I spend a great deal of my time recommending preventative care. Measures and steps we can take today to prevent illness, disease or injury in the future. I try not to judge people when they fail to utilize the safeguards modern science and technology have afforded them but I am only human. There is a little voice inside my head that shouts, “Come on! We already know your dog/cat is allergic to fleas. It’s 2015, why are you not using flea preventative? Why is this poor animal tearing its own skin off because of its flea allergies?” But that doesn’t help the pet, doesn’t help the owner and doesn’t help the practice. It doesn’t even make me feel better. Unfortunately, I know that from experience. I learn the hard way. Always.
Let me share with you a story about a man who owns a house here in Vermont. He and his wife bought the house a number of years ago and it had some very basic upkeep that had to be carried out. Simple stuff. Like many of the houses here in central Vermont, the house has hard water. So there is a water softener. You know how these things work right? You fill the water softener with salt, the water is pumped through a tank of plastic beads that bind up the minerals in the water. Eventually, the beads become saturated and need a recharge, that’s where the salt comes in. The salt cleans and recharges the beads allowing them to attract more minerals. The water then heads through a filter and out into the house. No problem.
After living in the house for over two years, the man and his wife noticed that their heat upstairs didn’t work as well. They had that fixed, the circulator needed replacing, not super expensive and after 20 years t made sense. A few weeks later the other circulator, the one that fed the downstairs zone went. Odd but also 20 years old so not really a head scratcher.
Then it got weird, the water pressure was intermittently off. The couple had a plumber come out and replace the 20 year old well pump, the switches and the pressure gauge. It helped for a while but then the problem was back. Now it was weird though, now the how water didn’t work in the showers. It worked everywhere else but not in the showers.
The man and his wife realized if they changed the water filter more regularly, the water pressure problem was solved. But there was still the issue of the hot water, why couldn’t the hot water get through the showers. It took another three weeks for them to realize they hadn’t put any salt in the system in months. The mineral deposits on all the dishes didn’t spell it out plain enough for them.
They added the salt and it wasn’t magical but the water went back to normal within a few days. All that frustration and likely hundreds of dollars in repairs could have been avoided if they had simply remembered to use their water preventative. In this case, salt.
I know this story because I am the man in the story. My lovely and patient wife never said a mean word in my direction when we finally realized that the problem was my forgetfulness.
So the next time you’re feeling guilty about not using a preventative measure with your pet, look at your vet and think, “This could have been the idiot who almost destroyed his home’s plumbing by skipping out on the salt.” And then use the preventative because just like the salt, prevention is the better route. If you’re struggling with the financial aspect of flea and tick prevention, read this post.
Thanks for reading.