The Importance of Preventative Health Care for Exotic Pets
All new pets should have an initial visit with a veterinarian. During the first visit the veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam to determine if the patient is healthy or if there are any medical concerns that should be addressed. Generally this is a good time to discuss all questions you have about diet and housing, annual medical care, grooming and spay or neuter. Your doctor may recommend testing blood work or a stool sample in order to get a baseline reading of what is normal for your pet.
After the initial visit, yearly preventative health exams are recommended. At each exam your veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s overall health by examining the abdomen, heart and lungs, body weight, muscles, fur/feathers/scales, and teeth or beak. Any signs of illness or abnormalities in behavior should be discussed with the veterinarian. Often, blood and stools samples are taken on a yearly basis to check for early signs of illness like poor organ function, parasites or infection. Catching disease early is the key to providing good health care for your pet.
Since pets age much more rapidly than people, most veterinarians also recommend exams every 6 months for geriatric pets. More frequent visits can help prevent or detect conditions that may develop quickly in aging patients.
Providing proper nutrition and housing as well as routine preventative health care is the best way to ensure a long and healthy life for your pet!
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