When it comes to preventive care, it’s just as important for pets as it is for people. Your dog or cat could be in chronic pain or have the early stages of a serious disease and you might never know it if not for a preventive care exam. Pets can’t tell us when something is wrong and they’re masters at hiding their pain. Scheduling regular check-ups at Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic is the best way to detect and treat potential health issues before they become much more serious.
A Typical Check-Up for Healthy Cats and Dogs
Although your pet seems healthy to you, it’s important to realize that companion animals age five to seven times faster than people do. That means problems that generally afflict middle-age and older people, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, may show up in a pet that’s just seven years old. While we hope to give your pet a clean bill of health at every appointment, preventive care exams are essential to stay ahead of health conditions that could affect your pet’s quality of life.
One of our veterinary technicians begins the appointment by recording your pet’s weight and temperature. This is also a good time to bring up any concerns you have about your dog or cat’s health or behavior. Our technician will pass along your concerns to our veterinarian performing the exam, who will then check your pet from head to tail. Some of the specific things we look at in a preventive care check-up include:
- Reproductive organs
- Anal area
- Paw pads
If our veterinarian notices any issues, such as a mass in your pet’s abdomen or unusual discharge from the eyes, we will diagnose the problem and formulate a treatment plan. We may also ask you to come in for at least one follow-up appointment to see how your pet is doing. When we don’t find any problems, you can plan to come back in six months to one year, depending on your pet’s age and general health.
Parasite control and vaccine administration is an important part of any preventive care exam as well. We will determine which, if any, vaccines your pet needs at this visit and administer them. Your dog or cat’s regular veterinarian will ask what you use to control fleas, ticks, heartworm and other parasites and make sure the product is working as expected. If not, we can recommend a specific product.
We look forward to seeing your pet at his or her next preventive care exam and working together with you to ensure good health.