Annual wellness visits are extremely important to 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.
The veterinarian may recommendation teeth cleaning or weight reduction, two very common problems. After 6-7 years of age annual blood work 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. Patients are very subtle in showing signs, some act more quiet than usual.
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Signs that indicate illness include:
- Not eating or drinking
- Drinking excessively
- Trouble urinating or defecating
- Urinating excessively or frequently
It is important not to allow the condition to progress. Treating the condition early often allows for a quicker recovery and fewer complications. This often saves on treatment costs.