Junior and Adult Health Screening
A non-senior pet does not need regular visits to the veterinarian’s office, right? Wrong! A non-senior, or junior or adult, pet’s health should never be taken for granted. Instead, regular visits to the veterinarian should take place in order to aid that pet in living the longest and healthiest life possible. In fact, all healthy pets should see their veterinarian at least once a year. These yearly visits will include:
This gives the pet owner, or client, one-on-one time with the veterinarian. At this time the pet owner and veterinarian will discuss the pet’s daily routine, heath care, nutrition and other age-appropriate matters. The pet owner should point out any changes in their pet’s health or behavior or convey any other existing concerns.
A Physical Examination
The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination which would include palpation of the patient’s abdomen and musculoskeletal system to ensure everything is normal. The veterinarian will also listen to the patient’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope to check for any problems such as a heart murmur. The eyes, ears, teeth and skin will also be examined for signs of disease.
Vaccine protocols vary from veterinarian to veterinarian. The veterinarian will administer age and risk appropriate vaccinations on a patient to patient basis. This will protect the pet against any diseases they may be susceptible to.
Regardless of the pet’s parasite control status, it is very common for a fecal examination and heartworm test to be performed annually. Other diagnostics, such as blood work, urinalysis, radiographs or other tests, may be recommended should the veterinarian deem it necessary.
Heartworm preventative, flea and tick control, and nutrition are some of the things the veterinarian and the veterinary staff will recommend to ensure the pet’s wellness. Based on the physical examination, a dental cleaning may also be advised for the pet.
A pet owner should stay alert regarding changes in their pet’s health. A veterinarian should be contacted immediately should a pet begin to experience unexplained weight loss, excessive water intake and urination, lethargy, loss of appetite, changes in behavior, vomiting or diarrhea, lameness, bad breath or bleeding gums, ear or skin odor or irritation, or any other signs that something may be abnormal.