With appropriate care, oral and dental disease and associated pain can be prevented or minimized. Because so many dogs are affected by dental and periodontal disease, dental care must be incorporated into each dog's preventive healthcare plan and discussed at every visit.
Historically, we have recognized that breed-specific physiology and clinical pathological normal values may vary. The evidence-based studies and literature to help guide decision making regarding specific breeds has been limited. Over the last several years, there has been important new information available on this topic.
A patient’s life stage is one of the most relevant aspects of clinical practice because it guides risk assessment, a preventive healthcare plan, and appropriate treatment. A canine patient’s life stage also forms the basis for an ongoing dialog with the pet owner about a lifetime healthcare strategy for their pet.
Information about spay and neuter timing from the 2019 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines.
Additional industry resources to support the 2019 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines.
Guidelines are offered to guide the veterinary practitioner in designing a comprehensive, individualized wellness plan for each stage of a dog’s life. Life stages are defined by both age and breed characteristics for practical purposes.
Review these tables to establish checklists to determine if your canine patients are receive optimum care for their specific life stage. When applicable, a link has been provided to other AAHA Guidelines for additional information.
The cost of prevention is often a fraction of the cost of treating a disease or problem once it has become more advanced. Early diagnosis and treatment of developing problems or diseases can improve the likelihood of successful outcome. The increasing ability to share the risk of pet-care costs offers an advantage to the practice team and pet owner alike.
Guidelines are offered to guide the veterinary practitioner in designing a comprehensive, individualized wellness plan for each stage of a dog’s life.
The AAHA Canine Life Stage Task Force members consisted of: