Pet Wellness Exams
Just like people, dogs and cats require regular check-ups to maintain optimal health.
Your pet ages six to ten times faster than we do. That means that check-ups, or wellness exams, should occur annually for healthy pets, or at least every 6 months for seniors and pets with chronic conditions.
Put another way, just one check-up per year is the equivalent to one every 6 to 10 years for us. (Could you imagine going to the doctor just once every six years? Or longer?)
Wellness exams are an essential part of our hospital’s focus on preventive care. They help us to identify problems or potential issues early, before they can become more significant. We can better prevent minor to potentially life-threatening issues, keep your overall veterinary care expenses down, and help your pet live a long and healthy life.
Regular visits also help us get to know our patients and clients, so we can make more accurate diagnoses and provide more personalized care.
Your Pet’s Wellness Exam
Wellness exams include a complete physical examination, where…
• We review your pet’s medical history: Being familiar with the details of your pet’s history helps us make more accurate health assessments.
• We measure your pet’s weight: Our clients oftentimes have dietary concerns, and this tells us if a dog or cat is not at his/her appropriate weight. It’s also a key diagnostic for prescribing medications, applying anesthesia, and more.
• We take your pet’s temperature: We look for an abnormal temperature that may indicate an infection or other issue.
• We give your pet a head-to-tail exam: We look closely at your pet’s coat and skin, where the first symptoms of many conditions can often appear. We also feel for unusual bumps and lumps, and check their joints and their range of motion.
• We examine your pet’s eyes: We look for abnormalities in your pet’s reaction to light and the appearance of their eyes. We examine the back of the eye. And in older pets, we look for signs of cataracts and other problems that could potentially cost them their vision if left untreated.
• We look at your pet’s nose: Here, we look for any abnormalities in the appearance of your pet’s nose or in their nasal cavities, and we look for unusual discharge.
• We examine your pet’s mouth: Good oral health is critical to the overall health of your dog or cat. We look at the condition of the teeth, calculus (or plaque buildup), the health of the gums, and more.
• We look at your pet’s ears: We check the outside of their ears, their ear canals, and ear drums. We look for signs of infection, parasites, and growths and tumors.
• We check your pet’s heart and lungs: We measure the heart rate, and we listen for murmurs and arrhythmia, or irregular beating, in the heart. And we listen for any abnormal sounds or fluid in the lungs.
• We take lab samples: Sometimes it’s necessary to run additional tests that require urine, stool, or blood samples. We collect what we can at the appointment (normally blood), or our clients return samples to us.
• We vaccinate your pet: Your dog or cat requires certain vaccinations in order to immunize them against diseases such as rabies, distemper, measles, parainfluenza, feline leukemia, and more. Aside from these core vaccinations. We also provide non-core vaccinations for things like bordetella, or kennel cough.
• We talk to our clients about their pet’s health: We discuss their pet’s overall health, diet, activity level, behavior, and more. If there are specific questions or concerns a client has, we address them.
• Finally, we record the details of your pet’s visit: As noted earlier, this highly detailed, up-to-date information helps us make more accurate health assessments. It also helps us spot trends in your pet’s health, which can help us better prevent more serious problems in the future.
Schedule Your Pet’s Wellness Exam Today
Wellness exams play an important role in maintaining your pet’s health and wellbeing. They help us prevent the preventable, and they help us detect problems in their early stages. And by finding issues early on, they can be treated with greater ease and success, and with less expense.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Call Good Hope Animal Hospital today to schedule your pet’s wellness exam…