It is recommended to have your pet checked annually by a veterinarian. This is because, our pets age at a faster rate than what humans do. As our pets age, they are more likely to develop health issues. Common health issues, we see as pets age include osteoarthritis, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, cancer and other serious conditions. Regular health checks can help veterinarians diagnose health issues early, implement treatment and/or preventative plans or recommend further diagnostic tests to be carried out such as clinical pathology, ultrasonography or x-rays.
A health check of a pet will entail your vet taking a history. This involves asking you questions, such as:
- How has your pet been?
- Has the pet had any recent health concerns?
- Are the pets toileting habits normal?
- Have you treated your pet for internal and external parasites?
- Have noticed any changes in behaviour?
- Have there been any changes in your pet’s appetite?
- Is your pet due for any vaccinations?
The vet will then conduct a thorough physical examination of your pet. This involves checking your pet’s weight and body condition, skin, fur, eyes, ears, teeth, mouth, feel around the body and abdomen and assess the mobility of the limbs and tail for any potential issues.