Preventative Healthcare and Annual Vaccines
Just like we humans have to have annual checkups with the doctor, the same goes for our pets. Staying up to date on vaccines helps us prevent illnesses that could leave lasting complications or possibly death. The same can be said for our furry friends. Taking the steps to prevent these complications is much easier than dealing with the problem from behind and trying to play catch up to help treat the issue. While we wish we could stay ahead of everything that may affect your pet, unfortunately, we can’t. By taking your young pet to their initial vaccination appointment and the annual checkups after that, you are showing how much you truly care for your pet and doing everything possible to give them the best quality of life.
When you first bring your pet home as a puppy or kitten, they require vaccinations to boost their immune system and get them on the right track. If you are adopting your pet from a shelter, or are unsure of your pets’ medical history, bring them to your local vet to ensure that they have had their initial vaccines. After their first shots as puppies/kittens, they will require booster shots every year to maintain this immunity to the diseases. It is especially important to take your pet at least one time a year for a checkup because our pets cannot tell us when something is wrong. Normally, by the time you notice if something is wrong with your pet due to physical changes in appearance or behavior, the problem has already worsened to the point of needing medical treatment. Having your pets visit the vet from an early age also helps them feel more comfortable in this environment, rather than scared or defensive. It also helps establish a baseline for your pet so as they age, you can more accurately track the severity of their health changes.
Bringing your pet in for an annual checkup will allow your veterinarian to assess various aspects of your pet’s health. Obesity is becoming more and more common in pets and can lead to health problems for them later in life. Managing their nutrition properly and having a conversation about a proper diet with your veterinarian can help prevent serious problems for your pet. Having a nutritional consultation can help you better understand the food labels on the products you have been feeding your pet, determining the caloric need for your pet to either help them lose, or gain weight, or learn how to adjust your pet’s diet as they age.
What to Expect
When bringing your pet in for a comprehensive physical exam, it can be overwhelming for both you and your pet. This exam will involve your veterinarian examining all of your pet’s major body systems to make sure that everything is as it should be. At a typical physical exam, your pet will start with a weigh-in. This helps your veterinarian determine if they are getting enough to eat, over-eating, or right on track. During the exam, your vet will also check your pet’s skin and eyes. This is normally a good indicator of your pet’s health, for both cats and dogs. Your vet will check how their eyes respond to light and check for any redness or irritation. Next, they might check your pet’s ears. It is very easy for dirt and debris to get trapped in your pet’s ears and cause irritation or even infection. Next, they might move to the nose and mouth. Dental health is a very common problem in pets, especially senior pets. They will check to see if there are any signs of periodontal disease and abnormal masses. Just like a doctor might listen to our heartbeat with a stethoscope, your veterinarian will do the same with your pet to check for heart murmurs or abnormal lung sounds. To round out the exam, your vet will examine your pet’s full body. This will allow them to check their joints and mobility, indicators of painful areas, or lumps and growths that may be hidden underfur.
Depending on the health status of your pet, blood work may be required to check for diseases that a vet cannot diagnoses based on appearance like heartworms. A stool sample may also be required to check for parasites.
Later in Life
Annual vaccines are even more important as your pet’s age and their immune system weakens. Every animal is unique and even different breeds within a species are considered “senior” at different milestones in their lives. There are certain conditions more prevalent in older pets like weight changes, gastrointestinal disorders, and dermatological disorders that may appear as they age. To catch these as early as possible, stay on top of your pet’s annual vaccine schedule and checkup.
How We Can Help
If your pet requires medication after leaving their visit, we offer a variety of treatment options. Our website has a list of medications that we offer here. Visit our online pharmacy to schedule convenient home delivery of your pet’s medication. If your pet needs to make a change in their diet, we also deliver pet food directly to your door. Our team of professionals can recommend a diet plan that best suits the needs of your pet.
If your pet is overdue for their annual checkup, come see our vet techs at Lazy 5 Vets. Being proactive and paying for preventative health care is ultimately much cheaper than paying for treatment. At Lazy 5 Vets we offer:
- Comprehensive Physical Examinations
- Puppy / Kitten Vaccination Series
- Adult Dog / Cat Vaccination
- Senior Pet Wellness
- Nutrition Counseling
To learn more about these services, or to schedule, an appointment with our professional staff visit our website or call us at 704-636-1100.