Pets, as well as humans, need regular medical checkups to maintain good health, preventing unwanted infections and illnesses. Annual vet exams allow veterinarians to check early symptoms and provide appropriate preventive care.
This will protect your furry companion against life-threatening illnesses and will also ease your mind. Regular checkups can stop your pet’s suffering before it begins, help you learn more about them, and also save you money if you have a good pet insurance policy.
Below we’ll explain more about the checkups and why are they so important.
The importance of vet checkups
Preventative care is essential for protecting your pet’s health. Appropriate care will provide a better chance at a long and healthy life. Note that having routine exams either annually or twice a year depends on your pet’s specific needs. If you’ve recently moved to a new place the best thing would be to see top vets near you so you can easily keep your pet healthy and happy, without having to travel long-distance.
Remember that booking a vet checkup even if your pet is healthy, allows them to track any changes in your pet’s health. Preventive care like parasite prevention and vaccines are crucial in keeping your furry friend healthy. This also helps catch health issues like ear infections, skin and coat issues early on, before obvious symptoms appear.
Annual exams are recommended for most cats and dogs, however, each pet is different and has different needs. Depending on the pet’s age and medical history, the frequency of checkups can increase as they get older. Note that getting pet insurance early, for example, when they’re 6 months old, is very important since they will track their health from a young age.
Puppies and kittens tend to show health problems early in their life, so make sure you consult with a vet right after adopting so you can prevent serious health issues. For puppies, getting 3 shots in a range of 21 days each, helps them improve their immune system so they can fight off illnesses and infections. When they’re older, you can bring them annually, or if there are any visible issues make sure you bring them for a checkup as soon as you notice anything.
When bringing your pet for an annual exam the vet will review their medical history and ask if there’s anything in their health or behavior that you’re concerned about. They’ll probably ask about their diet, lifestyle, exercise, level of thirst, and urination. Some vets also request a fresh sample of the pet’s stool to be able to detect intestinal parasites that can severely impact your pet’s health.
The vet will later perform a physical examination which includes:
- Examining their feet and nails
- Listening to their heart and lungs
- Taking a close look at their skin for issues like parasites, lumps, or dryness
- Inspecting the overall condition of their coat
- Examining your pet’s eyes, ears, and teeth
- Feeling along their body for signs of illnesses like swelling or evidence of lameness
- Palpate their abdomen to check for signs of discomfort and whether their organs appear to be normal
During a wellness checkup, the vet will establish a baseline for your pet, and the more often they see your furry companion when they’re healthy, the easier will be for them to identify what’s wrong when they’re sick. Early detection through urine, stool, and blood tests can help determine and treat emerging health issues before they become serious.
Some of the common issues include:
- Diabetes – routine tests can help catch diabetes and reveal if they’re in a pre-diabetes state
- Anemia – detecting a declining red blood cell count early is best since it can indicate various disorders such as tumors, toxicities, kidney disease, and infections.
- Heartworm – early detection through blood tests can improve the prognosis and comfort for infected dogs, however, for cats, there’s no safe and effective treatment to remove these parasites.
- Hyperthyroidism – overproduction of thyroid hormone can damage their kidneys, heart, eyes, and also cause a dangerous elevation in blood pressure. Detection can be done through blood tests.
It’s understandable to think that bringing your healthy pet to the vet is an unnecessary cost but routine checkups help veterinarians detect signs of diseases in the earliest stages and can provide the best preventive care for your furry companion. Also, regular checkups will save you money compared to treating advanced forms of diseases, disorders, and other conditions. So, make sure you take care of your four-legged friend the best way you can.
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