A wellness exam is a thorough physical examination that allows your veterinary doctor to find and treat a disease before it becomes serious. Early wellness examinations have enabled more pets today to live longer and healthier than ever. The majority of pets do not produce noticeable signs and they have a tendency to hide their pain so your furry friend could be sick for a long time before the problems are identified. This is the reason laboratory tests are so crucial for early detection of illness and diseases. Many of these illnesses and diseases can be treated successfully with early detection of a wellness exam.
During the wellness exam, a veterinarian will observe if your pet is alert, how they are standing, their posture in a lying down position, appearance of the hair coat, and brightness of their eyes, appropriate body weight, the condition of their skin, ears, nose and teeth. Your pet will be weighed and noted for any recent weight fluctuations. Sometimes weight fluctuations can be a sole indicator of health problems. Your pet’s heart and lungs will be listened to in order to determine if they follow normal rhythms and clear sounds. Lymph nodes appearing in the head, neck and hind legs will be checked for swelling or pain. The legs will be examined for indication of muscle problems, nerve problems, and evidence of lameness or defects in your pet’s paws or toenails. Your veterinarian will feel your pet’s abdomen to look for abnormalities or pain in their stomach, spleen, kidneys, liver and bladder. Your veterinary doctor will also examine your pet for fleas, worms, ticks and other parasites and if any are discovered, they will recommend an individualized plan to treat and rid your pet of these pesky unpleasant infestations. There are various heartworm preventions for dogs and cats as well as flea and tick treatments that your veterinary doctor will discuss with you to determine the best protection for your individual dog or cat.
Once the physical exam is completed there are several wellness screening tests that are sometimes performed during the visit. Some of these tests include:
- Complete blood count
- Thyroid hormone testing
- Thorough dental exam
- Intestinal parasite screening
- Annual heartworm and tick disease screening
- Biochemistry profile
If your pet is a senior dog or cat, additional and more comprehensive testing may be performed such as abdominal and chest x-rays to monitor the size and appearance of heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. Another common testing for senior pet care is x-rays of the skeletal system to check for degenerative changes in bones and joints.
One of the best care options you can provide for your animals is proper ongoing nutrition and finding the most compatible pet food for your special pet. We offer prescription food or can recommend a nutritious brand with more protein than filler.
We can educate you on the best practices on how to groom, feed, exercise, train and give your pet the best chance to live a long stress-free life.