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Dr. Anita 寵物通訊

「預防勝於治療」

發表於 29/08/2017

常言道:「預防勝於治療」,當主人帶寵物來我的診所注射第一次的疫苗,我也會跟他們說這句話。

別以為年輕活潑的小動物就不會有疾病,實際上在寵物健康的時候,往往就是作預防措施的最佳時機。假若小動物患病,無論是給你的小貓餵藥,或是看著你的小狗痛苦地抗病,都是令人身心疲累的事。更別說還要花費大筆金錢和時間,以及承擔寵物可能致命的風險。

狗隻被蚊子叮咬有機會感染心絲蟲。

狗隻被蚊子叮咬有機會感染心絲蟲。 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

先跟大家談談狗狗常感染的心絲蟲。心絲蟲是由帶有心絲蟲幼蟲的蚊子,經過叮咬狗隻而傳播。初期感染的症狀並不明顯,所以不易察覺。我建議狗隻在 6 個月大前,開始每月定期服用預防心絲蟲的藥物。有些狗主可能因經濟問題,會中斷狗狗的預防藥物,若果狗狗感染心絲蟲症,長期治療的費用不但昂貴,病程嚴重的更可造成永久性的傷害。

我要強調的第二點,就是寵物肥胖症。現時寵物的肥胖問題越來越嚴重,原因多以過度餵食為主。「增肥易,減重難」,相信大家都非常了解。預防肥胖症可避免寵物患上關節疾病、糖尿病、呼吸系統疾病、心臟病等疾患。

過度餵食導致寵物肥胖。

過度餵食導致寵物肥胖。 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

寵物踏入中年要注意飲食。

寵物踏入中年要注意飲食。 (圖片來源:網上圖片)

當寵物踏入中年,就需要加強預防由腎臟和心臟引起的疾患。首先要注意飲食,避免給寵物攝取過多磷、納及蛋白質,否則會加重腎臟和心臟負擔,還會逐漸減低抵抗力,因此寵物由中年起,就應開始食用低磷、低鈉和低蛋白質,但仍有均衡營養的高齡食糧。除此之外,運動、充足水份、和體重控制都是對高齡寵物預防疾病不可缺少的方法。

以上提到的只是寵物眾多疾病中的一小部分例子,其實這些都可儘早預防。以一名獸醫來說,我遇見了太多因忽視預防措施而後悔的主人,我希望從現在開始,大家可以記著「預防勝於治療」,去保護你們愛錫的寵物。

 

 

Prevention is better than Cure

Prevention is better than cure - we have all been hearing this age old saying since we were young. It is also something I mention to owners from the time they first bring their young pets to me; puppies and kittens having their first vaccinations. Disease may seem far off and irrelevant when you are looking at a lively young animal but that is why it is the perfect time to be thinking about and applying 'prevention' - before there are conditions and ailments which need to be 'cured'. Once disease has arisen, applying a cure can often be difficult, whether it is the struggles of giving medication to your cat, or having to see your beloved dog in discomfort due to the increased severity and complications of disease, as well as the added time and costs to cure established disease and control chronic symptoms.

Let me use heartworm prevention as an example. Heartworm is a parasite that is transmitted by mosquitoes and primarily affects dogs. Dogs can be carriers of heartworm without showing any symptoms and the disease can be fatal by the time it is diagnosed. Monthly heartworm preventatives should be commenced for young animals before they are 6 months old and continued through life. Due to the continued costs of regular prevention, some owners are tempted to forgo the use of monthly heartworm prevention. However, if the pet becomes infected with heartworm, treatment could require months of veterinary care along with severe risks and health complications as well as a massive cost to the owner amounting to much more than the cost of using regular monthly prevention.

Another common problem which I emphasize prevention for is obesity. Many pets can become obese before they reach one year of age due to overfeeding of puppy/kitten food or a tendency to 'spoil' pets with treats and human food. Even we humans know very well that it is easy to put on weight but much harder to lose it! Preventing obesity is important to avoid the development of joint disease, diabetes, respiratory and cardiac disease - all of which are extremely difficult to cure and often lead to chronic symptoms requiring lifelong management.

When our pets enter middle and older age we would place more emphasis on preventing kidney and heart disease from developing. This can be achieved by feeding a diet lower in sodium, phosphorous and protein. These components can increase stress on the kidneys and the heart which are more prone to disease and decline as the animal gets older. It is therefore important to switch to a senior dog/cat food as your pet transitions from middle to older age. A trustworthy, genuine senior food would provide balanced nutrition using a reduced quantity of high quality protein and would select the ingredients to ensure that it is low in phosphorous. Diet, exercise, water intake and weight management are all essential in preventing disease in older animals.

The examples mentioned above are only a small selection of the many diseases where prevention can be commenced early to avoid the need for a laborious, costly and potentially incomplete cure. From a veterinarian who has unfortunately encountered too many cases where the owners regret their delay in commencing disease prevention, I hope that more owners will act now to ensure that their beloved pets are protected from disease and always remember - prevention is better than cure!

 

楊巧兒獸醫 Dr. Anita Young

目前在香港愛護動物組織擔任獸醫的楊巧兒 (Anita),致力於研究並推廣防治疾病的綜合性藥物,同時,在客戶教育和寵物營養及相關產品的開發,提供指導與諮詢。

英國劍橋大學獸醫學士
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (University of Cambridge, UK)

英國劍橋大學文學碩士
Master of Arts (Cantab) (University of Cambridge, UK)

英國皇家獸醫學院會員
Member of Royal College ofVeterinary Surgeons (UK)

美國獸醫針灸證書
Certificate of Veterinary Acupuncture (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, USA)

楊巧兒獸醫 Dr. Anita Young

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