What to Expect at Your First Veterinarian Appointment
At last! You finally have your new pet! This is such an exciting time, and you have been waiting for this day! You are excited to start this new and exciting chapter with your new furry friend.
It is typical for a breeder to include a veterinary examination, yearly physicals, and necessary vaccinations on their contracts. However, if you get your pet from a rescue or shelter, in that case, it is essential to go to a trusted veterinarian for an exam as they have unknown backgrounds and may have had exposure to diseases and parasites.
Whether your pet is coming from a breeder or a local shelter, your first trip must be to the vet. It is essential to establish a Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship in the early days of getting your pet. This relationship is necessary for your pet’s health as your veterinarian will know what is normal for your pet and what may be signifying an illness. This relationship develops over time with frequent visits to your veterinarian throughout your pet’s life.
For your pet’s first visit, the first step is to call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment and make an appointment that fits in your schedule. Do not wait until the last minute, as the best veterinarians have busy schedules. It is also a great idea to visit the clinic yourself, see how you feel in the waiting room, and speak with the staff to better understand how they operate.
During the first visit, the veterinarian will
- Weigh your pet
- Listen to your pet’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope.
- Take your pet’s temperature rectally.
- Examine your pets eyes, nose, paws, and genitalia
- Examine their skin and coat
- Look at their teeth, gums, and mouth.
- Palpate abdomen and lymph nodes
- Examine feces (bring in a sample) for the presence of worms
- Discuss your pet’s history and any questions you may have regarding feeding, medical issues (worm medications, parasite medication, bathing, cutting nails, microchipping, spaying or neutering, and vaccinations)
- If you are going home with any treatments or medicine, make sure you understand when and how to administer them to your pet.
- Schedule for a follow-up visit
Be sure to bring any paperwork given to you with your pet, such as medical records, so that the veterinarian can include these documents in your pet’s file.
This is the exciting beginning of you and your pet’s journey, and we hope to see you at ABC Animal Hospital for your pet’s first visit!