FINDING A GREAT FAMILY VET
Veterinarians are the gatekeepers in pet health, providing care to keep small concerns from becoming bigger problems, and preventive care to keep problems from developing in the first place. It’s crucial to have a vet that you trust and like, and that your pet does, too.
Jess Esperanza, brand manager of Good Neighbor Vet mobile vet clinics serving Oregon, Washington and Idaho, says a good veterinarian is one for whom the pet’s needs are the utmost priority. A good veterinarian exemplifies compassion. Get to know your vet and make sure s/he provides the care your pet deserves.
FINDING THE FIT
Your pet is family, and you want to be as comfortable with your veterinarian as your family doctor.
• Communicates well with you
• Isn't afraid to give you good news or bad news
• Greets your pet kindly and by name, and receives happy tail wags or purrs in reply
ROUTINE CARE HELPS PREVENT EMERGENCIES
Routine care is the most common reason pets see a veterinarian, and helps ensure your pet is healthy and stays healthy. Regular exams and vaccinations are key in preventing illness and injury, and will save money, time and pain over your pet’s lifetime.
During routine veterinary exams, your pet is the center of attention as the vet examines every inch of him or her. Receiving a clean bill of health is such a relief! And if the exam reveals a concern, you have the opportunity to follow up and address the concern before it can advance and possibly become a crisis.
THE WAY YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO
Cats and dogs should regularly receive:
• An annual exam. It’s called annual because that’s how often it should be done!
• Vaccinations and flea / heartworm prevention.
• Stool test for parasites such as round- and hookworm.
• Anal gland expression to help alleviate discomfort and prevent an abscess.
• Nail trims.
TALKING TO THE DOCTOR
Address concerns first - If Fido has been scooting, let the vet know. Don't be shy or embarrassed.
Ask about the basics – Share your pet’s diet, water intake and amount of play/sleep time to give your vet the opportunity to detect concerns. Things change as pets go through different life stages. Your vet will help keep things in balance throughout your pet’s life.
S/he’s heard it all - No question is a dumb question. Nearly every vet would rather you ask rather than assume, or worse, “Google” something and then become afraid or misinformed.
WHAT'S IN A CHECKUP?
During routine exams, the doctor will be looking to ensure your pet is within normal ranges or if there are any abnormalities. S/he will examine:
• Ears, eyes, nose and throat (EENT)
• Mouth and teeth for oral health
• Skin, thorax, abdomen and weight
Is pet insurance necessary?
Saving a bit aside for pet emergencies is a responsible way to ensure that, no matter what, you can provide the care your pet needs.
Good Neighbor Vet — goodneighborvet.com
Oregon Veterinary Medical Association — oregonvma.org
Vanessa Salvia's love for animals began as a child, when stray kittens just seemed to follow her home (who thankfully, her family accommodated). She lives on a sheep farm outside of Eugene OR, surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, chickens and kids.