What happens during a routine exam?
Your pet's wellness exam is a comprehensive health checkup that involves looking at all aspects of your four-legged friend's overall health. At Cortaro Farms Pet Hospital, your dog or cat's routine wellness exam will typically include the following:
- Listening to their heart and lungs
- Weighing in
- Checking your pet's stance and gait
- Examining eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Inspecting the overall condition of your pet's coat, looking for signs of dandruff or abnormal hair loss
- Examining the feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Looking into your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Checking your dog or cat's teeth for any signs of periodontal disease, damage, or decay
- Examining skin for issues such as dryness, parasites, lumps, and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
- Palpate the pet's abdomen to assess the health of internal organs and to check for signs of discomfort
- Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of swelling, evidence of lameness, range of motion, and signs of pain
These tests and checks help your veterinarian determine how your pet is feeling and their overall state of health.
Questions for Vets
Veterinary appointments are always easier for you and your pet when you arrive fully prepared, which includes having the questions you want to ask ready to go. Being prepared ahead of time allows you to get all the information you need to help keep your pet happy and healthy.
That said, it can be challenging to know what questions to ask your veterinarian. Below, are a few suggestions from our vets at Cortaro Farms Pet Hospital:
How is my pet's overall health?Starting with a general inquiry about your pet's overall well-being can help you gauge their overall health status. Your vet can provide you with insights into your pet's weight, dental health, coat condition, and any signs of potential problems.
Is my pet up to date with their shots?Vaccines are a very important part of your cat or dog's preventive care. They have to be kept up to date to help protect them from a wide range of serious and often life-threatening illnesses and diseases. The vets at our Tucson vet clinic always do their best to inform you when your pet is due for their booster shots. However, it can sometimes be overlooked so it's always best to ask.
Is my pet's behavior normal?Pets do strange things that worry their owners, such as biting, wheezing, or itching. Always keep track of these behaviors and consult with your veterinarian if you suspect an underlying condition. You should also tell your veterinarian when these behaviors occurred so they can make an accurate diagnosis.
Is my pet's weight healthy?
It can be difficult to determine whether your pet is overweight or underweight. Pets of all breeds and ages must remain within a specific weight range in order to live healthy lives.
Even a few extra pounds over or underweight can put your pet at risk for a variety of health problems (some of which are life-threatening), making this a critical question. If your cat or dog is overweight, your veterinarian will work with you to develop a diet and exercise plan to help your pet lose weight.
Are there any changes to my pet's diet that I should consider?Diet plays a crucial role in your pet's health, and your veterinarian can offer valuable advice on the right nutrition for your furry companion. Ask about appropriate portion sizes, feeding schedules, and any dietary modifications specific to your pet's breed, age, or medical conditions.
Is there a specific flea or tick prevention product you recommend for my pet?Fleas and ticks are not only bothersome for both pets and their owners, they also spread a number of serious diseases. With so many different products available, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you and your pet. Fortunately, your veterinarian will be able to recommend or prescribe a prevention product that will work best for your pet.
Can you explain my bill to me, please?When the staff at your veterinary office hands you the bill, please ask this question if you don't understand the charges. To give you a better understanding of the services offered, your veterinarian will be able to break down the costs and explain what each fee represents. It can also help you plan your next visit.
When should I schedule the next appointment?Finally, ask your vet when you should schedule the next routine exam for your four-legged friend. Establishing a regular check-up schedule ensures that your pet receives ongoing preventive care and allows any emerging health issues to be addressed before they become more serious concerns.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.