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Questions to Ask a Veterinarian to Make the Most Out of Your Routine Exam

It is always best to go into your pet's veterinary appointment prepared, knowing exactly what you want to ask your vet. This will ensure that you get the information you need to keep your pet happy and healthy. Our Los Angeles vets have listed some sample questions that you should ask your veterinarian and explain why they are important.

Your Pet's Physical 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
  • 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
  • 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 access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
  • 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 You Should Ask Your Vet

Veterinary appointments are always easier for you and your pet when you are fully prepared, which includes having the questions you want to ask your vet ready to go. Having your veterinary questions ready allows you to get all of the information you need to care for your cat or dog and keep them happy and healthy.

Below, the vets at our Los Angeles animal clinic explain some questions you should have ready to ask your vet and discuss why they are important:

Is my pet up to date with their shots?

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. 

Is my pet's behavior normal?

Pets do peculiar things that frighten their owners, such as biting, wheezing, or itching. Keep a close eye on these behaviors and consult your veterinarian if you suspect an underlying condition. You should also inform your veterinarian about the occurrences of these behaviors so that they can make an accurate diagnosis.

Is my pet's weight healthy?

Determining whether your pet is overweight or underweight can be challenging. All breeds and ages of pets must follow certain weight restrictions in order to live long, healthy lives. This is a crucial question because even a few extra pounds over or underweight can put your pet at risk for a number of health issues, some of which are life-threatening. Your veterinarian will work with you to create a diet and exercise plan to help your cat or dog lose weight if they are overweight.

Is there a specific flea or tick prevention product you recommend for my pet?

Both pets and their owners find fleas and ticks annoying, and they can also carry dangerous diseases. Knowing which product is best for you and your pet can be challenging with so many options available. Thankfully, your vet will be able to suggest or prescribe a prevention product that will be most effective for your pet.

Can you explain my bill to me, please?

When your vet hands you the bill, please ask this question. To give you a better understanding of the services offered, your veterinarian will be able to break down the costs and explain what each fee represents. It can also help you plan your next visit.

Contact our knowledgeable vets at our Los Angeles veterinary clinic. They will always be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have during or following your visits.

Welcoming Cats & Dogs to Our Animal Hospital 

Shatto Veterinary Center welcomes cats, dogs, and their people to our clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Los Angeles companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's appointment.

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Book Online (213) 352-1252