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Five Easy Steps to Prepare for Your Pet Wellness Exam

Beautiful dog during medical appointmentAt ZippiVet, we are committed to keeping your pet happy and healthy, and in order to reach that goal we need your help.

In addition to the healthy activities, meals, and preventive measures you already practice on your pet’s behalf, twice yearly pet wellness exams are one of the best ways to keep your furry friend going strong into his senior years. In order to get the most benefit from the exam; we suggest that you follow these five easy suggestions before you arrive.

Step One: Checklist

Your pet’s health is our top priority, but we don’t see him every day like you do. Because you interact with your pet daily, your observations are important when it comes to helping us discover potential health problems.

To help insure that nothing is missed at your pet’s wellness exam, please take a moment to run through this checklist. For best results, bring it along to the check-up to remind yourself of issues, concerns, or questions.

  • Has your pet unexpectedly gained or lost weight recently?
  • Is there a change in his or her appetite or thirst levels?
  • Have you noticed changes in your pet’s toilet or litter box habits?
  • Is there any change in the amount or frequency of urination, or the appearance of urine?
  • Do your pet’s ears have an unpleasant smell, discharge, or are they red and moist-looking?
  • Are your pet’s eyes cloudy, bright red beneath the eyelid, or do they have a discharge?
  • Does your pet seem hard-of-hearing or near-sighted?
  • Is your pet scratching or rubbing his ears or eyes?
  • Does your pet lick or bite any area excessively?
  • Does your pet have any open sores or areas of inflammation?
  • Have you felt lumps or bumps anywhere?
  • Does your pet cough, wheeze, or seem short of breath, especially after exercise?
  • Is your pet reluctant to play, walk, or jump in or out of a vehicle?
  • Does your pet limp, or cry if you pick him up?
  • Are your pet’s teeth coated with plaque, or are the gums red and puffy?
  • Does your pet have bad breath, or an abnormally bad smell coming from anywhere on his or her body?

Step Two: Important Information

  • Write down the brand names of your pet’s foods and treats, and the amount and times you feed him.
  • Bring the names, strengths, and dosages (or the packaging) of any medications or supplements your pet is taking. If your pet has seen another vet, has received vaccinations elsewhere, or come from a shelter, bring all of his records with you, so we’re on the same page.

Step Three: Keep Calm and Carry On

It’s best to avoid strenuous exercise with your pet right before an exam. The calmer your pet remains, the better the baseline information your vet will be able to gather.

Step Four: What to Do Before the Door

Bring your pet in a carrier or on a leash. New environments are stressful for even the most lovable animals. Walk or curb your pet before entering the vet’s office – everyone will be more relaxed and comfortable if no one has to keep his or her legs crossed! Bring a recent stool sample from your pet for parasite screening. A Ziploc bag or tightly tied plastic pick-up bag will work fine.

Step Five: Prepare Documentation in Advance

To speed your visit when your pet is along, complete the New Client form (if this is your pet’s first visit) before the visit and either submit it online or print it and bring it in with you.

Do These Five Steps

Following these five simple steps to prepare for your pet’s wellness exam will make the process faster, better, and more comfortable for everyone. Of course if you do notice any of the changes listed in the checklist above, you may prefer to come in sooner than your pet’s next bi-annual wellness exam. At Austin’s most trusted pet hospital: ZippiVet, walk in whenever your pets need to be seen, drop off your pet to be checked while you’re at work or play, or contact us to schedule an appointment.