Chronic diseases in cats and dogs
Chronic diseases can be defined in different ways. One definition classifies a chronic disease as a condition lasting at least 3 months. Another definition defines chronic disease as a condition that can be controlled but not cured. Either way, a chronic disease requires a commitment to continue therapy for as long as needed, whether three months or for a lifetime.
How is a chronic disease different from an acute disease? Let’s look at a urinary tract infection as one example. The first time your pet develops a urinary tract infection (UTI), the condition is labeled as acute. However, if the pet is subject to repeated UTIs, then the condition can be defined as chronic. Diabetes is another example of a chronic disease, as are conditions such as hypothyroid disease and hyperthyroid disease.
For pets subject to UTIs, care may not be difficult since most urinary tract infections can be treated and the pet cured within a relatively short period of time. The critical takeaway point for a UTI is to give any antibiotic that the veterinarian prescribed until it is all used up. You should never stop the antibiotic once the symptoms appear to go away. You may only have knocked the disease on its head, you have probably not made it go away completely.
When it comes to chronic diseases or illnesses such as diabetes or thyroid disorders, your pet will require a life long commitment on your part in order for the pet’s condition to be controlled.
None of us want to see our pets fall ill. Unfortunately, just like we humans, pets do get sick. Fortunately for our pets, when they do get sick we have the resources of the veterinarian to determine what’s wrong, the assistance of the pet’s owner to ensure that the pet is treated as directed for as long as is necessary, and the availability of pet pharmacies to provide the prescription medications the veterinarian has prescribed.
We can help you take care of your pets by providing you with the most common medications used in treating chronic disease. Our pharmacy can fill your prescription for antibiotics for a UTI; Vetsulin, PZI Vet, or glyburide for diabetes; Soloxine for hypothyroid disease; methimazole for hyperthyroid disease; or Vetmedin, enalapril, furosemide, or digoxin for congestive heart failure; as well as many other medications for a wide range of conditions.
To further help you understand chronic diseases and to help you in the care of your pet, the PetMeds website contains a wealth of pet education information that you should find informative.