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     Costly Mistakes Owners of Pets Make  

There are many things I have seen as a veterinarian that could have been prevented. Here are some common ones, but I am sure this list is not exhaustive.

One of the biggest mistakes occurs when an owner is trying to save money. The temptations to medicate a pet without a costly exam is great.

The big problem with this is that without an exact evaluation of what is wrong a medication could cause more harm than good. Worse yet, a medicine that is toxic to a pet might be given.

A prime example of that is giving a cat Tylenol or the generic form, acetaminophen .This drug is toxic to all cats and makes them blow up their own red blood cells and potentially die of anemia.

Any of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are bad for cats and can be serious digestive irritants and kidney toxins if not used correctly in dogs. Most of them can cause ulcers of the gut and should not be used unless your veterinarian specifically recommends them.

Even such things as homeopathic remedies should be used only at the direction of a doctor as, for example, Rescue Remesy usually has alcohol in it which is hard on the liver espescially if there is any liver disease present already.

So spend the 30 or 50 bucks and get an exam and get the right diagnosis and treatment and avoid serious side effects and further costs to you.

Another area that can cause medical problems and cost to you is getting the wrong toy for your pet. Avoid anything that can be chewed up and swallowed in pieces that could get stuck. There are some chew toys that are digestible and are the safest.

Anything with any length of string, yarn, et cetera, is very dangerous for cats as a toy as their rough tongues get caught on it. They then end up swallowing it and it ties up and can cut through the gut.

Another way to avoid extra costs at the vet is to see one as soon as you know something is wrong with your pet, such as if you know your cat got into a cat fight. Taken right in, it will cost the exam, cleaning the wound and some antibiotics. Waiting three to five days usually results in an abscess and the added cost of surgically cleaning it up under anesthesia. You may also have the cost of pre-anesthesia blood work and fluids during the procedure.

This is true of any disease. Handled when first noticed will cost less than letting it fester and worsen where additional tests and treatments may be needed.

One final note is always making sure you accompany your pet outside, dogs (and even cats) on a leash, will save you many heartaches and traumas. You very likely could avoid the pet being hit by a car or attacked by another animal or worse yet, getting lost by being there.

Until next time.

Dr. Jan

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