The Outside of Your Pet
You are usually the first one to notice outward signs of illness in your pet. Don’t discount your observations because you are your pet’s first line of defense against disease and pain. Call us if you notice any of these things:
- Ears are red, itchy or have discharge
- Gums are red or there is blood in the water bowl
- Skin is red, flaky
- Behavior changes -Cats may be more vocal or not using the litterbox. Dogs may be less active or sensitive to touch.
- Loss of appetite
Illness starts on the inside and works its way out. By the time these signs are obvious, your animal may already be in pain, so don’t second guess yourself. Many pet owners tell us things just don’t “feel” right and their gut feeling is usually confirmed by a check-up.
The Inside of Your Pet
During a check-up, your veterinarian will examine your pet for the things you can’t see or feel at home. They will be looking and feeling to check for signs of normal or abnormal body organs and functions. Some of the things they do in the exam are:
- Listening to the heart and lung sounds and taking body temperature. (This is known as TPR (Temperature, Pulse, Respiration) and should be the start of every check-up.
- Visually inspecting the eyes and mouth
- Listening to abdomen sounds to check for things such as constipation or
- Feeling (palpating) the inside of the animal from head to tail to check for things like enlarged organs, masses or bladder stones.
- Watching how your pet moves and feeling along the neck and spine to see if there are any signs of pain.