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Pet health checks

Regular checkups with a vet or nurse can be extremely helpful to your pet’s wellbeing. Potential health issues can be picked up and treated early, which can be lifesaving.

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Why and when to have your pet’s health checked

Most pets live a happy and healthy life as long as they have good living conditions and plenty of love and attention. We find many pets only visit the vets to have their annual boosters, however, a lot can change in 12 months for animals as most age a lot faster than humans.

It’s important to monitor your pet at home for changes in behaviour and to check their eyes, ears, teeth, skin, body, feet and claws, and movement, for any irregularities. Ask a member of our veterinary team to show you how to check your pet at home and what to look out for.

As well as home checking, it’s important to bring your pet in for regular health checkups as our vets and nurses can detect early signs of some illnesses that you will most likely not be aware of. If you bring your pet in for regular flea and worming treatments, why not coincide this visit with a pet health check? Otherwise, we recommend a checkup every 6 months.

What are we looking for during a pet health check?

General wellbeing & changes in behaviour

Quite often we can tell if your pet is feeling under the weather just from their general demeanor. If they appear sad or forlorn, this can be an indication that they are feeling unwell. It’s important to tell us if your pet’s behaviour has changed at home, if they are less active than normal, perhaps their appetite has slowed or increased. The more information we have, the faster we can make a diagnosis and help your pet.

Skin and coat

Some illnesses can be spotted externally, for example, if your dog is losing hair, this could be a sign of ‘mange’, which is caused by the Demodex mite. Alternatively, hair loss could be a sign of trauma, infection, an immune disease or abnormalities of the endocrine system. Let our expert veterinary team take a look at your pet’s coat and body condition to help determine their current level of health.

Lumps and bumps

Unobvious external lumps can be spotted during a thorough examination of your pet by our veterinary team and can be investigated if the cause is not clear. Internal lumps are much harder to spot and an x-ray may be required if your pet is showing signs of illness, or to rule out certain health issues. We have x-ray, biopsy and laboratory facilities on-site should we need to act fast to improve your pet’s health.

Teeth and gums

Unlike humans, most pets don’t have their teeth cleaned daily, or even at all, but just like humans, a huge amount of food, non-food items and bacteria travel through your pet’s mouth. Unhealthy teeth and gums can lead to many other health issues so it’s important to have your pet’s teeth checked regularly, and embark on a combined home cleaning (if possible) and professional cleaning routine. Ask our team for expert dental advice.

Eyes

Eyes can tell us a lot about our health, and it’s the same for our pets. We will check your pet’s eyes for a healthy colour, range of movement, pupil reactions, any signs of weeping or discomfort, and conditions such entropion. Normally treated in dogs, entropion is where a dog’s eyelids turn inwards and the eyelashes rub against the eye, causing discomfort and even blindness if left untreated. This is common in certain dog breeds with excessive skin folds on or around their face, such as spaniels, chow chows and basset hounds.

Ears

A pet’s ears can become a melting pot for dirt, bacteria and infections if they are not kept clean. Your pet’s ears will be thoroughly checked during a health checkup with our team and you will be advised if any cleaning or exploratory action needs to be taken.

Feet & claws

Animal feet and claws can ‘take a battering’ most days depending on their environment, exercise routine and activity level. Grit and foreign objects can get trapped between pads and claws causing discomfort and even infection. Overgrown nails are uncomfortable and can even cause dogs to become disorientated due to the nerve endings in them. If we discover any issues during your pet’s health check, our team can help to resolve them and make your pet feel better.

Movement and mobility

Does your dog now struggle to walk down steps or continually lick one or more joints? Is your cat sleeping more or moving slower than usual? A change in mobility could suggest either an injury, weight issues, a health condition, or they may just be getting older and their movement slowing down. We can help your pet either get their movement back if this is a possibility or help manage conditions such as arthritis through laser therapy, physiotherapy and by recommending changes to their lifestyle and environment. Ask our team about our various health clinics.

Weight

Being overweight can age your pet prematurely and lead to all manner of health and mobility problems. Every animal is different, however, our vets and nurses will be able to tell you if your pet is overweight, or underweight, and put together a nutrition and exercise plan to help you take control of your pet’s health. With our support, you can help your pet back to a healthy weight and lifestyle.

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