The following segment originally aired on the September 20th, 2011 show on BrandStar Entertainment’s morning TV show, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. The featured guests were Dr. Lisa Young from Elanco Companion Animal Health and Dr. Ernie Ward from Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, North Carolina.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: Our pets mean so much to us. We want them to live longer, healthier and high-quality lives. Just like you and your family go to the doctor, your pet should also make regular visits to the veterinarian. A trip to the vet can be more than just a few shots when your pet is sick. Regular veterinary visits are an important part of being sure that they’re receiving the proper healthcare they need and you can also take advantage of new developments in veterinary medicine. Prevention is better, not to mention easier and ultimately less expensive than treatment. BrandStar Entertainment’s The Balancing Act on Lifetime talks about dog health and the prevention of some dangerous parasites with guests, Dr. Lisa Young from Elanco Companion Animal Health and Dr. Ernie Ward from Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, North Carolina.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: When we go to the vet, what can we expect?
Young & Ward: Pet owners should establish a good relationship with a trusted veterinarian. Here’s a checklist that everybody should complete when they go to the vet. First, make sure your vet gets a good and thorough medical history. Like, what you’re feeding them, how much exercise do they get, what supplements or preventatives are you giving them? Make sure to have that conversation.
Young & Ward: Second. Have your vet do a very complete and thorough physical exam from nose to toes. Make sure they’re doing all the preventative measures, whether it’s vaccines or blood tests or whatever. Make sure they’re covering ALL the bases.
Young & Ward: Third. Make sure you’re given some homework. What are the things you should be doing at home? Maybe it’s a behavior problem you can work on. Maybe you haven’t been giving your heartworm preventative like you should. If most pet owners can follow those 3 simple things, the relationship and experience will be that much better.
Young & Ward: One of our focuses when we have visits is parasite control and preventative measures on that in particular. There are a lot of combination products to get heartworm disease, fleas and intestinal parasites.
Young & Ward: As veterinarians, we get frustrated sometimes seeing sick pets. We think to ourselves, if we could just rewind the tape, maybe about six months—this would never have occurred.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: I know you probably see this a lot in your practice, where you have pets come in with heartworms. Ultimately they die and it’s a really sad thing, because as you’ve been saying… preventative medicine really is the key.
Young & Ward: Heartworm disease. We’re talking 14-inch worms that can live in your dog’s heart. Imagine you’re a little Chihuahua and you’ve got a worm in you that’s BIGGER than you! This is serious business and it’s also fatal if untreated in almost ALL cases—and you can prevent it. There’s no reason.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: How can dogs contract the disease?
>>Young & Ward: Your dog has to be bitten by an infected mosquito, or of course the other reason is fleas.
Young & Ward: Internal parasites and one of the things pet owners may forget, is that many of these intestinal parasites can actually be transmitted to us and to children in particular. It’s our job as veterinarians to make sure we’re educating our clients about those parasites as well as the products that can treat as well as prevent those diseases.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: I’ve always heard that parasites are seasonal, that they come out in the summertime or when the weather is hot.
Young & Ward: That’s a total myth. I wish it were that easy. The threat from heartworm disease is year-round deadly. This isn’t something that you can turn off in January when it gets a little cold. Most parts of the country are going to have those days in January and February when it does get above 70-degrees— that’s all mosquitoes are looking for, that little bit of sunshine. The other thing, is your house isn’t freezing in January. So, you’re still keeping the ambient air temperature warm—so now you’ve got problems with fleas.
Young & Ward: Now there are internal parasites. I wish it were just a seasonal thing, but for us as veterinarians—this is a year-round deadly disease. The other part is our American Heartworm Society, as well as our Companion Animal Parasite Council both recommend year-round broad-spectrum parasite control every month… all year long… for every pet.
BrandStar Entertainment’s, The Balancing Act on Lifetime: Now that we’ve talked about the problems. What are the solutions? Let’s start with parasites. What can we do to prevent them?
Young & Ward: Preventing parasites couldn’t be easier for a dog owner today. For my pet patients, I’m looking for simple solutions, combination products. I want a product that takes care of heartworm disease, takes care of fleas and all those internal parasites that could be transmitted to us. We’ve got pills now that dogs just love—they’re chewable, so it’s like getting a treat! I know there are other products, but I’m looking for things that are a little bit easier to take.
Young & Ward: Pet owners just need to talk to their vet and ask; what are some of the options available, what are things that I can do that are easy on me and what can save me money? By using these combination products—that’s where a pet owner has the opportunity to save money.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: What else can pet owners do?
Young & Ward: Number one, those annual exams are critical and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Two, get blood and urine tests because they can uncover hidden diseases. Remember, even if you think your dog looks healthy, no problems—you don’t know though. Three, behavior problems—so talk to your vet about behavior training. In this day and age we have too many good tools and resources. Next, is heartworm disease. That’s very important. Preventative care is once a month—it’s a no-brainer!
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: If you want to know more information on pet health and caring for your dog, just go to elancopet.com.
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