The Reasons We Do Some of the Things We Do When Seeing Your Pet

When your children are sick, they can verbalize the issue to you. They’re generally pretty forthcoming with their issues, too. Because our pets tend to hide health problems from us, however, seeing your vet on a regular basis will help pick up on these problems, sometimes preventing them from worsening and becoming serious. Your vet can be an objective arbiter and help spot these problems via various methods, some conventional and some a little less conventional. Is it time for you to take your pet to the vet for a wellness exam?

Pet Exams - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital

Conventional Wellness Exam Techniques

Most wellness exams include a complete physical examination, which is a nose-to-tail inspection for any abnormalities. Your vet will use special equipment, including a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs, an otoscope to view the inside of the ears, and an opthalmoscope to examine the eyes. Your vet will also feel all over your pet’s body for lumps and bumps. In addition, your vet will check your pet’s vital signs—including temperature, pulse, and respiration—and record your pet’s current weight.

Unconventional Wellness Exam Methods

As a vet, we are responsible for using as many of our senses as necessary to treat your pets, as they’re unable to tell us themselves if something is wrong. Being in a hands-on profession, we are continually using our hands to assess your pet’s overall physical condition, even resorting to tickling when necessary. This may seem a little unorthodox to many, but there’s a method to our madness. Seeing how your pets respond to our touch can tell us a lot about their overall health. Healthy dogs will involuntarily begin making a scratching motion when lightly touched, stroked or scratched along the back of the rib cage or the front of the abdomen; healthy cats will involuntarily raise their rear end when scratched at the base of their tail. Both of these involuntary actions tell us that your pet is healthy, whereas the absence of these actions would indicate underlying issues that may warrant additional testing.

It’s natural for us to see our pets sniffing one another. It’s an expected behavior when pets encounter unfamiliar animals. It may shock some pet owners, however, when their vet does the same thing during an examination. Don’t freak out, we haven’t lost our minds. The way your pet smells—from nose to tail and head to feet—can tell us a lot about their overall health as well. No part of your pet should ever smell bad. Sure, your pets breath or butt may not be your favorite smell, but neither should be off-putting, as this is a sure sign of underlying issues that will, again, warrant further inspection.

Your pet may never win a Dancing with the Stars competition—your vet probably won’t either—but his or her ability to move freely on just those hind legs can tell us a tremendous amount about their mobility. A reluctant or stiff pet can be suffering from arthritis or some other injury that has gone unnoticed during the examination. This will cause us to dig deeper to determine the cause of the problem.

As you can see, vets will use scientific and not-so-scientific methods to evaluate your pet’s overall health. Fear not, we do this because we love your pets and aren’t afraid to show it. Sometimes the best tools for evaluation don’t have to suffix –scope attached to them. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, we know that prevention is the best cure to ensure that your pet’s health remains optimal for years to come. Thus, we provide an array of options and services to ensure that your pet’s health remains intact for the long run.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on The Reasons We Do Some of the Things We Do When Seeing Your Pet

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