Your Pet Depends on You for Everything
A thorough veterinary exam involves multi-organ examination which includes but is not limited to the evaluation of the eyes, ears, heart, lungs, oral cavity, skin/coat, lymph nodes, joints and the palpation of the abdominal organs. While a lot of information can be generated from a physical exam, there are many things that may be happening on the inside we may not be able to see from the outside. This is why we suggest wellness diagnostics — a checkup for the inside of the body.
Annual to semiannual lab work, blood test, urinalysis, and fecal exams, provides an invaluable service when determining the overall health of your pet. Dogs and cats develop many of the same disorders seen in humans, e.g., diabetes, liver and kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction, and infections are just a few. The earlier a problem is recognized, the quicker treatment can begin, the better chances your pet will live a longer, happier, healthier life.
When we go to our physicians, we tell our doctors where it hurts. Unfortunately, our fur babies cannot tell us they have pain. Animals do not show pain as readily as we do. Their instinct is to hide pain because in the wild, an animal that is injured or ill is vulnerable to attack, so there is a survival advantage to act like nothing is wrong. They mask their pain until they cannot hide it anymore. By the time they show pain that is perceived by us, the disease may have progressed to an advanced state.
Pain causes stress related hormones to be released by the body which negatively affects virtually every system in the body. In addition, chronic pain related stress decreases the animal’s appetite, causes muscle fatigue and also robs your pet of sleep. Your pet is exhausted as well as distressed, and this reduces the body’s ability to heal.
With that in mind, watch for signs and symptoms of pain in your pet. Below are some general guidelines to discover pain in your pet:
• decreased appetite
• less alert and quieter than normal
• hide to avoid being with other animals or people
• stiff body movements and slow to move
• abnormal posture to reduce its discomfort
• panting, shaking, dilated pupils
• becomes more aggressive
• stops playing with other pets
• inappropriate urination or defecation
You are your pet’s advocate. They cannot tell you where it hurts. The best gift you can give your pet for Holidays is a physical exam by your veterinarian and blood test to make sure your pet is healthy for the upcoming new year.