Vaccinations and Examinations

Regular vaccinations and examinations will help keep your pet healthy and happy. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you of the frequency that your pet should be examined, but most recommend either annual or six-monthly visits. This is because pets age an average of seven times faster than humans and so by the time they reach six or seven years old they are considered middle-aged. Larger breeds of dogs are often considered to be seniors by the time they reach eight.

Typical components of a wellness examination include:

  • Checking the central nervous center
  • Checking and cleaning the ears, treating if required
  • Checking joints and mobility
  • Checking skin and condition of coat
  • Checking urinary and reproductive systems
  • Dental examination
  • Eye examination
  • Listen to the heart
  • Listen to the lungs
  • Observation of alertness and response
  • Palpate the abdomen checking for painful areas and/or growths or tumors
  • Physical examination of the rest of the body for unusual lumps
  • Weight check
Other tests that your pet may be given include:

  • Heartworm testing (otherwise known as blood parasite screening)
  • Fecal testing. This allows the veterinarian to check for the presence of internal parasites such as hookworms, roundworms and whipworms.
  • Blood work. Blood tests screen for infection or disease that may not otherwise be detected through a physical examination. Blood work also allows a veterinarian a comprehensive assessment of your pets’ health.


When to vaccinate?
Puppies and kittens are usually protected from infectious diseases by their mother’s milk provided she has been adequately vaccinated. However this protection only lasts for a short while.
  • Puppies should be vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.
  • Kittens should be vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.
  • Boosters should be given 12 months after the date of the 16 week vaccinations.
  • If you have an older pet, your veterinarian will be able to advise the correct vaccination protocol that you should follow.

Dogs should be routinely vaccinated against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvo and parainfluenza. Bordetella, leptospirosis and canine influenza are other vaccines that can be given depending on your dog's lifestyle.

Cats should be routinely vaccinated against rabies, distemper, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, pneumonitis and leukemia.