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What to Expect at a Veterinary Visit

Allergies are often harder to pinpoint in pets than in humans, because common signs of allergies in pets, like itching, can lead to other conditions like hair loss, red bumps or scabs, or secondary infections before the primary cause is identified. Which raises the question: how do you know when it’s time to bring your pet to see a veterinarian for both allergies and for other health related issues?

On a recent episode of the Mella Moment podcast, “How Can You Help Subdue Your Pet's Allergies?”, we sat down with Dr. Alex Schechter, founder of Burrwood Veterinary, to discuss signs that your pet is experiencing allergies, the common types of allergies in cats and dogs, and ways we might help alleviate them!

But more generally speaking, if you notice something off with how your pet is behaving, why is it good to seek professional help? What can you expect at a visit? In our conversation, Dr. Schechter also touches on the importance of going in early.

“We want to see your pets when they’re just starting to become itchy, before it gets to the point where there’s a massive skin infection or ear infection,” he said, “because there’s so many things we can try to do or give to help prevent it from getting to that point.”

As pets become increasingly viewed as family members, there’s an overall progressive shift in veterinary medicine that allows vets to do much more from a medical standpoint than before, Dr. Schechter also notes.

“People are willing to try new things and take care of pets in ways they weren’t ten years ago,” he said.

Ultimately, no one knows a pet better than their pet parent—if you suspect that there’s something out of the ordinary, it’s better to be safe than sorry. No one wants to see their furry friend in pain, and seeing the vet earlier can help get them back on their feet and feeling better sooner.

Let’s take a closer look at what to expect at a visit, and why it’s good to be proactive with routine checkups as well as medical emergencies.

How often should you bring your pet to see the vet?

Depending on the kind of animal, the frequency of visits to the vet can vary. For instance, kittens and puppies require regular vaccinations every three to four weeks until they’re four months old, but adult dogs and cats only need annual exams to ensure that any emerging health problems are addressed early. This may increase in frequency to biannual checkups for pets who are over ten years old. Ultimately, regular physical exams are a tool to help your vet monitor overall trends in your pet’s physical health, and help them lead the most happy and fulfilling lives possible with you.

What kind of tests does the vet do for your pet?

A physical examination for your pet usually involves things like checking their eyes, ears, mouth and skin for infection or other issues, listening to their heart and lungs, and palpating their abdomen to make sure their internal organs appear normal. Blood work, urinalysis and other routine wellness tests are also important for identifying hidden illnesses, which is helpful because animals are often good at concealing any signs of pain.

The importance of preventative care

Although bringing your pet in to see the vet for routine checkups can be time consuming and expensive, ultimately, it’s really important to still do so because it can help vets diagnose and treat potential health problems early on before they become worse or untreatable. We all want what’s best for our furry companions, and getting them the care they need early ensures that they can live their happiest and healthiest lives with us!

References and related reading:

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