First Vet Visit

So your pet is unwell or injured and needs to see a vet?  Or maybe he or she is just due for a routine check up and vaccination?  Either way, it is a good idea to gather some information about your pet and his or her recent history prior to the vet visit.  Patient history is a very important part of the vet’s assessment and may affect diagnosis or treatment of your pet. 

Important aspects of your pet’s history include appetite, thirst, urination and defecation.  The vet may also ask more specific questions about whether you have seen the urine or feces and if it looks normal, bloody or like diarrhoea in the case of feces.  The vet may ask if there has been any vomiting, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, problems breathing or problems exercising.  Your pet’s recent demeanour may be important- has he or she been their usual self or more lethargic, restless or seemingly painful?  What have you fed your pet recently and has he or she had any access to any unusual foods such as table scraps or large bones?  Is there any possibility of access to toxins or chemicals, such as in the garden, or as a result of pest control measures?  In the case of a lame pet, the vet may ask whether there has been any trauma, how long the lameness has been present and whether it has been getting better or worse.  If there is a skin problem present, the vet may ask whether he or she is itchy and whether there has been any change in the environment.

Your pet’s recent medication history is also an important piece of information.  You should be able to provide information regarding prescription medications, as well as worming and flea control, including the type of product and frequency.

If there are others in the household that are involved in the care of the pet, you should discuss the history with them prior to the vet visit so that you can provide the vet with all the necessary information.  If this is your pet’s first vet visit to a particular vet, it is advisable to ask the previous vet to send over the patient history in advance so that your vet has access to this information.

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