New Year’s resolutions are now in play. It seems everyone we know is contemplating ways to eat healthier, move more and reduce stress. Scheduling a checkup with your physician is an excellent step to address such questions and keep potential health concerns at bay. And guess what? It is also good for your pets.
Scheduling preventive care appointments for your four-legged companions offers multiple benefits. They allow your family veterinarian to assess risk factors associated with your pet’s age, weight or genetics—without the added dynamic of it being an emergency appointment. In addition, your vet can provide tips on nutrition, weight management, joint health and potential health issues to monitor.
This is also important for those of us who specialize in ophthalmic veterinary care. Many of the ocular conditions we treat are associated with the conformation of the face and eyes— whether due to the shallow orbits and large eyelid openings of brachycephalic breeds, such as bulldogs and Boston Terriers, or the loose, floppy eyelids of giant breeds.
When the eyelids do not fit snugly and move smoothly across the surface of the eye, the ocular surface can be under constant attack from surrounding hairs and/or inappropriate levels of exposure. This can result in irritation, scarring, ulcer formation or even loss of the eye. Establishing a baseline of a pet’s overall ocular health before more severe concerns emerge is ideal. Additionally, some breeds are predisposed to blinding ocular problems such as cataracts and/or glaucoma (high intraocular pressure), and early diagnosis and treatment of these conditions can improve the long-term success rate.