Pet Doctors Veterinary Clinics specialise in all household pets.
It is very important that our pets get an annual health check, just like our cars need an annual service. It is all very well putting in the petrol but if you forget to check the oil or water, you never know when the head gasket might go!
Most pets have a yearly health check when they come in for their booster vaccinations but six monthly checks is recommended, especially for older animals because the vet’s expertise may identify problems that are not visible to you.
At a health check, the vet will examine the animal thoroughly. The ears and skin are examined to make sure that there are no infections. The eyes are checked for any abnormalities. The teeth are checked for gingivitis or decay and a dental (eg scale and polish or extractions) may be advised. Lymph nodes are felt all over the body as enlarged ones can indicate a problem. The chest is listened to with a stethoscope to detect any heart murmurs or unusual lung sounds. The tummy is palpated to see if anything is painful or if any organs feel abnormal. The whole animal is checked for any lumps in the skin as any suspicious masses will need to be examined more closely and may need to be removed before they cause a major problem.
You should be vigilant between these annual health checks for any changes in your pet. If you notice a lump whilst grooming the animal get it checked. Check claws regularly as long ones are prone to breaking or can overgrow and puncture the pads, which is very painful. This is especially important with older animals because they walk less so claws are more likely to overgrow.
Many older pets are on prescription medication for ailments such as arthritis or a poorly heart. For your vet to be able to continue treatment on a regular basis, the animal must have a prescription check every 6 months. The vet can then assess the pet’s progress and make a judgement on whether to change the type or dose of medication. If you think your pet is losing or putting on weight without a change in diet, this could be a sign of illness. A change of appetite is also important. If your pet suddenly becomes very hungry this is just as much a vital sign of a problem as not eating. Water intake is also important, as there are many illnesses that can increase an animal’s thirst. Any change in your animal’s behaviour can be significant and early signs of an underlying problem so if in doubt, get it checked out.
Many of the preventive healthcare services we are able to offer you are discussed in detail on our website, but if you have any queries about a specific service you may require for your pet then please contact us and we will be able to advise you on either how we can help, or where you can get the information you need.
Our staff are trained to offer you advise on the day to day care of your pet, and answer any question or help with any concern you may have, no matter how small.
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