How to prepare for a wellness exam
When you go to your primary care physician for your annual well check, and the doctor asks “Do you have any other questions?” do you usually have questions? Most people's minds go blank at this question, then they get home and remember that they DID have questions. Well, the same happens at veterinary visits. Here at Crossroads, there are certain questions our doctors and technicians ask during each well visit. Here is a helpful list for you so you can be prepared when these questions are asked:
- What type of food are you feeding and how much?
- Is your pet on any medications (including heartworm prevention and flea and tick prevention) or daily supplements? If so, names and dosing is helpful.
- Any changes in behavior? This does not necessarily mean aggression (although we want to know that as well), it could mean changes in mobility, bathroom behavior, etc. Any change, even a slight change, should be brought up.
- Does your pet have any lumps or bumps? Make note of where they are and check them often to see if size has changed.
- Any issues or concerns? These could be daily things or things that happen off and on (bi-weekly, monthly, etc.). If it seems odd to you, ask the doctor! No concern is too small to discuss.
- We will ask you to bring in a stool sample. This tests for intestinal worms and parasites which may be present even if your pet is not showing any signs or symptoms.
- If your pet is getting older or has health problems, we may recommend blood work. (See below for information about our senior wellness program).
- We will ask if you need a refill of anything, so double check your supply of medications, heartworm prevention, flea and tick prevention, and any supplements before coming in. If you are in need of anything, we can get it for you during your appointment.
Senior Wellness program:
- Wellness exams every six months to look for early signs of disease. A year between exams is a long time in a senior pet’s life. For example, for a ten-year old cat one year equals four years of a human’s life. For a ten-year old Labrador, one year equals about 6 years.
- Bloodwork may be recommended. This would include a complete blood count, chemistry panel, and urine testing to evaluate the liver, kidneys, endocrine system, bone marrow function, etc.
- We may recommend a dental cleaning. Tartar buildup in the mouth also leads to build up of bacteria. These bacteria can spread to other parts of the body. Due to constant assault to the immune system, dental and gum disease can lead to heart and kidney disease if not addressed.
- Some of the most common signs of aging in dogs and cats are due to development of arthritis. This leads to a decrease in the quality of our pet’s lives, as it takes away their mobility and forces a decrease in their activity level. It is best to begin treatment early to improve the lifestyle of our pets.
*If this is a new pet, make sure you bring any previous vet history with you. We need to know where they are coming from (out of state, out of the country). It's very helpful for us to see exactly when and what type of vaccines have been given in the past (tags, unfortunately, do not tell us when and what kind of vaccine was given). Some animals have reactions to certain vaccines and we need to know that ahead of time to prevent any problems. Also, having this handy may prevent you from having to make follow up appointments to have vaccines done due to us not knowing exactly what was given.
This may seem silly, but write down any issues you may have to bring with you to the appointment. You can even call ahead and ask the receptionist to leave a note in your appointment or mention things you want to discuss when you schedule the appointment. You know your pet better than we do, so no concern is a small concern. We are here to help and we are happy to do so.