As a caring pet owner, you probably want to ensure that your beloved companion stays happy and healthy all year round. Regular visits to Rainbow Veterinary Hospital are a key factor to keeping your pet well. Here are some frequently asked questions about preventative pet wellness and vaccinations as answered by our Burbank veterinarian, Dr. Metzger.
My pet seems fine, so why do I need to keep bringing him/her in for checkups? Many ailments do not show symptoms until they are already far advanced, making treatment more difficult and expensive while reducing the chances of a good prognosis. By scheduling annual or six-month evaluations at our clinic, we have an opportunity to catch diseases in their early stages and nip them in the bud through prompt treatment. Regular checkups also help us develop a detailed profile of your pet’s health, which helps us craft an effective ongoing wellness plan.
What are the basic components of a wellness checkup? We typically perform a thorough external evaluation of your pet by checking the nose, eyes, ears, skin, and mouth for signs of infections, injuries or other problems. It’s also important to listen to the heart and lungs for any signs of congestive heart failure, heartworm, bronchitis, asthma and other potential concerns. If your pet appears to be overweight for his/her breed and age, we may recommend dietary changes, exercise or other lifestyle changes. Initial signs of a problem may cause us to run additional tests as needed.
Do my pet’s wellness needs change over time? Yes. Animals face different health challenges at different stages of life, so we change our evaluation “menu” accordingly. A wellness exam for a puppy or kitten, for example, may place a special emphasis on vaccinations, while senior pets may need ultrasound scans, thyroid tests, and screenings for cancer or organ failure.
Why does my pet need vaccinations? Baby animals such as puppies and kittens have not built up any resistance of their own to many of the life-threatening diseases they’re exposed to from a young age. For this reason, your pet may need several rounds of vaccinations during his/her first year of life.
What vaccinations does my pet need? Generally, we stick to the core vaccinations recommended for all pets, such as those to prevent against distemper and rabies. There are other vaccinations available, but they’re considered optional and dependent on specific lifestyle risks.
My pet has already had his shots. Why does he need to have them again? Vaccinations have a limited potency lifespan, and once they lose effectiveness your pet becomes vulnerable to deadly threats once again. Periodic booster shots ensure that the immunity stays strong for life.
Got More Questions? Ask Our Burbank Veterinarian
Our Burbank veterinarian is happy to address any other questions you may have. Contact Rainbow Veterinary Hospital at (818) 846-1166 today and schedule an initial consultation!