pet checkup heartworm infections

Buster’s Vision Education Tool

Pet Checkup & Heartworm Infections

By Renuka Rahul, “Adopt the innocent ones, understand the meaning of true love!”
Editor, Meet Gulati

May 2, 2017

Pet Check-Up

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Why Annual Pet Checkup?

Your four-legged friend can’t tell you in words that his teeth hurt or her leg doesn’t feel right. Fortunately, information like that, and much more, can be determined during a pet’s physical exam. A pet checkup keeps your pet healthy by allowing your veterinarian to spot small problems before they escalate. Just as annual physical exams are recommended for humans, they are recommended for our dear pets as well. A pet checkup can ward off serious illness like heartworm infections. It can also help avoid costly bills in the future.

Things to do before the appointment:

Write down any concerns or changes you want to mention. These may include coughing, diarrhea, lethargy, limping, vomiting,  itching, hiding or other behavioral changes, etc. Also, mention eating habit changes if any.

What to expect at different stages of your pets life:

Kitten or Puppy: Birth to 1 Year:

  • Vaccines every 3 to 4 weeks until it’s 16 weeks old.

Adult: 1 to 7-10 Years:

  • Annual Checkups are highly recommended.

Senior: 7 to 10 Years and Older:

  • Twice-yearly checkups for older pets.

What to expect at a vetenarian’s office:

It is always good to know what to expect before going for the appointment.

The following aspects of your dog or cat will be reviewed by your vet:

  • Vaccination Status
  • Parasite control for intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and heartworms. (It’s helpful to bring in your pet stool sample for this test.)
  • Dental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Ears & Eyes
  • Stomach & Intestine
  • Breathing
  • Behaviour
  • Feet & Legs
  • Coat & Skin
  • Urogenital
  • Blood Tests


Puppies and kittens need vaccinations early in their life, as the antibodies they receive from their mother start to decrease around 6-8 weeks of age.

All puppies should receive core vaccines as well as certain non-core vaccinations depending on the pet’s lifestyle and breed.

Core vaccines:
Shots for rabies, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza.
Non-core vaccines:
Shots to protect against kennel cough, influenza, and Lyme disease.
Core vaccines are feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calici virus, and rabies.
The noncore vaccines include feline leukemia (FeLV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Bordetella, and Chlamydophila.

Testing Heartworms:

Both Dogs and cats can be infected with heartworms. Heartworm infections in cats are harder to detect than in dogs because cats are much less likely than dogs to have adult heartworms. There are differences, however, in the nature of the disease and how it is diagnosed and managed.

Heartworm testing should be done annually.

A natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring.
During Annual check up, vet will take a blood sample from your dog to check for heartworms.
Heartworm medications are highly effective.
 A typical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage.
Requiring a physical exam, an X-ray, a complete blood count, and several kinds of blood test. An ultrasound may also be performed..
No approved treatment for heartworm infection in cats; prevention is critical.

How Much Does an Annual Pet Checkup Cost:

The annual vet visits play an important role in maintaining your pet’s overall health, and every pet parent should expect to spend a certain amount on an appointment each year. Isn’t it good to know or at least have some idea about costs before the visit? Here you go…

Getting a pet health insurance policy for your pet is always a good idea. It could save a life in an emergency.

See estimates below for the average cost of veterinary pet checkup. Please note, prices for veterinary care can differ widely by geographic region. Practices in urban areas will generally charge more.

Cat Check-Up
Dog Check-Up