National Call Your Doctor Day

National Call Your Doctor Day

National Call Your Doctor Day was founded by Bright Pink, a women’s health non-profit, in hopes of encouraging young women to schedule their annual Well-Woman Exam.  Calling your doctor can help address any current health issues, while also identifying any risk factors for potential health concerns in the future.  Let’s take this holiday one step further, and call your pet’s doctor right after setting up an appointment with your own!


What To Expect At An Annual Vet Visit

Call Your Doctor Day Every pet should see the veterinarian at least once a year.  It is always nice to know what to expect when you make an appointment to visit the vet, and below are a few common practices that may be performed at an annual check-up.

Physical Examination (about $45-55)- a physical examination typically involves taking an animal’s temperature rectally and looking at the skin and coat appearance.  The vet will make sure that your pet’s fur is not brittle or coarse, and that the skin is not greasy or flaky.  Next, the vet will check both ears, as infections start deep in the ear canal and can be eliminated early if noticed in the beginning stages.  An abdomen exam involves feeling around the belly for anything unusual, and an oral check involves looking inside the mouth for infected gums, loose teeth, and other hygiene issues.  An eye exam will look for cataracts and other eye diseases or issues.  Lastly, your pet’s paws and toenails will be examined and clipped if they are too long.

Vaccine Boosters (about $18-25)- vaccines are typically broken down into two categories: core pet vaccines and non-core vaccines.  Core vaccines are recommended for every pet, and non-core vaccines may be advised based on your pet’s lifestyle. Many vaccines are given to pets as young as six weeks old, however, you should talk to your vet about a schedule for your animal’s individual needs.  Boosters will typically be administered at an annual exam.

Additional Testing (range from about $25-50)- there are several tests that your veterinarian may feel are necessary for addition to those mentioned above.  Common scans include a test for heartworm and a fecal exam to check for intestinal worms.  To learn more about worms and parasitic worm infestations in dogs and cats, visit


Additional Vet Services

Your veterinarian may suggest additional testing or veterinary services depending on the age and health of your Call Your Doctor Dayanimal. Below are four possible common services that may be recommended to you.

Geriatric Screening (about $85-110)- this screening is designed to detect early or hidden diseases in older pets that overall look healthy.  The testing is especially important in older dogs since there is a greater chance that an older animal will develop a disease that needs to be frequently monitored.  Typically, the screening will include a complete blood cell count, a urinalysis (urine evaluation), thyroid hormone testing, and biochemistry testing.

Dental Cleaning (about $70-400)- dental cleaning will begin with an oral exam.  Next, an animal will have his or her blood drawn in order to identify any health problems and to determine whether or not a pet can go under anesthesia.  If a pet is not healthy enough for anesthesia, some vets elect to use local anesthesia.  X-rays of the mouth will be taken, a full cleaning under the gum-line will be performed, and plaque and tartar build-up will be removed.

Allergy Testing (about $195-300)- to check for allergies, the vet will draw a small amount of blood and send it out to a laboratory for testing.  The blood will be mixed with a serum, which will then be tested for sensitivity to allergens such as grass, trees, weed, mod, insects, etc.

Surgery (thousands of dollars depending on the issue)- serious illnesses or traumas may require surgery based on a veterinarian’s recommendation.


Vet Visit After Adopting A New Pet

If you have decided to adopt a new furry family member, one of the first things you should do is schedule an appointment with a veterinarian.  If you know when you will be taking your new pet home, it is recommended to schedule a time to meet the staff at the veterinarian’s office beforehand.  Exact medical procedures and exams will vary from vet to vet, however meeting your new vet and seeing the office first can give you an idea about the hygiene and quality of care that they provide.  At your first appointment, your new pet’s history (if known) and future care will be discussed.


Vet Emergencies

In the case of an emergency, do not wait to schedule an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian.  Call right away for medical advice and go to the animal hospital immediately.  Below are a few conditions considered as vet emergencies:

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Seizures
  3. Collapse
  4. Excessive bleeding or trauma
  5. Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  6. Inability to urinate or defecate
  7. Not eating or drinking for a length of time
  8. Paralysis
  9. Exposure to dangerous chemicals or poisons