Even when pet owners know that a routine check-up when their dog or cat is well can be beneficial, they often get busy and forget to schedule the appointment. At Battletown Animal Clinic, we urge you to leave yourself some type of reminder. We will also send you a postcard if it’s been a while since we have seen your pet. Veterinary studies show that keeping an annual preventive care exam schedule can help your dog or cat enjoy a longer, happier life. Isn’t that what every pet owner really wants?
 
Deciding on the Best Check-Up Schedule for Your Pet
If your adult pet between 12 months and seven years has no pressing health problems, bringing him in once a year should be sufficient. Because dogs and cats are already middle-aged by seven, we recommend bi-annual appointments starting at this age. We do additional screening for common age-related problems at six-month intervals, such as arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease. If you have a puppy or kitten under one year, schedule the first appointment as soon as possible. Dr. Henke will give you information about the first-year vaccine schedule at that time.
 
Required vaccines for dogs include canine adenovirus, canine parvovirus, distemper, and rabies. Cats need to be vaccinated against feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, rabies, and rhinotracheitis. Dr. Henke will also discuss optional vaccines you may wish to consider. Some factors that determine whether your pet needs a non-core vaccine include age, breed, lifestyle, and species. If you don’t plan to breed your dog or cat, we recommend spay or neuter surgery as early as six months.
 
The Typical Preventive Care Exam
The annual or bi-annual appointment is a good time to learn if you’re doing all you can to control heartworm, fleas, ticks, and other internal and external parasites. Dr. Henke checks your pet for parasites and may recommend changes to your parasite control program if necessary. Your pet also receives any vaccines or boosters he’s due for at this appointment. Some of the other things that Dr. Henke checks for specifically include:
  • Respiratory problems such as allergies, asthma, coughing, sneezing, or unusual nasal discharge
  • Eye issues such as cloudiness or discharge that could indicate a problem with vision
  • Condition of her teeth, gums, mouth, tongue, and jaws
  • Problems with the coat or skin, including pigmentation changes, anal sac formations, excess shedding, rashes, and hair loss
  • Indications of abdominal distress, such as frequent diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation
  • Condition of the ears, including whether any discharge is present or your pet appears to have difficulty hearing
  • Symptoms that could indicate bone problems, including limping or favoring one limb
Of course, this isn’t an all-inclusive list. We know every pet is unique and tailor our approach to meet his needs. Dr. Henke will order a diagnostic test if he feels that your pet shows any type of abnormality. He will contact you to let you know the results and a follow-up plan as soon as possible.
 
We look forward to seeing you and your pet at the next preventive care exam. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns in the meantime.
 
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