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This year’s Vet Report has a theme: it follows the journey of pet ownership, looking at the delights and challenges of owning a pet throughout their life. The first stage, of course, is choosing a pet. This is an important decision and not one to be undertaken lightly. We talk about the important considerations such as time, cost and space, and then explain some of the things to look out for when finding your chosen pet. Veterinary care is advancing at great speed. We can now recognise and treat more diseases than ever before, which means that vets are becoming increasingly specialised in their roles. We look at how vets work together to provide cutting edge care for your pet. Dental disease is the most common ailment of cats and dogs, so many owners of these species will have to deal with this at some point. Alex Smithson explains some common causes of dental disease, and how you can help to prevent and manage them at home. Alabama Rot is the complete opposite of dental disease. It is a very rare condition of dogs, one about which we still know very little and which unfortunately proves fatal for the majority of dogs who develop it. We feature the latest information and developments about this worrisome condition. Pets are living longer, healthier lives than ever before and this means that conditions affecting older pets are becoming more prevalent and better understood. Behaviour changes in older pets can be very distressing for pet and owner alike, and veterinary behaviourist Sarah Heath discusses what can cause them and how they can be helped. For many pet owners, the loss of a pet can be as traumatic as losing a friend or family member. Guest author Caroline Hewson has provided a sensitive and insightful article about this rarely discussed subject. We hope that The Vet Report offers insights into your own journey with your pets, and remember that your veterinary team will be with you every step of the way. Kind regards Dr Huw Stacey BVetMed DipAS(CABC) MRCVS Vets4Pets Director of Clinical Services WELCOME 1 The Vet Report 2017