Health Maintenance Programs Economical Means to Premium Health Care

Health Maintenance Programs
Economical Means to Premium Health Care

By Dr. Ed Mapes
Stonebridge Animal Hospital
McKinney, Tx

We as pet owners are responsible for our pets’ health and well-being. Noticing signs of illness can be difficult in them though, because animals often instinctively hide symptoms, and of course they can’t tell us what ails them. Whereas children freely complain about discomfort or any number of symptoms, it can be very difficult to detect those same complaints in our pets.

Veterinarians often assume the role of detectives; gleaning clues from bits of history supplied by the owner and combining that with examination findings. Sometimes testing is indicated to narrow down the list of possibilities before arriving at a diagnosis and prescribing treatment.

Pet Health Maintenance Programs, exactly like those prescribed for us by our own physicians, are a key component in monitoring pet health. The information obtained can help us identify illnesses and a range of disorders in their early stages, when treatment is more apt to succeed at more economical costs.

A Health Maintenance examination should include history-taking to discuss any abnormalities noticed by the owner and a thorough physical by the doctor. Along with the yearly heartworm/tick borne disease and stool testing, we obtain a little more blood to run tests designed to identify abnormalities. We’re able to run the blood tests in-house and obtain results very quickly, rather than sending it to outside labs and waiting for the information.

It is not uncommon for veterinarians to find hidden problems that nobody expected. I have found kidney and liver disorders, heart diseases, anemia, thyroid disorders, diabetes, Cushings Syndrome, tumors, blood-borne pathogens, glaucoma, urinary bladder stones, and a multitude of skin problems during these Health Maintenance visits. These were all medical problems that would have gone undetected for long periods of time, and we would not have seen the pets until they were more seriously ill.

Veterinary hospitals play a part in pet health care by providing programs that focus on wellness. We have done just that: in conjunction with the Purina Corporation, we have designed Pet Health Maintenance Programs that provide pets with the services they need while saving owners hundreds of dollars each year.
There are programs for puppies and kittens, adult cats and dogs, and senior pets as well. The services vary according to the age grouping and changing needs of pets as they mature.

Puppy and kitten programs are focused on the series of examinations, vaccinations and detection of internal parasites and deworming, along with discounted spay, neutering, and micro chipping. These programs save pet owners $290-$313 per year.

Mature active adults receive their annual fecal and heartworm/tick borne disease testing and vaccinations, but we also conduct more extensive blood testing to search for unknown medical problems. We also include dental scaling and polishing and two X-ray views. Savings range from $253-$305.

I hope somebody is around to look after me properly when I become a senior citizen! We’re certainly looking out for our pets. The senior dog and cat programs include services for the active adults, but include even more blood tests, urinalysis and thyroid testing, blood pressure and EKG, and chest radiograph to assess for other disorders. Pets on these programs receive great care for a savings of $277-$305 a year.

All age groups receive four examinations per year, and a 10% discount for all other services not covered by the plans. These programs truly offer pet owners economical ways to provide their pets with premium health care.

Our Pain Control and Rehabilitation Program provides services to our many patients suffering from painful conditions, including examinations and 18 laser therapy sessions that for most will last the whole year.

Dr. Mapes
Stonebridge Animal Hospital.
5913 Virginia Parkway, Suite 100
McKinney, Tx 75071
(214) 856-7005

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