Routine health checks are an important part of ensuring your pet remains happy and healthy. They’re designed to spot problems before they become serious, so early treatment can help prevent illness and even save your dog’s life.
However, vet visits can be expensive. The cost can vary based on where you live and the veterinarian you choose.
Cost of Vaccinations
Vaccines are an essential part of pet health care, as they protect dogs from serious diseases and illnesses. They also save you money by avoiding costly emergency vet visits and hospitalization costs.
The vaccines your veterinarian recommends for your dog will depend on their lifestyle and where they live. Some core vaccines are recommended for most dogs, such as rabies and distemper.
While these vaccinations are the most common and necessary, there are also non-core ones that may be a good choice for your dog. For instance, if your dog spends a lot of time in boarding kennels, at dog shows or at the dog park, you may need to have your pet vaccinated against Lyme disease and leptospirosis.
In addition, your vet will consider whether your dog needs longer-acting vaccinations, such as those that provide protection for one or three years. Those vaccines cost more upfront, but you only have to go back to the clinic once for the initial shot and then again for booster doses.
Cost of Blood Tests
Getting regular blood tests is an important part of keeping your pet healthy. They can help detect a wide range of health issues before they get serious.
Blood work is often paired with other diagnostic tests to provide more accurate results, and it can be very cost-effective for your pet’s health. In some cases, insurance coverage can help reduce the overall cost of testing.
The cost of blood work varies depending on the specific tests you need and the clinic you choose to have them performed at. It is also a good idea to compare prices at different locations to find the best deal.
The cost of blood work can be higher at veterinary clinics in cities than at rural ones. It can also depend on your dog’s age and any medications they may be taking.
Cost of Fecal Exams
A pet fecal exam is part of a dog’s preventative wellness routine and should be done regularly. Fecal exams can help to detect worms, parasitic eggs, and protozoa that cause disease.
Intestinal parasites can be a major health concern for pets, especially young dogs and cats. They can cause gastrointestinal issues, pain, and even death.
Getting your dog’s feces tested by your vet is an easy and affordable way to ensure that they are free of intestinal parasites. However, it’s important to understand that fecal tests aren’t foolproof.
For instance, certain types of fecal tests can look for worm eggs, but they won’t detect adult worms like roundworms and hookworms. Other fecal tests can find disease-causing protozoa (such as Giardia) that require a different treatment approach than worms. Lastly, a fresh fecal sample is key to accurate results.
Cost of Heartworm Tests
Heartworms are a parasite that can cause serious damage to your dog’s heart, lungs and blood vessels. It’s important to stay on top of prevention and test your dog for heartworms annually.
Your pet’s veterinarian can perform a number of tests to diagnose heartworm disease in your pet. These tests include antigen tests, which detect adult heartworm proteins in your dog’s blood.
These tests can be very accurate in most dogs. In some cases, additional tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate your dog’s condition.
If your dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease, your vet will likely recommend a combination of treatment options. This includes melarsomine treatment (which is expensive, uncomfortable, and has side effects), monthly heartworm preventative medications, and ongoing testing to make sure your dog is protected.