OTTAWA, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - A recent CBC Marketplace report claimed that veterinary costs in Canada increased by 90 per cent
between 1997 and 2009. According to Statistics Canada, this is
incorrect. The reported increase in pet spending includes kennel fees,
grooming, pet care items and food, in addition to veterinary
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) encourages Canadian
pet owners to discuss healthcare options with their veterinarian and
work together to make decisions that suit their budget and are in line
with the level of care the owner expects.
Just like clothing, groceries and gas, medical services can also be
cheaper in the U.S. Pet owners who are thinking about cross-border
shopping for veterinary services should keep their pet's health and
welfare in mind and ensure that they know exactly what the alluring
"Pet owners should keep in mind that prevention is always better for
pets and more cost effective for pet owners," says Dr. Jim Berry, CVMA
president. "Every pet is an individual, there are no one-size-fits-all
Vaccines play a very important role in controlling and preventing
infectious disease in dogs and cats and reducing the risk of human
exposure to zoonotic disease. The Canadian Veterinary Medical
Association recommends that vaccines and revaccination intervals be
individualized for each pet. The decision to administer any particular
vaccine should be based on the risk of contracting the disease and
protocols may vary depending on what disease entities are prevalent in
any given area.
In Canada, parasite prevention is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, as
your pet's risk of parasitic disease is taken into consideration. Your
veterinarian will advise you on the recommended frequency of testing
for your dog. Factors that may influence your veterinarian's decision
to test for heartworm may include your pet's lifestyle, health status,
your geographic location, any household considerations that may be
relevant and the proposed preventive therapy.
Pet obesity is a big problem for Canadian pets. In a recent study,
Canadian veterinarians identified weight control as the number one
thing a pet owner can do to increase the length of their pet's life.
Obese pets are at risk of developing serious health issues, such as
heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure
and arthritis. To put things in perspective, an extra 2-4.5 kilograms
(5-10 pounds) on a male English Bulldog would equate to being 7-13
kilograms (15-29 pounds) overweight for a woman of average height. For
a man of average height, this would equate to being 8-15 kilograms
(17-34 pounds) overweight. A pet's weight is managed and maintained by
eating proper amounts of nutritious food and exercising regularly.
"A balanced and nutritional diet is important in pets' overall health
and that comes from the amount and the quality of food they receive,"
says Dr. Jean Gauvin, president-elect of the CVMA. "Pets that eat high
quality veterinary food generally have fewer medical problems and pet
owners may find that the cost per serving of these diets is actually
lower than store brands."
Many veterinarians also offer prescription diets, which can work the
same way as medications and can be used as a first-choice therapy
before medications are prescribed.
A valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship must exist before a
veterinarian can prescribe or dispense a medication for your pet. This
is referred to as the VCPR and it is required by law. The VCPR usually
involves face-to-face communication and an exam of your pet, which
allows your veterinarian to determine the health status of your pet
before making any treatment recommendations.
"Pet owners and veterinarians can work together to ensure Canadian pets
stay healthy," Dr. Berry advises. "We encourage pet owners to engage
their veterinarians in a discussion about healthcare options to ensure
they make a well-informed decision for their pet's medical care."
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is the national voice
for the veterinary profession dedicated to serving and representing the
veterinarians of Canada. To learn more about CVMA visit www.canadianveterinarians.net.
SOURCE: Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
For further information:
Kristin McEvoy, CVMA Manager of Communications & Public Relations
613-236-1162 ext. 128 or firstname.lastname@example.org