You’re taking an important step toward safeguarding your new puppy’s health by scheduling a wellness exam. Puppies and young dogs should have an annual checkup once per year, while older dogs may need one every six months. In addition, you should never hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian if your puppy displays any unusual symptoms in between wellness visits. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect during your puppy’s first visit with the vet.
Every wellness exam begins with questions about the pet’s medical history. Although you’ve only recently brought your new puppy home, you might be asked some questions, such as whether you’ve noticed any potential problems or concerns. You can also expect to answer questions about what you’re feeding the new puppy, and whether he or she has received any vaccinations yet.
The next part of the visit will likely be the physical exam. First, a vet technician will weigh your puppy, and take the vital signs and temperature. Next, the veterinarian will examine the puppy’s eyes, ears, nose, feet, genitalia, skin, and coat to make sure there are no potential issues. The vet will also examine your puppy’s mouth and teeth. He or she will use a stethoscope to listen to the dog’s heart and lungs. Then, the vet will palpate (touch) your dog’s abdomen and lymph nodes.
All puppies need vaccinations to keep them healthy. At the very least, your puppy will need rabies, distemper, canine hepatitis, and canine parvovirus vaccinations. If you adopted your puppy from a shelter or a breeder, he or she may have already received some vaccines. The vet will make sure your puppy is up to date on everything he or she needs.
Even if the shelter or breeder has told you that your puppy has been dewormed, you should still bring in a stool sample for testing. Puppies are very susceptible to parasitic infections. The vet will examine the stool sample and administer a deworming shot if necessary.
Here at Horizon Animal Hospital, we emphasize the value of preventive medicine and encourage all animal caretakers to schedule routine wellness exams. To help make medical care for your furry friend more affordable, consider signing up for one of our pet wellness plans. If you have any questions, you can reach us in Scottsdale at (480) 800-4559.