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Make Time For The Nose-To-Tail

Prevention Is The Best Medicine Against Disease

Life is a constant juggle and time seems to move really fast – except when you are waiting your turn at the DMV.

But somewhere in that fast pace, take time to make time for preventive care for not only yourself, but your pets. The proper definition of preventive care is “measures taken to prevent disease and disability.”

Why do veterinarians make such a big deal out of preventive care? Because this is what we are highly trained to do for the species we care about. Because it makes a difference in your pet’s longevity and comfort. It is a great feeling to diagnose a really rare disease, but it is even a better feeling to build a lifelong relationship with a pet owner, from puppy or kitten to the end of a good life.

What does preventive care mean for your pets? Under age seven, it means annual assessment with a nose-to-tail physical examination along with appropriate vaccinations when due.

Not every pet needs every vaccination for their species, but every pet needs appropriate vaccinations for their lifestyle risks. And, all need the rabies vaccination as required by law – particularly with the increase in rabies in Colorado.

Your veterinarian will tailor vaccines to life stage, lifestyle and area risks. Your breeder and Dr. Google did not attend veterinary school nor complete coursework in immunology and infectious disease, so please refer to your veterinarian for vaccination information.

Preventive care also means appropriate diagnostics, again based on life stage, lifestyle and risk. Do you take your dog hiking, camping, out and about at every opportunity? Then make sure that they are heartworm tested and on heartworm/intestinal parasite prevention. Some say that there is little risk of heartworm disease for dogs in Colorado – wrong, we have all four species of mosquito that carry heartworm. We’re just lucky that we have less of a mosquito season than other areas of the country.

And, we certainly have seen a rise in the common intestinal parasites such as roundworms that have zoonotic risk for humans, especially children, coming in contact with contaminated soil.

Does your cat go outside or play in your potted plants? Then they are at risk for intestinal parasites too. And, indoor cats need their regular check ups too.

Being indoors is not preventive against potential infectious diseases nor chronic changes and diseases of aging. Yes, it’s often harder to get your cat to the vet, but your veterinarian has many suggestions for how to make it easier.

Working with your veterinarian during annual (pets under age 7) and/or biannual (pets over age 7) examinations gives options and opportunities to keep your pet their healthiest. That means they will have a longer life span with you!

Dr. Margot can be reached at Note: Reliable information for pet preventable health care can be found at Information about pet parasites can be reviewed at and

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