Annual Vet Checkup and Vaccination

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I see the annual check-up at your vet as an APK (General Periodic Inspection) for your pet. Your vet will discuss your pet’s behavior, digestion, and abnormalities and conspicuousness. Your animal will then be checked from nose to tail and problems may come to light before any obvious complaints have arisen.

Finger on the pulse

Think of tartar before teeth and molars become affected or bumps that are discovered at an early stage and can therefore be removed more easily and quickly. If you only go to your vet with a problem when your animal is sick, the recovery will take longer, your animal will be in pain or discomfort and in some cases healing is no longer possible. The annual check-up is therefore a finger on the pulse, and ensure that your pet stays healthy, instead of fighting disease. In that respect it is just like the maintenance of your house or car; there you also want to prevent things from going wrong by carrying out good and regular maintenance and not only taking action when a window rots or your car comes to a standstill on the highway.


Animals are also often vaccinated during the annual check-up, this is also important to prevent disease, but with the annual check-up of your animal you prevent more diseases and problems than with vaccination. Humans don’t need to be vaccinated every year, and many dogs and cats don’t. Veterinarians also vaccinate much less nowadays, often the big cocktail is only given once every three years, and only the Weil’s disease and the cat flu vaccination is given annually. It is also possible by means of a blood test (titering) to see which diseases the antibodies are too low against, and to only give or boost those vaccines, then you vaccinate according to your wishes.

I also regularly read that people think vaccinating their pets is nonsense, a money grab from the vets and that their animals have become very old without ever having them vaccinated or checked by their vet. I am happy for those animals that they did not get sick, but I do wonder whether these animals did not have many complaints and problems that could have been prevented with good veterinary care. Unfortunately, dogs and cats still die in the Netherlands from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccinating, with my work with stray animals abroad I see a lot of illness and deaths from feline distemper, parvo, distemper.

Prevention is often better than cure

If you want to promote the health of your animal and do not want to take action until your animal is already sick and clearly suffering, I recommend that you have your pet checked and vaccinated annually by your vet. This is not a money grab but a preventive check and possibly preventive maintenance before something really goes wrong.

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