An Ounce of Prevention
I hate going to the doctor.
Establishing a primary care physician is right up there on my to-do list with getting a tooth drilled and locating a trusty mechanic. I feel a certain level of mistrust with the current medical care system that seems to prioritize expensive diagnostics and pharmaceuticals over the physical exam and individualized patient care. We know it is an important “adult thing” for everyone to do, but let’s face it - adulting is plain hard sometimes. And if we feel like we have to go through a similar experience all over again with our veterinarian, it can make it even more distasteful.
One of the more frustrating conversations I have with my dog and cat owners pertains to preventative care. I am sure many pet owners can relate. While the number of proactive pet owners is on the definite rise, many find it hard enough just to get their pets in for their annual check-up and routine vaccinations, much less decide to routinely perform procedures or give medications that they may never see a benefit from.
The field of preventative care is tricky like that - the whole idea is to provide a supplement, food, or treatment that will prevent a specific condition or disease. But if they never get that condition or disease, was it truly due to the supplement/food/treatment, or were they just genetically or environmentally lucky? And if they did succumb to that condition or disease, did the preventative care fail? Or did it just delay the onset or lessen the severity? It is this uncertainty that makes it so hard for veterinarians and pet owners to get on the same page concerning preventative veterinary care.
In a typical annual examination appointment I may discuss preventative measures such as: prophylactic dental cleanings; home oral health with food additives, daily brushings, dental treats or diets; weight loss thru caloric reduction or prescription weight loss diet; joint care including combination supplements, regular exercise, physical therapy; skin care with special/prescription shampoos, oral and topical supplements such as fish oil, niacin, and vitamin E; ear care with special ear flushes and cleaning solutions; anal gland care with extra dietary fiber and regular expressions...the list goes on. The end result can be quite overwhelming and many times leaves a bad a taste of commercialistic profiting in many owners’ mouths.
These are all important topics and should be discussed with a veterinarian. But what if there was a way to cut thru all the mirk? To be able to see thru the forest of veterinary products to our goal of a healthy, quality life for our companions? What if the answer is more simple than we thought?
If I had to boil preventative care for our pets down to one word, that word would be nutrition. There is a saying amongst health gurus, that “a body’s composition is 80% nutrition, and 20% fitness training”. The same holds true for our furry companions. Even if we do not have time to take them on two walks daily, or 5K jogs, or hiking in the foothills of the Rockies every weekend, if we can get their nutrition right, that’s 80% of the battle.
Over the next coming weeks I will be fleshing out this idea of nutrition as medicine and what the best ways are to accomplish that with our furry companions. In the meantime, if you want to get a sneak peek, check out this website: Standard Process.
Kingsfoil Acupuncture Services, LLC “Healing for Creatures Great and Small”