Annual Physical Examination in Dogs
Annual physical exams are an important part of providing optimal health care and the best longevity for your beloved companion. Dogs age quickly and they are unable to tell us if they are feeling a little off. Remember, it may be one year in your life but that can be about 5-10 comparative years in your dog"s life. A lot can change in that much time.
As a dog reaches middle to old age, annual physical exams become even more important. Certain problems that you may simply attribute to "old age," and just something you will have to live with, may be signs of underling disease and may be very treatable.
A physical examination is not just a chance for us to see how cute your dog is; a thorough exam can pick up on a variety of illnesses and prevent potential catastrophic disease. By finding, diagnosing and treating these problems early, your cat will live a much healthier and longer life.
Importance of Recheck Examination in Dogs
A recheck examination is an appointment that allows us to assess the progress and follow-up on your dog's disease or problem. Maybe you are thinking you can skip it because your dog is doing better? Even if your dog physically looks and feels better, he or she may not be completely back to normal. Some diseases can progress undetected.
The recheck visits to our clinic will depend on the medical condition your dog has. If the condition is chronic, they may require life long-term treatment.
Recheck exams are a worthwhile investment in your dog's overall health. By taking your dog in for a "re-check" you are providing your dog the best possible care by allowing his/her progress to be professionally monitored. By finding, diagnosing and treating these problems early and thoroughly, your dog will live a much healthier and longer life.
When you choose to vaccinate your dog you save them from contracting many diseases-that before vaccines existed were killing pets every day. There are five ‘core vaccines’ that are essential for every dog to have routinely (DHPPv)-canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus (infectious canine hepatitis), and parainfluenza. Rabies vaccine is given as an additional injection.
There a few other ‘non-core’ Vaccines which may be recommended including Bordetella(kennel Cough) and Leptospirosis.
Deworming For Gastrointestinal Parasites
Most people are aware that their pets have worms, but just what are these worms, where do they get them and how do you get rid of them? When pet owners talk about worms, they are really talking about all gastrointestinal parasites. And there are several gastrointestinal parasites that commonly affect our dogs and cats, some of them in low numbers - so they can cause stress on the pets body without us seeing them in their stools.
Many dewormers are available for treatment of these parasites. Unfortunately, none
of the over the counter or prescription dewormers will kill all of these parasites.
Thus, dewormers must be chosen according to the type of parasite that is present.
- Deworm puppies and kittens at age 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks of age and then monthly until 6 months of age.
- Deworm nursing dogs and cats at the same time as their offspring.
- Conduct fecal examinations 2 to 4 times per year for adult animals, depending on health status and lifestyle factors.
Exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you. Young dogs and healthy adults alike need lots of it, and even senior pets need a regular daily workout to maintain their health. The type of exercise you choose depends on the age and fitness of your dog and your own lifestyle. Dogs are adaptable and are happy to play Frisbee in the park or take long walks in the neighborhood.
Daily exercise is recommended unless the weather is especially dangerous or a medical problem limits your dog's activity. If there is a medical problem, consult your veterinarian about exercise limitations. Keep in mind that obese dogs and those with heart and lung diseases may have a problem, and be sure to consult your vet before starting a new regime.
Be certain your dog has plenty of water available at all times, and provide a place to cool down out of the sun. When the temperature drops below freezing, exercise should be limited, unless your dog is really used to this weather. This will often vary with the breed and hair coat. If you live in an area that gets cold and icy, remember that road salt can burn your dog's feet. Don't forget: even in cold weather, an exercising dog needs plenty of water.
Brushing Your Dog's Teeth
Try to brush every day. Brushing your dog's teeth every day is ideal, and will stave off infections such as periodontal disease that may materially affect other parts of your dog's health. If you can't brush your dog's teeth every day, shoot for at least once or twice a week. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most vet clinics and pet stores.
- Smaller dogs, or those with short snouts, such as shih tzu or bulldogs, require more frequent tooth brushing because their teeth are jammed into a smaller space. This increases the likelihood of plaque and tartar buildup.
- The more often you brush your dog's teeth, the more often they'll get accustomed to your hands in and around their mouth. This will make it easier to brush their teeth over time.
Although it's often overlooked, grooming is an important part of your dog's health program. Routine brushing and combing removes dead hair and dirt and prevents matting. Because it stimulates the blood supply to the skin, grooming also gives your pet a healthier and shinier coat.
The need for bathing depends on the breed of dog, his skin type and hair coat, owner preference and just how dirty your pet gets. Bathing your dog every month or two isn't unreasonable, but some dogs will need more frequent cleanings. A good rule of thumb is to bathe your pet only when his coat gets dirty or begins to smell "doggy."
Ears may also require cleaning, especially in dogs with oily skin or allergies. This is a delicate task and is probably best left to us. However, if your dog is easy to handle, you can learn to do this chore yourself.
While clipping nails is a painless and simple process, it takes practice and patience to master the skill. We will show you the correct technique, then get started by getting your pet used to having his paws handled.