Regular checkups and wellness examinations are a crucial part of keeping your pet healthy.
Animals don’t use our language to tell us how they are feeling so we have to use examinations and diagnostics to evaluate and determine your pet’s health. Even if we find that your pet is healthy during our examination, knowing what is normal for your pet is a valuable tool to track in order to maintain ongoing health.
Annual examinations allow us to detect problems or illness early on. This allows us to start treatment early - typically improving your pet’s prognosis. One year in the life of your pet is like several years in our life and a lot can happen in that time period. Providing good preventative care is the best way to create long term health for your pet!
By seeing you and your pet annually, we can form a better partnership and together we can keep your pet healthy and happy for as long as possible!
Our patients can’t communicate with words so we rely on what their body tells us to determine how best to diagnose and treat illnesses. The examination helps us provide preventative care tailored to your pet’s needs.
Blood tests, fecal examinations and other samples allow us to complete the whole picture of your pet’s health. The diagnostics help us screen for disease and parasites allowing us to intervene early with treatments when needed.
Vaccinations provide your pet with the ability to fight off diseases he or she may be exposed to. We tailor each pet’s vaccination recommendations based on many factors including exposure potential, age and current health and your pet’s lifestyle.
This is probably the most important aspect of our visit. We will go over nutrition, behavior, and any issues you have noticed or need help resolving. We'll discuss your household lifestyle and how our recommendations fit into it. We encourage you to ask questions and share any concerns.
Regular Check-Ups Prevent Disease & Illness
We look at trends for many diseases. These trends can even help us to know what might come up in the future. Some illnesses that benefit from looking at trends in blood work and examinations include heart disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, anemia and urinary tract health.
Regular checkups also allow us to find new lumps or bumps, changes in heart sounds (murmurs or irregular rhythms) and abnormalities within the abdomen like masses or changes in size or shapes of organs. These things are all changes that may not be obvious and require a trained palpater or listener to find them. Because you spend the most time touching your pet, you also play an important part role in keeping your pet healthy - be sure to mention any new lumps or bumps you notice on your pet.
By watching trends, we can catch illness early. Early intervention always make treatments easier and provide better prognosis.
Why Parasite Control is Important for your Pet's Health
Keeping an eye on emerging parasites is critical for maintaining the health of your pet. Parasites can carry diseases like lyme disease or even make your pet lose weight or have diarrhea. By catching parasites early, we can treat them and reduce the chance that your pet will suffer with unpleasant symptoms of disease.
Partners in Your Pet's Health
You know your pet the best and having you as a partner in the health of your pet is crucial to the success of our recommendations. Regular check-ups allow us to open up a dialogue to help you provide the best care possible to your pet. Your observations and questions are critical to our ability to ensure we provide the best care for your pet... please ask away!
When to Get a Wellness Exam
Puppies and kittens will get frequent examinations while getting their vaccinations - typically every 3-4 weeks until they are a few months old. At some point during their first few months puppies and kittens lose the antibodies that they get from their mother. By giving vaccinations every 3-4 weeks during this time, we reduce the period of time that they will be without their mother’s protection. Once their mom’s protection goes away, they then rely on their own immune system/vaccinations.
After puppy and kitten shots are over, we recommend annual vaccinations for all adult dogs and cats. Once your pet becomes a senior, we may recommend examinations every 6 months so that we can stay on top of any changing health. These more frequent visits allow us to look at trends and make changes to our treatment plans. This is when catching things early can really make a difference for your pet!
FAQs About Pet Wellness Exams
During your pet’s wellness exam, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam, from head to tail. Your vet will also ask you about your pet's diet, lifestyle, exercise routine, level of thirst, and urination and ask about any behaviors like vomiting, diarrhea, coughing or sneezing that your pet may be having.. Vaccinations, a stool sample fecal exam, blood work and extra tests may also be performed.
Establishing a baseline of what your healthy pet looks and acts like can make it more obvious when something is amiss. Just like with humans, regular check-ups help prevent diseases before they begin and give you a chance to get advice regarding your pets care, nutrition, or training to prevent issues down the line.
Regular physical exams should be performed every 6 months to once per year. Cats and dogs age at a much more rapid rate than we do, and it is important to play a proactive role in your pet’s health. As your pet ages, you may find it helpful to have regular physical examinations every 6 months. Adult pets may only require annual examinations.