One of the most important responsibilities of caring for a pet is making regular visits to the veterinarian for wellness visits. Even if your pet appears healthy, wellness visits can help prevent and detect illnesses, and ensure your pet is inoculated against harmful diseases. If you’ve just adopted your first pet, it’s helpful to know what’s going to happen the first time you visit the veterinarian.
What to Expect at Your Pet’s First Veterinarian Visit
1. Weight and Temperature
Just as with humans, being overweight or underweight can signal an underlying health issue, so the veterinarian will weigh your pet at the beginning of the exam. A normal body temperature is also an indicator of pet wellness. In cats and dogs, the vet will most likely take the pet’s temperature rectally because this provides the most accurate reading.
2. Heart and Lung Check
Using a stethoscope, the doctor will listen to the pet’s heart and lungs. This procedure is called cardiac and pulmonary auscultation. The veterinarian is listening for heart arrhythmia, murmurs, or abnormal sounds. In the lungs, they are listening for crackling and wheezing.
3. Skin and Coat Exam
The condition of an animal’s skin and coat (or scales or feathers as the case may be), is also an excellent indicator of pet wellness. Dry skin and excessive shedding could be a sign of poor nutrition, hormonal imbalances, or intestinal issues.
4. Mouth and Teeth Check
Your veterinarian will look inside your pet’s mouth to examine the lining and teeth. Because the mouth is the first part of the digestive system, oral health is vital to their overall health. The veterinarian is looking for signs of tooth decay or abnormalities in the mouth lining, as well as swelling in the lymph nodes.
5. Fecal Testing
You will probably be asked to bring a fecal sample for your pet. The sample will be tested for intestinal parasites at the office or a lab. Parasites are a common cause of illness in pets. Humans are even at risk for contracting some parasites, making this test as important to your health as it is to your pet’s.
Regular wellness check-ups are an important part of your pet’s long- and short-term health. As soon as you adopt a new pet or get one from a breeder, it’s vital that you schedule the first appointment right away, and continue doing so each year or as frequently as your veterinarian recommends.
The experienced veterinarians and staff of Avon Animal & Bird Hospital bring exceptional, compassionate care to the pets of Avon, OH. This local veterinary hospital offers a comprehensive range of services to maintain and treat the health of cats, dogs, birds, small animals, and exotic pets. The latest x-ray machine and an in-house pharmacy add to the convenience for pet owners. Make your appointment online at any time or call (440) 934-6516 to speak with the friendly receptionist.