CVC exclusive tool: Veterinary patient risk assessment information
To download a PDF version of this checklist, "Patient History and Lifestyle Evaluation," click here.
A general risk assessment begins with a good and complete history and evaluation of the pet's lifestyle.
1) Age, breed, sex
- Where does the owner currently live?
- Where else has the pet lived?
- Does the owner travel or vacation with their pets?
3) Are there other pets in the family? (Not only dogs and cats. This provides information about other animals that may need veterinary services and also provides information about animals that may act as sources of disease, or social interactions that could impact the pet being evaluated.)
4) Family members
- Children and infants
5) Does the pet live with people who have an impaired immune system? (CDC estimates that 50% of the population have conditions that impair their immune system, rendering them susceptible to diseases of animals.)
6) Where does the pet sleep? (This tells you not only about potential disease transmission and behavioral issues, but also gives you an idea of the status of the pet in the family.)
7) Indoors or outdoors? (It is important to realize that many people answer this question based on where the pet sleeps. Ask open-ended questions. Where is the pet’s bed? When was the pet last outdoors?)
8) When outdoors, is the pet:
- Free to run and explore?
- Confined to the yard?
- Confined to an exercise pen?
- Only allowed outdoors on a leash?
9) Is the pet exposed to dogs and cats other than those belonging to the client in any of these locations:
- Back yard
- Grooming facility
- Boarding kennel
- Puppy or kitten obedience or socialization class
- Dog park
- Dog or cat show
- Obedience or agility trials
10) When was the pet last vaccinated? (The veterinarian will determine the most appropriate frequency for revaccination.)
- Canine core vaccines: Canine distemper, canine adenovirus, canine parvovirus, and rabies
- Feline core vaccines: Feline panleukopenia, feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and rabies.
- FeLV vaccine is highly recommended in kittens.
(Based on the pet’s lifestyle and risk of exposure, additional vaccines may be indicated, such as against bordetellosis, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, canine influenza, FeLV, FIV.)
11) What foods does the pet eat?
12) Does the client have total control over what the pet eats?
(Assess the pet's weight, body condition score, and muscle condition score.)
13) Does the owner ever see fleas on the pet?
14) Does the owner use routine flea and tick control treatments?
15) What specific products does the owner use?
16) Does the owner ever see ticks on the pet?
17) When did the pet last have a heartworm test?
18) When did the pet last have a fecal examination?
19) Does the pet ever receive heartworm and internal parasite preventives?
20) When did the pet last receive these medications?
21) When did the pet last have a complete dental evaluation?
22) When did the pet last have its teeth cleaned?
23) Does the owner brush the pet’s teeth routinely?