Preventative Care

Preventative Veterinary Care

Your pets deserve to live long, happy, healthy lives. Engaging in preventative veterinary care is a significant part of ensuring they do. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when your pet has developed a medical condition, so vigilance is your best bet.  

What is Preventative Vet Care?

Preventative care consists of tools and procedures intended to help stop adverse medical conditions before they happen. Most health issues your pets face are easily preventable with early intervention and proper care from a professional veterinarian.

Cats and dogs grow older at a much different rate from us, and they face unique challenges as they do. As a result, they could develop unforeseen issues that affect their quality of life and require more aggressive forms of treatment. Preventative care starts with identifying these potential problems before they impact your pet, which makes treating them much more straightforward.

How often should you schedule a vet visit for cats and dogs? The typical recommendation is to come in for a visit once a year. However, pets over nine years old should come in twice a year to ensure their continued health.

Preventative Veterinary Care and Nutrition at South Huntsville Veterinary Hospital

The South Huntsville Veterinary Hospital team thoroughly understands preventative care’s role in maintaining your pets’ health. That is why we offer a suite of veterinary procedures and treatments. Here are some of our preventative care services for pets.

  • Pet Wellness Exams: Gathering as much information as possible is necessary to understand your pet’s health. That is the purpose of the wellness exam. Veterinarians need to know what is going on with your pet to effectively resolve any problem that may come up. The vet will ask questions about your pet’s health history and lifestyle during the exam. Next, your pet’s weight, temperature, pulse, and respiration will all be recorded. Blood work will also be done to evaluate organ function.
  • Weight Management/Monitoring: Weight plays a significant role in pet wellness. While a chubby cat or dog may seem cute, excessive weight poses a challenge for mobility and other aspects of your pet’s lifestyle. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll need to be sure that your pet is eating enough to put on a healthy amount of weight to support vital bodily functions.
  • Vaccinations: Of all the preventative measures you can take for your pet’s health, vaccinating them is one of the most critical. The vet will review your pet’s vaccination history and give them boosters where necessary or first-time vaccinations. In addition, there is always the possibility of new immunizations against various illnesses, so it’s vital to keep your pet up to date.
  • Parasite Prevention: Parasites are dangerous not just because they potentially carry disease but because they can also go undetected for a long time. Some parasites can go unnoticed without professional examination until they cause a severe medical condition. The best way to deal with a parasitic infection is to prevent it from happening in the first place. The vet will administer medications to kill any parasites on first contact, keeping your pet safe from unwanted invaders.
  • Diet: While helping to manage your pet’s weight, the vet will make recommendations about their diet. It’s essential to adhere to your pet’s dietary needs. The vet can determine what food your pet needs to eat to put on weight or how much your pet needs to cut back on to lose weight.
  • Nutrition Supplements: Like us, pets benefit from a healthy intake of vitamins and minerals. The vitamins and minerals your pet needs are determined mainly by age and overall health. The vet can use the information they gained from the initial exam to determine whether your pet lacks any nutrients in their diet, then make recommendations for how to increase the amounts of those nutrients safely and effectively.

What Constitutes a Comprehensive Pet Checkup?

A basic exam helps to detect common health issues and gives you an idea of your pet’s general state. However, sometimes it’s vital to bring your pet in for a more comprehensive exam to ensure there aren’t any hidden problems that may develop later. A thorough pet checkup, often referred to as a “nose to tail” exam, can include:

  • Checking your pet’s complete medical history
  • Physical examination of your pet’s muscles, bones, lymph nodes, eyes, ears, and nose
  • Blood work
  • Urine and fecal tests
  • Checking your pet’s vitals
  • Oral care
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm and tick screening
  • Flea and tick prevention

Preventative Vet Care Cost

Multiple factors influence the cost of pet checkups, including how extensive the care needs to be, the presence of any preexisting conditions, their age, and other factors. 

Because cat and dog checkups are vital, most pet insurance policies will offer coverage to help lower the costs associated with the testing and procedures performed. In addition, bringing your pet in as early as possible will help mitigate or prevent the cost of more expensive treatments by stopping adverse medical conditions before they threaten your pet’s health.

Schedule a Visit to South Huntsville Veterinary Hospital

Dr. Wesley Clendinen and the South Huntsville Veterinary Hospital team work hard to provide the highest quality care for your pets. We take pride in our thorough approach to preventative veterinary care and our ability to make pets and pet owners feel comfortable in our office. In addition, our extensive knowledge and advanced techniques help us ensure that your pet’s health remains a top priority.

Contact us if you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment.