What To Expect At Puppy’s First Vet Visit ?
What To Expect At Puppy’s First Vet Visit
Dog’s Physical Examination
Physical examination is an essential part of the routine health care for any dog. A thorough physical exam explores all parts of your dog’s body, from the nose all the way to the tail.
Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s teeth and mouth for signs of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and/or dental disease, as well as to look for any abnormal growths in the mouth. The color of your dog’s gums will be examined, making sure they a normal pink color and are not pale (from anemia), yellow (as a result of icterus, often due to liver failure), or cyanotic (as a result of breathing difficulties).
What To Expect At Puppy’s First Vet Visit
- The eyes will be checked for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, corneal injuries, or other abnormalities.
- Your dog’s ears will be examined to make certain they are healthy and that there is no evidence of infection, inflammation, or other abnormalities such as polyps.
- The externally palpable lymph nodes will be examined to make sure they are of normal size.
- Your veterinarian will use a stethoscope to listen to your dog’s heart and lung sounds, looking for heart murmurs, abnormal heart rhythms, and abnormally harsh or abnormally quiet sounds in the lung fields.
- He/she will also check your dog’s pulse rate to make sure it is not too fast or too slow and that there are no “missed” beats.
- The respiratory rate will also be checked.
- Your veterinarian will palpate your dog’s abdomen to make certain he/she cannot feel any abnormal masses within the abdomen.
- Your dog’s genitalia will be examined to make certain there are no abnormal discharges or swellings.
- Your veterinarian may also want to check your dog’s temperature.
- If you have noticed any abnormal lumps or bumps on your dog’s body, this would be a good time to point them out to your veterinarian.
- You should also advise your veterinarian of any changes in your dog’s behavior or eating habits.
- If your dog is acting abnormally in any way, your veterinarian will need to know about it. This may include such things as diarrhea or vomiting, coughing or sneezing. runny eyes or a runny nose, difficulty urinating or defecating, difficulty chewing food, difficulty going up and down stairs or rising from a sitting position.
- It may also include acting more sluggish or lethargic than normal, not eating as much as normal, drinking less than normal or drinking more than normal.
- If your dog is having accidents, such as urinating or defecating in the house, or your cat is urinating or defecating outside of his/her litter box or in abnormal places, you should inform your veterinarian.
- Likewise, if your dog is urinating involuntarily and leaving pools of urine where he/she sleeps or rests, your veterinarian will need to be informed.
This information will allow your veterinarian to focus on specific body systems in order to reach a diagnosis regarding the cause of the abnormalities. The physical examination is the place where any such diagnosis needs to start, although additional testing (blood tests, x-rays, etc) may be necessary to accurately diagnose some conditions.
In addition to helping your veterinarian determine what is wrong with your dog when he/she is not feeling well, regular physical examinations may also help detect early signs of disease in dogs which are still acting normally. In this case, your veterinarian may be able to help you treat the problem before your dog begins to feel bad.
Physical examinations are important for dogs of any age. However, as your dog starts to age, they become even more important. Our dog’s age much faster than we do, and regular physical examinations will help you and your veterinarian detect any abnormalities which may affect your dog’s quality of life.
By finding these abnormalities early, it is often possible to make changes in your dog’s routine which eliminate or slow the progress of diseases such as heart failure, kidney failure, arthritis pain, dental disease, and many more. Your veterinarian may even advise more frequent physical examinations for your dog as he/she ages.