Unfortunately, as pet owners we often treat our pets the way we treat ourselves: only coming in for a check-up or treatment when we are sick or if something has gone wrong. The truth is that we would all be healthier if we got regular check-ups and care as a preventive approach to illness and disease. Bringing your pet – cat, dog, exotic or pocket pets – into the local Dartmouth emergency vet for an annual veterinary check-up is a great start at a better way of doing things. Routine visits will help your pet to live a longer, healthier, happier life.
What Happens at a Routine Visit?
One of the benefits of regular veterinary care in Massachusetts is that your veterinarian gets to see your pet when he or she is healthy, thereby defining a baseline of health in case anything were to go wrong in the future. A healthy “well check” is meant to also be an opportunity for you as “pet parent” to ask questions, get answers and find out new ways to take care of your pet on a daily basis. A physical exam, blood work, fecal exam and other common tests are often given when you visit the veterinarian to ensure that your pet is healthy, even if issues cannot be seen.
Your local Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian is trained to pick up on things that you might not notice that could affect your pet later on in life. They also know what questions to ask you about your pet’s behavior, eating habits and lifestyle, that can help determine preventive courses of treatment that can be given. Cats are notoriously good at hiding pain and other health issues, as it is part of their natural instincts in the wild. Even if your pet appears to be fully healthy and doesn’t seem to have any issues, it is important to bring them to your local Dartmouth emergency vet for regular routine visits and exams.
What are Nose-to-Tail Check-Ups?
A term that is often used in veterinary medicine is “nose-to-tail” check-ups, which is just a funny way of saying a full physical exam. When you bring your pet into Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth for an annual visit, you can expect a thorough exam. It usually begins by a quick inspection of your pet’s eyes, ears, mouth, paws, skin, coat and tail. Dental care is more important to your pet’s overall health and a good indicator of health than most people realize. Because pets lick themselves, the bacterial infections that can be present in their mouths can be carried out to other parts of the body. Bacteria can also make its way in the body to other organs, causing disease and other conditions.
Your pet’s coat and skin are also important indicators. As we all know, the skin is the largest organ of the entire body. Problems, including dryness, flakiness or even a dull coat, can indicate something else going on inside. Young pets and senior pets need more frequent veterinary check-ups, to ensure that there are no signs of common conditions and that all preventive options have been discussed and implemented as necessary. For senior pets, arthritis, joint problems, as well as problems with skin and coat, can be common, yet can be treated to increase quality of life.
Vaccinations & Parasite Prevention
Another important aspect of coming in for veterinary care in Massachusetts is providing your pet with the vaccinations they need to stay healthy. Rabies shots are required in most areas and there are other vaccinations that you will want to also get, depending on the lifestyle of your pet. Dogs that go to dog parks, boarding or doggie daycare will need to get a shot to prevent a form of “dog flu” that is commonly passed in these situations. Outdoor cats will need to get shots to prevent diseases that can be spread from coming in contact with other cats and local, wild animals. It is important to stay on top of vaccinations with your Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian year-round.
Parasite prevention is also very important. You are probably already aware of the serious issue regarding deer ticks in the New England states. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and even flies can wreck havoc on our pets’ bodies, cause major health problems and even spread disease that can be transferred to humans. It is important to visit your Dartmouth emergency vet to stay up on vaccinations, heartworm preventive treatments, as well as flea and tick prevention regardless of where you live in the area. This is a very important part of veterinary care in Southeastern Massachusetts and all across the nation.
Contact Anchor Animal Hospital
Schedule an appointment for a regular veterinary check-up for your pet at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Our team of licensed and experienced veterinarians can provide you and your pet with all of the veterinary care in Massachusetts that is needed to help them live a healthy, happy life. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to learn more about our services as a Dartmouth emergency vet and provider of regular veterinary care, or to schedule an appointment.