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.
The ultimate goal of wellness care is improved quality of life and longevity. Comprehensive life stage wellness care permits early detection and treatment or control of disease and cost-saving in long-term healthcare expenses.
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.
Veterinarians play a crucial role in protecting dogs, their families, and the public. Routine testing to screen healthy pets for zoonotic disease or shared disease (e.g., tick-borne illness) may allow early detection in people by acting as a sentinel for family health.
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.
The AAHA Canine Life Stage Task Force members consisted of:
Safety hazards vary with life stage and lifestyle, as well as with impairments of mobility, hearing, or sight. Guide the client in identifying and evaluating the potential for hazards, including:
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.
Former board member Caroline Lubeck, DVM, discusses preventive care and self-care; compliance made easy with the new 2019 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines; 2019 AAHA-Accredited Practice of the Year finalists; and a recap of Connexity. Plus, Dear AAHA addresses whether CT machines should be repurposed for dental radiographs.
Resources from the 2019 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines for both pet owners and veterinary teams.