At Countryside Animal Hospital, we want to make sure that your beloved pet is in the best health possible. An integral part of the health of any animal is regular complete wellness exams. Bringing your vet into our animal hospital for checkups allows us to take a proactive approach to their care, ensuring we take the preventative measures necessary so your dog or cat can have a long, healthy life.
What is a Complete Wellness Exam?
A complete wellness exam is essentially the same as the annual checkups you get at your doctor. As an overall healthy person, you visit the doctor for a physical every year to ensure that you continue to be in optimal health. The same goes for your pet!
How Often Should My Pet Come In For A Wellness Exam?
How frequently wellness exams should be conducted is dependent on how old your pet is, as well as their health status. When your pet is a puppy or kitten, they should come in for wellness exams more frequently, about every month. Once they are an adult, once a year is sufficient. Of course, this can vary from individual pet to individual pet, so make sure to talk to your vet about the frequency that is most appropriate for your furry friend.
What Does The Vet Check For During A Complete Wellness Exam?
During a wellness exam, the vet will want to learn important information about your pet, such as their diet, how often they exercise, their behavior, habits, and overall health. Your veterinarian will also perform a physical exam, which involves observing:
- How they stand and walk
- Their disposition and energy levels
- Their body weight — whether they are too thin or too fat
- Their coat — hair loss, dandruff, shedding, etc.
- Their skin — dryness, oiliness, unusual lumps, etc.
- Their eyes — redness, excessive tearing, whether the eyelids fully close, discharge, etc.
- Their ears — hearing problems, discharge, etc.
- Their nose — how well they breathe, discharge, thickening, etc.
- Their mouth/teeth — dental problems like periodontal disease, broken teeth, ulcers, etc.
- Their heart — abnormal heart rate, heart murmurs, etc.
- Their lungs — increased or decreased breath
- Their lymph nodes — swelling or lumps
- Their legs — muscle problems, nerve problems, paw problems, etc.
- Their abdomen — assessing the organs like the bladder, kidney, liver, intestines, stomach, and spleen
If your vet has no reason to suspect abnormalities, they may not have to complete all parts of this examination, but it is common for them to be very thorough, particularly at the first visit. Your vet may also call for additional testing, such as of your pet’s feces and blood. Based on all this information, they will recommend preventative care, such as vaccinations, parasite control, coat care, weight management, nutrition, or dental care. If there are any lifestyle changes that are appropriate for your pet, such as dietary changes or a certain exercise routine, your vet will go over them with you at this point.
How Do I Prepare My Pet for A Wellness Exam?
Before your visit, ask your vet if your pet needs to fast before the appointment, as well as whether or not you need to bring in fecal or urine samples. Make sure that you have all basic information about your pet, such as the brand of their food. If you have any concerns about your pet, now is the time to write them down so you remember to address them with your vet.
At Countryside Animal Hospital, it would be our pleasure to help your pet thrive with regular wellness exams. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!