Regular vet checkups allow your vet the opportunity to keep an eye on your pet's health, check for early signs of disease, and offer preventive treatment against common life-threatening conditions. Here are the benefits of regular checkups for your pet.
Why book a dog checkup or cat checkup?
Preventive care focuses on managing your pet's good health and administering the care they require for their best chance at a long and healthy life. Preventive care for your pet begins with annual vet checkups but in some cases might be required twice per year depending on your pet's needs.
By bringing your dog or cat in to see the vet, even when they seem perfectly healthy, you give your team of veterinary professionals an opportunity to monitor your pet's health, check for the earliest signs of diseases, and provide preventive care such as vaccines and parasite prevention to keep your dog or cat looking and feeling they're very best.
Catching health issues including parasites, ear infections, or gastrointestinal issues early, before obvious symptoms appear, means that treatment can begin early when it is most effective.
How often should I need to bring my pet in for a vet checkup?
Our Moreno Valley vets advocate for yearly checkups for most cats and dogs. This may vary depending on your pet's unique needs, and might also change as they grow older. The frequency of vet appointments will depend on their age and medical history.
Puppies and kittens can be susceptible to health conditions that are easily resisted by adult pets. This is likewise true for senior or geriatric pets. You should bring your puppy/kitten in for a checkup much more frequently to give them the very best start in life, (every month for puppies and kittens under a year old). For geriatric pets, twice a year or more if needed is recommended.
What's involved in a vet checkup for dogs and cats?
When you bring your furry friend to our Moreno Valley animal clinic for a routine checkup, our vets will review their medical history and ask if you have any concerns about your pet's health.
In some instances, we will have asked you to bring in a sample of your pet's stool in order to do a fecal exam. We will take that sample and examine it for signs of common intestinal parasites which would be very difficult to detect otherwise.
After these steps, your veterinarian will perform a physical checkup of your pet which will usually include any or all of the following:
- Listening to your pet's heart and lungs
- Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
- Inspecting the pet's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
- Checking your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Looking at your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage or decay
- Palpate your pet's abdomen to access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
- Examining your dog or cat's skin for a range of issues from dryness to parasites to lumps and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
- 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
All of these tests are meant to detect signs of any health problems your pet may be experiencing. Since our dogs and cats can't tell us when they are uncomfortable, these tests and checks help to determine how your furry friend is generally feeling.
What about getting my pet their shots?
Vaccines are designed to protect your dog or cat against common, contagious, and potentially life-threatening diseases. Which vaccine your vet will recommend will depend on your pet's individual lifestyle.
Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs and cats, though lifestyle vaccines are often just recommended for pets that regularly come in contact with other aminals. For more information regarding pet vaccinations check out our vaccine schedule.
Adult pets will need to be provided with 'booster shots' periodically to maintain their protection against diseases. In most cases, boosters are given annually or once every three years. Your vet will let you know when your dog or cat's booster shots are due.
Does my pet really need parasite prevention?
Parasites are a real health threat to Moreno Valley pets. Ticks and mosquitos carry parasites that can invade your pet's body and cause potentially fatal conditions, that's why your vet will recommend ways to prevent parasites from invading your four-legged friend. It's also important to know that some of these parasites can be passed from pets to their loving owners!
Parasite prevention can help to protect your pet from conditions such as:
- Lyme Disease
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Is preventive care expensive?
Compared to treating advanced forms of conditions, disorders or diseases, (especially heartworm) bringing your cat or dog to an annual exam will save you money.
Not only that, but they will make sure your pet experiences a minimal amount of discomfort or pain from any health issues they are experiencing. The sooner a medical issue is detected, the sooner it can be diagnosed and treated.
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.