- Get your dog or cat a wellness examination twice a year or at a minimum once a year. It’s the key to helping, "add years to your pets life and life to your pets years". Since pets age faster than humans, they benefit from exams every six months. Don’t assume an indoor cat doesn’t need a regular exam, or that a seemingly healthy pet can sit a year out—animals can be very good at hiding pain and disease. Often, if you wait until you see signs of pain or illness the issue is more problematic and may pose a greater risk.
- Start a dialogue with your veterinarian. Use the wellness examination as a chance to discuss your pet’s well being. Talk about their lifestyle—hunter or couch potato? How much time is spent indoors versus outdoors? Do they interact with other pets or wildlife? Your veterinarian will also tailor a preventive care plan based on your pet’s life stage—there’s a big difference in how to care for a puppy or kitten versus an adult or a senior, for instance.
- Bring up any behavior issues. Some people save questions about behavior for trainers (or, unfortunately, “Dr. Google”), but your veterinarian can help determine if there is an underlying medical cause. They can also offer solutions you might not have considered for common issues like inappropriate urination, aggression, or separation anxiety.
- Test annually for dangerous diseases. Every dog and cat should have an annual test for heartworm and internal parasites (the dreaded worms!), and cats should be tested at least once for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV), which can shorten their lifespans and be transmitted to other cats. Parasite infections can cause vomiting and diarrhea—and be transmitted to humans. In older pets, your veterinarian may recommend monitoring organ function and overall health with blood and urine testing, blood pressure monitoring, radiographs (X-rays), and ultrasound.
- Watch their weight. Pet obesity is reaching epidemic proportions—an estimated one out of every two pets is overweight or obese. Being a fat cat or plump pup can have disastrous health effects, such as increasing the risk of diabetes, heart and respiratory disease, cancer, and arthritis. A slight adjustment to your pet’s diet or exercise regimen can make a huge difference, so ask your veterinarian for your pet’s target weight. Proper nutrition in the proper amount is the key. Ask your Veterinarian for a feeding recommendation.
- Keep those whites pearly. By the time they turn three years old, 70–80% of dogs and cats have signs of dental disease. Left untreated, dental problems can cause pain, infection, and inflammation and take years off your pet’s life. So smile when your veterinarian checks your dog or cat’s teeth and gums—it’s a vital part of their care. There are 4 stages of periodontal disease. What stage is your pet?
- Battle the bloodsuckers. Every dog and cat should receive year-round parasite control to prevent against heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas, and when appropriate, ticks. Even if your pet spends most of his time indoors, he can still pick up diseases from these sneaky pests that can fly, crawl, or hitchhike on you to get inside your house. These bugs spread serious (even fatal, in the case of heartworms) diseases that are easily preventable with monthly medications.
- Tailor vaccination protocols to your pet. While some vaccines, like rabies, are required by law because of the risk to humans, others may be necessary for your pet’s lifestyle. In some scenarios, a titer to previous vaccines can be measured to help decide if a booster vaccination is necessary. Your veterinarian will know what’s best for your pet.
- Check the chip. Every dog and cat should be microchipped—even indoor cats and fenced-in dogs can escape and become lost. Make sure your contact information is current with the microchip manufacturer, and ask your veterinarian during your pet’s annual exam to “check the chip” by scanning it to make sure it is still reading properly.
- Discuss when to spay or neuter. Spaying and neutering provides several health and behavior benefits. If it hasn’t already been done, talk to your veterinarian about the best time to perform this procedure. It could save your pet’s life by decreasing the risk of life-threatening diseases like pyometra (a uterine infection) and mammary, uterine, and testicular cancer. Plus, it will prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kittens from entering animal shelters.
Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center has the latest in ultrasound technology, therapeutic laser therapy, advanced dentistry such as root canals, oral digital radiography, highly educated and experienced staff members with a unique approach to keeping healthy pets healthy. Therapeutic laser therapy is a way to deliver drug-free, pain-free relief of inflammation and pain, reduces swelling, stimulates nerve regeneration and cells involved in tissue repair. Root Canal therapy offers a viable option to tooth extraction. Oral digital radiography allows our Doctors to make comprehensive oral evaluations. Dr. Clark is a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society. Our clinical support staff members or either Licensed Veterinary Technicians or have a Bachelor's degree. We take pride in the quality of our caring, competent team members.
Your pet is special - so is our care!