By John Ostapkovitch

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There are more pets these days but a veterinarians group says fewer are getting even the minimum medical care.

In honor of National Pet Week, now through May 12th, the American Veterinarian Medical Association is trying to rattle people’s cages to point out that vet visits are down and preventable parasites are up.

Dr. Ilana Reisner, a Philadelphia area behavioral medicine specialist, says it’s important to find a General Practice veterinarian for more than wellness exams and vaccinations,

“There’s much, much more than the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health care for animals and especially preventive care and indentifying early problems and being able to nip them in the bud in the primary care level.”

Dr. Reisner is aware of the kind of sticker shock that high end, specialist veterinary care can carry, but she says an honest dialog with your vet about how far you might be willing to go is important. She says paying to catch things early is better all around than waiting for worse news later.

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