Dr. Bob Beede has been a practicing veterinarian for 43 years and is currently practicing at Intermountain Pet Hospital in Meridian, Idaho. We talked with him about pet health tips, his experience with behavioral treatments, and new technologies that are changing veterinary care.
Why Preventative Care Is Important
"We focus a lot on preventative care packages, where we do an exam, and a blood-urine panel. And 40% of those [preventative care packages] on older pets will show issues that need further work up. Those dogs and cats looked healthy when they came in and they were not."
PolicyGenius Tip: The American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association recommend check-ups for your cat or dog at least annually, even if they seem healthy.
How To Approach Behavioral Issues
"A lot of times behavior will come up when we’re just doing an annual physical. Sometimes clients have heard that we treat behavior cases. We’ll set up an exam and look at the preventative care blood work to make sure there’s nothing metabolic that’s creating the behavior issue. If that’s all negative, we’ll walk through [with the client] how we want to approach that behavior problem."
PolicyGenius Tip: Some pet insurance plans will help cover behavioral therapies. Find out more in our guide to pet insurance.
Benefits Of Advancing Technology
"We’ve invested over a million dollars in new technology. We’ve added just about everything you could conceivably add technology wise. It’s the whole package....Rehab [for example] can definitely help a lot of older patients. We’re doing a lot of stem cell and PRP treatments that were not available before. We have a twelve-year-old St. Bernard - and that’s really old for the breed - he’s had several stem cell treatments and three PRP treatments. We’ve kept him going [with these new treatments], which we would not have been able to do before. There’s no question that [clients with pet insurance] are more willing to do these treatments, especially if [pet insurance] is going to help them pay for it."
PolicyGenius Tip: PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma, and it not only helps to relieve pain, but it also promotes healing of musculoskeletal conditions.
The Future Of Animal Health Care
"Things change. I’ve been in practice for 43 years. I do things routinely now that they didn’t even think about when I was in college. Things are going to change a lot [going forward]. I can’t predict what it’s going to be."
PolicyGenius Tip: The barriers between animal and human health care are constantly being broken down - in many cases, treatment for your pet might be as good (or even better) than treatment for you!
2011 AAHA/AVMA Preventive Healthcare Guidelines
PolicyGenius Pet Insurance Guide
Animal Medical Center of Southern California FAQ on PRP Therapy
NBC News — Breakthroughs in animal health care may hold treatments for humans