As a pet owner, you want nothing but the best for your four-legged friend. One of the most effective ways to safeguard your pet’s health is through routine wellness care. In Guam, where pets often face unique environmental factors, proactive health care measures are even more crucial. To underscore routine wellness care’s importance for your pet, our Guam Pet Hospital team highlights some common conditions that can be prevented through regular veterinary visits.

Intestinal parasites in pets

Intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, are a common pet health concern. These parasites can cause a range of health issues, including gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, weight loss, and in severe cases, life-threatening complications. Pets typically contract parasites by ingesting contaminated food, water, or soil, as well as through contact with infected animals or their feces.

To protect your pet from intestinal parasites, administer regular deworming medications, avoid contaminated environments, and prevent your furry pal from hunting and scavenging. Puppies and kittens should be dewormed starting at a young age, with treatments repeated regularly. Adult pets should also receive routine deworming as part of their preventive health care regimen. Routine fecal testing is also important to identify parasites that are not visible to the naked eye and should be conducted annually at a minimum to ensure your pet remains parasite-free. We recommend Simparica Trio for puppies/dogs and Revolution Plus for kittens/cats to prevent both internal and external parasites like fleas and ticks.

Tick disease is very common in dogs here on Guam. When a tick bites your dog, a parasite called Anaplasmosis and/or Erlichia can be introduced into your pets bloodstream. These parasites cause the destruction of your pets red cells (anemia) and/or your pets platelets (makes your pet spontaneously bruise and even bleed in severe casese). The good news is that this group of diseases in almost completely preventable by keeping your pet on monthly parasite preventions like Simparica Trio.

Heartworm disease in pets

Heartworm disease is another significant pet health concern in Guam, given the warm and humid climate that is conducive to mosquito proliferation, the primary vector for transmitting the disease. Any mammal can be infected with heartworms, although dogs are the preferred hosts.

Preventing heartworm disease is crucial, as this condition can lead to serious health complications and, if left untreated, can be fatal for pets. Year-round prevention can be administered as chewable tablets, topical solutions, or injections to protect your pet from heartworm disease’s deadly threat. We recommend Simparica Trio.

Dental disease in pets

Dental disease is one of the most common conditions that affects pets, yet the condition is almost entirely preventable. Oral problems often go unnoticed until they become severe, but routine dental care, including regular professional dental cleanings and at-home dental hygiene practices, can help prevent periodontal disease and other oral health issues in your pet. 

Left untreated, dental disease can cause your pet more than oral pain and infection. As oral bacteria infiltrate your pet’s bloodstream, organ disease, particularly heart, kidney, and liver disease, can result, in addition to systemic infection.

Obesity in pets

Obesity in pets can lead to various health problems, including diabetes, joint pain, heart disease, respiratory disorders, and some cancers. Through regular wellness visits, our team monitors your pet’s weight and provides nutritional guidance to help maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. 

At each visit, we weigh your pet and assess their body condition, determining if they are too heavy or too thin. Then, we customize diet and exercise plans to help your four-legged friend maintain an ideal weight and avoid excess weight gain.

Parvovirus in dogs

Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects dogs, particularly puppies and unvaccinated dogs. Parvovirus is a significant concern for pet owners in Guam, as the virus can survive for extended periods in the environment, particularly in warm and humid conditions like those found on the island.

Fortunately, parvovirus is preventable through routine vaccination. Puppies should begin receiving parvovirus vaccines between 6 and 8 weeks of age, with booster shots administered every few weeks until they reach 16 to 20 weeks of age. Adult dogs should receive regular booster vaccinations to maintain immunity throughout their lives.

Infectious diseases in pets

While parvovirus is one of the most common infectious diseases that affects Guam pets, this and many other conditions can be prevented through vaccination. Rabies, distemper, leptospirosis, and feline leukemia and feline aids are a few of the infectious diseases that can easily be passed between wild cats and dogs and our pets. Vaccinations are crucial to pets’ regular preventive care as they protect them from potentially deadly infectious diseases.

Routine wellness care plays a vital role in keeping pets healthy and happy by preventing myriad serious health issues. By prioritizing preventive measures, such as vaccinations, parasite control, dental care, and nutritional management, you can help your furry friend live a long, healthy life. 

Remember, proactive health care today helps prevent your pet from developing costly and potentially life-threatening conditions tomorrow. So, schedule that wellness visit for your pet with our Guam Pet Hospital team and give your furry pal the gift of good health.