As a pet owner, you are responsible for your pet’s overall health. Regular visits to the vet clinic (once a year for pets between one and eight years old and every six months for older pets) are essential for keeping track of your pet’s growth and development. Learn more about what to expect at your vet visits and why routine veterinary care is important.
Pets Below Age of One
Pets below one year of age require frequent trips to the vet clinic for a variety of check-ups, vaccination, and sterilisation procedures. These check-ups and vaccinations are routinely scheduled one month apart. Young pets that are bred locally from other adult pets should be brought to the vet every three to four weeks until they reach four to six months old. During these visits, your pet will go through a series of pet testing, physical examinations, vaccinations, microchipping, deworming, and more. Vaccinations will differ depending on your pet’s species. For example, puppies will be given vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper virus, and adenovirus. And kittens will be given vaccines for Feline parvovirus; feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), Feline calicivirus (FCV), Feline herpesvirus (FHV).
Pets adopted from animal shelters, bought from pet stores or breeding kennels, should have an initial consultation with the vet clinic immediately before bringing them back home to ensure that there is no life-threatening condition, severe genetic defect or medical issues that require immediate vet care. The first checkup with your vet will include a general physical examination, a look at your pet’s vaccination status and whether more shots need to be taken, as well as to check whether they are microchipped and dewormed, or whether they have underlying health conditions. Should there by any other behavioural changes or suspicion of illnesses, do alert the vet.
Your vet may recommend sterilisation for pets once they reach sexual maturity, usually between five and eight months old. It is a surgical procedure that permanently removes part of your pet’s reproductive organ to stop them from reproducing. Sterilisation helps prevent health issues such as certain cancers related to your pet’s reproductive organs.
Pets Above Age of One
Pets above the age of one will be due for a routine checkup once a year. During these visits, your vet will perform a physical examination that generally includes the following:
- Listen to your pet’s lungs and heart
- Check your pet’s stance, gait, and weight
- Check your pet’s coat and skin for overall condition and for any parasites
- Feeling your pet’s body for swelling or signs of pain
- Palpating your pet’s abdomen to feel for issues with the internal organs
- Examine your pet’s eyes for any issues
- Examine your pet’s nails and paws for damage or signs of a health problem
- Examine your pet’s dental health
The vet will also advise you on additional booster shots depending on the vaccines they have been given, and when it was last administered.
Unlike humans, pets age faster and are considered to be seniors around the age of seven. The life span will vary with each individual, and your veterinarian will be able to help you determine what stage of life your family pet is in. Generally, small dog breeds may be considered senior at 10 to 13 years, while giant breeds are classified as senior at ages as young as six.
Senior pets should be scheduled for a visit to the vet clinic twice a year. The same physical examination mentioned above, as well as necessary booster shots will be conducted during these consultations, along with pet testing procedures such as blood and urine tests and the collection of stool samples. These tests provide information about your pet’s kidney and liver function, thyroid hormone levels, intestinal health, and more. Unfortunately, symptoms of diseases may often be misinterpreted as ‘signs of old age’ by owners. Some conditions do not have symptoms that are readily apparent. Conditions that may look like the usual signs of ‘old age’ could actually indicate a more serious problem, such as cancer, heart diseases, kidney or urinary tract disease, liver diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and even dementia.
Talk to your vet about how to help your pet prevent these health conditions from developing. In the unfortunate event that your pet does suffer from these diseases, you will need to work with your vet to provide the best care for your pet.
Get started on caring for your pet’s overall health by partnering with a trusted veterinarian in Singapore. We operate as a walk-in clinic and our operating hours can be found here.