We all know the importance of scheduling an exam when our pet has a problem, but do you know why it is important to have your dog or cat examined on a regular basis, even if everything is "normal?"

Puppies/Kittens (less than 18 months old)

            Just like a child needs more frequent pediatrician visits during the first few years of his/her life to              establish a solid preventative care foundation, it is important that all new animal family members                also visit the veterinarian as soon as possible and that they come back for all recommended                        follow-up visits. Young animals need:

                         General exam (assess health, identify congenital problems)

                         Fecal exam (check for parasites that can be transmitted from mom to baby in utero; these                           parasites can also pose a human health risk)


                         Heartworm and flea prevention

                         Initial vaccines + booster vaccines every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks old

Adults (1-7 years old)

            This is considered the "prime of a pet's life, when he/she is less likely to have obvious problems.                However, this is also the best time to detect and correct minor issues, before they develop into                  more complex and costly problems. Adults need:

                         Annual general exam (asses health, early detection of obesity)

                         Annual dental exam (teeth begin to accumulate tartar as a dog moves into adulthood. On                           average, pets develop signs of periodontal disease/need a dental cleaning by the time                                 they are 3-4 years old.)

                         Annual vaccines

                         Annual heartworm testing (dogs)

                         Lifelong heartworm and flea prevention

                         Fecal exam, urinalysis, and/or bloodwork if indicated

Senior pets (7+ years old)

            Pets move into the "geriatric" or "senior" category by the time they are 7 years old. Some breeds,                especially large breed dogs, move into the senior category at an even younger age! As pets                        become seniors, they are more likely to experience joint and mobility issues (arthritis), metabolic                issues (hypothyroid disease, diabetes), and loss of organ function (kidney disease). If caught early,              many issues can be managed with relatively simple dietary and/or medication                                              adjustments. Regular exams, annual urinalysis and annual bloodwork are the best ways to                          diagnose problems before serious symptoms develop. Seniors need:

                         Regular general exam and dental exam, every 6-12 months

                         Annual senior bloodwork

                         Annual urinalysis


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