What To Expect During Pet Wellness Visits
Pet wellness visits can be a nerve-wracking experience if you don’t know what to expect when walking in. But it doesn’t have to be. Learning about the process before you step foot in the office can soothe both your nerves and your pet’s.
What Is A Wellness Visit?
A wellness visit is a head-to-toe inspection of your pet. They are often meant to act as preventative checks to make sure your pet is healthy, even if you don’t notice anything wrong.
At these wellness appointments, vets will usually conduct a physical exam of their skin, fur, teeth, and gums. Wellness visits often involve administering any necessary vaccines, and sometimes vets draw blood to make sure pets are healthy. Healthy pets come in for a wellness visit every year. Pets with current or previous health conditions should come in for wellness visits even more often. You should also bring in your pets more often as they age, even if you don’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes catching diseases before pets show symptoms can save their lives.
Here are some norms and procedures to expect when you take your pet in for a wellness visit.
A common staple of pet wellness visits is vaccinations. For pets, they are divided into two categories: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. With core vaccines, pets almost definitely need them. With non-core vaccines, it depends on your pet’s exposure level to certain situations or conditions. According to Veterinary Partner, rabies and distemper are both considered core for both cats and dogs. The state of Florida mandates rabies shots for all cats, dogs, and ferrets.
Beyond those two, other core vaccines depend on the species. Vets classify vaccinations for feline herpes and feline calicivirus as core shots for cats. Many will recommend vaccines for canine parvovirus and canine hepatitis for dogs. Vets will also sometimes recommend a kennel cough (Bordetella) vaccine for dogs that are exposed to other dogs often. If your dog frequently goes to dog parks, kennels, trainings, or dog shows, your vet may recommend vaccinating your dog against Bordetella. Vaccines may need to be re-administered every 1-3 years, but every vaccine is different. Your vet will lay out a timeline for your pet’s vaccines at the wellness visit.
Stool And Blood Samples
Before you take your pet in for a wellness visit, your vet may ask you to bring along a recent fecal sample. They will take the sample and test it for intestinal parasites. An ideal sample will be as recent as possible and should have as little grass or litter on it as possible.
Additionally, vets may also draw your pet’s blood during the wellness visit to check for other parasites, ones that don’t live in the intestinal tract. Vets test for heartworm, for example, with a blood sample. They can also see if your pet’s blood cell count is normal to make sure they do not have canine lymphoma or another blood-related disorder.
Questions About Your Pet
You know your pet best, so your vet will ask you about your pet’s behaviors, diet, habits, bowel movements, and more. This is also the time to bring up any questions or concerns that you have. Maybe you noticed your dog acting lethargic but didn’t think it was major enough for a visit to the vet. During these times, you can ask questions about tick and flea prevention, heartworm prevention, or anything else you have been wondering about your pet’s wellness. Ask your vet about it at the wellness check in case it is a symptom of an underlying issue.
Bring Your Pet To A Family Veterinarian
For safe and efficient pet wellness visits, come to All Aboard Animal Hospital. We specialize in family-oriented, high quality pet care for your cats and dogs. Give us a call today at 954-785-7780 to learn more about what we can do for your pet.