The first step in examining a pet is to obtain a thorough medical history. This is where a little preparation can really help your veterinarian diagnose medical problems in your pets. It might also lower your costs by preventing unnecessary tests. This is what I like to see people bring to a routine office visit:
1) Copy of ingredient list from all foods and treats.
2) List of all medications and/or supplements
3) Copy of medical records from other clinics including x-rays.
4) List of allergies or abnormal reactions to foods, drugs, cleaning products, etc.
5) Timeline of abnormal behaviors that includes: when and where the problem started, has it improved or worsened, observed triggers and environmental changes
6) Video of the abnormal behavior- As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I love camera phones because it allows people to video their pet’s abnormal behavior. It is much easier to spot lameness when a dog is running in their backyard versus walking on a leash in the clinic. Beside orthopedic problems, video has helped me diagnose reverse sneezing, behavior problems, seizures, asthma, allergic reactions and differentiate between regurgitation and vomiting.