What’s it like to get a vet exam?

A veterinary exam with your pet is very similar to you or I going in for our annual physical; although some would argue our pets get even better medical attention that we do!

It begins with a veterinary assistant escorting you and your pet into a private, cozy room. Your pet is weighed first. It’s critical to keep accurate and up to date weights on our pets. Next, the assistant will begin retrieving a medical history from you. If you are in for a yearly checkup with vaccines, the assistant will ask basic questions pertaining to your pets’ general health. These questions will include asking about your pets eating and drinking habits; their energy level, has there any vomiting or diarrhea? The assistant will also probe into the pets’ diet and lifestyle.

What if your pet sees the doctor for a medical problem; let’s say a sore eye? The assistant will acquire the same basic medical history, but will focus in on concerns with the eye. They might ask questions such as, when did the irritation start? Has there been any discharge or swelling? Any trauma to the eye?

After the assistant has the information required for the Veterinarian, they will perform a TPR which gets basic vital signs from your pet. The TPR (Temperature, Pressure and Respiration Rate) are measured to give the Vet an indication of the pets’ physical state. If your pet is sick, these are especially important so the Veterinarian knows how far off from normal ranges your pet is. All this attention and the doctor hasn’t even been in yet?! No wonder some people feel our pets get treated better than we do!

Now it’s time for the vet exam. The prep work done by the assistant allows the doctor to really focus on the physical exam. If your pet is in for a yearly checkup the Vet will perform a complete physical exam; I mean a COMPLETE head to tip of tail check! The health of the eyes, ears, teeth, skin, coat, body condition and joint health are all examined to ensure your pet is in optimal health. Should there be a concern; the Vet will discuss options to rectify any problem. The key is preventive care. Therefore, it’s best to make sure your pet is in for a yearly check up to avoid any medical problem from developing or to nip something in the bud should it be brewing.

If your pet sees the doctor because they are sick, the Veterinarian is armed with the same thorough history from the assistant. The doctor then performs an exam focusing on the area of concern. Sometimes diagnostic work is recommended. For instance; x-rays for a sore tummy in case your pet swallowed something, or blood work if your pets’ energy levels are low. Whatever the concern; the Veterinarian will ensure a thorough treatment plan is provided to ensure your pet is healthy and happy again!

Once the vet exam is complete, the assistant will return to the room and go ever anything needed as far as home care, medications that may be required or to answer any last minute questions you may have. All in all, your pet is guaranteed to receive the best medical care and undivided attention from the whole team!