We all know that preventing disease or catching it in its early stages is far better than treating it once it has had time to progress to a more severe stage. Preventive health care on a regular basis will help you do just that, and save you and your pet from needless suffering and a larger financial burden. This article explains what preventive measures you can take to keep your dog healthy.
Island Vet Group provides annual veterinary exams and preventive health care for dogs. Call (631) 271-7387 today to schedule your dog’s annual check-up.
The Annual Exam
Just as annual physical exams are recommended for humans, they are recommended for our pets as well. If your dog is older or has medical problems, he may need even more frequent examinations. A year is a long time in a dog’s life. Assuming our pets will live to their early teens, receiving a yearly exam means they will only have about thirteen exams in a lifetime. That is not very many when you think about it.
During your dog’s annual physical exam you should review these aspects of your dog’s health with your veterinarian:
- Vaccination status
- Parasite Control – for intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and heartworms
- Dental Health – care you give at home; any mouth odors, pain, or other signs of disease you may have observed
- Nutrition – what your dog eats, how often, what supplements and treats are given, and changes in water consumption, weight, or appetite
- Exercise – how much exercise your dog receives including how often and what kind; and any changes in your dog’s ability to exercise
- Ears and Eyes – any discharge, redness, or itching
- Stomach and intestines – any vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, or abnormal stools
- Breathing – any coughing, shortness of breath, sneezing, or nasal discharge
- Behavior – any behavior problems such as barking, ‘accidents,’ or changes in temperament
- Feet and legs – any limping, weakness, toenail problems
- Coat and skin – any hair loss, pigment changes, lumps, itchy spots, shedding, mats, or anal sac problems
- Urogenital – any discharges, heats, changes in mammary glands, urination difficulties or changes, neutering if it has not already been performed
- Blood tests – especially for geriatric dogs, those with medical problems, and those who are receiving medications