Bridle Trail Vet Clinic - Annual Exam

General medicine deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, disorder and injury in animals.

New Puppy/Kitten Exam

Thinking about getting a new puppy or kitten? Or have already gotten one and wondering what the next steps are? Here is all the information you need to know.

You should get your new family member to a veterinarian to be examined within 7 days of getting him or her. Breeders and shelters may have a timeline to see a veterinarian for health guarantee warranty which may be sooner than the 7 days. This allows the veterinarian to examine your pet and make sure they are in tip top shape.  The initial visit is a basic introduction to the clinic and staff, as well as making sure you have all the information you need to take care of your new family member. So ask any and all questions you want.

At that point, we would also recommend testing a fecal sample to ensure that your pet does not have any parasites. Parasites, such as roundworms, are quite common in young puppies or kittens and if any show in the sample we can give medication to deworm them.

Make sure you bring any paperwork associated with your new pet so the veterinarian can look them over.

Booster Vaccines

During the first few months of your new pets life, it needs a round of vaccine boosters to make sure they are covered for a variety of illness.

For kittens, they need three rounds of a FVRCP booster with the Rabies vaccine given with the last round.

For puppies, they need three rounds of a DA2PP booster with the Rabies vaccine typically given with the last round.

The breeder, or shelter, may have given the first round of boosters before sending your pet home with you. The veterinarian will check this on your records during the first visit. The next shots will be done every 4 weeks. The typical schedule of vaccines are at 8 weeks old, 12 weeks old and 16 weeks old.

The veterinarians may alter the schedule depending on size, health or when the vaccines were previously done.

ANNUAL CHECK UPS FOR A LIFETIME OF HEALTH

After the initial booster vaccines, your pet will not need any other vaccines for a year after the last booster. This is when we start our annual exam check ups.

An annual check up will allow your vet to determine whats going on with your pet before your furry friend has to suffer. What exactly will the vet do during a complete annual exam? Among other things, they'll check your pet's temperature, examine the skin and coat, the ears, eyes, teeth, paws, and nails. The veterinarian will also perform a hands on exam to perform a full physical. They will also use a stethoscope to check your pet's heart and lungs.

What's more, your pet's weight is also an important indicator of their health. Are they too fat? too thin? A proper check up will allow your vet to answer these questions.

This check up is also an opportunity for your family vet to ask you a few questions, notably about your pet's daily habits, such as their diet, the bond they share with you, with other members of your family, and with other animals.

During this meeting, don't hesitate to ask questions and ask for advice, especially about what kind of diet you should follow. This is also the ideal time to update any vaccinations, if necessary.

MAKING THE RIGHT DIAGNOSIS

Because prevention is worth the proverbial pound of cure, during your yearly wellness visits the veterinarian may recommend certain tests to make sure your pet is in good health.  After listening to your observations, we can perform tests, using advanced tools, similar to those found in human medicine. Among others, laboratory tests include:

  • stool (e.g.: presence of parasites);
  • urine (e.g.: looking for struvite crystals);
  • blood (e.g.: checking liver condition).

Your vet will use various tools, equipment and techniques. We have digital x-rays, in-house blood machine and in-house urine machine at our disposal to get your results to you as quickly as possible.

Some equipment we do not have on site, such as ultrasound. However, we do have a mobile ultrasonographer we work with that can come into the clinic.

So, if you're worried that the pet that means so much to you isn't in tip top shape, rest assured that your vet has the right tools to make the right diagnosis.

Spaying/Neutering

The next big step in your new pets life is to neuter/spay them.

This is a very important step for a variety of reasons such as:

  • Reducing their likeliness of developing reproductive hormone related diseases such as testicular/ovarian cancer.
  • Reduce dominant personality in males
  • Eliminate the risk of accidental pregnancies and further help reduce the stray population problem
  • Reduce the cost in the long run. Caring for a litter of puppies or kittens is expensive

At the same time as spaying or neutering, it is also highly recommended that you microchip your pet. This procedure involves implanting a small device via a needle into the skin of your pet, typically between the shoulder blades. This device can be scanned by anyone with a microchip scanner, such as a veterinary clinic, shelter or animal control. This way if your pet every gets out and is lost, anyone who finds your pet just has to take it to the nearest clinic or shelter and you can be notified right away.

ANNUAL CHECK UPS FOR A LIFETIME OF HEALTH

If you wait for your pet to show signs of pain before going to see us, you'll probably be waiting a long time and taking a big risk. If you see that their condition seems to be deteriorating, that they don't seem right; this probably means that the problem has already been around for a while.

An annual check up will allow your vet to determine what is going on with your pet before your furry friend. What exactly will the vet do during a complete annual exam? Among other things, they'll check your pet's temperature, examine the skin and coat, the ears, eyes, teeth, paws, and nails. The vet will also perform an examination, using a stethoscope, to determine the general state of your pet's hearts and lungs. They will also perform a full hands on physical exam.

What's more, your pet's weight is also an important indicator of their health. Are they too fat? too thin? A proper check up will allow your vet to answer these questions.

This check up is also an opportunity for your family vet to ask you a few questions, notably about your pet's daily habits, such as their diet, the bond they share with you, with other members of your family, and with other animals.

During this meeting, don't hesitate to ask questions and ask for advice, especially about what kind of diet you should follow. This is also the ideal time to update any vaccinations, if necessary. The vet may recommend other vaccines that are not listed under the core vaccinations depending on what you do with your dog/cat. For example, if you board your dog or go to the dog park, the veterinarian may recommend giving the Bordetella vaccine that vaccinates against kennel cough.

Preventative Care

If you're worried that your pet isn't in tip top shape, rest assured that your vet has the right tools to make the right diagnosis.

Early indicators of disease can be present in all pets. Many tests can be preformed to catch those indicators before the disease progresses. Some of these laboratory tests include:

  • stool (e.g.: presence of parasites);
  • urine (e.g.: looking for struvite crystals);
  • blood (e.g.: checking liver condition).

Typically during your pet's spay/neuter, we recommend doing pre-anesthetic bloodwork which amongest other things, provides us a baseline for when your pet requires further testing along the road. As your pet ages, we recommend doing periodic blood tests to make sure that those values are still within normal limits. With our system, we can graph the changes in your pets values which can provide us with early indicators of disease. This can allow us to take preventative measures, such as changing their diet or adding supplements, to slow down or even help prevent these becoming full blown diseases.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral health in your pet is key to maintaining your pets health. What occurs in their mouth can affect their whole body. Therefore, if they have bad oral health, it can cause further problems, such as heart issues, or make already present problems worse.

Just like with humans, tartar and calculus can build up on your pets teeth. They start to develop  this calculus after a day or two without brushing their teeth. Once it hardens, it becomes very difficult to get off without dental instruments. If it continues to build up, it can cause gum irritation and even go below the gum line onto the roots of the teeth. This irritation allows bacteria to get through and can infect the gums and surround bone, which can cause bone loss. The bacteria can also enter into the bloodstream and can cause problems, such as heart and liver damage.

It is very important to maintain your pets oral health, just like in humans. There are a variety of ways you can do this. There are special dental diets, treats, gels, etc. for you to use at home. The gold standard is for you to brush your pet's teeth every day, however we know that is not feasible for some owners. Have a conversation with one of our veterinarians or veterinary technicians and we can steer you in the right direction to provide your pet with sparkling white teeth.

At our clinic, we offer dentistry (scaling, polishing, extractions, etc.) as well as dental x-rays to optimize your pets oral health.

ANNUAL CHECK UPS FOR A LIFETIME OF HEALTH

If you wait for your pet to show signs of pain before going to see us, you'll probably be waiting a long time and taking a big risk. If you see that their condition seems to be deteriorating, that they don't seem right; this probably means that the problem has already been around for a while.

An annual check up will allow your vet to determine what is going on with your pet before your furry friend. What exactly will the vet do during a complete annual exam? Among other things, they'll check your pet's temperature, examine the skin and coat, the ears, eyes, teeth, paws, and nails. The vet will also perform an examination, using a stethoscope, to determine the general state of your pet's hearts and lungs. They will also perform a full hands on physical exam.

What's more, your pet's weight is also an important indicator of their health. Are they too fat? too thin? A proper check up will allow your vet to answer these questions.

This check up is also an opportunity for your family vet to ask you a few questions, notably about your pet's daily habits, such as their diet, the bond they share with you, with other members of your family, and with other animals.

During this meeting, don't hesitate to ask questions and ask for advice, especially about what kind of diet you should follow. This is also the ideal time to update any vaccinations, if necessary. 

As your pet gets older, we may recommend having check ups more often. This allows us to notice changes quicker, which we can correct sooner to let your pet live out its golden years well.

Diagnostic Testing

Prevention medicine is the key to allowing your pet live a long, happy and healthy life. One way to do this, is doing regular blood work and check ups so we can catch the early indicators of disease.

Yearly senior wellness testing is recommended. This includes testing their blood work as well as their urine to see if any abnormalities are happening. This also allows us to see if their normal values are increasing, which could be an early indicator of disease. At our clinic, we can perform this blood work and urinalysis in-house, which gives you and the veterinarian the results right away.