If you have a pet, it’s important to establish a relationship with a veterinarian. An annual check-up can help prevent serious medical conditions, result in early detection of health problems, and help to prevent unexpected medical costs.
Your veterinarian can provide your dog or cat with the following:
Preventative health care & vaccinations
Veterinarians provide a variety of preventative health services, such as wellness exams and vaccinations. Wellness exams provide an opportunity for early detection of small health issues before they become major health concerns. Vaccinations stimulate your pet’s immune system to produce antibodies that protect against the disease for which the vaccine is given.
Your veterinarian will vaccinate your dog against:
Your veterinarian might also recommend vaccinating your dog against: Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis and/or Bordatella.
Your cat will be vaccinated against:
Your veterinarian might also recommend vaccinating your cat against: Feline Leukemia and/or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
Your puppy or kitten requires a series of three vaccinations, given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age, to optimize their immune protection. Your adult dog or cat will require an annual vaccination booster and a wellness exam.
It's recommended that your senior pet receives semi-annual wellness exams to ensure that any developing health problems are caught early. These wellness exams will often involve blood work, and will check for signs of diseases to which senior pets are prone.
In addition to preventing unwanted litters, spaying or neutering your pet offers lifelong health benefits by eliminating the risk of breast and uterine cancers in females, and testicular cancer in males. Prevention of the messiness associated with heat cycles and issues such as aggression, scent marking and roaming are also benefits of spaying/neutering. Spaying and neutering are routine surgeries that your veterinarian will perform under general anesthesia.
Dental Health Care:
Periodontal disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can get into the bloodstream, affecting your pet’s heart, kidneys and liver. Your veterinarian will check the health of your pet’s teeth and gums and will, if necessary perform scaling and polishing of the teeth, extractions and oral surgery under general anesthesia. They can also advise you on ways - such as brushing - to care for your pet’s teeth at home.
Permanent Pet Identification:
Pet identification is the primary means by which lost dogs and cats are reunited with their families. Your veterinarian can implant a microchip, providing your pet with permanent, unique identification. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected under your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. Each microchip has a unique number that can be read by a scanner and is linked to your contact information.
Behavioural issues are one of the main reasons why owners decide to relinquish, abandon or euthanize their pets. Your veterinarian can provide advice on issues such as:
Introducing a new pet
Your veterinarian can also provide training tips for new pet owners.
The incidence of obesity in the pet population is increasing. Obese pets do not live as long as their non-obese counter-parts, and are predisposed to a number of secondary health conditions such as: diabetes mellitus, orthopedic disease, cardiorespiratory disease, endocrine disorders, dermatological disorders and certain cancers. Although there are a number of reasons why a pet may become obese, the most common is that there is a mismatch between the number of calories consumed and the number of calories expended, such that the pet is in a state of positive energy balance. Your veterinarian can assist you in identifying weight problems in your pet and in the development and implementation of a weight-management program.
http://www.avmamedia.org/display.asp?sid=566&NAME=National_Pet_Dental_Health_Month_2015.Accessed March 2016. (http://www.lakeviewvetclinic.ca/veterinary-services/pet-dental-care.html.
WebMD.com. 2021. Reasons to spay or neuter your pet. Available Online. http://pets.webmd.com/reasons-spay-neuter-pet
German, A.J., 2006. The growing problem of obesity in dogs and cats. The Journal of Nutrition. 1940S-1946S.
Raffan, E. 2013. The big problem: Battling companion animal obesity. Veterinary Record. 173:287-291.