Routine care and preventive medicine are able to help set your pet up for lifelong health, but what exactly happens at your pet's appointment? Our Kingman vets talk about what to expect during the routine exam and some of the questions that you should ask your vet during your visit.
What are some of the important questions to ask your vet?
As with any important appointment, it is always best to show up prepared. This includes having a list of questions that you have, ready to go. When you have a list of questions it allows you to stay organized and ensure that nothing is missed or forgotten during the visit.
Below the vets at our Kingman animal clinic explain some questions you should have ready to ask your vet and discuss why they are important:
Does my cat or dog need any routine vaccinations?
Vaccines are a very important part of your cat or dog's preventative care. Puppy and kitten shots are necessary to help provide your pet with a healthy start to life and continued adult dog or cat vaccinations will help to protect them throughout their life. The vets at our Kingman 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.
Should I be concerned about my pet's behavior?
Sometimes pets do odd things that are concerning to their owners such as biting, wheezing, or itching. Always take note of these behaviors and ask your vet about them because they will be able to tell you if there is an underlying condition. You should also inform your vet of when these behaviors occurred to help them in making a diagnosis.
Do you have nutritional recommendations?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your pet is over or underweight. Pets of every breed and age have their own specific weight guidelines they have to maintain to live healthy lives. Even a few extra pounds over or underweight can put your pet at risk for various health conditions (some are life-threatening), making this a very important question. If your cat or dog isn't at a healthy weight your veterinarian will help you establish a diet and exercise plan to help your pet get back to a healthy weight.
What parasite prevention should my pet have?
Fleas and ticks are troublesome for both pets and their owners sometimes even spreading serious diseases. With so many different products available it can be hard to know which one would be best for you and your pet. Luckily, your veterinarian will be able to recommend or prescribe a prevention product that will work best for your furry companion.
Can you break down the cost of the visit for me?
Kindly ask your vet this question when they hand you the bill. Your veterinarian will be able to break down the costs and explain what each fee represents, to give you a better understanding of the services provided. It can also give you an idea of what to expect during your pet's next visit.
What happens during your cat or dog's physical exam?
The vets at our clinic in Kingman will begin by reviewing any notes about your pet's medical history and ask you about any concerns that they have.
The next step during your pet's visit will be the physical exam which can include any of the following:
- Listening to your pet's heart and lungs
- Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
- Checking your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Inspecting the pet's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
- Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Looking at your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage, or decay
- Examining your dog or cat's skin for parasites and skin conditions.
- Palpate your pet's abdomen to check for signs of discomfort.
- Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain
Because dogs and cats are unable to communicate as we can, your vet will use a physical examination, along with your concerns, to determine if there are any issues affecting your pet.
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.