Preventive health care is necessary to ensure your pet lives as long and as problem free a life as possible. If we can catch problems early before they become serious we have a better chance of alleviating them.
All animals should have an annual examination. Because animals age differently than people, their annual physical is comparable to you having a physical exam every five or six years.
We often recommend running routine laboratory screening as well to identify abnormalities before they appear clinically. It is especially important if your animal has ongoing health issues or is older because it gives us a chance to find and treat minor health problems before they become more serious.
Annual exams should be thorough: listening to the heart and lungs, checking eyes, ears and teeth, palpating the body to make sure all the internal organs feel normal and there are no worrisome lumps or bumps. Watching your pet’s weight is also very important. Did you know that a dog that is 20% overweight will have 50% more health problems and, on average, live two years less than a normal weight dog? Discussing weight and diet is also an important part of the annual examination.
After evaluating your pet’s health status we can decide together on which vaccines may or may not be appropriate. As vaccines challenge the body’s immune system, we need to insure it is in the best interest of your pet to receive vaccines. This is determined by evaluating your pet’s age, health status, and risk of exposure to dangerous diseases.
Your pet also depends on you to monitor their health at home. Home dental care is another important health concern for many animals. Clinical signs of health problems in your pet are often subtle. As guardian of your pet, you are often the first one to notice abnormalities. That is why client education is a priority for our staff. The more you know the better the health of your pet will be.
Less than 10% of Minnesota veterinary hospitals qualify for AAHA certification.
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