Here are a few tips to follow to perform a nose-to-tail health check on your pet at home.

(Note: These points are simply a guide and may suggest things to look out for. If you notice that your pet is injured or unwell, please contact Lime Trees Vets at your earliest convenience and do not attempt to treat them yourself at home – they could become seriously ill if left without veterinary assistance.)


  • Check your pet’s eyes for any sign of discharge, swelling or cloudiness.

  • If your pet is holding their eye(s) closed, this could be a sign of injury.


  • Ear infections are one of the most common causes of complaints. Look out for scratching, excessive head shaking or funny smells.


  • Look out for any changes in eating habits, blood-tinged saliva, your pet’s mouth becoming particularly smelly, or (if you are able to look in their mouth) any abscesses.


  • Feel all over your pet’s body and check for any lumps and bumps.

  • Watch out for any hair loss, dandruff or irritation.


  • Check the length of your pet’s nails as they may need to come and see one of our nurses for a nail trim.

  • Check paws – particularly between your pet’s toes – to make sure no seeds or other materials have become lodged.

  • Check how easily your pet is moving – this is particularly important for those older pets. Are they stiff? Is there any lameness? Do they struggle to do things that they used to be able to do easily? Consider scoring your pet’s on a daily basis to assess whether it is getting better or worse.

  • Stiffness doesn’t have to just be accepted as an inevitable part of our pets getting older, there are medications and treatments that may help and could ease discomfort and improve your pet’s quality of life.


  • If possible, weigh your pets regularly for an accurate representation.

  • Remember to also feel your pet, checking underneath the fur. How pronounced are their ribs? How much of a fat covering do they have?

  • Look at your pet from above and from the side to see if their waist is prominent.

  • Changes in weight could be a sign of an underlying health complaint so monitoring your pet’s weight helps to give an indication of when a trip to the vets may be needed!

If you have noticed any of the above or are concerned about your pet’s health at all, please contact your preferred surgery on (01782) 385285 for Meir Park or (01538) 752117 for Cheadle.