So you've got that new pet. It could be a puppy, kitten or older cat or dog. Or, it could be an exotic pet such as a snake, bird, rabbit or one of dozens of other types of animals. When you picked up your new addition, you were told that all was fine and that all shots are up-to-date and we're healthy. Many people don't think about this longer than that and never seek a qualified professionals advice, a veterinarian, until it's too late. All newly purchased animals should be examined as soon as it is possible by a veterinarian that is trained and comfortable with the type of animal in question. Veterinarians want to make and keep that new addition in the best of health. Working as a team, you and your veterinarian can make that happen. Veterinarians commonly see sick animals that when picked up by their new owner were told "It's had all its shots," only to become ill shortly later. Booster vaccinations may be required soon to keep your new addition healthy. What about preventable diseases, like heartworm? What about fleas? What about behavioral issues like excess barking, biting, scratching and housebreaking? Being a veterinarian is more than giving shots! Veterinarians are college educated with, on the average, at least 8 years of college courses. Most veterinarians go through at least four years of college to get an undergraduate degree and then go to veterinary school for an additional four years. While in veterinary school, students learn how to diagnose, treat and take care of a variety of animal species. Veterinarians learn about thousands of diseases and conditions. If that's not enough, veterinarians can even become specialists in many recognized fields such as surgery, radiology, pathology, reproduction, ophthalmology, internal medicine, animal behavior, canine, feline, avian, equine, dairy and food animal practice.
As you can see, your veterinarian is a wealth of knowledge on various animal conditions and issues. Working together, you and your veterinarian can keep your new family member in as great as shape as possible!
John Weale D.V.M., M.S.