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October 22, 2021

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Annual Veterinary Examination – What to Expect

Annual Veterinary Examination - What to Expect
Annual Veterinary Examination - What to Expect

Your dog or cat should see a veterinarian at least once a year for a checkup. Let’s take a look at what an annual veterinary exam is.

Regular checkups are just as important to our dogs and cats as they are to us. The annual veterinary examination establishes baseline testing when the animal is healthy, and allows early diagnosis of hidden diseases. Although tests may vary by veterinarian, this article explains what is included in the annual veterinary examination at our hospital.

1. Complete physical examination and date.

Doctors get so much information about your dog or cat that they can only talk to you and observe the animal. Physical examination not only examines the visible parts of your dog or cat, but also examines the internal parts by listening to the heart and lungs and feeling its stomach and lymph nodes. It is important not to overlook the importance of both discussion and physical examination, so I encourage my clients to bring any and all questions during their annual visit. In addition, it is important to take note of any doctor’s comments, as “minor” problems discovered during the test can turn into “major” problems if not addressed as soon as they are discovered.

For example, heart murmurs that occur during a physical examination should be addressed by additional testing to determine if murmurs are a sign of heart disease (common but not fatal) or heart failure ( Which if ignored is fatal). Similarly, small lumps and lumps may represent cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment can save your animal’s life and should not be ignored.

2. Vaccine titer testing.

Titer testing, Which often costs less than 100, replaces the annual vaccine for most infectious diseases in dogs and cats. We know that a vaccine given early in life can develop immunity for many years. We do not know the status of each individual’s immune system after vaccination, so titer testing is done to give us an accurate picture of their immunity to common diseases. The vaccine is given only if titer testing indicates a need, and if the animal is healthy enough to receive the booster vaccine.

Titer testing personalizes vaccine recommendations for your dog or cat and reduces unnecessary vaccinations, which can harm both the animal and your pocketbook.

Although titer testing is “normal” for veterinarians as a whole, conventional experts may not understand it and may encourage vaccination (which is most of the time). Some traditional physicians do titer testing if asked, but they can charge from $ 300 to $ 400 (due to out-of-lab costs). Try to find a doctor who does regular titer testing to allow you to accurately interpret your dog’s or cat’s safety needs and at a lower cost.

3. Laboratory testing.

Although physical examination and history are important in uncovering potential health issues during the annual examination, lab testing is often overlooked. However, we need to have different lab tests to look inside the body, diagnose the disease (despite the appearance of “health”), and establish a baseline that is helpful for comparison whenever there is a real disease. Regular lab tests help us uncover problems that avoid physical examination.

In my Functional Medicine practice, I run a variety of blood and urine tests that are specific to each patient. Generally, I do a complete blood profile (including thyroid testing by age, race and condition), a complete urine analysis, and a blood profile check for inflammatory markers (TK, CRP) and vitamin D. at most Of my “healthy” patients, one or more of these tests showed abnormalities. These abnormalities can usually be resolved immediately, with the animal being restored to health, thus avoiding further escalation of serious and even life-threatening diseases. Although blood testing increases the cost of a visit, it is an important part of your dog or cat’s annual checkups. Insurance can cover this test even if it is not covered, it is still less expensive to do this test during the annual exam instead of waiting for a serious illness, which costs a lot of time. Become!

4. Prevention of parasites.

A traditional doctor usually prescribes heartworm remedies and chemicals for flea / tick control. I’m fine with heart worms because I don’t have a proven natural alternative. And since oral heart worm control drugs only stay in the animal’s body for 48 to 72 hours, there is no risk of toxin accumulation that could cause it discomfort.

However, I am not okay with taking the usual flea and tick chemicals with every dog ​​or cat. In my practice, they are not necessary for most of my patients, who are free from these pests thanks to their lifestyle choices and my prescriptions for diet and well-being. It makes no sense to prescribe flea and tick prevention chemicals for every patient, wastes valuable financial resources on unnecessary medications, and exposes animals to unnecessary chemicals that can work inappropriately and cause harm. Can Natural (or chemical when needed) flea and tick control products can be used safely as needed unless problems are properly addressed.

Unlike heart worms, intestinal worms rarely cause ongoing problems in adult dogs and cats, although they are very common in dogs and kittens. Maximizing health through proper diet and supplements, as well as avoiding unnecessary vaccinations, goes a long way in preventing these pests. Regular deworming for dogs and kittens, use of safe medications, kills GI parasites that can harm your young animal and infect human household members.

It is important that your veterinarian check with your veterinarian at least once a year (or twice a year – see the sidebar). An annual veterinary exam should be an integral part of your dog or cat’s health care system, and will help keep it with you for many years to come.