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5/7/18: Protect your pet from the heat! Visit our heat stroke and summer safety page for important information about how you can help your pet stay cool and prevent heat stroke.
Wellness Exams & Senior Care
- Knapp Veterinary Hospital - Columbus, Ohio
We offer the following wellness services:
A wellness examination includes an evaluation of all of your pet's major organ systems. We'll use the wellness visit to ask you questions about your pet's behavior, appetite, exercise habits, and regular activities at home. This is also an excellent time for us to discuss any routine diagnostic testing that may benefit your pet or to recommend any vaccinations that may be due. If your pet seems healthy, a wellness examination is a good opportunity to note any changes such as weight gain or loss, or other subtle changes that may not be evident at home. Sometimes, information obtained during a wellness exam can help detect early signs of illness and address health issues before they progress.
A wellness exam is also your chance to have us address your questions or concerns about your pet. We welcome your questions. No question is too small or too silly, and we want to address your concerns. We strive to help you understand your pet's health considerations, and we encourage you to be involved in decisions regarding your pet's health care.
Your pet is officially a senior on their 8th birthday. As with us, it's a good idea to take more preventive measures at this age. Age is not a disease; but, in general, there are more, and faster, bodily changes around this time. Arthritis can set in, the kidneys and heart aren't functioning as they used to, and there may be suspicious lumps showing up.
And, of course, there's the simple fact that our pets age faster than we do. On average, each year a dog lives adds an equivalent of 7 human years to the body (5 years for cats). Which means your 8 year old dog is equivalent to us at 56 years old! Even a check up every 6 months means we're seeing them about 3-4 years apart (when compared to us). This may also seem like a long time, but it's much better than the equivalent of 7 years.
We highly recommend bringing your pet for an exam every 6 months at this stage. Finding problems before they start is much easier to attend to. The senior wellness visit begins with the usual physical exam to assess eyes, ears, skin, teeth, heart, lungs, abdomen, and the presence of any lumps. The doctor then assesses the patient for age related changes which may include arthritis, behavioral differences, or changes in appetite or weight. We recommend yearly screening lab work, which includes blood testing and possibly urine testing. The senior blood work panel is the same for dogs and cats, except it includes a Heartworm/Lyme test for dogs and, instead, a thyroid level for cats. We want to check that the liver and kidneys are functioning well, red and white blood cells are in appropriate amounts and condition, there are no infections, and that there are no signs of early diabetes. Lab work can find things that don't show up on an exam - but could later on. This gives us a baseline for future blood work as well - we'll be able to see if there is a trend in declining health or not. Additional testing me be advised if a problem is detected.
Pocket Pets & Exotics
The majority of our patients are dogs and cats; however, we do see other pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, healthy birds, rats, sugar gliders, chinchillas, reptiles, and non-poisonous snakes. Please mention the species and the reason for your visit when making an appointment.
Each year, thousands of pets go missing - and many don't make it back home. Many pets (especially indoor pets) don't wear collars or tags. Even if your pet wears a collar and identification tag, collars can break off and tags can become damaged and unreadable; so these forms of identification may not be enough to ensure your pet's safe return. Your pet needs a form of identification that is reliable and can't get lost, stolen, or damaged. A microchip is a safe, simple form of identification that can significantly increase the chance that your pet will return safely.
Microchips are a permanent, unique, tamper-proof method of helping you locate a lost pet. The microchip itself is the size of a grain of rice and is easily implanted under your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. A microchip implant is no more painful than a vaccine and does not require any anesthesia - it only takes a minute. Young puppies and kittens can receive microchips, but even if your pet is already an adult, you should consider one. Even indoor pets may get curious at times and sneak outside - especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters or house fires. A microchip greatly increases the chance of finding your pet in such circumstances.
Each microchip is unique and carries vital information about you and your pet - including your name, address, and contact information. Once registered, a lost pet only needs to be scanned for a chip at a local veterinarian or shelter. The scanner is non-invasive and will not hurt your pet in any way. Though not common, it is possible for the microchip to migrate; therefore, the pet should be scanned for a chip thoroughly, not just between the shoulder blades. The microchip number will be shown on the scanner and, from that, your information may be looked up on the system's database. Once we have your information you will be contacted and arrangements will be made to reunite you with your beloved pet. Make sure if you move or change your phone number that the information on the microchip registration is updated!
Make sure you register your Microfindr chip as soon as possible through PetLink. Registering the number on the microchip includes your pet in a national pet recovery database. PetLink microchips purchased and sold by PetLink veterinary partners include Free Lifetime registration. This includes Free account updates for the life of the pet as well.