Welcome to Veterinary Medical Clinic’s blog! In the upcoming months, we’re going to use our vet blog as a platform to explore important pet tips and news about our community around Alamogordo, New Mexico. To get things kicked off today, we’re going to talk about what you should expect at your puppy or kitten’s first visit to the veterinarian office.
Whether you got your pet from a shelter or adopted them from a breeder, one of the first things you should plan together is an appointment at the vet. Typically, breeders will sell pets after they’ve already had their first physical exam and round of vaccinations. When purchasing from a breeder, you should closely examine the paperwork in the contract, so you know if you need to care for any specific illnesses or conditions.
If you’ve adopted your puppy or kitten from a shelter, your first line of defense against unknown contagious diseases should be taking them for a physical exam. In Alamogordo, our experienced veterinarians at Veterinary Medical Clinic, inc. can help diagnose and treat any medical conditions your puppy or kitten are experiencing.
We’ll also help you establish the appropriate wellness routines for your pet’s unique physical condition and breed. After your first visit, we will schedule continual yearly wellness exams. Wellness exams extend your pet’s life, even if they seem like they are in good health.
Before bringing your pet into our office, we recommend calling in advance to schedule an appointment that fits into yours’ and our schedule. Don’t procrastinate on scheduling an appointment for your pet.
In fact, it’s a good idea to try and schedule your first visit, before you bring your puppy home with you. This way, you have time to talk to our vets and answer any questions you might need answered.
During your pet’s first vet visit, your vet will follow a variety of steps to examine your puppy or kitten’s physical health. You can expect us to perform the following assessments on your pet:
Weigh your pet to make sure they are in a healthy range for their breed and age.
Listen to your pet’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope, making sure that they are functioning correctly.
Take your pet’s temperature. Usually pet temperature is taken rectally.
Check your pet’s eyes, ears, feet, nose, and genitalia for abnormalities.
Examine your pet’s skin and coat, making sure they don’t have any skin conditions or allergies that you might need to be made aware.
Evaluate your pet’s teeth and mouth for gum disease or other oral health issues.
Palpate your pet’s abdomen and lymph nodes.
Examine pet’s feces for the presence of worms, as most puppies and kittens have roundworms or pinworms.
Discuss your pet’s medical history and answer any questions you might have, as well as get your pet the proper parasite prevention medications.
Discuss any future preventative care, like microchipping or spaying and neutering.
Discuss medication and treatment administration, and then schedule follow-up visits and vaccination appointments.
Whether you got your pet from a breeder or shelter, it’s important you bring any paperwork you might have regarding your pet, so we can document them in your pet’s file. The more comprehensive medical history we have on your pet’s health, the better we can treat and prevent any future illnesses or diseases.
Most healthy pets only need to be taken to the vet once a year for routine wellness exams and vaccinations. However, some dogs and cats are prone to medical conditions or get in accidents that require vet visits.
Some of the most common chronic conditions for dogs are ear and urinary tract infections. These will require regular check-ups for medications and ear drops. Other conditions in which you might need to take your dog or cat to the vet include the following:
Chronic vomiting and diarrhea. This could be a sign that your pet swallowed something they shouldn’t have, like a foreign object or poison.
Loss of appetite. Growing dogs and cats love to eat. When your dog isn’t eating, it could be a sign of a bigger problem, like parasites.
Increased intake of water. Drinking a lot of water could be an early sign your pet has kidney disease, thyroid problems, or diabetes.
Oozing eyes. This could be a sign of an eye infection or injury.
Irritability. Sometimes happy puppies and kittens become irritable, when they’re in pain and need an assessment from the vet.
Infrequent urination. Typically this is a sign of a urinary tract infection, which can only be treated with antibiotics. If your dog appears uncomfortable while peeing, needs to go out frequently, but only urinates a small amount of urine, chances are that he has a urinary tract infection.
Owning a new pet can be one of the most exciting times of your life. With the right care and preparation, you can prevent health problems, keeping your pets healthy and happy.
The first step to a healthy and happy pet is visiting a compassionate vet. Call Veterinary Medical Clinic today to learn more about our veterinary services for new pets 575-567-3500.