I want to take a few moments to discuss a trend I’ve noticed recently. Across the area a few vaccine clinics have appeared operated similar to the minute clinics that we go to sometimes. These vaccine clinics advertise fast, inexpensive vaccines for your pet. It is easy to see why this would be attractive. We are all rushed for time and who doesn’t want to save a few dollars when we can? The problem isn’t the quality of the vaccines or that the person giving them isn’t qualified. The truth is that the vaccines aren’t any cheaper than a regular veterinary hospital and, most importantly, your pet will not receive a full physical exam coupled with a discussion of your pet’s general well being.
Vaccines are an important part of keeping your pet healthy. However, vaccines are only a part of the benefit of going to see your vet. All regular veterinary appointments will include a full physical exam and a discussion with you of how your pet is doing overall and any concerns that might have developed. Those 20 minutes spent in the office allows your veterinarian time to see, feel and listen to your pet. The information gathered in that short time is invaluable and literally could save your pet’s life. I recently had a pet come in for a couple of routine vaccinations. Something that quite easily could have been done at a vaccine clinic. The owner had no concerns and felt the pet was doing very well; eating normally with normal activity. During the physical exam, his belly didn’t feel right and he had lost some muscle mass. Some blood tests found elevations in his liver enzymes and a subsequent ultrasound found a large tumor of the liver. Thankfully, the growth could be removed and now the pet is doing well.
Stories like this seem dramatic but every day veterinarians find serious health problems invisible to the owner simply because the veterinarian had the opportunity to get their hands and eyes on your pet. That opportunity would not have existed if the pet had presented at a vaccine clinic where that physical exam didn’t take place. A yearly exam takes on even more importance when one considers the fact that pet’s age 5-7 times faster than we do.
A physical exam can find health conditions that you may not see. Our recommendation is that your pet be examined by a veterinarian at least annually. More frequent physical exams are especially important for our senior pets. It is worth it to find health conditions early or have the peace of mind that your pet is healthy.
If your pet is overdue for a annual exam give us a call to schedule today 610-527-3484 or request an appointment online here.