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In 1735 when Benjamin Franklin wrote the famous proverb “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” in The Pennsylvania Gazette he was advocating that fire prevention methods be instituted in Philadelphia (Voice of America, 2024). He was impressed with the methods installed in Boston and realized that in his society, where the houses and businesses were built of wood and heated with fire, taking precautions for the very real possibility that a fire could not only destroy a house or business, it could also devastate more than one building, take out a block of buildings, or demolish an entire town. Since 1735, this proverb has continued to be used in a variety of settings, such as advocating for the use of bicycle helmets, waterproofing your basement, routine maintenance for your vehicle and annual physical exams and associated tests.

Society has changed a great deal since Franklin’s time. One of the most obvious changes is our mobility. Other things are also increasing their mobility, like ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, rodents, etc. and the diseases they spread. It has become such a large issue in veterinary medicine that we tend to use a single word instead of the entire proverb – PREVENTION.

The spread of disease has increased significantly and continues to increase. As an example, Lyme disease in the United States increased from less than 10,000 infections in 1991 to over 40,000 in 2017 (IGeneX, Inc., 2024), which is attributed to the increase in the tick population. Unfortunately, ticks are not the only population to increase, resulting in a plethora of diseases that are as readily accessible as the technology that helped them spread.

Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, but roundworms can be spread by rodents, cockroaches, birds, and a variety of other means. Lyme disease is caused by ticks, while Leptospirosis (Lepto) is bacterium that is found worldwide and can be contracted in a variety of environments, making it a particularly virulent disease. Lepto is a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted to humans.

Fortunately, these diseases are readily preventable. Unfortunately, maintenance is boring and needs an established routine, and people are more likely to react to a crisis than take the time to prevent a crisis. This affects our time, our finances, and our emotions. Prevention is ultimately more cost effective than crisis and becomes a real lifestyle issue when you include the loss of time and the negative impact watching your pet suffer has on your emotions.

While these diseases can be contracted year-round, we tend to see an increase as people and their pets become more active and mobile in the spring. Make an appointment now to ensure your pet is protected. We can prescribe the most appropriate PREVENTION – an ounce of which is worth a pound of cure.

Fox Run Animal Hospital Logo

3390 S. Lapeer Road, Metamora, MI 48455

(810) 678-8738

Voice of America: Learning English,
prevention-is-worth-a-pound-of-cure-/5326585.html, May 14, 2024

IGeneX, Inc., Trends Leading to Lyme Disease Increases | IGeneX Tick Talk, May 14, 2024