If this is your first time taking your precious pet for her annual pet exam, knowing will happen can help reduce or eliminate some of the anxiety or stress that you might feel. If you are calm and relaxed, this will significantly help your pet who will be able to read your emotional climate.
Here is what to expect at your annual pet exam.
The consultation part of the appointment usually takes place at the beginning and this is a time when your vet will ask you a variety of questions about the health, wellbeing and behavior of your furry, scaly or feathered friend. It is also an ideal time for you to ask your vet any questions that you have about your pet, or the care that you are providing. If your vet feels it is necessary, he/she may suggest some changes to what you are currently doing. These changes will enhance the care you are giving your pet and should be viewed as valuable support rather than criticism.
A nose to tail physical check of your pet’s body
Unsurprisingly, one of the key aspects of your pet’s annual exam will be a physical examination. There are many problems that be diagnosed just by looking at and feeling her body. Most veterinarians perform this check methodically, looking at:
- Her ears, making sure there is no foul odor, discharge or anything to suggest infection or ear mites
- Her eyes, ensuring that they are clear and in good condition
- Her mouth, checking the condition of her teeth and gums and ensuring there are no abnormal masses
- Her coat, to see that it is in good condition and not dry or lacklustre
- Her paws, to ensure that her claws aren’t in growing and the paw pads are healthy
- Her joints and mobility: poor movement or pain could suggest arthritis or similar health problems
- Her body, palpating her organs to check position and size and scanning for any abnormal lumps and bumps
Blood tests (if required, additional charges may apply)
Blood tests, if recommended, can assist your vet in determining what is happening inside your pet’s body. They usually comprise of two separate tests. These are:
- A complete blood count (CBC). This analyses how many red and white cells are present in her blood and can pinpoint problems such as anemia or that your animal has an infection that she is fighting.
- A blood chemistry test. This looks at how well her organs and body systems are functioning.
Urine and fecal testing (if required, additional charges may apply)
Again, these are useful tools for telling your vet how well your pet’s body is working. Urine tests typically show up problems with the renal system, which fecal testing generally shows internal parasite infestations.
Parasite preventative recommendations
Parasites can make life miserable for our pets, and there are many different types to be aware of. These range from external parasites like fleas and ticks, to internal worms such as hookworms, whipworms and heartworms. Heartworms can only really be detected using a blood test, but this check is very important since they can prove deadly for your pet if they are left untreated.
Once your vet in Gastonia NC has established that your pet is parasite-free, you may well be offered a change to boost her immunity using preventatives. Your vet will advise you which are the most suitable for your creature and recommend a schedule of preventative care that should ensure that your pet remains protected from parasites at all times.
Vaccination boosters (if required, vaccination charges may apply)
Pet vaccines have and continue to be responsible for saving the lives of countless animals worldwide, keeping them safe from the many infectious diseases that threaten their existence. However, vaccines are only effective for a period of time before they will need to be re-administered. Many vets recommend that you tie in these booster shots with your pet’s annual wellness exam so that you only have to attend one appointment and you are less likely to forget an important part of her care.
If you would like to know more about what to expect from your pet’s annual exam, please don’t hesitate to contact our veterinarians in Gastonia NC at 704-824-9876.