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Veterinary check up; when and why!

enero 12, 2021

Our four-legged friends communicate with us in a very special way. We are convinced that they just miss the word. There communication with them, in fact it is clear and intense, even without verbal language: a look, a movement and a yelp allow us to interact and understand their desires.

Unfortunately, however, this is not always so simple to implement or easy to understand. Although life with them allows us to understand and get to know them very well, the signals they want to send us are not always obvious. In particular, we affectionate owners are able to be ready to respond to basic needs and routine of our friend when these are conditions we know well: the request for food, the desire to go out, his desire to spend time with us maybe engaged in the game and cuddling on the sofa, these are all needs that we can understand well and promptly fulfill.

But when it comes to the well-being and health of our friend, potentially threatened by morbid states, it is really difficult to understand what is happening and detect a state of malaise. As with any state and any pathological affection, neglect is one of the factors that aggravate the condition the most. If we think about it, neglect is the prime example of the lack of love, and it is the main cause of problems that are difficult to solve because they are simply not addressed in due time.

Therefore it is important to proceed to periodic routine checks; the check-ups are in fact useful for testing and constantly monitoring health, making them perfect tools for clinical and diagnostic support to assess the general state of health of our beloved friends and possibly rediscover pathological conditions. If you add that all animals tend to have a marked ability to endure morbid and painful states without making the discomfort explicit and manifest, we can well understand how it is not uncommon for our friend to prevent us from picking up symptoms and ailments, because complaints and painful utterances tend to be absent. Unfortunately, however, when a condition of malaise and intense suffering becomes more explicit and manifest, the analyzes could reveal an already advanced pathology that can be treated with difficulty.

Given the peculiarity of our quadrupeds, therefore, a basic or complete checkup can be essential to prevent a disease that is not manifested or is still in its initial state. Fearing our friend’s discomfort, being afraid of not being able to notice his state in time, must instill in us a stimulus to prevention. Prevention is the solution to avoid that latent and not yet manifest pathologies can have bad outcomes and lead to unfavorable prognoses.

Obviously, what has been said must be evaluated taking into consideration the individual characteristics of each subject. We consider in the first place theage as a useful factor to accurately identify the correct check-up to perform. In fact, based on seniority, the subject will express physiological needs and characteristics that will require a targeted control of certain aspects of his state of health.

Let’s start by considering the situation of a recent puppy adoption. For this subject, at the age of 6 months, a veterinary medical examination is necessary in order to allow evaluations to be carried out. In this case it will be a basic check-up that includes a series of analyzes and investigations to be done for all subjects at a young age. Firstly, in this very delicate phase of the animal’s life and growth, the doctor will:

Evaluate and interpret the rate of growth and development of the subject, taking weight measurements. He will advise, if appropriate, to make changes in the food ration provided, starting with targeted questions on how the animal’s daily nutritional intake is taking place and on what is based. It will provide, if it deems it necessary, a provide the owner with useful advice and suggestions on any changes to be made on the child’s habits and diet. In fact, he will be able to recommend specific products for the physiological conditions of the subject (not everyone knows, in fact, that an animal that has undergone sterilization needs an ad hoc diet to ensure an optimal state of health and well-being and avoid the onset of pathologies).

– He will perform an accurate clinical examination, aimed at verifying and evaluating it general state of health. As part of the visit, ears, eyes, legs and teeth will be checked.

– It will ask you if you have been made correct prophylactic and preventive measures against the most frequent pathologies of parasitic etiology. For the veterinarian it will in fact be important to know with which drug and with what timing were carried out, for example, deworming, preventive treatments against external parasites (fleas, lice, ticks): these in fact need a specific product that can also eliminate flea eggs and larvae, so as to avoid infesting the house. Finally the doctor will inquire about the prophylactic plan possibly adopted against the most common viral and bacterial pathologies, and therefore if a vaccination program has been initiated that is appropriate to the subject’s conditions: it will therefore advise you on any future treatments.

– The doctor it will also check if the transponder has been applied. A microchip that on the subject’s first visit must be affixed to the base of the neck to identify our friend in compliance with current legislation on animal identification. They also fall under a basic check up:

  • Blood analysis
  • Urinalysis with sediment
  • Stool Analysis
  • Chest and abdomen digital radiography

Fundamental rule in the 6-month check-up, but in general of every veterinary doctor visit, is to ask, ask, ask. It is indeed necessary ask the doctor any questions that come to mind without any fear, thinking that every question is correct, and indeed fundamental to the health and well-being of our faithful friend. From this moment on, the practice of the check up should be repeated annually according to the breed, the health conditions of our friend and age. It should therefore begin to consider it a good practice to accompany the routine steps planned by the veterinarian according to the frequency of vaccines and the rituality of their calls. If, on the other hand, our friend is in adulthood or in the event of a suspected pathology, it is preferable to have a complete check-up. It will be decidedly more suitable and reliable, for the particular condition of the subject. As part of this routine health check, in fact, the tests and analyzes already present in the basic check-up will be repeated, with the addition of some tests that can provide useful data for the adult subject.

The Complete Check up includes:

  • Clinical visit
  • Complete hematological screening
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Leishmania test (for dogs)
  • FIVFeLV test (for cats)
  • Heartworm Test (for dogs)
  • Stool examination
  • Urine Analysis with Sediment
  • Complete abdominal ultrasound (liver, kidneys, abdomen)
  • Chest x-ray study.

We would like to point out that the tests aimed at verifying the possible presence of pathogens (FIV FeLV test filariasis test Leishmaniasis test) can be performed and prescribed at any time in the life of the animal at the doctor’s choice. In fact, the veterinarian will schedule these examinations depending on the epidemiological reality and geographical location in which the subject is located and by the attitudes and living conditions of the same.

Advancing age is in fact accompanied by an increase in risk factors for some pathological affections. The physiological senescence of tissues, organs and systems could affect the health of our friend. As aging is a progressive physiological process, it is responsible, for any animal species, for cellular, metabolic and organic changes of great importance. The objective to be pursued when dealing with an adult animal is ccreate the suitable and best conditions so that he can have a longest possible old age and in the best conditions of health.

For our beloved «old men», a complete check-up must be carried out, with the addition of small tricks and specialist examinations which must however be evaluated by the doctor according to the individual subject and the particular pathophysiological condition he presents. We remember in fact that pathological conditions that can affect an elderly person, could have harmful and deleterious effects even in a short time, considering the lower reactivity of the elderly organism. This is why it is good to pay some extra attention to the management and control of the animal.

Generally, can be considered «basic» :

  • General clinical visit
  • Chest X-ray
  • Complete Hematological Screening
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Urine Tests
  • Specialist medical examinations and exams (specialist cardiological examination, thyroid profile, urological examination, etc.)
  • Nutritional advice aimed at assessing the need to change diet, using an age-appropriate food. On the market there are specific foods, which are an excellent choice considering the particular metabolic needs expressed by an animal by now old.

Maintaining an adequate physical condition is essential throughout life of the subject, but in particular measure in senility. Keeping weight under control and using an intake and a type of nourishment specific to the condition, will prevent the frequent condition of overweight which is a great problem for the elderly animal, as it can cause diabetes, liver problems, pain joint and cardiovascular problems.

Nothing compares to the moments spent with our beloved animals and we can repay theirs unconditional love and complete dedication that they nurture towards us by giving them care and understanding.

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