Your Pup’s Publish-Adoption Wellness Verify – Dogster

I think I would know now if she were sick. ”If only that were true. I made an effort to examine a playful 5 month old puppy named Lily while dodging the face licks from the front. So far the only thing that was certain was that I was being scribbled by the little Labradoodle.

“If I had noticed something, I would have brought her in earlier. I keep checking the internet. “

Lily was one of millions of “pandemic pets” adopted in the past 18 months. Many had first-time dog parents like Lily’s Gen Z mom who opened their homes to pets in need. Lily’s animal rescue had known that she had to be taken to a vet immediately, but somehow two months had passed. As healthy as Lily seemed, I was more concerned about diseases that are hard to notice or search on Google.

The first veterinary examination of a dog, regardless of age, is essential to reveal hidden diseases. Some dog parents believe the first visit is for vaccination only, but the real value is a thorough physical exam. In fact, if your veterinarian doesn’t make a big deal out of an initial exam, it’s probably time to find a new one. You would be shocked at the number of “perfect first-time visitors” I discovered who had heart murmurs, eye abnormalities, joint abnormalities, oral disorders and a long list of other unexpected problems. For the most part, these are revelations.

It was a shock to the owner who “hadn’t noticed anything”.

What are veterinarians looking for? Let’s go through a typical test to find out.

“Greet” your dog

At first glance, it may seem like your vet is just saying hello to your dog. What they actually do is carefully evaluate your pet’s overall health. They evaluate behavioral problems such as fear, anxiety or aggression, general health and mobility of the joints, cognitive function and training, neurological status, hearing and eyesight, skin and coat, and general energy and vitality. When I meet a dog, decades of experience often warn that “something is wrong”, which prompts me to investigate further.

Body Condition Score (BCS)

If it’s a new dog or puppy, getting a current weight and body condition score (BCS) allows your veterinarian to identify weight gain before obesity or unexpected weight loss occurs. For puppies, ask your veterinarian to document your puppy’s size on the dog’s validated growth curves to ensure he is growing at a healthy rate.

Fur, skin, eyes and ears

The skin is your dog’s largest organ and is a priority for the first exam. Examining your dog’s skin, fur, eyes, and ears provides insight into parasitism, allergies, diet, hygiene, and a variety of infections or hereditary diseases, including growths and tumors. A bright, shiny coat is the first indicator of good health, while bright, shiny and attentive eyes signal a corresponding mental awareness. Dry, flaky, oily, or dirty skin and ears are obvious symptoms that should be investigated further.

Insufficient dog parents regularly check the ears, under the tail or under the armpits (armpits) and may miss important health information. Make a habit of checking your dog’s skin and coat for any irregularities and report any lumps or bumps right away.

Mouth, nose and throat

An estimated 80% of all dogs over 3 years of age have periodontitis, which makes the oral examination an important part of any wellness check. Many congenital conditions affect the oral cavity, and a puppy’s age can be estimated from tooth eruption patterns. Nasal discharge, especially when cloudy or discolored, is often associated with infection or allergies. It is important to check the mouth and throat, nasal passages, and lymph nodes of a new dog for abnormalities.

Heart and lungs

Thorough chest auscultation (listening with a stethoscope) is probably the most “medical” part of a pet exam. It’s also one of the most basic. Heart murmurs, respiratory infections or diseases, and proper anatomical development can all be assessed through focused listening.

The belly

There are more organs and vital tissues per square inch in your dog’s belly than anywhere in his or her body. Therefore, a slow and methodical palpation of the abdomen (feeling with the hands) is essential for a wellness check after adoption. The liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, intestinal tract, bladder, and more are accessed by gently squeezing and probing your dog’s abdomen. I cannot tell you the number of times I have felt a “lump,” “hard spot,” or “something is wrong” in the belly of a newly adopted dog that resulted in an early diagnosis and a successful outcome.

Spine and joints

The hips, knees, elbows, shoulders and spine must be straightened and bent to watch out for discomfort or restricted mobility. This is especially important in larger dogs and breeds that are at risk for dysplasia, spinal injuries, or other inherited musculoskeletal disorders.

As I explained to her mother every step of Lily’s examination, I could see that she understood the urgency of the post-adoption health check. Aside from signs of a few flea bites and roundworm infections, Lily was a perfectly healthy pup. We started her with year-round monthly heartworm prevention and planned her spay surgery. We discussed the best diet and supplements for Lily, proper hair washing and ear cleaning, and ways to aid training.

“I’m glad I brought her here today, even if it was a little later than it should have been. Also, it turned out that I didn’t know what to look for at all. Being a new dog mom means I have to learn a lot more about being a dog mom than just watching internet videos. “

With that, Lily joined millions of “pandemic pups” who had found fabulous homes forever. And I felt even better when it came to the next generation of pet parents.

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