Annual wellness visits are extremely important for all patients. While updated any needed vaccines is important, a thorough physical exam may reveal problems that have gone unnoticed. The veterinarian will have the opportunity to exam the teeth, eyes, ears, and general condition of each patient Your veterinarian may recommend teeth cleaning or weight reduction, these are very common problems. Any lumps that have appeared should be accessed to determine if they are a concern. Heart worm disease has become a problem in the Phoenix area. Annual heartworm testing and heartworm preventative is recommended. After 6-7 years of age annual bloodwork is recommended.
Many companion animals don’t readily show signs of illness until it is advanced. It is important to establish normal baseline values for each patient and to recheck each year watching for any changes. This allows therapeutic measures to be taken before a condition becomes advanced. Patients frequently respond better and more quickly if treated early. This can translate to fewer costs for the owner.
In addition to annual check-ups, patients should visit the doctor anytime there is an obvious illness or abnormal behavior. Some patients are very subtle in showing signs of illness. Some may only be less active than usual. Some more obvious signs of illness include vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, lethargy, not eating or drinking, drinking excessively, urinating excessively or frequently, difficulty urinating or defecating. It is important to address an illness early on rather than allow the condition to progress. Treating the condition early often allows for a quicker recovery and fewer complications. This often saves money on future treatment costs.