Once a year it is good to review the health of your dog as well as bring him to the vet for his annual vaccinations.
The first thing your veterinarian should look at is the general characteristics of your dog, is he alert? Is he behaving normally? What is the weight of the dog, is he too fat or too thin?
- ears should be examined for irritation, ear infection, ear mites, and his ears are clean
- The eyes should be checked, are they bright, not irritated, and how is the pupil position?
- The skin can be examined for fleas and ticks, bald patches, spots bites, extreme hair loss, scaling and general condition of the skin. The oral cavity should be examined and assessed by the color of the gums, tartar, smell and any loose teeth.
- The heart and the lungs should be monitored, any defects can be detected in an early stage. At an annual inspection, the vet should also recommend treating for worms. Worm treatment can always be combined with the vaccinations that your dog needs. Worm treatment once a year is sufficient unless you have small children it is recommended your dog is treated for worms at least two times per year.
Below is a list that you can review at home to possibly indicate when it is time to visit a vet:
General condition / behavior
- lots of sneezing
- Coughing or shortness of breath
- quickly tired during outings
- more often stiffing
- problems with climbing stairs and / or jumping
- pain or wheezing with some movements
- Altered appetite
- Obesity / weight loss
- slower behavior
- aggression, whining or problems with recognition
Skin and Coat
- itching / shedding / baldness
- Long nails
- Shaking the head / ear scratching
- Lumps felt in the skin or the mammary glands
- Bad breath
- red or bleeding gums
- Loss of teeth / molars
- Difficulty eating / chewing
- Regular vomiting
- diarrhea or alternating loose stools
- Problems with defecation
- blood or mucus in stool
- Worms in stool
- Urinary / reproductive organs
- Thirstier than normal
- urinating more often