You guys LOVED my Lola’s adoption story post (linked here again if you didn’t get to read it yet!) so I wanted to do a follow up post sharing more about life with Lola. Last post I talked about her adoption story and nutrition but wanted to dig a bit into how we keep her healthy and energized for her tennis ball life. I’m a bit of a crazy dog mom so whenever Lola seems to have something wrong with her, I’m calling up the local vet to get the first appointment to have her seen. Since sometimes it can be an urgent appointment need for a tumble she takes while hiking or the unfortunate time she had a foxtail stuck in her ear, it’s helpful to have the entire network of VCA Animal Hospitals available to support her wellness needs.
We recently went to one of our local VCA Animal Hospitals for her annual wellness checkup appointment and I had some very specific questions for our vet that I wanted to share with you in case you have similar health and wellness concerns for your pup too!
WELLNESS APPOINTMENT OVERVIEW
We started the appointment with our vet doing a wellness overview. She asked me about a lot of general questions about Lola’s diet (I give her a mix of dry grain-free kibble and a form of wet food), her exercise habits (hiking and running after the tennis ball!), behavior and lifestyle. Overall Lola is in good health so I didn’t have any big items pop up during this part of the appointment.
We checked Lola over physically looking in her eyes, ears, mouth (I’ll cover her teeth and my concerns later on), her coat and feeling her abdomen for anything unusual. Everything looked great! I shared that Lola was on two medications for heartworm and flea and tick prevention. Our vet talked us through Lola’s specific items and they can help you make recommendations for your pet based on specific circumstances due to age or lifestyle. VCA Animal Hospitals even offers CareClub wellness plans to help keep you and your pet on track throughout the year with all recommended exams, vaccines, diagnostic testing, and dental cleaning! I like the idea of a monthly subscription payment to cover costs versus bigger expenses as they occur.
BRUSHING YOUR DOG’S TEETH
One of the specific questions I had for our VCA Animal Hostpitals vet was about Lola’s teeth. I’ve had Lola’s teeth cleaned by the vet before under anesthesia based on the recommendation that the majority of the tooth sits under the surface and to get the deep cleaning it is necessary to opt for this type of cleaning. I regularly give Lola the ‘tooth brushing bones’ as part of her dental hygiene regimen but it turns out they weren’t doing enough. The teeth cleaning bones are great for cleaning her back teeth very well and grinding off any plaque build up, but they don’t offer much for her front canine teeth. Our vet recommended a daily teeth brushing regimen to focus on cleaning all of Lola’s teeth and gums to maintain healthy teeth. Additionally, Lola will continue to receive yearly deep cleanings as part of her current treatment.
LOOK FOR CHANGES IN THEIR BEHAVIOR
When I adopted Lola, the shelter estimated that she might have been two or three years old at the time. But I look back at photos from then and her face has such a puppy look to it–so I’m really not sure how old she is. I asked our vet if there is anything I need to be aware of as Lola heads into middle age–I would guess shes about five to six years old? Our vet recommended looking for changes in Lola’s behavior. If she starts to have changes in her mood, behavior, eating patterns, changes in gait–those can all be signs to be aware of for changes where VCA would need to be aware.