What Information Should I Be Prepared To Tell My Veterinarian?
When an animal guardian takes a pet to the veterinarian, there are several aspects of historical information that is important to give the vet. Probably the most common information asked will be the vaccination history on the pet. While traditionally most veterinarians recommended and required yearly vaccinations for core viruses like parvo/distemper and rabies, in recent years less frequent vaccination to at most once every 3 years is growing increasingly common. In lieu of proof of vaccinations, many veterinarians will accept the measurement of blood vaccination antibody titers. In my veterinary practice I have found that in most cases pets are protected for 5-7 years and even longer when vaccinated as youngsters at 16 weeks of age or older.
Many veterinarians will also require proof of heartworm blood testing, as well as annual stool checks to make sure no parasites are present. Other important information to give to the veterinarian include what type of diet the pet is on, as well as any nutritional supplements being given which can strongly impact health. Most veterinary offices will also ask if and what type of flea and/or tick prevention medication is being given, especially given the increases in flea and tick transmitted diseases in many areas of the country.
While conventionally speaking clients will often use topical pesticides such as Frontline and/or Advantage, many holistically oriented veterinarians are also using more natural alternatives, including topical essential oils and food grade diatomaceous earth. Other important parts of the history will include any changes in thirst/urination, appetite, or behavior, as well as if there are any problems with different organ systems including digestive tract symptoms, respiratory tract signs, as well as any history of joint or back issues.