Vet checkups or routine pet wellness exams are your pet's best chance at staying in optimal health their whole lives and in this blog, our veterinarians discuss the steps involved in pet checkups at our Bedford veterinary hospital and why they are so important to your pet's health.
Your Pet's Physical Checkup
During your pet's checkup at Fine Animal Hospital your veterinarian will review your cat or dog's medical history and ask you if you have any specific concerns regarding your pet's health.
After this, your veterinarian will conduct a comprehensive physical examination of your pet which will typically include any or all of the following:
- Checking your pet's weight, stance, and gait
- Listening to your companions' heart and lungs
- Looking at your cat or dog's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Examining your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Inspecting the overall condition of your pet's coat for dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
- Looking at your animal's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Examining the condition of your dog or cat's teeth for any signs of periodontal disease, damage, or decay
- Palpating your pet's abdomen to see if the internal organs look normal and to check for signs of discomfort
- Checking your pet's skin for a variety of problems including dryness, parasites, lumps, and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
- Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of illness including swelling or evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain
The tests and checks listed above are meant to find any signs of health conditions your cat or dog might be experiencing. Because our beloved pets can't tell us when they are uncomfortable or experiencing pain, these checkups help us determine how your four-legged friend is feeling.
Making Sure Vaccines Are Up To Date
Vaccines are designed to keep your pet safe from common, contagious, and often life-threatening illnesses, and diseases. The vaccines your veterinarian recommends for your cat or dog will depend on your pet's lifestyle and where you live.
Cat and dog core vaccines are recommended for all pets, where lifestyle vaccines are usually recommended for pets that are regularly in contact with other animals. For more information about the vaccines, our vets recommended for your pet see our vaccination schedule.
Adult pets will require 'booster shots' on a regular basis in order to maintain their protection against disease. Generally, boosters are given once a year or once every three years. Your veterinarian will inform you when your pet is due for booster shots.
Preventing Parasitic Diseases & Conditions
Parasites are a serious health threat to cats and dogs in Bedford. Ticks and mosquitos carry parasites that can invade your pet's body and cause potentially fatal conditions, which is why your veterinarian will recommend ways you can prevent parasites from infecting your pet. You also need to know that some parasites can be passed from pets to owners!
Your pet's wellness exam could also include Heartworm testing. This test allows your vet to examine your dog or cat's blood for the earliest signs of heartworm disease. Detecting heartworm as early as possible gives your pet their best possible chance of a good treatment outcome if they have contracted this serious parasitic condition.
Parasite prevention can help protect your cat or dog from conditions such as:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
The Benefits of Pet Checkups
We know bringing your pet to the vet when they appear healthy can seem like an unnecessary cost, however routine checkups help your pet's team of veterinary professionals find signs of disease in their earliest stages when many conditions are easier to treat, they also provide your cat or dog with quality preventive care such as vaccines and parasite prevention medications. When compared to treating advanced forms of disorders, diseases, and illnesses (especially heartworm) regular routine wellness exams will save you money.
They will also make sure your pet experiences a minimal amount of discomfort or pain from any health conditions they are experiencing. The earlier a medical issue is found, 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.