boarding (2)Once a year, you should take your pet in for a check-up. This will include a full physical exam, vaccinations if needed, and a dental evaluation.

Bring in any medical history you have of your pet when you come to our hospital. It’s best to keep a journal of your pet’s health throughout his or her life, including behavioral changes. If you have a medical record, share it with our team. If not, let us know everything that you think will be important. Our veterinarians will make recommendations based on your pet’s previous medical record as well as their current state of health.

In some circumstances, our veterinarians will refer you to a specialist who has advanced expertise in areas such as internal medicine or surgery. Surgeries that need special equipment or an advanced skill level may be referred to the Veterinary Surgical Specialists in Anchorage www.vsoak.com. Dr. Priddy is an ambulatory board certified surgeon that is now available for consults and surgeries at our hospital on a referral basis.

At North Pole Veterinary Hospital, we feel it is very important to perform annual wellness exams on all pets for the following reasons.

1. Pets can’t talk to us. Wellness exams are crucial for detecting ear infections, skin lumps, heart murmurs and dental disease, all things that you may not notice at home.

2. Pets age quickly. Pets age faster than people. Most pets are mature by the age of 2 and are considered seniors by the age of 7. Diseases and health changes can occur in a short period of time so it is important to try to detect these problems before they become life threatening.

3. Pets are good at hiding/masking pain. By the time they are outwardly exhibiting pain the disease process may be in the advanced stage and may not respond to treatment as readily. Pets do not want to show pain or discomfort (their ancestors in the wild did not show pain as it would have been a sign of weakness). Routine blood screening and wellness exams can help us pick up on diseases so we can prevent and treat problems early in the process.