A lot has changed in veterinary medicine over the years. Did you know that in 2009, Alabama started recognizing a three year rabies vaccine? This was great news for our dogs and cats as research has demonstrated that some vaccinations only need to be given every three years. What this does NOT mean is that your pet only needs to see a veterinarian every three years.
Your pet should receive a preventive healthcare examination at least once a year and as they age, more frequently than that. The benefit of this type of thorough examination allows your veterinarian to look your dog or cat over, from nose to tail, and to potentially identify a problem even before your pet is showing any symptoms. For example, your veterinarian can check your dog’s ears to make sure there aren’t any signs of infection. They can check your cat’s mouth to look for signs of dental disease or specific problems with the teeth. Dogs and cats have a very high pain tolerance and are quite capable of masking pain, particularly in their mouths. As your pet ages, they can discuss specific signs to look for which would possibly be indicative of pain in their joints, and work together with you to find ways to increase your pet’s quality of life.
Many diseases, when caught early, can be better managed medically over a longer period of time. Being proactive in caring for your pet will many times save money and give you more treatment options for the care of your pet.
You are the expert when it comes to your pet, and you bring valuable information to the table with signs or changes in behavior that you may have noticed in the home environment. Voice your concerns to your veterinarian and realize that just as you desire for your pet to be healthy and happy, so does your veterinary care team.
Vaccinations are an important component to keeping our pets healthy throughout their life and they should be given in conjunction with a thorough preventative healthcare exam. Make an appointment today with your veterinarian and partner with them to keep your pet healthy and happy for a lifetime.
To schedule an annual wellness exam with Dr. Newcomer or Dr. Robert Lofton in our clinic, contact us at 334-844-4690. No referral is needed for clinic appointments.