What To Expect From Your Pets Examination

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 – including 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