It’s Time for the Exam! Get your pet ready for its appointment with the veterinarian.
By Chandra Orr Copley for the Chandra Orr Copley News Service
Inevitably, you’ll find yourself in need of the services of a veterinarian, whether it’s for something as simple as a checkup or as significant as dealing with an emergency. Pet owners can reduce the amount of stress experienced by both themselves and their animal companions with some advance preparation and organization.
It is not always an easy task to take your pet to the veterinarian, so you want to make the most of your visit, said veterinarian Lynn Buzhardt of the Animal Center in Zachary, Louisiana. “You want to make the most of your visit,” she said. “The better off your pet will be, the more information you are able to glean from a single visit,”
In order for pet owners to get the most out of their trip to the veterinarian, Buzhardt provides a four-point checklist that can assist them in coming in well-prepared and leaving with the knowledge they require.
Provide a good history.
“The very first question that you are going to be asked is, ‘How is your pet doing?’ Is he drinking and eating normally at this point? Is it normal for him to eliminate that often? According to Buzhardt, “this provides us with good, fundamental information that we can build on with the physical exam.”
Make a mental note of your pet’s eating and drinking routines, as well as the frequency of its elimination, its sleep schedule, and its level of activity. You should also come prepared with the name of the animal’s current food, an exact measurement of how much he eats each day, and a list of current medications, which should include any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements that it is taking.
“In a nutshell, you want to report everything that is fed to that animal,” the veterinarian advised. “We like to know exactly how much is being offered and how much is actually being consumed,” Buzhardt said. Sometimes pet owners take it for granted when they fill the food bowl, but we like to know exactly how much is being offered and how much is actually being consumed. “We also need to know about any dietary supplements and any treats that have been used on the animal, in addition to any over-the-counter insecticides that have been used in the home,”
Keep track of changes in your pet’s routine.
Additionally, it is important for owners of pets to monitor their animals for any behavioral or physical changes. Be sure to keep an eye on your pet’s ears and teeth, and let your veterinarian know about any new lumps, bumps, areas of hair loss, or other skin problems. No matter how inconsequential the alterations may appear, the client must still inform the veterinarian of them.
“There is no getting around the fact that these animals are unable to respond to any of our inquiries. “Without input from the pet owner, it’s difficult for us to determine the pet’s appetite or activity level,” said Buzhardt. “We might know if your pet has a fever, but that’s about all we can tell you about them.” “A lot of the time, an owner will draw the conclusion that their pet isn’t feeling well based on very minor changes that they observe around the house. Because animals are unable to respond to our questions, it is imperative that we are aware of any behavioral shifts that may have taken place.
Bring in a recent stool sample. Your pet will thank you.
A recent stool sample should be provided to the veterinarian by pet owners even though it is an unpleasant task to perform. Although this step isn’t required, taking it could spare your cat or dog from experiencing any further anxiety.
According to what Buzhardt had to say, “It’s just one of those extra little things that will help out.” “We are able to obtain a stool sample, and we don’t mind doing that in the clinic; however, it can be a little uncomfortable for the pet, and the sample is frequently only a small amount.
If the pet owner is able to muster the willpower to pick it up from the yard or scoop it out of the litter box, then we have a larger sample size from which to work. The most important thing is that it should be a recent sample taken within the past day.
Take notes – and keep good records.
According to Buzhardt, having things written down is essential for two reasons. “It’s important to have things in writing,” “To begin, we have trouble concentrating at the animal hospital, so we miss important details that are being relayed to us. Second, it’s very common that the person who brings the pet in is not the primary caregiver, and they want to make sure that the person who does take care of the pet is aware of any pertinent information.
“What we’ve discovered is that the majority of veterinarians these days give their clients written information in the form of a health report card. If we discover something that is not correct, we will make a note of it. It is helpful in that it reminds people of what we discussed.
Make sure you save all of those reports and printouts for future reference. Even though your veterinarian will keep a record of your pet’s medical history in their office, it is still a good idea to keep a copy for your own records.
“It tells you, historically, what the cat or dog has been treated with,” said Buzhardt. “It could be anything from flea treatment to chemotherapy.” “If you switch veterinarians, then you have an accurate history; additionally, it is important to have this information if you are going on vacation,”