March 19, 2010, Newsletter Issue #89: Puppy Checkups Shouldn't Be a Rush Job

Tip of the Week

You take your puppy in for its first puppy visit. Ten minutes later, you're both back in the car, feeling dazed and confused. What happened? Wasn't the visit supposed to take a bit longer? Unfortunately, few vets do the thorough puppy checkups that new owners expect to get.

If your vet barely takes the time to check your puppy's eyes, ears and teeth before giving him or her that first shot, you may want to request a more in depth exam. Ask to have your puppy's heart checked and request that the vet make sure that your puppy doesn't have a hiatal hernia. If you are concerned about knee dysplasia, request that the vet look for any problems with the puppy’s joints. While the vet should ask if you have any questions at least once during the visit, don't be afraid to ask them even if he or she doesn't make the offer to answer them. After all, unless you have a very unusual vet, you are paying for an office visit along with the shot and are entitled to a few extra minutes of your vet's time to be sure you know how to care for your puppy properly.

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Heidi Splete