If you are a pet owner, part of your responsibility to the furry members of the family is to make sure they receive any necessary medical attention. While no one likes to think that money would be an issue when it means the health and welfare of a pet, sometimes it comes down to a financial decision. However, there are things you can do that can reduce the chances that your small animal is going to require surgery or other expensive medical procedures.

Dental Care

One of the most common pet surgeries is tooth removal. Tooth decay in animals often leads to an impacted or abscessed tooth. An infection in the mouth can travel through the animal's circulatory system and spread throughout its body. In order to avoid needing the veterinarian to perform surgery to take care of a bad tooth, regular dental care is required. Ideally, you should brush your pet's teeth daily. Realistically, try to do it two or three times a week. When you take the animal in for a well check or vaccinations, be sure ask the veterinarian to clean the teeth and do a dental check at the same time.

Skin Wounds

Another common reason for small animal surgery involves skin ulcers, masses, tumors and infections. Animals get themselves into all kinds of situations that can cause a tear or laceration of the skin. Small stones, dirt, and even the tooth or claw from a different animal can become embedded under the skin. Often, an abscess forms around the foreign object and surgical removal by experts like those at Northwest Animal Hospital is required. While these situations are very difficult, if not impossible, to avoid, early detection of a cut or tear can help. You should groom your pet daily. Even short-haired pets can be brushed. As you are brushing and petting the animal, check for any cuts or bumps in the skin. Be sure you are feeling all the way down to the skin with your fingers as you brush. If you do find a sore or abscess, thoroughly wash the area and apply an antibiotic ointment.

Having your pet undergo surgical sterilization may help keep your pet from wandering into a dangerous situation and has been shown to reduce the chances of cancer and other serious illnesses. However, there are some medical conditions that you cannot predict and some surgeries that cannot be avoided. To keep surgery to an absolute minimum, make sure you care for your pet properly. Spend time with it daily, groom it and treat any small problems before they turn into something serious.