New Year Check Up
Well, the holidays are over, the property taxes have (hopefully) been paid and now is the perfect time to turn your attention to your pets. Since we’ve all been busy, it is very likely that Pooky and Fluffy are in need of a little TLC.
A good going over to check for lumps, bumps, growths and sores that may have gone unnoticed is a good idea. If you have a geriatric pet, a geriatric exam is something to consider. This is also a great time to be sure that all vaccinations are current. If it has been awhile, or if your pet has never had vaccines, it may be necessary to have a series of vaccines to insure that your pet is protected. Generally speaking, disease is far more prevalent in the warmer months, therefore, vaccinating now gives your pet’s immune system time to build up before spring. Most diseases are viral and are airborne. Even if your pet is an indoor pet, they need to be vaccinated. Remember, prevention is cheaper and easier than treating disease once it has occurred. Checking your pet’s teeth is important too. Tartar and periodontal disease can cause, among other things, bad breath, heart disease, liver disease and kidney disease.
Now is also a great time to spay and neuter. The puppies and kittens from the summer months are ready. Spaying and neutering will be cheaper now than when a pet is mature as most vets charge by weight of the animal. Spaying and neutering also helps to prevent some of the cancers and diseases that un-neutered pets are prone to. Most importantly, there are way too many unwanted pets in shelters and on the streets.
It is a fallacy that female dogs make better pets when they have a first heat or a litter of puppies. Male dogs tend to be far better pets as they don’t feel the urge to go forth and procreate. Animals do not have the emotional attachment to their parts that we humans do. Guys, if I may be blunt, neutering your male dog or cat will have no affect on your parts or performance. Women don’t seem to have the issues that men do with regard to this subject. Bottom line, your pets will be BETTER pets. If you are still not convinced, pop on over to the shelter in the spring and watch them euthanizing litters of kittens and puppies on any given day. These animals never get the chance to be good pets. In fact, they never get a chance at all. A female cat can start to have kittens at about 4- 6 months of age. Once sexually mature, a female unspayed cat is either in heat, pregnant or nursing. Think about the number of kittens a female cat can then be responsible for producing in her lifetime. Remember, each of her offspring will be doing the same thing. The theory regarding coyotes taking care of it in the country is irresponsible and incorrect.
The coyotes are not going to differentiate between wild cats and your neighbor’s cats, dogs poultry or livestock. They may be drawn to the new batches of kittens, but they’ll stay for the other stuff. Again, prevention is the easiest way. As I mentioned in a previous article, there are organizations that will help with the cost of spaying and neutering if money is an issue. Please do not let that stop you from having it done. There are also organizations that will help with the trapping and neutering of feral cats on your property.
A safe and happy New Year to you and your pets.
Dr. Dave Gantenbein
Antelope Valley Animal Hospital
« Go Back