Basic Health Care For Your Dog or Cat

Many millions of American households own dogs and/or cats, and these four-legged friends need basic health care as well as people to stay healthy. A pet has the advantage of having owners who can find advanced medical care for them, and any responsible pet owner will take their dogs, cats, or other species to a vet clinic for routine checkups and even a kennel cough vaccine or puppy shots to prevent future disease. Other medical work can be done alongside a kennel cough vaccine at a vet clinic, such as heartworm prevention, removing or preventing ticks or fleas, and more. There are some well-known pests and diseases that often afflict dogs, cats, and other furry pets like rabbits, and any responsible owner will know where to find a local veterinary clinic to update their pet on their kennel cough vaccine, anti-flea medicine, and more.

American Pets

Americans love to own pets, ranging from the common cats and dogs to parrots, rabbits, hamsters, snakes, and even tarantulas or hissing cockroaches. For example, some 75 million pet dogs are estimated to live in the United States today, more than the pet dog population of any other nation, and there are also many cats; nearly 38,900,000 American households own at least one housecat, possibly alongside other pets, too. And with 44% of American households including a dog, and most have at least one pet of one species or another, it is vital for all these pet owners to keep their animal friends in good health. Birds, dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, even tarantulas may suffer from a variety of health issues, some of which can turn serious. What might happen, and what can be done to prevent or cure disease in a pet?

Pet Afflictions

Veterinarians have recognized a number of diseases, parasites, and other issues that sometimes harm the health of common pet species, and one of these is kennel cough. This is a nasty, cold-like virus that can spread from one dog to another, and gets this nickname not only from the coughing that it causes, but also from the fact that it spreads most rapidly among dogs whose kennels or cages are in close proximity to each other, like how disease spreads fast in overcrowded tenants or slums among human beings. Dogs will probably not perish from kennel cough, but it can be unpleasant and hamper a dog’s health, and it spreads easily. For this reason, puppies and kittens can and should be vaccinated against common viruses for their species, and a kennel cough vaccine for a puppy can help prevent it from getting this unwanted sickness. Dogs or cats often show symptoms of illness ranging from discolored gums to discharge in the eyes or nose, or even strange changes in behavior or their fur falling out in patches. Symptoms such a these and more call for a visit to the vet’s office right away.

Certain insects, arachnids, and worms can also be a problem for furry pets, especially those that go outside. Fleas are a common threat; they can be contacted unwittingly in the wild, and they are most often passed between pets, and in areas with poor hygiene, they may even be passed to and from people and pets. Fleas do not kill, but the bite of the females will drain a pet’s blood bit by bit and also create irritating red bumps that prompt excessive scratching (this is one way to diagnose a flea problem). Worse, fleas can and often do transmit dangerous diseases or viruses from their bites, including the infamous Black Death, which spread via rat-borne fleas that arrived from Asian trading ships. On top of that, arachnids like ticks can latch onto a pet once contacted in grass, and they too can spread contagion from their bites, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Fever. A pet should be cleared of all invasive fleas, ticks, or mites, and special shampoos and medicine can be used to kill them and prevent more from latching themselves onto a dog or cat. Meanwhile, certain medicines, when administered, can prevent parasitic worms such as heartworms from infecting a pet.

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