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Today’s pet owners have a one big question, how do I help my pet live a long, healthy life? In this month’s blog, River Mill Animal Hospital provides the answers to prolonging your pet’s life by following these helpful tips.
 
• Schedule annual exams: Even if your pet appears perfectly healthy do not skip regular visits. Routine checkups can detect early stages of disease leading to a more successful recovery.
 
• Importance of bloodwork: Many complications of aging are detectable only by laboratory tests: kidney disease, liver failure, thyroid disease, and diabetes are among the few. These diseases often affect our pets silently, stealing time from them. Time lost which can often be prevented with early detection and treatment.
 
• Maintaining your pet's teeth: Dental hygiene is an often-overlooked aspect of pet care and is a very common, yet dangerous health problem. Unfortunately, tooth decay is irreversible and leads to periodontal disease, a bacterial infection of the mouth that has been linked to heart and kidney disease.
 
• Encourage a healthy diet: Pets can be affected by the obesity crisis. One way to extend your pet's life is to always maintain a healthy weight. Pets can become over weight by indulging on their pet food alone, in addition to special treats. Keep track of how much you feed your pets daily and keep them on a consistent schedule.
 
• Yearly heartworm preventions: Heartworms are carried by infected mosquitoes that transmit parasitic worms which grow in the arteries of the lungs and heart of dogs, cats and other mammals. Testing your dog prior to starting a heartworm prevention medication is essential. If an infected pet starts prevention this could cause life-threatening complications. It is important to maintain heartworm prevention year-round. We all see mosquitos in our homes, therefore even if your pet spends the majority of its time indoors they should be protected with heartworm prevention. 
 
When it comes to the health of our companions we must remember they require the same level of care we give ourselves. We want our furry family members to be around for as long as possible, which means we need to take action and provide them with the best care. If you have any questions regarding these helpful hints or to schedule a routine checkup, please call 813-501-4985 and our staff at River Mill Animal Hospital will be happy to serve you.

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