I have always explained to my clients that it is so important to keep on top of their pet's health. The age old saying is " Prevention is better than cure" and I couldn't agree more! A typical example is dental disease.
So many times I encourage owners to keep an eye on their dog's teeth regularly as well as consider dental chews, dental biscuits or tooth brushing. However, time after time their dogs return to me ages 7 - 8 onwards with appauling dental disease. These dogs primarily seem to be the small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas for example with small, crowded mouths. The end result is a full general anesthetic and multiple teeth to be removed.
In some cases I have seen, the degree of infection has caused infection in the bones of the jaw requiring a months worth of strong antibiotics! Just as in human medicine, dental disease and gingivitis (gum inflammation) can predispose animals to other ailments including heart and liver disease to name to name a few. For the sake of a few minutes a week or a few extra dollars a month, these sorts of scenarios can be avoided and ultimately save the owner a lot of money in the long run, as well as giving their pets longer, happier lives.
Of course the 'Prevention is better than cure' quote doesn't just stop at dental disease - it spreads throughout all areas of Veterinary medicine - for example weight control, proper exercise and regular grooming. There are, I admit, many diseases and syndromes that we cannot prevent - however by keeping a close eye on your pet and being proactive about his or her health we can identify these problems in order to get treatment started much sooner.
I encourage you all to be proactive with your pet's health and always remember - PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE