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Pet Preventive Care Guide

Pet Preventive Care Guide

Bringing your furry friend in for routine exams allows your veterinarian to monitor the health of your pet, check for developing issues and provide preventative care. Today, our Memphis vets delve into the importance of preventive care for pets.

My pet is healthy. Why should I take them to the vet?

The goal of preventative care is to maintain your pet's health, preventing them from getting sick in the first place. At , we firmly believe that prevention is always preferable to treatment. Making the effort to prevent potentially serious conditions gives your pooch their best chance at a long, healthy life.

What exactly is preventive care for pets?

Preventative care begins with routine prevention exams, scheduled either once or twice per year depending on your dog's unique needs. These routine exams are health checkups for your pet.

By bringing your furry friend in to see the vet, even when they appear perfectly healthy, you are giving your pet's healthcare professionals an opportunity to check for early signs of developing concerns, and to monitor your pet's overall health as it evolves over time. By getting to know your pet, and their general health, our team is more easily able to spot uncharacteristic changes that can be an indication of a health concern. 

By catching health problems in the very earliest stages, our veterinarians are able to begin treatment early, before the illness becomes severe and complications develop. In fact, health problems are typically most easily treated with diagnosed early, giving your pet their best shot at a good outcome.

Identifying health issues such as ear infections, gastrointestinal parasites, or cancer before their obvious symptoms appear means that treatment can begin when it is most effective, helping to prevent the spread of the disease or worse.

How often should my pet have a checkup?

Our veterinarians advise our clients to bring their dogs in for yearly routine wellness exams. However, every pup is different and has different needs. Because of this, the frequency you should bring your furry companion into our office will vary based on your companion's age, medical history, and more.

Puppies and kittens can also be vulnerable to health conditions that adult pets can resist with ease. This is true for senior or geriatric pets as well. You should bring very young and elderly pets in for a checkup much more frequently than you would an adult. For puppies and kittens under a year old, every month, and geriatric dogs and cats, twice a year.

What's involved in a routine wellness exam?

When you bring your four-legged friend into our Memphis animal hospital for a routine exam, our team will walk through their medical history with you and inquire about any specific concerns you might have regarding their health.

You may be asked to bring in a sample of your pet's stool so that we are able to conduct a fecal exam. We will take this sample and examine it for signs of common intestinal parasites which may be otherwise difficult to detect.

After these initial steps, your veterinarian will perform a physical checkup of your pet which will usually include any or all of the following:

  • Listening to your companion's heart and lungs
  • Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
  • Inspecting the dog or cat's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
  • Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
  • Checking ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
  • Looking into their eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
  • Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage, or decay
  • Palpate their abdomen to access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
  • Examining their skin for a range of issues from dryness to parasites to lumps and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
  • Feeling along your dog or cat's body (palpating) for any signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain

Each of these tests is intended to detect signs of health issues your dog may be experiencing/ Because our canine companions aren't able to tell us when they are uncomfortable or in pain, this help to check how your pet is generally feeling.

Why does my pet need annual vaccines?

Vaccinations are designed to protect your furry family member against contagious, common, and possibly even life-threatening diseases. The vaccines which we recommend for your dog or cat will be based on where you live and what your pet's lifestyle is like.

There are core vaccines that we recommend for all dogs or cats, and there are "lifestyle vaccines" which are recommended for pets who are often in contact with other animals or face other risk factors. To learn more about the vaccines we recommend for your pet, take a look at our vaccine schedules.

Adult pets will require booster shots regularly to maintain its protection against diseases. In most instances, boosters are given to your pet annually, or, once every three years. Our vets will let you know when your companion's booster shots are due.

Are those parasite prevention medications really necessary?

Parasites are a serious health threat in the Memphis area! Mosquitos and ticks carry dangerous parasites which can invade your pet's body and cause fatal conditions. Because of this, our vets will always recommend ways for you to prevent parasites from negatively impacting your pet's health. It's also important to know that some of these parasites can be passed from pets to their loving owners!

Parasite prevention can help to protect your pet from conditions such as:

  • Heartworm
  • Fleas
  • Lyme Disease
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms 
  • Tapeworms
  • Whipworm
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Aren't preventive products expensive?

We understand that preventive care can seem expensive, but when compared to the cost of treating an advanced form of condition, disease, or disorder, routine preventative healthcare for your pet will save you money. This is especially true when it comes to heartworm disease!

Preventative veterinary care will also ensure that your companion experiences a minimum amount of pain or discomfort from any health issues they are experiencing. Our goal is to safeguard your pet's good health whenever possible, and preventing highly contagious, serious conditions, goes a long way to achieving that goal.

That said, our vets understand that budgeting for your pet's annual healthcare can be daunting. Because of this, we offer convenient Wellness Plans for cats and dogs of all sizes!

What are Pet Wellness Plans?

Pet Wellness Plans at  bundle all the preventive services your dog or cat needs to stay healthy, including annual checkups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and more. We offer you a discounted rate on all of these products and services to help you stay on budget, and we spread the cost out over a year to help make regular veterinary care as affordable as possible.

You receive the benefit of saving money and your beloved companion gets the benefit of routine preventative care. It's a win-win! 

Learn More About Our Wellness Plans

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time to book a routine exam for your pet, or would you like to know more about our Pet Wellness Plans? Contact PetVax Complete Care Centers today to speak with a member of our friendly staff.

New Patients Welcome

PetVax Complete Care Centers is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Memphis companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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