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Advice From Dr. Lindsey: Why Preventative Care is so Important

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Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM

Our pets are living longer now, and part of the reason is that they are getting more preventive care. Preventive care has been a mainstay in human medicine and dentistry. Since dogs are living longer, they are developing some of the same problems as humans develop. When a veterinarian catches a problem early on it’s usually more manageable. Not to mention the cost of preventive care is a whole lot less than treating a problem once it has become advanced.

Veterinarians evaluate a dog’s overall health and risks of health problems. Based on the findings, they can provide recommendations specifically tailored to the dog. They may have recommendations on diet, vaccines, heart worm/flea/tick prevention, dental care, etc. Some wellness programs are based on the dog’s age, lifestyle, breed, and overall health.

All pets need an annual exam and some need to be seen more frequently. The veterinarian will give the dog a “nose to tail” exam. They will examine the eyes, ears, mouth, skin, heart and lungs, abdomen, and muscles and joints.  Some routine tests a veterinarian may recommend are heart worm, intestinal parasite screening, bloodwork, and/or a urinalysis.  I will attach a link below for the AVMA-AAHA Canine Preventive Healthcare Guidelines which discusses preventive care in more detail.

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caninepreventiveguidelines_ppph.pdf (


Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.