Your pet brings you much joy. In return, you can make a major contribution to your pet’s longevity, happiness, and quality of life by providing him or her with good nutrition; loving attention in a safe, sanitary environment; and scheduling regular checkups with the exceptional staff at Potts Point Veterinary Hospital. We call these regular checkups “wellness care.”
Kittens or Puppies
Your new kitten or puppy should visit our veterinarians as soon as possible. This first visit includes:
- A thorough physical exam
- External parasites (fleas, ticks, lice, ear mites) check—See our client handout “Dog Grooming - Flea Control in Dogs” for a comparison of products
- Internal parasites (heartworm, tapeworm, roundworm, etc.) check when you supply a stool sample for analysis
- Vaccinations—See our “Vaccinations Routines” handout
- Discussion about spaying or neutering
- Recommendations for your pet’s proper diet, exercise, and socialization routines
- Assistance with any behaviour issues your dog or cat might have
- Dental health consultation and demonstration of the proper way to brush your animal’s teeth
- Tips on how to pet proof your house to avoid accidents and injuries
We also provide you with a “Flea Control” handout, and a “Poisons and Your Pet” handout to help you care for your new pet, and we offer behavioural training in house or at home as well.
Adult dogs and cats should visit the veterinarian once a year. Much like human doctors, our vets perform a thorough physical examination at the visit. They will listen to the heart and lungs, feel (palpate) the abdomen to ensure the organs have normal sizes and shapes, check the limbs, spine, and private parts for any abnormalities. Those animals requiring vaccination or parasite treatments receive them at this visit.
As your pet ages, we recommend that he or she have twice-a-year wellness checks. Remember that for every year that passes, your pet is aging in an equivalent manner to every five to ten human years. A checkup every six months will help to detect health problems early, allowing easier and more successful treatment.
Common Problems for the Older Pet and What You Can Do
- Arthritis—A pet with arthritis must maintain muscle mass and tone. Our veterinarians can devise an exercise program suited to your pet’s particular condition. Additionally, we might prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help manage your pet’s pain.
- If your pet has frequent colds or infections, his or her immune system might not be functioning properly. Be sure to bring your older pet in for an examination so our vets can test your cat for the Feline Leukaemia Virus and the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or your dog for an immune system weakness.
- Cognitive dysfunction might mean your pet is confused, disorientated, is unable to settle at night, or reduces his or her activity. This can occur in older dogs and cats. In some circumstances, medication can alleviate these issues, while underlying diseases, such as high blood pressure, can be resolved.
- Constipation in older cats could be a result of colon problems or hairballs. Make sure your cat is receiving a highly nutritious, easily digestible diet.
- Hot and cold temperature intolerance—Your senior pet produces fewer hormones, making it harder for your animal to regulate body temperature. To ensure that your dog or cat is more comfortable, have your pet sleep closer to a heater in winter, and bring him or her indoors on very hot or very cold days.
- Mammary gland tumours or an enlarged prostate—Animals that are not spayed or neutered at an appropriately early age have a higher risk of mammary gland tumours or an enlarged prostate. Our vets routinely check the prostate or mammary glands at your older pet’s wellness care visits.
- Obesity—Older pets are less active, so it is necessary to adjust your animal’s diet to reduce weight gain and the subsequent joint pressure. This will reduce the risk of heart failure, kidney or liver disease, and digestive problems. We might also recommend giving your pet more fibre, fatty acids, and vitamins while reducing the amount of sodium, proteins, and fats your animal ingests. Call us for advice on nutrition and proper weight maintenance any time.
- Separation anxiety and phobias—Older dogs that can’t cope with stress as well as young dogs sometimes become aggressive, may develop a noise phobia, bark or whine more, or have a hard time sleeping. Our vets can prescribe medication and teach you behaviour modification techniques to help reduce your pet’s anxiety and phobias.
- Older cats with a reduced sense of smell may have a reduced appetite, too. The best solution is to provide smaller amounts of cat food many times a day. Additionally, our staff can recommend aromatic cat foods.
- Skin or coat problems—As pets age, their fur thins, their coat becomes dull, and their skin loses elasticity, which could lead to injuries. Be sure to groom your pet frequently. Our vets can also prescribe fatty acid supplements to help.
- Thirstiness is a possible sign of diabetes, kidney failure, or hormonal imbalances such as hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease, and Addison’s disease. Our veterinarians determine the cause with examinations and blood tests and prescribe the appropriate medication. For further information about increased thirst in your pet, contact us today.
- Tooth loss or decay leads to difficulty in chewing and increases the possibility of infections. Combat this by giving your pet proper nutrition and dental care including daily brushing. Our staff can demonstrate the proper way to do this.
- Pet Travel is only a good idea if you know that your pet doesn’t get motion sickness or can adapt well to unfamiliar places. Otherwise, boarding your cat with us or having your dog stay at a kennel may be your best option. If your pet will be accompanying you on your trip, be sure to talk to our staff about the steps you should take to ensure a safe and happy trip for you and your pet.
At Potts Point Veterinary Hospital, we provide complete wellness care programs for your pet at affordable prices; truly the best value for your money. Contact us today for a consultation.