What to Expect Before and After a Vet Visit
Nobody cares as much about your pet as you do. Making sure they receive the best veterinarian care available is part of that affection.
When you plan for routine exams, recognize when an emergency occurs, and follow up after your pet has treatment, you may assist your veterinarian in delivering it.
If you’re bringing your pet in for the first time, your veterinarian will require some basic information. Make a list of everything you want to remember about:
- The names and doses of all of your pet’s medications
- The kind of food they eat
- Their eating and drinking habits
- Their toilet habits
- Any recent travel or tick bites
- Past medical records, including vaccine history
A stool sample may also be requested by your veterinarian. Call ahead and inquire. You might not need to acquire one if you have a bird or a small animal like a hamster: Your pet is likely to supply one on the way to the appointment or while you’re there.
Visits to the vet can be stressful for your buddy. Bring along some of their favorite toys and a blanket. Ask if it’s OK for them to eat before the visit — some health tests require animals to fast beforehand. (Water is OK — you don’t want them to be dehydrated.) If food is OK, you could bring their favorite treats.
Cats, small animals such as ferrets and hamsters, and birds should be transported in carriers. Dogs should be on a leash at all times, while tiny dogs may be better off in a carrier.
Please inform the office staff if your pet does not get along with other animals. It might be more convenient for it to wait in your car until the vet is ready for the appointment. To avoid having to wait too long, call beforehand to determine if the clinic is running on schedule.
Also, be aware of your financial situation. This will assist the veterinarian in determining how thorough a checkup should be. Some individuals choose to have their pets’ bloodwork done on a regular basis. Others are content with the essentials, such as checking the animal’s eyes, nose, ears, teeth, and excrement, and listening to its heart. Determine how much you’re willing to spend if a test indicates that your pet requires therapy.
Do not be scared to inquire or take notes. That is why the veterinarian is there.
Is It an Emergency?
Some situations call for a trip to the emergency vet clinic or animal hospital, such as:
- Trouble breathing
- Sudden paralysis — your pet can’t move all or part of their body
- Seizures or unconsciousness
- Nonstop vomiting for a whole day or more
- Trauma, like being hit by a car or another heavy object
- Bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose, or mouth
- Blood in their poop
- A possible broken bone
- Your pet has gotten into chemicals like household cleaners, antifreeze, paint, makeup, etc.
Learn about your pet’s unique characteristics and routines. Some reptiles, for example, can go a month without eating, and dogs and cats may go a day without eating without issue — but if a small pet like a rabbit, ferret, guinea pig, or chinchilla refuses to eat, it might spell disaster. For a dog or cat, the odd diarrhea isn’t a huge concern, and many reptiles may go months without pooping, but any change in a bird’s droppings should prompt a call to the veterinarian straight away.
After Your Pet Has Been Treated
What you should do following your pet’s appointment is determined by their health. You may simply need to schedule the next appointment after a standard exam. Your veterinarian can advise you what indications to look for and when to contact if they have a health concern or have had an emergency. Your veterinarian will also instruct you how to give any medications that your pet need. Make sure you keep any follow-up visits that were suggested to you.
Don’t be scared to contact and inquire if you have any concerns. The receptionist might either advise you to come back in or give you some assurance.