Part of being able to determine when an animal is sick or injured is knowing what is normal for that pet. Owners should monitor their pet’s behavior daily and perform brief physical examinations monthly so they can recognize when something has changed.
- Run your hands over your pet’s body to feel for any new lumps or bumps that should be checked out by the veterinarian. Also, ruffle your pet’s fur and look at the skin for fleas and ticks, redness, scaling, etc.
- Look at the color of your pet’s gums. Keep an eye out for dental disease or any masses in the mouth.
- Examine ears, eyes, nose, nails, feet and the anogenital region for anything unusual that may have developed since your last exam.
- Weigh your pet monthly and record the information so you can pick up any unexpected weight gain or loss as early as possible.
If you find anything out of the ordinary during your examination, contact your pet’s veterinarian with any questions or concerns.
Ticks love moisture and the warmer temperatures that come with springtime. Ticks are found throughout the United States in wooded and shaded areas and are drawn to humans and animals by carbon dioxide, scent, motion and body heat. Ticks feed on blood and can be hard to detect by the host because their saliva contains an anesthetic. Even if you are using some type of tick preventative such as Frontline Plus, any visible ticks should be removed. Pets that are active outdoors should be checked at least once a day; ticks like to attach around the head, neck, ears and between the toes. In some areas, your veterinarian may suggest using a tick collar such as Preventic which contains amitraz, a chemical that is proven to be effective against ticks. Tick prevention is an important part of caring for your pet because they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Canine Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis and Canine Tick Paralysis. You can get your tick prevention products at http://www.vetdepot.com .