Concepts to consider for spay and neuter timing from the 2019 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines.
These recommendations attempt to balance risk of orthopedic disease, USMI, and some cancers associated with early sterilization, against risk of mammary neoplasia, unwanted litters, and possible other cancers if sterilized later. These medical recommendations may need to be balanced against certain nonmedical extenuating circumstances, such as likelihood of future access to veterinary care, financial incentives provided by adoption groups, or the opportunity to perform surgical sterilization concurrently with another anesthetized procedure.
The 2019 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines focus on life stages that require different approaches to preventive care. The spectrum of care within each life stage is affected by the age, size, lifestyle, health status, and breed of the dog.
These tables will help you determine what tests are needed at each canine life stage.
Technologies used in the manufacturing of vaccines for animals have expanded significantly over the past decade. The number of licensed vaccines continues to grow, driven largely by the need to protect dogs against emerging pathogens, enhance vaccine safety, and improve immunogenicity of existing vaccines. 83
Safety hazards vary with the patient’s life stage and lifestyle as well as with impairments of mobility, hearing, or vision. Veterinary teams should guide the pet owner in identifying and evaluating the potential for hazards.
Veterinarians play a crucial role in protecting dogs, their families, and the public from exposure to zoonotic diseases. Dogs can serve as a sentinel for infections shared with humans. Routine evaluation and diagnostic testing to screen pet dogs for disease vectors and zoonotic infections can enhance recognition of disease risk in people.
Canine behavior is influenced by developmental age, experiences, breed and environment. Although genetics have a significant influence on behavior, individuals are a function of their genetics and their experiences. Because behavior problems continue to be a significant cause of relinquishment and euthanasia, it is essential that behavioral evaluations and interventions be incorporated into each patient’s veterinary visit.
Nutritional assessment should be part of every visit to the veterinary practice. Evaluation of the body condition score (BCS), muscle condition score (MCS), and nutritional factors can reveal a need for change in the feeding practice.
Despite the widespread availability of safe and effective treatments, internal and external parasites remain common in dogs, particularly in those who do not receive routine veterinary care. Year-round, broad-spectrum control products with efficacy against heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks prevent disease in dogs by preventing the most common internal and external parasites.