Nellie’s annual veterinary visit is each January. At this time she will get a full physical exam from nose to tail. This will include an eye exam, ear exam, teeth exam, check the lymph nodes, listen to heart and lung sounds, palpate abdomen, feel pauses in back legs, check skin, check fur, check rectum and vagina. The Veterinarian will then address any problems found and will address any questions the owner may have. If found healthy vaccinations are given at this time as well as blood draw for the yearly heartworm check and chemistry panel/cbc to check internal organ functions.
Outline of Nellie’s exam:
Nellie weighed in before her examination. She weighed 73#. She is 10# over weight. I blame this on too many treats and not enough exercise. She is on Purina OM (obesity management) dog food but she still finds scrapes out in the fields to eat. Nellie is 6-7 on the body chart below. Click on body chart link to see how your pet compares.
Today Nellie got vaccinated for Lyme disease, Bordetella (kennel cough) and DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvo). She is current on Rabies so she doesn’t need that this year.
Lyme: Vaccination is by far the most effective way to protect your dog against Lyme disease. Recombiteck(TM) Lyme caccine uses the same advance technology as the human Lume disease vaccine. It works by blocking transmission – from tick to dog – of the spirochete that causes the disease. Recombitek Lyme is now available only from veterinarians. Per Merial brochure. Lyme is a yearly vaccine.
Bordetella: Your dog can have the kennel without the cough. Prevention is the key to kennel cough. If at any time in the next year your dog will be exposed to possibly infected dogs or group situations like those in dog parks, grooming facilities or even veterinary clinics, it’s wise to vaccinate for B. bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza. Boarding kennels often require a kennel cough vaccination. Per Merial brochure. Bordetella is a yearly vaccine.
DHLPP: (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvo) This combination vaccine is a yearly vaccination until the veterinarian feels your pet as built up enough immunity to spread the DHPP vaccine out over either 2 or 3 years. The Lepto portion of this vaccine is still concidered a yearly vaccination. It will only hold it’s immunity in the dog for one year so it needs to be re booster each year. This year Nellie’s DHPP vaccine is good for 3 years now.
Using a otoscope Dr. Hartay is able to look down deep in Nellie’s ear to see if she might have an ear infection. She does not have an infection and very clean ears. I don’t think I have ever treated Nellie for an ear infection in her 8 years of life.
Using a opthamascope Dr. Hartay looks for any changes in Nellie’s eyes. Her eyes were clear and no changes. As they get older they have some changes that if they were human they may need reading glasses but they don’t read so it doesn’t bother them. They can also develop cataracts but she doesn’t have any.
Nellie’s teeth were clean. She had a dental last year when she was spayed and they are still tarter free this year. If she would have tarter on her teeth she would need a dental cleaning. Not this year and hopefully not next if I keep up on the brushing.
Nellie has lymph nodes in her neck area, in front of her shoulders and by her thighs. She has many more lymph nodes but these sites are the ones that can be palpated during an exam for any abnormalities.
Dr. Hartay is asculting Nellie’s heart and lungs. She is listing for any murmers and making sure her lungs sound fine. Nellie is sounding normal.
Nellie had her abdomen palpated for detectable tumors. She then had her pulse checked by feeling the femoral artery in the inside of her back legs. No tumors felt and pulse was normal.
Vaccines can be given in several spots. They are spread out so if there is a reaction at the vaccination site the veterinarian will know what vaccine caused the problem. The vaccine is administered just under the skin.
The fur is wet down with alcohol before the blood draw. This helps make the vein pop out better and adds a bit of sterility to the site. There are different blood tubes for different tests. This year Nellie is having her annual heartworm test, a CBC (complete blood count) and chemistry panel with T4.