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What Questions to Ask a Veterinarian to Make the Most of a Routine Exam

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 Clackamas vets.

What to Expect During Your Pet's Routine Checkup

When you bring your dog or cat into our Clackamas 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 useful in detecting any signs of health problems in your dog or cat. Because our dogs and cats are unable to tell us when they are in pain, these tests and routine checks help to determine how your pet is feeling.

Common Questions to Ask Your Vet

appointments with your veterinarian are always easier for you and your pet when you are fully prepared. This includes having the questions you want to ask your veterinarian ready to go. Being prepared allows you to get all the information you need to help keep your pet happy and healthy.

Below, the vets at our Clackamas 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 Clackamas 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?

Dogs and cats do strange things that worry their owners. These include biting, wheezing, or itching. You should keep track of these behaviors and talk with your veterinarian if you think an underlying condition is at play. You should also tell your veterinarian when these behaviors happened so the vet can make an accurate diagnosis.

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

It can be difficult to know whether your dog or cat is overweight or underweight. But pets of all breeds and ages must adhere to specific weight guidelines to live healthy lives. Even a few extra pounds over or under can put your dog or cat at risk for various health problems (some of which can be life-threatening. If your cat or dog is overweight or underweight, your veterinarian will work with you to develop a diet and exercise plan to help them lose or fain weight.

What prevention medication should my pet have?

Fleas and ticks are not only bothersome for dogs and cats, but fleas and ticks also spread various serious diseases. But with many different products available, it can be difficult to know which one is best for you and your pet. Fortunately, your veterinarian should be able to prescribe a prevention product that will work best for your pet.

Can you explain the items on my bill, please?

When the staff at your veterinary office hands you the bill, it’s important to ask this question if you don't understand the charges. 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.

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 Clackamas Pet Clinic to book your pet's next routine checkup today.

New Patients Welcome

Clackamas Pet Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of your companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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