Questions to ask your vet when you take your pet for an annual exam:
Is their weight ok?
Recently the vets at Park Road Veterinary Clinic have made a conscious effort to comment on a pet’s weight at the end of every wellness exam. Vets should since 54% of pets are overweight. Only 22% of dog owners and 15% of cat owners say their pet is overweight even when their veterinarian had deemed them overweight or obese. Fat pets live a shorter life. They have more arthritis, breathing problems, risk of diabetes (cats) and grooming problems. One pig ear given to a 40 lb dog is like an adult human drinking 6 coke classics! A 10 lb Chihuahua is equivalent to a 5’4” adult female weighing 242 lbs. A 15 lb domestic shorthair cat is equivalent to a 5’4” adult female weighing 218 lbs!! For more fun calculations and comparisons go to www.PetObesityPrevention.org
How do the teeth look?
By the age of 3 almost all pets show signs of periodontal disease. Preventative care should start early. Ask us to demonstrate how to brush your pet’s teeth! Too often we see advanced and painful dental disease. Ideally we would be cleaning the teeth and keeping the gums healthy before teeth needed to be extracted! Pets do not have to grow old and enter their golden years with a painful and rotten mouth!
Sorry, what is your name again?
Funny question, I know. Maybe we didn’t introduce ourselves; maybe you have forgotten; maybe we are a new face for you. The relationship works better if we get to know you. Please don’t be afraid to ask the vets here at Park Road questions—it keeps us on track and helps us to be more direct.
Do you have any concerns?
When we have finished our physical exam don’t be afraid to ask us what we found. We should tell you, be it good or bad. Our physical exam and our review of your pet’s history form the basis for any recommendations we have.
When would you like to see us again and why?
Different pets will have different requirements for follow-ups. Follow-ups are a HUGE part of the care in ongoing illness. If your pet is wonderfully healthy ask when the next visit is and why. Maybe it is in the spring for heartworm and flea prevention. Maybe it is in a year for the next annual exam—ask what vaccines will be due, feel free to ask why and talk about the vaccine schedule at Park Road. Maybe we want to see your pet every 2 months for a weight check (these are no charge!!). Maybe your cat has kidney issues and we are checking bloodwork and weight every 3 months. Maybe your pet just received a new diagnosis, for example epilepsy, thyroid issues or diabetes. You deserve to have a clear understanding of what veterinary care is recommended and required from you and your pet. Our goal is that every pet at Park Road has a health plan—this should be in their file. This makes the team approach we have to your pet’s health care work so much better!