortunate situations they cannot be corrected. This is certainly not a blanket statement as not every disease can be prevented. What if I told you that a significant percentage of the things veterinarians deal with on a daily basis can be prevented or at least mitigated before they reach a boiling point? Things such as dental care, parasite prevention, weight management and diet, and vaccinating against preventable diseases just to name a few.
That’s wonderful Nick, but what can I do? I recommend starting with that back to school checklist. Just as I had to get my yearly physical to live my school yard dreams of making the big play, so do your pets. Annual exams are more than just vaccines, at least they should be. It is that precious time you have carved out of an already bursting at the seams schedule to better understand your pet’s healthcare needs. It is an opportunity to engage your veterinarian to help you care for your pet to ensure the best chance for your furry friend to live a long and happy life, and likely save you money in the long-term. Please do not skimp on preventative care. Trust me when I say I prefer to see my patients only for preventative care examinations, it means I am doing my job.
I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the upcoming school year!
Until next time, Dr. Nick.