We Are Thankful for Pets' Longer Lives

When counting blessings, 6 additional years with your pet is really something to be thankful for.

It is the time of year that we stop to count our blessings. Among other things, here at Animal Hospital of North Asheville, we are so thankful that our patients are living longer, healthier, and more comfortable lives due to amazing advances in preventive care.  Our hospital opened in November of 1977, so reflecting back to those early days points out how much the health of our patients has improved. The blessings of preventive care are almost too numerous to count, but there are three big ones: common viral communicable diseases have been greatly decreased, fleas are under control, and heartworm disease and intestinal parasites in both cats and dogs are being prevented. 

Communicable diseases such as canine distemper, parvovirus, feline distemper, and feline leukemia virus were extremely common in those early days. Pets suffered terribly when they got these diseases and they rarely survived.  Due to good vaccines and conscientious families, we rarely see these diseases now. 

Thirty years ago fleas caused our patients great misery and controlling them was almost impossible.  We had to treat pets with harsh and dangerous chemicals and then treat the house and yard….and they still had fleas! Now with oral or topical products used all year around, fleas can easily be controlled.  The key is to use these safe and effective products preventatively which means all year long.

Additionally, the use of monthly medications that prevent heartworms and intestinal worms, means that pets don’t suffer the ills and possible death that heartworms and intestinal parasites caused.  When we opened in 1977, we had to commonly treat pets that had heartworm disease and the treatment was so harsh that the beloved pet sometimes died if the damage from the worms was extensive. Also, intestinal parasites were constantly in pets, robbing them of their health and threatening the people in their lives because "worms" in dogs can also cause health problems in humans, too. Now that once a month pill in dogs or those drops on your cat's neck every month, prevent so much misery. 

Yes, we are so thankful that pets now live, on average, six years longer.  Six more years with a pet you love is a lot to be thankful for!