Should I Take My Pet To The Veterinarian Clinic For An Annual Visit?
As much as people love their pets, some pet owners don’t have a full understanding of their pet’s vaccination schedule, or when and how often their pets should see a veterinarian.
Taking your pet to a vet clinic for an annual medical exam is just as important as an annual medical exam for the human members of your family. Pets, like people, age and can develop illnesses or other conditions over time; it is essential to monitor your pet’s health as well as ensure your pet is kept up to date on any necessary immunizations.
Is It Necessary To Take Your Dog To The Vet?
Yes! Every dog should see their veterinarian regularly. Dogs require different medical care throughout different stages of their lives, from puppyhood until they are a senior dog.
Keeping your puppy healthy means making sure he gets his puppy shots! Your veterinarian will administer a series of shots that protect against distemper, parvo, and coronavirus, and others. It is essential that you do not take your puppy into any public places until they receive their third rounds of shots in order to ensure that your puppy doesn’t contract an illness.
Once your puppy reaches his adult years, he will need to see his veterinarian once yearly for an annual visit. Annual visits typically include a fecal check, heart-worm check, an exam, and any immunizations. Even adult dogs need booster shots to ensure that they remain immune to common viruses that affect their species. In addition to their booster shot, your dog will need a rabies vaccine. How often your dog needs to get his shots depends on the type of vaccine your veterinarian administers; some vaccines are good for up to three years! Speak with your veterinarian to determine your pet’s vaccination schedule.
Senior dogs have unique needs. As your dog gets older, he may require medications to keep him happy and feeling great, as well as regular checkups to track any changes in his health. Even minor injuries can affect your senior dog more significantly than when he was a younger dog. Seeing your veterinarian regularly can help both you and your dog navigate his golden years.
What are Common Illnesses in Dogs?
- Intestinal parasites – dogs of all ages and breeds are susceptible to intestinal parasites. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms are all common canine intestinal worms. Your veterinarian will perform a fecal check at your dog’s annual visit to check for the presence of these and other parasites.
- Impacted anal glands – while most of the time your dog’s anal glands will express themselves, there are times when things don’t always go as they should, leaving your dog with painful, impacted anal glands. Impacted anal glands can abscess; it is very important to have your dog examined for impacted anal glands when you visit your veterinarian.
- Bordetella – similar to a cold in humans, bordetella can make your dog sneeze, cough, and wheeze. While the symptoms usually sound worse than they are, bordetella is still uncomfortable and can spread very quickly to other dogs. If your dog frequents dog parks or dog daycare, be sure to have him immunized for bordetella.
Do Cats Need To Go To The Vet Every Year?
Cats, like dogs, should see their veterinarian each year for regular checkups and immunizations. Even cats who remain indoors most of the time should stay up to date on their shots – after all, you never know when someone could accidentally leave the front door open, letting your indoor cat outside! Your cat will benefit from regular vet visits throughout the various stages of their lives:
Your kitten will require shots to keep him protected from cat-specific illnesses, including feline leukemia and feline distemper. In addition to immunizations, your vet will check to see that your cat is growing and developing properly, and isn’t showing any signs of disease.
Once your cat reached adulthood, he will need booster shots as well as rabies shots to keep him healthy and protected. It is also recommended that your cat receives a fecal check once per year to ensure that he doesn’t have any intestinal parasites.
As your cat ages, he may need to be seen by your veterinarian more often to ensure that your cat is happy and pain-free. Many older cats develop arthritis, as well as are more prone to urinary tract infections, which can require medications. Taking your senior cat to the vet for regular checkups can help him age gracefully and keep his health in check.
What are Common Illnesses in Cats?
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – FIV is a potentially deadly illness in cats that weakens your cat’s immune system and makes him more susceptible to secondary infections.
- Urinary Tract Infections – a urinary infection in cats is not uncommon. If you notice that your cat seems to be going to his litter box more frequently or appears to be straining to urinate, make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
- Ringworm – if your cat has bald, scaly patches on his tail, ear tips, paws, and head, he might have ringworm. Ringworm is a highly contagious condition caused by a fungus that can even spread to humans! If your cat has ringworm, handle your cat with gloves and long sleeves and be sure to disinfect any crates or bedding he may have touched.
When Should You Take Your Pet To The Vet?
How often you should take your pet to the vet depends on a number of factors. Depending on your pet’s health, the existence of any chronic condition, and age, your pet may need to visit the veterinarian more frequently than other pets.
At the minimum, your pet will typically require an annual visit to their veterinarian; however, you should speak with your veterinarian about the frequency in which you should make appointments for your pet.
How Much Should A Vet Visit Cost?
How much your visit to the veterinarian costs depends on what services are being performed at your pet’s appointment. A regular annual vet visit will cost far less than an emergency visit to treat a laceration or a broken bone.
It is crucial to keep in mind that preventative care will help keep your vet bills low. Preventing illness or injury is less expensive than treating it. Scheduling annual vet visits will allow your veterinarian to monitor any changes in your pet’s health.
What Kinds of Pet Ailments Can I Treat at Home?
- Minor cuts – almost every pet will experience minor cuts at some point during their lifetime. Knowing how to clean and dress a minor cut properly can save you hundreds of dollars in veterinary bills as well as prevent a painful infection.
- Allergies – just like their human counterparts, pets can suffer allergies! From seasonal allergies like pollen and mold to food allergies that cause hair loss and skin irritation, your pet’s allergies can often be treated at home. It is crucial, however, to not diagnose your pet’s allergies yourself; speak with your veterinarian about your pet’s symptoms and any over-the-counter medications and home remedies you can try.
- Mild diarrhea – sometimes, your pet’s new treats will not agree with him and will leave him with a grumbly stomach and perhaps some diarrhea. Mild diarrhea can be treated with a spoonful of pure canned pumpkin (be careful to get the unsweetened kind!) However, if your dog’s diarrhea lasts for more than 24 hours, call your veterinarian.
What is Considered an Emergency Vet Visit?
Any circumstances which threatens your pet’s life or causes an extreme amount of pain or discomfort can be considered an emergency. When it comes to your pet’s health, it is always better to err on the side of caution and seek emergency medical treatment.
If your pet is not bleeding or showing visible signs of trauma, it can be difficult to discern whether or not your pet needs to go to the emergency clinic. You know your pet better than anyone – if something seems “off,” trust your gut.
Oftentimes, your pet will disguise his pain so well that you do not know that there is any cause for immediate concern. Knowing the signs that your pet is injured or in pain is key to keeping your pet safe and healthy, even if there is no obvious ailment.
Look out for these subtle signs of a sick or injured pet:
- Hiding – many animals find somewhere secluded to hide if they feel ill or are injured. If your usually-outgoing dog or cat is hiding underneath your bed, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
- Refusing food or water – while it’s not uncommon for pets (especially cats) to shun a food they don’t like, refusing food and water for an extended time is a sign that you need to take your pet to the vet. Dehydration is deadly – if your pet isn’t eating or drinking, call your vet right away!
- Sleeping excessively – while it’s typical for a cat or dog to take multiple naps throughout the day, if your pet is becoming lethargic, he may be ill or injured and should be taken to the animal clinic to be seen.
- Changes in the gums or tongue – changes in any color in your pet’s gums or tongue may indicate a serious condition. If your pet’s gums are greyish, bluish, or whitish, call the emergency vet immediately.
- Pacing- a sick or injured pet may pace back and forth as if he is nervous. If your cat or dog is pacing excessively, a trip to the vet is in order.
The Veterinary Clinic Albuquerque Trusts
Now, more than ever, pets are a part of the family. Choosing the right Albuquerque veterinarian is essential to the health of your pet. At Petroglyph Animal Hospital, our number one priority is your pet’s health and wellness. From their first shots to their senior years, we strive to provide the best possible veterinary care.
When you want to provide your pet the best life, let Petroglyph Animal Hospital be your partner in regular or emergency vet services. Let us show you why we’re ranked among the best vets in Albuquerque! Call and speak to a member of our team today: (505) 898-8874