Your pet passed his check up with flying colors. Then, later you realized that there was a list of questions that you forgot to ask the vet during the appointment. Taking a dog or cat to the veterinarian is not always an easy task, especially for those with less than perfectly behaved pets. While veterinarians hold a wealth of pet information, you must ask questions relevant to your dog or cat to access that information. What are a few key questions to write down before your next vet visit to avoid forgetting them?
Who do I call if my dog or cat needs emergency care? Does your veterinarian offer after-hours emergency services or do you need to locate an emergency veterinary hospital near you? Your vet's office will provide you with a list of local emergency animal clinics, but usually only if you ask. It is best to ask this question before the need arises to avoid wasting valuable time in an emergency.
What breed-specific ailments and illnesses should I watch out for as my pet ages? Purebred animals often suffer breed-specific health conditions. Bear, my Pomeranian, suffered from bad knees common to the breed throughout his senior years. Even if your dog is a mix of several breeds, he may show strong characteristics and tendencies toward a certain breed. Knowing possible symptoms and signs of breed specific genetic disorders helps you treat your pet at the first sign of problems or concerns.
What vaccines are truly necessary? Depending on your pet's lifestyle and activities, required vaccinations may vary. My Foxhound mix has different goals and ambitions than my previous lap dog, and he requires vaccines against parasites and bacteria that Bear, the lap dog, did not. We have an indoor-outdoor cat that requires feline leukemia vaccines that our previously indoor-only cats did not. Discuss your individual vaccine needs to avoid unnecessary vaccines or undue risks.
What is the best way to administer this medication--or can we just get a shot? If you live alone, administering liquid or tablet medications to an unwilling dog, or cat, is difficult on your own. Ask your vet for tips and tricks for medicating your pet. Also, many medications are available in shot form. Shots may be more expensive or carry other risks or considerations than pills or liquid medications. However, if you cannot medicate your pet effectively, a shot is a valuable alternative that your vet may not mention without your request.
These tests are recommended, but are they necessary for my pet at this time? As with people, there is a battery of recommended tests and procedures for animals that grow and change as your pet ages. Depending on the breed, diet, lifestyle and overall health of your pet, all of the recommended tests may not be necessary at every visit.