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Build the Bond with Your Veterinarian

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Now is the perfect time to reevaluate your current pet healthcare regimen. If you have not already, incorporate a "Wellness Checkup" as part of routine pet care. With greater emphasis on preventive medicine, a biannual wellness checkup plays an important role in early diagnosis of preventable illnesses and diseases.

Schedule a wellness checkup every six months. Notable health changes in cats can develop in a relatively short period. Also, as cats live longer, the risk of potential health conditions steadily increases. Reducing the interval between examinations increases your veterinarian's ability to detect, diagnose, and propose treatment options in a timely fashion.

What to expect from the exam
Your veterinarian will take your cat's history from you, such as what does your cat eat, how much and how often? How active is your cat? Does your cat demonstrate signs of stiffness after exercise? If your veterinarian detects something out of the ordinary, specific questions asked regarding a symptom include: When did this symptom or sign first appear? Is it getting better or worse? Is the sign or symptom always present, or is it intermittent? Be prepared to assist your veterinarian. Monitor your pet and keep records of signs or atypical behavior. This information is valuable in making a proper diagnosis early in the course of a disease. At the wellness checkup, your veterinarian will also perform a basic physical exam including weight and general body condition, heart and respiratory rates, intestinal parasites (fecal examination), and dental care needs.

Engage in dialog - Questions to ask your veterinarian
Don't hesitate to ask questions. A notable benefit of the wellness checkup is the opportunity to develop and strengthen relations with your veterinarian. Simply put, biannual wellness checkups mean greater contact with your veterinarian and staff. So why not take an active role in providing and maintaining the best care for your pet? Ask your veterinarian which tests are appropriate for your cat. If you are not sure whether a certain behavior or observation is indicative of a disease, ask your veterinarian. Open communication offers your veterinarian important clues to properly assess potential risks your pet may have been exposed to. Work closely with your veterinarian and empower yourself with knowledge and confidence. Schedule regular wellness exams every six months and resolve to provide the best care for your pet.

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