Dog Checkups & Cat Checkups - The importance of Annual Exams

Dog Checkups & Cat Checkups - The importance of Annual Exams

Our Modesto vets recommend a vet checkup every 12 months for dogs and cats. When it comes to your animals' health, it is always better to be proactive than reactive when it comes to veterinary care, and annual examinations are a critical component of any good preventative care wellness plan.

Vet Checkups at American Pet Hospital

When you bring your dog or cat into our Modesto veterinary clinic for a vet checkup, your vet will review your pet's medical history, address any concerns you might have, and perform a thorough physical examination

Dog checkups and cat checkups feature many of the same examinations, listed below:

  • Listening to your pet's heart and lungs
  • Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
  • Checking your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
  • Inspecting the pet's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
  • Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
  • Looking at your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
  • Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage or decay
  • Examining your dog or cat's skin for a range of issues from dryness to parasites to lumps and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
  • Palpate your pet's abdomen to access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
  • Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain

Any health problems your pet may be experiencing will ideally be caught at an annual exam, allowing for early treatment. Dogs and cats can do many great things, but telling us when they aren't feeling so hot is not one of them; we have to be extra attentive to our pets to make sure they stay healthy, so getting annual dog checkups and cat checkups are best practice as a pet owner.

Keeping Vaccines Current

A litany of common, contagious, and potentially life-threatening diseases are most effectively protected against through vaccination. The vaccines recommended for your dog or cat are based on the lifestyle of your pet and the risk values associated with the area you live.

Core vaccines for dogs and cats are recommended for all pets, whereas lifestyle vaccines are most often recommended for pets that are regularly in contact with other animals. To find out more about the vaccines recommended for your pet checkout our vaccine schedule.

booster shots on a regular basis in order to maintain protection against disease are needed by adult dogs and cats as they age. In most cases, boosters are given annually or once every three years. Your vet will be sure to let you know when your dog or cat's booster shots are due at any dog checkup or cat checkup.

Preventing Parasitic Diseases & Conditions

Modesto pets are threatened by parasites looking to settle down and make a home for themselves inside them. Ticks and mosquitos carry parasitic invaders which bring with them potentially fatal infections and disease. Our vets recommend preventative treatment to stop parasites from planting their flag inside your pets in the first place. It's worthy of note that some of these parasites can be passed from pets to their loving owners!

You may have been asked to bring in a sample of your pet's stool in order for us to perform a fecal exam. Fecal's allow our vet to examine your dog's stool for signs of common intestinal parasites which would be very difficult to detect otherwise.

Heartworm testing may also be a part of your pet's annual checkup. This test allows your vet to examine your animal's blood for the earliest signs of heartworm disease. Detecting heartworm as early as possible provides your pet with their best possible chance of a good treatment outcome if they have contracted this serious parasitic condition.

Parasite prevention can help to protect your dog or cat from conditions such as:

  • Heartworm
  • Fleas
  • Lyme Disease
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Whipworm

Benefits Outway Costs When It Comes to Annual Checkups For Dogs and Cats

The team at American Pet Hospital understands fully that bringing in a dog or cat who seems to be the picture of good health for a checkup might seem like a waste of money, but routine checkups help your pet's veterinarian to detect signs of disease in the earliest stages when many conditions are easiest to treat. The costs of reactive treatment to parasitic infection, bone deterioration, and other diseases are high--both in terms of money and in terms of the physical well-being of the dog or cat.  In the long run, annual exams keep the costs of pet care low by allowing for earlier, cheaper, interventions when health problems present themselves in your pet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time to book a checkup for your dog or cat? Contact our Modesto Vets at American Pet Hospital today. We provide dogs and cats with the preventive care they deserve.

New Patients Are Always Welcome.

Looking for quality veterinary care delivered with a friendly smile? Contact us today to book an appointment for your pet!

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(209) 549-8387