In the same way that you take preventive measures to protect your own family's wellness, pets also need wellness care on a regular basis. Without routine check-ups, dogs and cats can develop underlying health conditions that go undetected and untreated, which can prove more difficult and more expensive to treat in the future. The veterinarians at University Veterinary Hospital in Berkeley are trained to identify health conditions at their earliest stages and are committed to helping your pet live a long, healthy life.
Wellness visits at our animal hospital consist of administration of routine vaccinations and boosters, as well as inspection of your pet's vital signs, skin health, dental health, reflexes and weight. Wellness checks should begin when your pet is just a few weeks old, and continue for life. At each appointment, we will ask you if your pet has been having any problems, weight gain or changes in behavior. If the health check-up fails to identify the cause of a health problem, we may order lab work to make a thorough diagnosis.
One of the most epidemic health problems among pets is dog obesity and cat obesity. In fact, as many as one in two dogs and cats are overweight and could benefit from nutritional and dietary changes. Just as with humans dog obesity and cat obesity can cause major health complications and a shortened life expectancy. To find out if your pet is overweight, our Berkeley veterinarians recommends feeling for your dog or cat's ribs, as they should be easily felt through the skin. Also, the stomach area should be tucked, rather than sagging. If you cannot feel your pet's ribs, or if the stomach area is sagging, make an appointment to visit our animal hospital for a check-up.
If your pet receives a diagnosis for dog obesity or cat obesity, our veterinarian will analyze your pet's current caloric intake and make recommendations for healthful changes. The average indoor house cat, for example, only needs about 200 calories each day. Caloric needs for dogs vary by species and size, but generally, a medium sized dog needs no more than 400 calories per day, and a large dog needs no more than 750 to 900 calories per day.
Although half of the pets in the U.S. are overweight, some experience the opposite problem - unhealthy weight loss. Although it may be due to poor diet or disease, occasionally, rapid dog weight loss or cat weight loss may be the result of hyperthyroidism. Like humans, dog hyperthyroidism and cat hyperthyroidism causes an overproduction of certain hormones in the body that regulate fat storage and metabolism. If undiagnosed, dog and cat hyperthyroidism may be alarming to pet owners who are working hard to help their pets reach a healthy weight, only to see further cat or dog weight loss.
It is important to avoid letting cat or dog hyperthyroidism go untreated not only to prevent unhealthy weight loss, but also to prevent cardiovascular problems and possible future development of thyroid cancer. Fortunately, with prompt detection at a wellcare appointment, the early stages of hyperthyroidism are easily treated with medications and careful monitoring from our animal hospital staff.
If you are in need of a Berkeley veterinarian who will look after every aspect of your pet's wellness needs, as well as offer helpful advice for caring for your pet's health at home, make an appointment to visit our animal hospital soon. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you and your pets.
This is a vet hospital with a heart, truly.