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VET Annual Exams

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,
General question about general annual exams for your kitties. Since I have rated many human doctors of mine I've tried out, I can be quite picky. But for cats, can you guys give me your feedback on what SHOULD be done at regular annual exams, and/or what YOUR kitty gets in annual exams.

The last person I just had (who is new at our local vet clinic) didn't seem to do much at all, and left us waiting for so long.

The assistant took us in, quickly sprayed the examination table (from the previous dog), weighed her and took a peak at a very small cut she had on her nose (which we originally went to see them for to make sure healing well). He said she was due for only one vaccination.

The vet entered after some time. Palpated (I believe) her stomach and sides very quickly, looked at the healing cut, and gave the shot. Checked her teeth quickly and recommended brushing teeth (which we have bought several types, but haven't been successful and pushy on that). I asked her if she does it for her two cats. Nope. Took temp which was 102F (she said average is ~100-102.5.) That was it.

So, I wanted to at least make it more worth it, so started asking questions like about bathing, how often is safe, as I heard it should not be often, but good to clean off all the dirt and germs they are ingesting when licking. I noted that I read not too often. Se seemed not to know. When I kept bugging for estimate, she finally said no more than once a month. I thought that was too much.

Didn't clean her nose or ears (like I realized afterward, is usually done for our kitty). No stethoscope placed on belly or anything. Total was $93, which we thought at first a bit on high side for such small exam. But then reminded selves how crazy human charges are for simple 2 minute apts. seeing a doctor costs. ;o)

Any/All feedback would be appreciated very much. Thanks!
post #2 of 20
As a veteran of annual vet exams having taken my cats in for the past 20 years, I'd say that your experience was typical. But it's also similar to the situation with human medicine. That is, unless you present a specific complaint, there are only a few "standard" procedures that your doctor will rely on--weight, blood pressure--to determine "health." I think vets are actually MORE thorough--although I'm a little surprised that yours didn't use a stethoscope. My vets always listen to heart and lungs in addition to feeling for lumps and swelling. They examine teeth and ears as well. It only takes a few minutes and costs me about $55 for the exam alone. Adding in the vaccine, I'd say that your charge was about what I'm used to paying.

However, when I come because of symptoms that I'm concerned about, my vet will either do more OR explain why he is not testing more. For example, my newly adopted guy (I mention that because I'm not used to his "habits") has an occasional hacking cough that is scary because he seems to be choking. The vet checked his heart and lungs and explained that he didn't want to take an x-ray because it was so unlikely that this was anything more than this cat's unsuccessful attempt to cough up hair. He advised me that if it happened again, I could bring the cat in immediately to see if there were any physical issues OR check his stool the following day to see if he was passing hair that way. In other words, when there's a problem, I expect the vet to provide an explanation and perform whatever tests are necessary. A good vet like mine will provide more information than I ever get from any of my personal doctors!
post #3 of 20
Your experience sounds about right to me. A routine visit for us will typically include:

Weight
Temperature
Looking at eyes, ears and teeth
Feeling abdomen/sides
Listen to lungs and heart
Vaccine jabs

There could be more than that if I was visiting for a specific issue, have questions, or request anything in addition. Cleaning ears, nail cutting, etc. is usually something that a vet will do upon request and for an additional charge.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Your experience sounds about right to me. A routine visit for us will typically include:

Weight
Temperature
Looking at eyes, ears and teeth
Feeling abdomen/sides
Listen to lungs and heart
Vaccine jabs

There could be more than that if I was visiting for a specific issue, have questions, or request anything in addition. Cleaning ears, nail cutting, etc. is usually something that a vet will do upon request and for an additional charge.
Ditto everything that whiteforest said!
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for replying. All three of you are helpful to know not alone. I guess I have high expectations, as my cats in the past, it is so painful to both of us (human and feline) when they come down with something that it missed by the vet for so long (has happened sadly so many times), even when hard symptoms appear.

I asked the vet, for example, if our cats should get their blood tests/labs taken at least every several years? (I myself get them done about every month at least, so am used to my docs being very thorough at my exams).

Didn't check the ears for my kitty and/or claws or nose. No blood pressue. I think we are asking for our older vets next time (this place has 4 vets working there, but the one we saw is fairly new and has only been there for a couple of months).

Thanks again, and I welcome any other comments.
post #6 of 20
What everyone else has said is the same for my cats. They are both five and these are my first cats. I have read here that starting around 7 to 10 they should start getting the regular lab work to check mainly kidney function but I don't know yet if my vet regularly does that.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denice View Post
What everyone else has said is the same for my cats. They are both five and these are my first cats. I have read here that starting around 7 to 10 they should start getting the regular lab work to check mainly kidney function but I don't know yet if my vet regularly does that.
Thanks,
Sylvie (who had her phys. exam is 5 years old). My other cat is more than 10 years old, so perhaps I should request. It has to be a tiny needle and a good phebotomist though! (it could hurt with their tiny veins!).
post #8 of 20
Vets often suggest a cat get a blood panel done when they are brought in to be speutered, but it's not required. That not only lets the vet know if there could be a complication with the anesthesia, but can also serve as a "normal" to compare blood panels to when kitty gets older, or if there is ever a concern. Annual blood work is not normally until they reach "senior" age, 7-10 years old, unless it is something that you request. Also, I don't think I can ever remember a vet taking their blood pressure.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Vets often suggest a cat get a blood panel done when they are brought in to be speutered, but it's not required. That not only lets the vet know if there could be a complication with the anesthesia, but can also serve as a "normal" to compare blood panels to when kitty gets older, or if there is ever a concern. Annual blood work is not normally until they reach "senior" age, 7-10 years old, unless it is something that you request. Also, I don't think I can ever remember a vet taking their blood pressure.
Thanks for the note.
Yes, I think blood pressure would be very tricky to take on cat, though with the stethoscope would be able to do heart rate at least (though I'm sure for all cats, it would likely be very fast rate while nervous at vet's).

I would want labs taken periodically, though not often, as it is painful, I'm sure for them, and a little bit of blood in human measurement is a gallon to them! But this shows many things that eyes don't see. I wish tumors were more easily spotted, as it seems so often they've only found them during surgery procedures.

Thanks for the posting.
post #10 of 20
My cats are 4 yo and not once have we had any blood work done. Every annual includes a poop sample we need to bring in though. We have never had a temperature taken either - every time it is "We could take their temp but it's so uncomfy for them and they look fine, so let's pass on that"...
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by piikki View Post
My cats are 4 yo and not once have we had any blood work done. Every annual includes a poop sample we need to bring in though. We have never had a temperature taken either - every time it is "We could take their temp but it's so uncomfy for them and they look fine, so let's pass on that"...
Oh hmmm,
I don't think we've ever been asked to bring in a stool sample, except for in the past when one of our cats was sick. May I ask what is tested from the stool so I can bring it up with the clinic next time?

The temperature, none of my cats have seemed to mind much, though I can't read their thoughts. But no jerking or hissing/growling when takign temperature. More unhappy when looking at teeth, etc.

Thanks!
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Your experience sounds about right to me. A routine visit for us will typically include:

Weight
Temperature
Looking at eyes, ears and teeth
Feeling abdomen/sides
Listen to lungs and heart
Vaccine jabs

There could be more than that if I was visiting for a specific issue, have questions, or request anything in addition. Cleaning ears, nail cutting, etc. is usually something that a vet will do upon request and for an additional charge.


My vet also did a fecal the first time Riley was in, to check for parasites. She looks him over thoroughly though, checking his legs and joints, etc. as well as the stuff listed above.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post


My vet also did a fecal the first time Riley was in, to check for parasites. She looks him over thoroughly though, checking his legs and joints, etc. as well as the stuff listed above.
Thanks,
I will definitely try to bring this up with them next time (and another family member brings our other cat who is a senior and most bonded with her), and tell him. She's due for her annual too.

May I ask how much your average apt. is that includes for the vaccines? I know it's hard to compare, but just curious.

Thanks!
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hana View Post
Thanks,
I will definitely try to bring this up with them next time (and another family member brings our other cat who is a senior and most bonded with her), and tell him. She's due for her annual too.

May I ask how much your average apt. is that includes for the vaccines? I know it's hard to compare, but just curious.

Thanks!
Well, my vet is a bit expensive. Riley's last visit was around $125 for the exam and 2 vaccines. They do use purevax vaccines though, which are a bit more. I think the regular exam portion of it is around $50. The fecal which was done at a previous visit was $21, but there are cheaper places if I need to get that done again!
post #15 of 20
Everyone else's experience sounds about right to me. Ours get a stool sample every year, but we live in an area where parasites are a real problem, so that's standard practice.

Our current cats get eyes, ears and toes checked as well, but they're both rescues with slightly odd medical histories, so our vet checks the for specific problems.

Overall it takes about 25min for the two of them and we pay about $80-100 each depending on who needs which vaccines.
post #16 of 20
no exam fee if vaxs are given

if no vax 35$ for the exam ... vitals checked,hair checked , teeth checked ... fecal is 15
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
Well, my vet is a bit expensive. Riley's last visit was around $125 for the exam and 2 vaccines. They do use purevax vaccines though, which are a bit more. I think the regular exam portion of it is around $50. The fecal which was done at a previous visit was $21, but there are cheaper places if I need to get that done again!
Great! Thank you. Sounds very typical, esp. for TWO vaccines, which seem to cost the most. Sylvie just had 1 vaccine (Leukemia) and barely anything else, and total was $93. Your sharing helps out. :o)
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms. Freya View Post
Everyone else's experience sounds about right to me. Ours get a stool sample every year, but we live in an area where parasites are a real problem, so that's standard practice.

Our current cats get eyes, ears and toes checked as well, but they're both rescues with slightly odd medical histories, so our vet checks the for specific problems.

Overall it takes about 25min for the two of them and we pay about $80-100 each depending on who needs which vaccines.
Ms. Freya,
Thank you for responding. All the experiences posted help out. Interesting that you have regular fecal exams too. Seems like it may be appropriate, since our cats go in and out for short periods of time during the daytime.
Grealy Appreciated. :o)
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hana View Post
Oh hmmm,
I don't think we've ever been asked to bring in a stool sample, except for in the past when one of our cats was sick. May I ask what is tested from the stool so I can bring it up with the clinic next time?

The temperature, none of my cats have seemed to mind much, though I can't read their thoughts. But no jerking or hissing/growling when takign temperature. More unhappy when looking at teeth, etc.

Thanks!
Sorry haven't been on and didn't notice your question but loos like you gotr it answered. Parasites get checked and the good thing is I only need to take one composite doodie for all 3 cats and pay x1. Our vet seems to also be very cheap for that. This far it's been only $8 to know for sure that there are no wormies.

Maybe next time I have the temp checked just out of curiosity for a baseline. Then I'll know if it's just difficult for the vet...
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by piikki View Post
Sorry haven't been on and didn't notice your question but loos like you gotr it answered. Parasites get checked and the good thing is I only need to take one composite doodie for all 3 cats and pay x1. Our vet seems to also be very cheap for that. This far it's been only $8 to know for sure that there are no wormies.

Maybe next time I have the temp checked just out of curiosity for a baseline. Then I'll know if it's just difficult for the vet...
Ooho Piikki,
Thanks very much for answering. The more replies I get, the better it is. Hmmm, another doc who does regular poop checks. Like I said, only time we've been told or suggested was many years ago when my dear past cat was quite sick. Have never been asked to do and had never thought of. Sounds more important now.

Have any of you others, after a regular appointment have anything found in stool?
Thanks so much.
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