Dog Care: What To Expect At A Check-Up

It can be difficult to know whether your dog is experiencing any health issues since they can't just tell you if they have any pain or discomfort. That's why vets recommend regular check-ups for dogs. Check-ups differ for an appointment that's scheduled to address a specific health problem, as during a check-up your vet will aim to carry out a thorough, full-body examination. Your vet will advise you on how often your dog should have a check-up, but an annual check-up is quite common for dogs that have no significant ongoing health issues. Read on to learn about the basic elements of a check-up appointment.

Diet And Exercise Review

Your vet will ask you about your dog's diet and how much exercise they get each day. Some dog owners worry that they'll be judged for the brand of dog food they choose to feed their dog, but your vet is only concerned with your dog's health and won't judge you for feeding your dog a cheaper brand of food as long as it's a complete food that's suitable for your dog's age. Finding out about your dog's diet and exercise habits can help your vet make recommendations on improving or protecting the health of their skin, eyes, joints and heart.  Your vet will also weigh your dog to ensure they are not overweight, which can cause joint problems in some breeds.

Dental Check

Like humans, dogs can develop cavities and gum disease and oral health conditions can be painful for your dog and prevent them from eating enough food to keep them healthy and nourished. Your vet will check the health of your dog's teeth and gums and can arrange for any necessary treatment, such as plaque removal. They can also provide advice on keeping your dog's teeth healthy and choosing appropriate treats that won't damage their teeth.

Physical Exam

Your vet will carry out a complete physical exam that will include checking your dog's eyes, ears, paws, heart, lungs and abdomen. They will palpate your dog's body to check for any abnormal growths and check for any signs of muscle wasting. They will also observe your dog's posture and how they walk, which can help them determine whether your dog could have any problems with their joints. During your dog's physical exam you should expect to answer questions relating to your dog's toileting habits and their behaviour around other dogs and people.

Blood Tests

Blood tests aren't always carried out during a check-up appointment, but if your dog has an underlying condition or your vet has any cause for concern, they may take a blood sample. Blood tests can tell your vet quite a lot about your dog including valuable information about organ health and function, levels of inflammation and indicators of an infection.

Regular check-ups can allow health problems to be picked up early, which can minimise suffering and give your dog the best chance of recovering from certain conditions and living a full, healthy life. If your dog is overdue for a check-up, get in touch with a veterinary practice, such as Findon Vet Surgery, and schedule an appointment.