Annual Health Checks
Many owners think, “My dog doesn’t need to be checked, he looks fine”, or “Why should my cat come to the vet, she seems happy”. It might seem strange to us humans to go to the doctor when all seems fine, but to our small friends, annual examinations are extremely important.
I don’t routinely go to the doctor every year so why should my small friend?
Small friends age, on average 5-8 times faster than humans. This means that not only do our small friends grow older more quickly than us, but also disease and illness will develop much faster than it may do in humans.
An annual health check provides an opportunity to pick up the early warning signs of a serious problem that may affect your small friend in the future. Some small friends have a survival instinct of hiding any outward signs of illness, especially in the early stages, so it is sometimes only through a veterinary surgeon’s examination that illness may even be detected.
Just as in human medicine, it is through early detection of disease and illness that we have the best possible chance of a successful outcome or treatment. After all, prevention is so much better than cure.
What does an annual health check include?
During your appointment you small friend will undergo a “Tip of the Nose to Tip of the Tail Examination”. Every single part of your small friend’s body gives a veterinary surgeon indication of good health or perhaps signs of illness or early disease. Dr Matt will examine your small friend’s nose, eyes, mouth, ears, chest, coat, abdomen, tail, feet and legs. Annual health checks are also a good chance for you to discuss any questions or problems that have arisen since your previous visit.
Can I do anything to help with the annual health check?
Absolutely. As your small friend’s owner you know your small friend better than anyone. You noticing minor changes to personality or routine may be the vital piece of information needed to investigate a potential health problem in your small friend.
Some things to think about and discuss with Dr Matt during your annual health check include:
- Have your small friend’s eating habits changed?
- Have your small friend’s toilet habits changed?
- Has your small friend’s weight changed dramatically?
- Is your small friend drinking more or less water than normal?
- Has your small friend’s coat changed recently?
- Is your small friend having any trouble doing their normal activities?
- Is your small friend walking as normal?
- Has your small friend developed any unusual lumps or bumps?
- Does your small friend have bad breath?
- Is your small friend panting often or out of breath?
- Has your small friend’s demeanour changed?
All this information in addition to the physical examination performed by Dr Matt will help him to care for your small friend even better
How much will my small friend’s annual health check cost?
The annual health check is the same price as a regular consultation.
Can my small friend’s vaccination be given at the same time?
Of course. This is actually a great opportunity to have all your small friend’s preventative medicine taken care of. It is also important for your small friend’s health to ensure their vaccinations stay up to date. For more information please see our Vaccination Information Page.
Please make sure your small friend comes to see the vet at least once a year, even if they appear healthy at home. An annual health check is crucial to a long-lived and healthy small friend.
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