"The Importance of Annual Health Checks for Your Dog
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"The Importance of Annual Health Checks for Your Dog

Dogs
Health & Safety

Making sure your dog is healthy is an all-important part of taking good care of them and for many owners knowing a four-legged friend is on top form offers a lot of peace of mind, especially as dogs reach their golden years. However, many pedigree dogs are predisposed to certain hereditary and congenital health disorders which in short means they can be born with a condition or they may develop something worrying earlier on in their lives which is why annual health checks at the vet are so important.

Taking a proactive approach to your dog's health could mean catching a health disorder early enough for it to be more easily treated. All too often when any symptoms go unnoticed, a condition can be that much harder for a vet to treat successfully. Not only this, but your dog would be uncomfortable and in pain for that much longer should a condition goes unnoticed in its early stages. Setting up regular health checks means the vet would be able to carry out a thorough examination on your dog and if you want your pet to have their booster jabs, this can be arranged to be done at the same time. It also allows the vet to check your dog's mouth to see if they are suffering from any dental issues which can be dealt with before things get too bad causing your dog a lot of pain and discomfort.

Dogs with Chronic Conditions

It's important for dogs known to be suffering from any sort of chronic health disorder to see the vet more frequently so their condition can be closely monitored. If the disorder is of a progressive nature, seeing a dog on a regular basis helps a vet establish the amount of medication your pet should ideally be given to help keep them happy and comfortable.

Breeds Known to be Predisposed to Certain Health Issues

If you share your home with a breed of dog that's known to be predisposed to certain health issues, taking them along to see the vet on a regular basis for a check-up means that if a condition does start to flare up, the vet would be able to make an early diagnose and set up a treatment plan in the early stages of a health disorder whether it's hereditary or congenital.

The Need to Vaccinate or Not?

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether dogs need to be given their booster shots on an annual basis. Some breeds are known to have adverse reactions to vaccines which can manifest as anaphylactic reactions or immediate hypersensitivities to certain vaccines. With this said, chronic or acute immune-mediated syndromes which are often seen in some breeds are not well understood at the present time with more research needed to fully appreciate why this occurs in some dogs and not in others. However, it is something that vets should not ignore, but rather take into consideration before giving a dog any booster vaccinations during an annual check-up.

However, if you are planning to go abroad on holiday and need to put your dog in kennels for the time you are away, they would need to be fully vaccinated or the kennel will refuse to board them which is something worth bearing in mind when discussing booster vaccinations with your vet.

Breeds Known to Suffer Adverse Reactions to Vaccinations

As previously touched upon, there are certain breeds of dog known to suffer adverse reactions to vaccinations and this includes Greyhounds, but the list is long when it comes to immune mediated haematological disease:

  • Akita
  • American cocker spaniel
  • German shepherd
  • Golden retriever
  • Irish setter
  • Great Dane
  • Kerry blue terrier
  • Dachshunds - more especially longhaired dogs
  • Poodles - more especially the Standard Poodle
  • Old English sheepdog
  • Scottish terrier
  • Shetland sheepdog
  • Shih Tzu
  • Vizsla
  • Weimaraner

Dogs with a predominantly white coat or merle colouring are also now recognised as being more susceptible to experiencing adverse reactions to vaccinations which is another thing worth bearing in mind.

Cost of Annual Health Checks

You may think the cost of setting up an annual health check for your dog would be an unnecessary extra expense, but if it means you catch a health disorder earlier rather than later it can save you a fortune in the long run. Not only this, but your dog would not have to go through any unnecessary pain and discomfort if their condition is correctly diagnosed and treated before things get too bad and therefore harder to treat.

Conclusion

Setting up annual health checks for your dog offers you peace of mind they are in top condition and that nothing nasty is going on. It also allows a vet to check your dog's teeth and to give them their booster jabs if needed. Catching a health issue earlier rather than later often means the condition is that much easier for vets to treat, but more importantly your dog would be made to feel more comfortable sooner rather than them having to put up with unnecessary pain and discomfort.

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