Annual Health Checks
Have you ever heard that each dog year is equivalent to 7 human years? Whilst this isn’t entirely true, there is an important truth hidden within there – and that is that our pet’s age at a much faster rate than ourselves. On top of this, our pet’s rarely complain to us of pain or discomfort. We have to rely on subtle clues that something is amiss. By the time we’ve realised something’s going wrong – it may be that things have deteriorated significantly. The unapologetic aim of annual health checks is to identify your pet’s health risks and guide you through preventative health care.
The annual health check is often performed at the same time as your pet’s annual vaccination. If your pet is receiving an annual anti-heartworm injection, this can also be given during the annual health check. Our Vets will start by taking a thorough history of your pet’s home habits and health. What food is he eating? When was the last time he received heartworm treatment? And so on.
At this point, we may make nutritional recommendations or comment on the quality of your pet’s parasite prevention treatments.
We will then perform a full physical exam of your pet. This starts from the front with the nose and slowly moves all the way back to the tip of the tail. During the examination, your vet will comment on your pet’s physical health. This includes, but is not limited to, your pet’s weight, dental health and physical fitness.
As your pet moves through their life milestones, they will reach a point in which annual blood screening tests are recommended. This is because, as your pet ages, they fall at increased risk of internal organ diseases, such as thyroid and kidney problems. Often, these conditions aren’t noticed until they are reasonably advanced and very serious. Therefore, an annual check-up blood test becomes a no-brainer. This is usually from 7 years of age but can vary depending on the breed.
We then share our professional advice regarding your pet, and together with you will formulate a plan for the upcoming year. Perhaps more exercise, Introducing a joint health supplement, a serious change of diet and anything else that will improve the health and happiness of your pet.
Finally, your veterinarian will arrange to see you both back to do it all again next year!