Monday, August 23, 2010

Why You Should Have a Family Veterinarian

By Dr. Julia Lewis (pictured right), Director of Medical Services for HSSV

As soon as you acquire a pet, you should develop a relationship with a veterinarian so that you have a family vet. Even though pets adopted from HSSV are fully vaccinated and checked by our staff veterinarians, you should have your vet examine your new best friend within one to two weeks of bringing him or her home. This allows your vet to be introduced to your new family member and to establish a baseline by which to compare should your pet develop any problems. Your vet can also serve as a resource to provide advice about feeding, grooming, training, etc. It's also advisable to have a relationship with a veterinarian that you trust before a problem develops and you find you must go to the first veterinarian you can get in to see.

Use your pet's first visit to the vet as an opportunity to determine if that vet meets your and your pet's needs. If you do this while your pet is healthy, you won't feel pressured to go back to that vet if you or your pet doesn't feel comfortable.

Your pets should have an annual exam with your family vet, while older pets may require twice yearly exams, even if you don't sense any problems or health issues. By seeing your pet annually, your family vet may be able to detect problems in the very early stages providing a diagnosis and treatment that may be minor versus waiting until a problem is so advanced that the cost for diagnosis and treatment becomes a burden.

Did you know that HSSV offers medical services for family pets? HSSV veterinarians and medical support staff offer expert, affordable medical services to the public, including spay/neuter surgeries, microchipping and vaccinations. Bring your furry friend to HSSV and take special pride in knowing that, not only are you keeping your pet healthy, but also all proceeds go back to Humane Society Silicon Valley to save animals' lives. For more information, visit

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