14 Questions Your Vet Will Ask You

14 Questions Your Vet Will Ask You

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When you visit your doctor, chances are you answer some questions about your pet's health history, current health habits, and any symptoms you might be experiencing. These same types of questions can come up when we take our pets to the veterinarian, but because our dogs and cats can’t talk, we need to be prepared to answer them.  

You might think that you or other pet owners can answer any question about your pet off the top of your head. Things like what dog food brands you are feeding them, when was the last you administered a flea and tick medicine, and more. But it doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory and have a list to refer to. 

Feel free to print out the attached PDF (find below), write in your answers, and bring it along with you to the vet. After the visit, you could save the form in your pet’s file so that you can refer to it again in the future. 

1. When and where did you get your pet?

2. What vaccinations — if any — have your pet received?

3. Has your pet ever had a serious health issue or surgery?

4. Have you ever traveled outside of the area with your pet?

5. Are there any other pets in the house?

6. What veterinary medicines — if any — is your pet taking?

7. What kind of pet food does your pet eat?

8. How much does your pet eat? Have there been any changes to their appetite?

9. How much does your pet drink? Have there been any changes to their thirst?

10. How are your pet’s bathroom habits? Are they having accidents, urinating more than usual, less than usual, is their feces normal, etc.?

11. Has your pet recently gained or lost weight?

12. What kind of exercise does your pet get?

13. Is your pet exhibiting any behavioral problems (such as excessive barking, excessive meowing, chewing, itching/scratching, etc.)?

14. Is your pet displaying any unusual symptoms? Vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, lethargy, exercise intolerance, etc.?

15. Is your pet on any pet medication? 

Download the Vet Visit Questionnaire

Routine vet visits play an important role in maintaining your pet's overall health. Stay on schedule, and consider signing up for PetPlus to save on medications, boarding, and more. 

4 Confusing Vet Phrases and How to Decode Them

It can sometimes seem like vets are speaking another language, the medical language they learned in veterinary school. It’s possible your vet won’t always remember to translate their jargon into phrases we laypeople can understand. If you’ve ever been confused or frightened by vet-speak, then you might want to read about these common, confounding phrases your vet could use and what they mean. 


When you hear the word “tumor” do you immediately think of cancer? A tumor simply means that an area is swollen. While it is possible a tumor could be caused by a malignant growth of cells — which does mean cancer — a tumor can also be a benign cyst. A sebaceous cyst or a fatty tumor is usually noncancerous and painless. There are 10 types of tumors in dogs that can be seen on the skin. Tumors that are attached to the skin are often cancerous, whereas tumors capable of being moved with your fingers are more likely to be benign. Your vet will likely prescribe antibiotics for dogs to inhibit the growth or prevent metastasis. Read about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for pets with cancer.  


Lyme borreliosis is another name for Lyme disease. It is a disease that’s transmitted via a tick bite. Ticks that cause Lyme disease carry a type of bacteria that belongs to the genus Borrelia. The disease is also named after Lyme, Connecticut, where the first cases of the disease were identified. Click here to read about Lyme disease symptoms, treatment, and prevention. This disease can be treated with Doxycycline for dogs, but you must consult an online vet or your regular vet first. 

Complete blood count (CBC)

The most common blood test performed both on pets and people, your veterinary clinic may order a complete blood count — or CBC — to diagnose why a pet is presenting with common symptoms such as pale gums, weakness, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. This will help in determining which pet medications are required. 

A complete blood count determines the number and types of blood cells present, specifically red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. White blood cells are critical to immune function. A low white blood cell count in dogs is known as neutropenia. Learn about the five different types of white blood cells. 

There are a whole host of abbreviated terms and seemingly mysterious phrases that vets might use to describe various components of your pet’s blood work. Don’t be shy in asking your vet to define what they’re talking about. 


Panosteitis is characterized by severe pain in the long leg bones. While it may be a little-understood disease, if your vet tosses around this scary-sounding term, it most likely means your dog has growing pains. Some symptoms associated with panosteitis are depression, lack of appetite, and limping or lameness. Growing pains most commonly afflict mid-to-large size breeds as the long bones in their legs grow rapidly from months 5 to 18. Growing pains typically resolve on their own, but your vet can help with pain management through canine or feline medicine in the meantime if your dog or cat is needlessly suffering. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Meloxicam for dogs are quite effective in these cases. 

Remember that everything that you read on PetMD might not be accurate. Your local vet is your partner in helping your pet stay healthy, and you are your pet’s number one advocate. It is not good for anyone if you don’t understand your pet’s prognosis or treatment plan, so ask plenty of questions until you’re comfortable knowing exactly what’s happening with your pet and what’s expected of you.

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