Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"Check" it out- The top pet health needs of 2015!

A loving home goes a long way toward the health but its not the be all and end all. Check out our list of your pets top health care needs in 2015!

A physical exam. This is the most important part of an annual wellness visit.
We wish we could speak with pets so that they may tell us how they are feeling.That isn't the case.We may be able to alter the course of a disease if we catch it early enough. During a physical exam, a veterinarian will do a head-to-toe examination of the pet.
It may be hard to notice while chatting in the exam room with your vet but they start at the pet’s head and work all the way back to the tail.
During the exam, they are looking in  the pet’s mouth for broken teeth or gingivitis, the eyes for cataracts or glaucoma, the ears for infection or parasites, and the neck for the pet’s lymph nodes and thyroid gland.
Listening to the pet’s chest for a heart murmur or irregular beat, which are signs of heart disease and listening to the lungs, feeling the abdomen for irregularities, checking the joints, skin for abormal growths is also a very vital part of the exam. Finally watching your pet move around the room for signs of pain or neurological issues.

Vaccinations. Veterinarians will recommend vaccines based on factors, such as whether a cat stays indoors, if a dog goes swimming, the local climate, and diseases present in your area. Optional vaccines include feline leukemia (recommended for outdoor cats) and canine bordetella, or kennel cough -recommended for dogs who visit a groomer, boarding or if you bring your pet out with you to local parks, Petsmart, or friends who have pets. Did you know that you can even carry in viruses on your shoes and clothes from outside your home?

Dental exam.Dental disease can be very painful, even though your pet may show you they are a real trooper and continue eating. They may focus on eating on one side of their mouth only and you may not even notice it!

Parasite testing. Fleas and heartworm can affect pets, and parasites, such as roundworm and ringworm, can affect people as well. AVH recommends bringing in  a fecal sample to check for parasites in the intestine. Preventive medicine is the key to protect against parasites.

Lab work. Based on a pet’s breed and age, a veterinarian might recommend additional diagnostic testing.
Routine blood work, for example, will check things a veterinarian can’t detect on a physical exam, such as signs of diabetes, an underlying infection, or poor kidney health. Detecting and treating disease at its earliest stage is best for the pet and less costly to the pet owner in the long run.

AVH has also designed "Wellness Plans" of varying stages for your pet. You can call our office to find out more information about them and how they can benefit you and your pet both from a financial point of view to a preventative point of view. The information about our wellness packages is  also located on our Facebook page.