What Your Vet Wishes You Knew...Why does your pet need an exam?
At Broadway Veterinary Hospital, we often hear the question, why does my pet need an exam? On this week's "What your vet wishes you knew," we will go into detail about the answer of this question. There are many reasons why a pet might need an exam. Here are a few:
- Your pet is due for a refill of medications. Did you know there is a state law in Idaho that requires all doctors to have an annual or recent exam performed on their patients before filling any medication? Even veterinarians are bound by that state law or risk their veterinary license. Your pet may need an adjustment to their medications and that can only be determined by an exam and sometimes bloodwork. Was your pet seen within the last year but not the last 6 months? Pets age faster than humans. If a human only went to the doctor every 3.5 years, the doctor wouldn't be willing to give that person medications or treatments. When your pet comes to the vet once a year, it's like going to the doctor once every 7 years! Sometimes we need to see your pet for an exam more often than just once a year, especially when medications are involved.
- Your pet is due for his or her annual vaccinations. We don't vaccinate sick pets so an exam is required to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to receive vaccines. Did you know that all dogs are required to be vaccinated for rabies in the state of Idaho? Because rabies is a human health concern, a rabies vaccine must be administered by a veterinarian after she or he has done a physical exam on your dog.
- Coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea? Those are all different symptoms that could mean different things for different pets. There could be 3-7+ different causes for each one of those symptoms. If given the wrong information over the phone, your pet could be hurt even worse than the original issue. Thorough knowledge of patient history, a thorough physical exam and sometimes diagnostics are required in order to know what a patient is sick with and how they should be treated medically. That just cannot be done over the phone.
- Is your pet injured? Most human medications are toxic to pets, especially anti-inflammatories. We have safe medications in the hospital that we can prescribe, but referring back to #1, we have to have a current exam on board to legally prescribe them. Plus if we stated over the phone that your pet was fine to "wait and see" what happens and then he or she became worse, we could never forgive ourselves for not letting the doctor decide whether your pet should have treatment or not.
There are a lot of things that the doctors check in an examination to make sure your pet is healthy. Just because your pet appears to be in good health doesn't mean there's nothing wrong. Sometimes a thorough annual physical examination will uncover important health issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. Paying $69.00 for a physical examination is worth the money.
Our doctors have learned so much with their degrees and continuing education to help us keep our pets healthy for more years. We recommend an annual examination of your pet once a year even if it looks healthy. Noticing something is wrong before the pet gets terribly sick can sometimes save your pet's life and can definitely extend their good and happy quality of life.
Give us a call to schedule your pet's wellness examination once a year so that you can be proactive about your pet's health.