Wellness and Preventative Care
Keeping your pet healthy
As owners, we are advocates for our pet’s health. We want our 4-legged (sometimes 3) family members to feel well and enjoy life as part of our family. With advancements in diagnostics, pet nutrition, medical management of diseases and an overall better understanding of annual wellness and preventative care, we are seeing the results in our furry family members living longer, happier, and healthier lives!
An annual wellness exam, or bi-annual exam for senior pets, allows our veterinarians to examine your pet and assess their general health and potential risk of illness or disease. Medical treatment plans can then be developed based on your pet’s individual wellness needs, including vaccination schedules, heartworm disease, parasite control, dental health, proper nutrition, flea & tick preventatives, or any other items that may have you concerned.
What are we looking for?
When the veterinarian does the physical examination, they will start at your pet’s head and work their way back to the tail.
- Are they clear, without discharge, and free of cataracts or any signs of glaucoma?
- Are the ears clean, waxy, or debris filled? Are there signs of infection, parasites, or allergies?
- Are there any broken teeth? Is there any tartar build-up or evidence of periodontal disease?
- Are lymph nodes and thyroid gland of normal size?
As they move away from the head, the veterinarian will listen to your pet’s heart to ensure that it is beating normally. This allows us to identify any abnormalities such as a heart murmur. We will also listen to the lungs, palpate the abdomen, and feel the characteristics of your pet’s internal organs.
Is the veterinarian petting your pet? If so, they are evaluating the condition of your pet’s skin and coat. Is it dry, flaky, or oily? Is there evidence of flea dirt (flea poop) or any attached ticks? They are also looking for any lumps, bumps (benign or cancerous) or warts that may have developed and need to be addressed.
You may or may not notice that your veterinarian is also watching the way that your pet moves about and interacts with people in the room. They are evaluating your pet’s gait (the way they walk) for any signs of joint stiffness or mobility distress. They are also looking for any potential neurological concerns such as disc disease. Lastly, your pet’s hind end will be examined to look for any evidence of parasites or anal gland concerns.
Preventative care is a big part of what keeps your pet healthy. Often, addressing a problem early can decrease the cost and increase the likelihood of success than if the condition worsens. While each pet and case are different, there are many standards of care by which we operate and make our recommendations.
Want to learn more?
Do you consider yourself part of your pet’s medical team? If not, you should! While annual exams by our veterinarians are your pet’s best defense in keeping them healthy, they need your help as well. Check out what is on your “to-do list” using the button below!