Since we cannot tell what is going on within your pet’s body by examination alone, we recommend diagnostic tests to give us a window into the function of your pet’s internal organs and to screen for internal parasites. Thanks to advances in veterinary immunology, diseases that were once common and fatal to pets are now much easier to prevent. We will review and determine with you which vaccines are appropriate for your pet according to their lifestyle and potential risk of exposure. Another consideration during your pet’s visit will be how to protect your pet from heartworms, fleas, and ticks. According to the American Heartworm Society (AHS), roughly one million dogs are diagnosed with Heartworms every year despite being nearly 100% preventable. This potentially fatal illness affects both cats and dogs, and, according to the AHS, 25% of cats diagnosed with heartworm disease are indoor cats. Fleas and ticks are nasty little blood-sucking bugs that can cause your pet discomfort and spread diseases and, once established, can be very difficult to get rid of. We recommend that both cats and dogs remain on heartworm and flea/tick preventative medication year-round. We will help you find the product best suited for your pet.
You may want to keep a medical diary not only of the procedures and vaccinations your pet receives but also of notes on things like your pet’s elimination habits and any physical changes or unusual occurrences. Keep track of small shifts in your pet’s behavior, including urinary marking habits and mood swings, along with diet and routine modifications. Bring any questions or concerns that you might have regarding your pet’s health, behavior, nutrition, etc. with you and we’ll discuss these with you. These seemingly unrelated occurrences may help explain the results of your pet’s medical tests.
Finally, your pet’s annual examination gives us the opportunity to establish a relationship with you and your pet. Through your pet’s physical examination, wellness procedures, and our consultation, we get to know your pet and learn about his or her lifestyle, personality, health risks, environment, and other important information that helps us determine what is best for your pet’s long-term care.