Most American households have at least one or more pets in them, and dogs and cats are the most common pets of all. In fact, estimates say that there’s 75 million pet dogs in the U.S., more than any other nation. Some people with diagnoses mental difficulties such as anxiety or depression may even have an emotional support animal, or ESA, with them at all times. Many Americans keep pets for companionship and the beauty of the animal. Cats and dogs are popular, but so are birds and small mammals such as rabbits and hamsters. Even more exotic pets such as fish, snails, lizards, snakes, and tarantulas are also kept. Responsible pet owners will know where and when to get proper care for their pets, whether it’s an ill bird or a wounded dog, and a nearby vet clinic may be just the place for everyday illnesses or wounds. More serious injuries call for a veterinary hospital, which will handle life threatening disease or injuries in a pet. What is there to know about visiting a vet clinic or animal health?

Vet Hospitals

If a pet is badly injured or very sick, it must be rushed to an animal hospital rather than a vet clinic, and the vets at a hospital can get a non-human patient stabilized and out of harm’s way. This might be done if the pet was attacked by a wild animal, and scratched or bitten and is suffering from heavy bleeding, organ damage, or broken bones. But a pet owner may rest easy knowing that their pet is may recover in expert hands. Even if a pet needs an amputation, modern veterinary medicine has provided artificial limbs or stylized wheelchairs for cats, dogs, and small mammals. An amputee dog or cat may have its mobility restored when such assistance devices are provided. Dogs and cats may also get splints and bandages for broken legs.

Regular Vet Care

Not all pet medical cases are so serious, though. For the most part, a pet owner will take their animal to a local vet clinic for routine checkups, examinations, spaying or neutering, and receiving medicine. A dog or cat, or a small mammal, will have its fur checked for bald patches, dandruff, flea or tick bites on the skin (hidden by fur), and more. The vet will also check the inside of the pet’s ears for mites or irritation, and check the eyes for discharge and check the teeth, gums, and tongue for any issues. A dog may have bad breath if it has an infected tooth, for example, and a pet’s tooth may be in danger of falling out. The pet may also be weighed, and blood samples might be taken, or even X-rays.

Routine pet care often involves killing and deterring harmful pests and parasites. Dogs and outdoor cats may come into contact with fleas or ticks, which may suck blood, cause irritating rashes, and worst of all, spread disease. Worse yet, internal parasites such as heart worms or tapeworms may appear, and these worms cause many health issues for the pet and may deposit many eggs in the pet’s stool. Fortunately, modern pet medicine includes specialized shampoos to kill, remove, and deter ticks and fleas. That, and medicine drops or pills that will kill and deter both skin-based pests and internal worms as well. A puppy or kitten in particular will get medicine to prevent any ticks, fleas, or worms from attacking it.

A dog or cat that suffers a sprained joint, bone fracture, or strained muscle may have a leg brace fitted on, and/or leg or ankle wraps as well. Medical features like these can allow the pet to maintain its mobility without further distressing its leg or joints. A dog or cat may also be provided a thick, padded therapy bed that easily accommodates the body. This prevents pain or distressing the hurt body part while the pet lays down to rest. Finally, a pet owner may bring cats in kennels to a clinic or dogs on a leash, but aggressive or frightened pets may be kept in the car (with climate control) until they are ready to see the vet, so they don’t antagonize people or other pets in the lobby.


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