DIY pet health check

We all want to keep our pets healthy and happy especially during a lockdown when it’s much harder to do everyday things! So how do you spot the signs if something is wrong?

Here at The Pet Vet we recommend giving your pet a nose-to-tail check (MOT) and if you notice anything listed below marked in red, give us a call to book an appointment for a professional check-up; if you do find something don’t worry, in most cases, conditions are easily treatable.

Make your pet’s check a happy, positive experience for both of you by giving them lots of fuss, attention and a fun game afterwards.

Remember white points are good, red points may need further investigation.

Easy checks to do at home:

Nose

  • Moist and soft
  • Free from any discharge
  • Able to breathe freely
  • Has any discharge
  • Sounds congested

Eyes

  • Open, bright, clear
  • Free from any tears, discharge or tear staining
  • The area around the eyeball (conjunctiva) should be pink
  • Closed/squinting

Ears

  • Fleshy pink colour inside
  • Free of any unpleasant smells
  • No build-up of wax or excessive hair
  • The ear flap should be flat
  • Waxy or have any discharge
  • Holding their ear down or tilting their head to one side
  • Scratching or shaking their head a lot

Teeth

  • Clean and white
  • Free of cracks or breaks
  • Free of staining
  • Remember to check for any missing teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Stained (a plaque or tartar build-up will look like dark staining around their teeth)

Gums

  • Fleshy pink colour (although some pets will have darker pigments in their mouths, making their gums look darker. Have a chat with our vets about what’s normal for them)
  • Free of any lumps and bumps around their teeth
  • Swollen around the teeth
  • Pale or dry (this could indicate an urgent problem so call the vet straight away)

The Pet Vet tip: visit our vets if your pet isn’t used to having their gums checked.

Coat

  • Free of knots
  • Free of dandruff
  • Evidence of any ticks, fleas, flea dirt or other parasites

Skin

  • Free of any rashes
  • Free of bald patches
  • Have no bad smells
  • Have no wounds, discharge or infections
  • Moist/wet in areas
  • Lumps and bumps

The Pet Vet tip: if you do notice any lumps and bumps, take your pet to the vet straightaway so they can make sure they aren’t harmful tumours.

Legs

  • Able to comfortably support your pet getting up and sitting down
  • Nails are strong, not too long and not growing into their pads
  • Wounds
  • Struggling to get up and down
  • Can’t support their own weight
  • Limping
  • Stiffness
  • Claws are broken or too long
  • Lumps and bumps

The Pet Vet tip: if you do notice any lumps and bumps, take your pet to the vet straightaway so they can make sure they aren’t harmful tumours.

Tail

  • In a normal position for your pet
  • Able to move freely
  • Clean and free of any poo underneath
  • Have no sores on or around it
  • Hanging limp and not moving as it normally does
  • Build-up of poo underneath
  • Scooting their bottom
  • Chewing at their back or tail
  • Evidence of worms
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