At Morinville Vet Clinic, we see a lot of different patients. While each one is an individual, all pets have a lot in common. As a pet owner, there are certain things to focus on when you bring your dog or cat for its annual exam. Certain questions should be answered:
1) How is the diet?
It is not just about the brand of food, it is also the type and quantity of food. Canned food gives the pet more water. Dry kibble tends to be lower in fat. Some kibble is in bigger pieces to clean the teeth. Other kinds are smaller to make it easier for puppies to eat. Just as with people, every animal has a certain amount of any food needed to maintain a healthy weight. Going beyond that leads to obesity.
2) How are the teeth?
Just like people, dogs and cats get a plaque and tartar build-up if their teeth are not brushed. Tartar holds bacteria against the teeth, and if those bacteria can penetrate the gums it will get into the roots. This causes an abscessed tooth which will have to be removed if it does not fall out on its own.
3) How is the heart?
At every visit, the vets at Morinville will listen to the sounds the heart makes as it beats. We are listening for any changes in the regular rhythm. The heart is a one-way pump that should work at a consistent rate. If there is a problem with the one-way valves, the sound changes. If there is a problem with the ability to pump the rate changes.
4) Is the behaviour normal?
Like all clients (and all vets) all pets have their own personality. What is “normal behaviour” for one is odd for another. Some behaviour is actually a sign of disease. Examples of this might be hiding, loss of appetite, or unprovoked aggression. Some behaviour is simply a result of poor owner awareness or training.
5) Is the pet getting old?
Old age cannot be set as an exact moment. All pets age at different rates. A Great Dane is considered old at eight years, while a Chihuahua can live to be twenty. Some parrots live to be over a hundred. When a pet reaches its senior years, it may need some extra care and monitoring.
When you make your next trip to Morinville Vet Clinic, bring your list of questions. You know we are ready with answers.
Written by Morinville Veterinary Clinic