When To Take Your Dog To The Vet

Our pets give us so much joy and companionship, and we often rely on them as a source of stress relief and love. The human-animal bond is a phenomenon that has been well documented in scientific literature and has been described in ancient writings as well. Our bonds with our pets are an important part of our lives, and it’s important to maintain them. However, many factors can threaten those bonds such as pain, sickness, and even the passing of our beloved animals. As a part of maintaining the human-animal bond, we have to act as a voice for our pets and know when to take them to a veterinarian—and how to choose the veterinarian we want to treat them.

One of the most crucial steps of creating an everlasting bond with our pets is selecting a veterinarian who practices the upper-level standard of medical care and takes the human-animal bond seriously. A simple search on the internet may be a good start to understand the selection of doctors in your area; however, you can dive deeper into your search and find the right veterinarian in your area according to the experts at GoLookUp.

While it isn’t necessary to look into a background check for your veterinarian, it can give you peace of mind that your doctor is an upstanding citizen and has no public claims against them. You can also check to see that the clinic you want to go to accepts pet insurance. You can compare pet insurance options with iSelect to ensure you can financially take care of your pet.

Once you find a clinic that seems promising, you can go to their website and asses the staff qualifications. When veterinary technicians are certified and licensed, you know that the clinic values higher education and training for all staff, not just the doctors. You can also look at the qualifications of the doctors as well. Licensed doctors will have a DVS, doctor of veterinary science, and will come from an accredited university. Doctors in veterinary medicine can also be specialized in certain areas such as emergency care, internal medicine, surgery, and many more. While many pets don’t need to see a specialist, it’s always beneficial to know the kinds of vets in your area just in case.

The next step in preserving your bond with your pet is being able to recognize the signs that they need help since they cannot verbalize that to you. A yearly check-up is essential for your dog, just like for you, but there may be times within that year that they demonstrate a need for veterinary attention. You will be their voice when at the doctor’s office when talking about the history of their case, so being aware of some specific signs will help you, your pet, and your doctor.

As a pet owner, you have a responsibility to be observant of the major body systems. This means respiratory (breathing), gastrointestinal, urinary, and neurologic. With regards to the respiratory system, if your dog has an increased rate of breathing, an increased effort in breathing (when it looks like they cannot get enough air), there are sounds other than just panting when they breathe in or out, or you notice that their gums inside their mouth are starting to look blue in tint. These signs are indicative that your dog is in respiratory distress and needs medical attention for therapeutic drugs, oxygen supplementation, or more.

The gastrointestinal tract is fairly easy to asses in your animal as you just have to observe the stool or anything regurgitated or vomited. If your dog’s stool has become less consistent and has become more watery, has blood in it, or is almost black, your dog may have a gastrointestinal disease. Your dog may also vomit or regurgitate food or liquids. If these signs last more than a day or become a chronic issue, this is a sign your dog needs medical attention.

The urinary system in your pet can also indicate the overall well being of your pet as well. If you notice that your dog is urinating more frequently with more volume, has blood in urine, is incontinent, or has a hard time urinating, this can indicate a kidney or bladder problem. Dogs can get urinary tract infections just like people, and can also get bladder stones/kidney stones, and kidney disease.

Your pet may be antibiotics or more diagnostic testing to solve the problem. Another system that is easy to observe is the neurologic system. Essentially, this just requires looking at the mental behavior of your pet. Observe if they seem overly lethargic, have seizures, or seem to just be behaving abnormally.

By paying attention to the basic, large body systems and the signs associated with them, you will be able to recognize when your pet needs special attention. Preserving their health is a great way to preserve the bond you have with them, and by going to a veterinarian you trust, you can rest easy at night knowing they will be given the golden standard of care.

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