Regular vet visits help your furry friend live his best life. The visits keep him happy and healthy, able to spend fun and happy days with you. A vet can detect and treat early disease or other conditions as well as head off potential problems.
A routine vet exam may not look very thorough to you. But your vet is looking at many factors in your dog’s health during the exam. Chief among the exam’s points are the following:
1. Ears - Ear infections can be a problem in both dogs and cats. Ear mites, bacterial or yeast infections can lead to painful conditions for your pet. Left untreated the condition can lead to inflamed painful ears that are difficult to treat. Your vet will check your pet for these conditions as well as look for polyps or masses that need to be removed.
2. Eyes - Your vet will check your pet’s eye health. Special attention will be focused on breeds with known eye problems. Eye problems are common in flat-faced breeds like bulldogs, pugs or persian cats. These breeds can develop corneal ulcers if their protruding eyes are scratched. Your vet will also keep an eye on your dog’s eye pressure for a glaucoma condition that can cause vision loss if left unchecked.
3. Mouth - dental health impacts your dog's entire body. During the exam your vet will look for signs of gum disease, loose teeth, tartar or masses in the mouth. Dental problems can affect your dog’s heart, kidneys and other organs due to the traveling bacteria in its system.
4. Skin - Your pet’s overall health can be judged by the condition of its skin and fur. Your vet will be looking for signs of fleas, mange, allergies, and poor nutrition.
5. Heart and Lungs - Heart problems are best managed when signs first appear. These signs are often only picked up by examination with a stethoscope. Oftentimes pets will not display signs of heart disease until it is advanced with symptoms like coughing and exercise intolerance. Heat conditions can also affect the lungs.
6. Abdomen - When your vet examines your pet’s belly he is checking organ size and for abnormal masses. He is on the lookout for enlarged kidneys, a thickened bladder, or an enlarged spleen all of which can indicate medical conditions requiring further treatment.
7. Muscles, Joints and Bones - Your vet will look for a dog’s signs of gait changes, limping, or muscle loss that can often be remedied. Older dogs are prone to osteoarthritis that the vet can be on the lookout for.
In addition to a thorough exam from nose to tail your vet will run several lab tests on your pet. An annual heartworm test will ensure your pet remains negative and free from these deadly parasites. A fecal exam will detect internal parasites that can wreak havoc in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. If any parasites are detected a prompt deworming can assure that problems like diarrhea and leaching away of nutrients is solved.
Vaccinations are an important part of vet visits. They can prevent serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases. Your veterinarian can recommend a vaccination schedule that is appropriate for your pet.
You can see that there are many components to a regular vet check up. Each one is essential to keeping your pet in top shape to be your buddy for years to come.
Thousand Hills Pet Resort and all its proceeds go to our affiliated non-profit New Life K9s.
A dedicated organization that provides service dogs to veterans and first responders living with PTSD at no cost to the recipient. In addition, the New Life K9s prison rehabilitation program educates and trains incarcerated men to become dog handlers and puppy raisers for potential service dogs entering the program. If you wish to learn more about our mission and ways to help visit www.newlifek9s.org/how-to-help/donate.html