Your pet can benefit greatly from regular wellness examinations or checkups. Whether your pet is a youngster, a “senior citizen,” or any age in between, wellness examinations provide an excellent opportunity for us to conduct a thorough physical examination and develop a health profile for your pet. This information will help us identify medical problems and any other issues that can affect your pet’s health and quality of life.
Nose to Tail Exam
Your pet will receive a comprehensive nose-to-tail physical exam. It is important to report anything abnormal you have noticed about your pet prior to bringing them in for their exam. We will take your pet’s temperature, which should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees, slightly higher than your normal temperature. We will examine all of your pet’s major body systems. We will also weigh your pet so we can make dietary, nutritional, and exercise recommendations.
Skin + Coat
The skin and coat are really excellent indicators of your pet’s health. We can look at your pet’s coat and can see right away if there is something wrong. The coat should be shiny, not brittle and coarse, and the skin should be clean and not greasy and flaky. We check for bumps, rashes, infections, hair loss, excessive dander, and parasites.
We will examine your pet’s eyes, checking for signs of disease such as redness, discharge, corneal clarity, pupillary responsiveness, and we will also examine the retina and optic nerve, in the back of the eye. We examine both ears looking for evidence of growths, parasites, the integrity of the tympanic membrane, and especially infections. Often, infections start deep in the ear canal and may not be noticed until they are advanced. We will teach you how to clean and treat your pet’s ears if medications are required.
Nose & Teeth
We examine your pet’s nose for any discharge or abnormal appearance. Your pet will receive an oral health assessment, including checking the teeth and gums, monitoring for evidence of tartar or periodontal disease. Oral hygiene is a significant contributor to the overall health of your pet and we stress prevention through routine dental cleanings and regular home care.
A careful evaluation of the abdomen is part of the physical exam. We palpate your pet’s abdomen for masses, pain, enlarged organs, and other abnormalities. We check your pet’s legs and joints to ensure your pet has a full range of motion and shows no signs of pain or discomfort from torn ligaments or osteoarthritis.
Heart & Lungs
We check your pet’s heart and lungs with a stethoscope, listening for wheezing, crackles, heart murmurs, and other abnormal lung sounds. We also will check your pet’s heart with an iPhone EKG!
Tail End & Paws
The back end is examined for flea dirt, fleas, anal gland problems, and growths. If you bring a sample of your pet’s stool, we can test for parasites. Your pet will have its anal glands checked and emptied if necessary.
Both paws and toenails are examined for overgrown toenails or pododermatitis (infection of the feet), which is very common in pets with skin allergies. Nails are trimmed if required. We will also provide you with a list of any routine vaccinations or lab work required.
General Wellness Exam
A wellness examination includes an evaluation of all of your pet’s major organ systems. We’ll use the wellness visit to ask you questions about your pet’s behavior, appetite, exercise habits, and regular activities at home. This is also an excellent time for us to discuss any routine diagnostic testing that may benefit your pet or to recommend any vaccinations that may be due. If your pet seems healthy, a wellness examination is a good opportunity to note any changes, such as weight gain or loss or other subtle changes that may not be evident at home. Sometimes, information obtained during a wellness examination can help detect early signs of illness and address health issues before they progress.
A wellness examination is also your chance to have us address your questions or concerns about your pet. We welcome your questions. No question is too small or too silly, and it is our pleasure to address your concerns. We strive to help you understand your pet’s health considerations, and we encourage you to be involved in decisions regarding your pet’s health care.
Finally, wellness examinations help us establish a relationship with you and your pet. Through your pet’s physical examinations, other wellness procedures, and our consultations with you, we get to know your pet and learn about his or her lifestyle, personality, health risks, home environment, and other important information.
Your pet’s health starts with a thorough and complete physical exam. Give us a call to set your appointment at (903) 561-1717.