Q: Why was I asked to bring in a fresh fecal sample?
A: We recommend testing a fecal sample from each pet on a yearly basis to check for internal parasites. Most of the internal parasites that we find on animals are too small to be seen in the feces. Also, pets are not necessarily having diarrhea or losing weight as a result of these parasites.
Last, some of the parasites that we screen for are zoonotic, which means that they can be contagious to people as well as the other animals in the household. So, checking for internal parasites is a great way to keep both you and your pet healthy.
Q: Why does my dog need a heartworm and lyme test?
A: We recommend a blood test to check for heartworm and rickettsial/tick borne diseases on a yearly basis, even if your animal has been on yearly prevention. The reason we do this is to screen for animals who may have these debilitating diseases and to catch them before the disease is causing major problems in the body. Lyme disease is becoming much more prevalent in Vermont in both people and pets!
Q: What will be examined during my pet’s yearly check-up?
A: The annual examination includes a tip to tail review of your pet. We examine the entire body to assess the health in your pet. We check the mouth to see if periodontal disease is present (which is an infection that can affect the heart, liver and kidneys), ensure that your pet is the appropriate weight, listen to the heart and lungs, look for signs of infection and also ensure that your pet is moving normally.
This is a great opportunity to talk about any changes that may have occurred in the last year – some animals will have developed lumps/bumps that we will assess. It is also a great opportunity to see if other testing may be appropriate for your pet.
Q: It sounds like I will get a lot of information about my pet at their annual check-up…how will I remember all this information to report back to my family about my pet’s health?
A: We have Report Cards that we are willing to fill out at the end of the appointment to detail all of the things that we checked. It is a great way to catch any problems that may be starting and ensure that the health and well-being of your pet is on track.
Q: What vaccines does my pet really need?
A: Necessary vaccinations vary from pet to pet. We take into consideration the lifestyle, age and health status of every animal before developing a vaccine protocol.
Q: What other testing may be needed?
A: Depending on your pet’s previous medical conditions, lifestyle and age, we may recommend additional testing for your pet (which may include bloodwork, urine testing, diagnostic imaging, etc.).
Q: Will I have time to ask questions?
A: Of course! If you are able, please be prepared with any questions or concerns you may have. We will be happy to address them during your appointment.