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Taking Your Pet to the Vet: 10 Questions to Expect

Posted February 20th, 2013 by admin

Whether it is a basic well –being check-up, an immunization or something more significant like an illness or injury, pets, just as people, must go to the doctors. Of course, with a visit to the vet, it can seem like a punishment for owners as so many pets appear to have a sixth sense and resist, with all their being, going to the vet. So, once you and your pet arrive at the vet, it is vital that the visit meet all the needs your pet, and you as the caregiver, may have. To help you make the most of veterinary care visit, here are some questions to expect at each appointment. Keep in mind that the first three questions are typically only asked should you be seeing a new vet or have recently added a new member to your family.
1. How long have you had the pet? Obviously, the longer you have had your pet, the more familiar you are with their eating habits, behavior and personality. The more background you can provide the vet, the better they can ascertain the pet’s condition or needs.
2. Where did you get your pet? This includes information like whether you purchased your pet from a store versus from a breeder, region of the country the animal may be from, was it a stray you have rescued, etc… Since pets can’t tell the vet what they have been around, it is up to you to provide as much history as possible.
3. Has your pet had any previous health issues? Be sure you have any medical records and discuss any prior and existing health concerns.
4. Have you recently traveled outside your hometown or region? Some pet diseases are only in certain parts of the world or regions of the country. Your vet needs to know if your pet has been to other places so they know to be aware of indicators that might be otherwise overlooked.
5. What do you feed your pet? Dietary needs don’t just vary by pet, but by species. Dogs, though one may think a diet rich in meats is best, should also have foods high in calcium. Cats need food especially formulated for them (as opposed to eating dog food) because they need foods that contain amino acids as they are unable to produce these on their own.
6. Is your pet eating well? Not only is what Fido and Fluffy eats important, but their appetite is a crucial indicator, too. A decrease in appetite is a very telling symptom for a variety of health problems so it should not be ignored. Some common pet health concerns indicated by a loss or increase in appetite are diabetes, Cushing’s disease, dental problems, over-active thyroid and a variety of digestive concerns.
7. How much water does your pet drink? Like with eating, your pet’s liquid intake can reflect internal issues. One of the most common concerns is kidney issues, but the increase or decrease in drinking – especially water – can be indicative of many problems.
8. Is the animal going to the bathroom normally? Telling the vet of abnormal urination, either more often or less, helps them know what to look for. If you have noticed that your pet appears to have trouble urinating, be sure to mention it. Other indicators of a problem would be discoloration, straining, or urinating in inappropriate places. Oftentimes, when a pet urinates in the wrong place, it is not due to misbehavior but rather a result of a bladder infection, bladder stone or even diabetes.
9. Is the pet vomiting or have diarrhea? Chances are, if your pet is frequently doing either of these things, you have already mentioned it to your vet. But, should these actions be occurring infrequently, you might not realize their significance. Be sure to let the vet know about these instances.
10. What about coughing and sneezing? As with people, these actions are often indicators of a cause for concern. With pets, coughing can be due to a viral infection, bronchitis, parasite, windpipe abnormalities, heart disease, tumors, asthma and other problems. Also, while some may believe coughing is normal in cats, this is not true; in fact, the healthy cat rarely coughs.
These are the 10 most common questions to expect when taking your pet to the vet. Depending on your veterinarian, or pet’s medical history, there may be others, as well. To make the most of your time speaking to the vet, you may wish to write down the answers to these questions prior to the visit. Taking care of Fido or Fluffy by knowing the answers to these questions is an important part of pet care.

One Response to “Taking Your Pet to the Vet: 10 Questions to Expect”

  1. Tamatha Avolio

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but afterI clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing allthat over again. Anyway, just wanted to say great blog!

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