No. Your pet should be examined twice a year! The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends bi-annual examinations for pets of all ages. Keep in mind that pets age much more rapidly than humans – bi-annual examinations for your pet are about equal to a visit to your own physician every 3 to 4 years.
Twice a year examinations are very useful to your veterinarian. Dr. Catching will evaluate your pets’ overall health status. For instance, your veterinarian is evaluating your pets’ general body condition, weight loss or increase, changes in the coat and skin of your pet, and lumps and bumps that may have appeared and/or gotten smaller or larger.
Dr. Catching will listen to your pet’s heart and lungs and check their lymph nodes. She is palpating your pet’s abdomen and performing an oral examination – to rule out periodontal disease and oral masses. She will evaluate your pet’s mobility – hips, back, legs and joints.
During these examinations, the veterinarian will ask about any dietary changes and behavior changes. She will discuss the risk of your pet’s internal and external parasites and recommend appropriate prevention. Dr. Catching will recommend a vaccination schedule depending upon your pet’s lifestyle and risk factors.
All of this information is recorded in your pet’s medical file, creating a “normal baseline” for your pet. As your pet ages, this information becomes vital. It helps the veterinarian notice of slight changes in your pet’s health status, which can alert your veterinarian to potential health problems before they become serious health issues.