Routine wellness exams are the foremost way that you can ensure your dog lives a long, healthy life free of disease and illness. Today, our Rockland County vets talk about routine care and what to expect during your dog's wellness exam.
What to Expect During Your Dog's Checkup
The first thing that your vet may do when you bring your dog in for a vet checkup is to discuss your pet's medical history, gather any information that they still may require for you and your pet, and give you the opportunity to mention any concerns you have with your dog's health.
Once your vet has covered the areas with you they will then move on to a thorough examinations that will include:
- Listening to your pet's heart and lungs
- Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
- Checking your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Inspecting the pet's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
- Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Looking at your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage or decay
- Examining your dog or cat's skin for a range of issues from dryness to parasites to lumps and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
- Palpate your pet's abdomen to access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
- Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain
All of these tests are meant to detect signs of any health problems your pet may be experiencing. Since our dogs and cats can't tell us when they are uncomfortable, these tests and checks help to determine how your furry friend is generally feeling.
The Importance of Routine Vaccinations
In order to protect your canine companion against common, contagious, and potentially life-threatening diseases vaccinations are crucial. The vaccines that your pet should receive are dependent on the area you live in as well as your pet themselves.
There are core vaccines and lifestyle vaccines. Core vaccines should be received by all pets under all circumstances, whereas lifestyle vaccines are most often recommended for pets that commonly socialize or play outside. To find out more about the vaccines recommended for your pet take a look at our vaccine schedule.
Once your pet has been fully vaccinates they will require booster shots in order to ensure continued protection. Booster shots are typically given annually or once every three years. Your vet will be sure to let you know when your dog or cat's booster shots are due.
Why Parasite Prevention is so Important
Parasites are a serious health threat to Rockland County pets. Contracting and transmitting parasites happen fairly easily among pets and therefore it is important to ensure that your pet is adequately protected. Because of this, your vet will recommend ways to prevent parasites from invading your four-legged friend. It's also important to know that some of these parasites can be passed from pets to their loving owners!
If your pet is due for a routine exam then your vet may ask for you to bring a fresh stool sample in so they can perform a fecal exam. Fecal's allow our vet to examine your dog's stool for signs of common intestinal parasites which would be very difficult to detect otherwise.
Heartworm testing is another important part of preventive care and will allow your vet to examine your animal's blood for the earliest signs of heartworm disease. Heartwork disease is a serious condition and it is important that any signs of this serious parasitic condition are spotted as early as possible in order to begin treatment quickly.
Parasite prevention can help to protect your dog or cat from conditions such as:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
The Cost of Routine Care
At our team understands that it may seem counterproductive to bring your dog in to be examined when there are no signs of injury or illness, but we can assure you that by doing so, we are able to spot illnesses, diseases and injuries as early as possible and provide treatment while it is most effective potentially saving you time, money and stress later on.
Not only that, but they will make sure your pet experiences a minimal amount of discomfort or pain from any health issues they are experiencing. The sooner a medical issue is detected, the sooner it can be diagnosed and treated.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.