If your pet is due for a checkup then you may be wondering what to expect and if there's anything you should do to be prepared. Get the most out of your pet's routine exam appointment by asking your veterinarian these important questions suggested by our Los Angeles vets.

What to Expect During Your Pet's Routine Checkup

When you bring your dog or cat into our Los Angeles veterinary clinic for a checkup, your vet will review your pet's medical history and ask you about any specific concerns you might have.

After these initial steps, your veterinarian will perform a physical checkup of your pet which will usually include any or all of the following:

  • Listening to your pet's heart and lungs
  • Checking your animal's weight, stance, and gait
  • Looking at your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
  • Looking at your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
  • Examining the condition of your pet's teeth for any indications of periodontal disease, damage, or decay
  • Examining your dog or cat's skin for a range of issues from dryness to parasites to lumps and bumps (particularly in skin folds)
  • Palpate your pet's abdomen to assess whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
  • Checking your pet's eyes for signs of redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
  • Inspecting the pet's coat for overall condition, dandruff, or abnormal hair loss
  • Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for any signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain

All of these tests are intended to detect any signs of illness in your pet. Because our dogs and cats are unable to communicate when they are in pain, these tests and checks assist in determining how your pet is feeling in general.

What Questions to Ask a Veterinarian

Veterinary appointments are always more convenient for you and your pet when you are fully prepared, including having the questions you want to ask ready to go. Being prepared allows you to obtain all of the information you require to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Below, the vets at our Los Angeles animal clinic provide some questions they feel are important for pet parents to ask:

Is my pet in need of any routine vaccinations?

Vaccines are a very important part of your cat or dog's preventative care. They have to be kept up to date to help protect them from a wide range of serious and often life-threatening illnesses and diseases. The vets at our Los Angeles vet clinic always do their best to inform you when your pet is due for their booster shots however, it can sometimes be overlooked so it's always best to ask. 

Are there any concerns with my pet's behavior?

Anxiety-inducing behaviors exhibited by pets include biting, wheezing, and itching. If you suspect that an underlying condition may be the cause of these behaviors, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. Additionally, you should specify the time at which these behaviors manifested for your veterinarian to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Do you have any recommendations for my pet's diet and nutrition?

Determining whether your pet is underweight or overweight can be challenging. To ensure their health, pets of all breeds and ages must adhere to specific weight guidelines. This is a crucial question because even a few extra pounds over or underweight can expose your pet to a variety of health problems, some of which are life-threatening. Your veterinarian will collaborate with you to develop a diet and exercise regimen for your overweight cat or dog in order to assist in weight loss.

What prevention medication should my pet have?

In addition to being bothersome to owners and animals alike, fleas and ticks are also vectors for a variety of fatal diseases. The abundance of available products can pose a challenge in determining the most suitable one for both oneself and one's pet. Your veterinarian will fortunately be able to prescribe or recommend the most effective preventative measure for your pet.

Can you explain the items on my bill, please?

Should the staff at your veterinary office present you with the bill and you are uncertain about the charges, kindly inquire about the following. In order to enhance your comprehension of the services provided, your veterinarian will endeavor to deconstruct the expenses and explicate the significance of each individual fee. It can also assist with next-day itinerary planning.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your furry friend due for a wellness exam? Contact Rancho Park Veterinary Clinic to book your pet's next routine checkup today.