Annual Exams for Cats and Dogs

on February 8, 2016
Posted in Cats

We all know that our pets age faster than we do. Many times people ask me how old their pet is in “people” years.  The old rule of thumb 1 dog year equals 7 human years and 1 cat year equals 5 human years is not always correct but it does give you a pretty good idea.  Regardless of your pet’s age, it is important to understand the things that will keep him healthy.  Dogs and cats cannot tell you when they are feeling ill so it is important to pay close attention to changes in behaviour and subtle signs of illness.  According to a recent veterinary survey about 10% of all pets that appear healthy actually have undetected disease.

Here is a list of signs that your pet may be developing  a problem. Many times people think that these are simply signs of old age, but they are not.  If your pet shows these signs be sure to take him to see your veterinarian to get things checked out.

  • Excessive drooling or bad breath
  • Increased drinking and/or urination
  • Dry, red or cloudy eyes
  • Change in appetite
  • Difficulty getting up, or stiffness on getting up
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Coughing or sneezing excessively
  • Change in activity level
  • Skin lumps or sores
  • Sleeping more than normal

If your pet has these signs, it is likely that your veterinarian will want to do blood or urine testing and possibly radiographs or an ECG if he or she thinks that the heart is abnormal. If disease is detected early it is usually a lot easier to treat with either conventional or holistic medicine.  Do not neglect your pet’s annual examination as it may save his or her life! ( Note : An annual exam does not mean annual vaccinations.  Your pet should only receive necessary vaccines as determined by your pet’s health status, risk factors and veterinarian.)

Read also: Winterizing Your Pet

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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