Preventive Care Exams for Dogs and Cats

Preventive Care Exams 
 
You wouldn’t go years without going to the doctor for a check-up, yet many pet owners only visit a veterinarian when their dog or cat requires immediate treatment for an illness or injury. Lack of time, money, the stress of transporting a pet, and not understanding the benefits of preventive care are the most common reasons for this. While understandable, routine veterinary care plays an essential role in your pet’s health and longevity. 
 
If you don’t already do so, we encourage you to schedule a preventive care exam at least once a year for your adult pets. Senior pets over age seven should come in bi-annually while puppies and kittens need several appointments during their first year to get started with vaccines. Dr. Palmquist assesses older dogs and cats for issues such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and kidney disease that are more common as pets age. This is just part of a routine preventive care exam at Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic. 
 
A Typical Check-Up for Dogs and Cats
Your pet must receive a series of core vaccinations to comply with local laws. Dogs need distemper, rabies, parvovirus, and adenovirus while cats require calicivirus, rabies, panleukopenia, and rhinotracheitis. In addition to these core vaccines, Dr. Palmquist will speak to you about non-core vaccines that might be appropriate for your pet based on her unique risk factors. For example, many pet owners choose to get a Lyme disease vaccination because the condition is more common here in the Midwest. After giving your pet a vaccine, Dr. Palmquist establishes a schedule for her to get boosters.
 
Parasite control is equally important to vaccinations. Left untreated, some parasites can kill your pet. Heartworm is a prime example of this. Dr. Palmquist will check your pet for parasites and ask what you use for prevention. We offer heartworm and flea and tick medication in our online store if you need a product recommendation. 
 
We encourage you to bring up any concerns you have about your pet’s behavior, diet, activity level, sleeping habits, or health problems at this visit. Dr. Palmquist will provide you with resources and suggestions for resolving the issue that you might not have considered. He will also complete a full-body inspection on your pet. This includes checking his teeth, ears, nose, eyes, skin, legs, paws, reproductive organs, and stomach for abnormalities.
 
Follow-Up Expectations
Dr. Palmquist orders bloodwork, X-rays, or additional tests if he finds any areas of concern during your pet’s exam. He will contact you within a few days after receiving the results of the tests. Some situations only require careful observation while others require your pet to receive additional treatment. Preventive care exams allow him to find health issues that might have gone undetected otherwise.

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