Routine wellness exams are able to help keep your pet spry, healthy and happy by allowing our vets to assess and diagnose signs of disease early or prevent them altogether. Here, our West Chester vets share information about why these exams are important and what is involved in the process.
Why Wellness Exams Matter
Your pet's annual routine wellness exam is our vets' chance to check in with your dog or cat and their overall health and well-being. Wellness exams take place at least once a year (but often more if your pet has health issues or existing conditions).
Their cat checkups and dog checkups are excellent ways for you to help your pet achieve and maintain their optimal health with a focus on prevention as well as early detection and treatment when necessary.
By bringing your cat or do in to see us, even when they are perfectly healthy, you are giving our vets the chance to monitor your pet's overall health and well-being and to check for diseases that may otherwise be quite difficult to spot.
Scheduling Your Pet's Routine Vet Checkup
The frequency with which you should schedule your pet's routine wellness exams depends on your pet's age, medical history breed risk for certain conditions, lifestyle and more. If your pet is healthy for now, but has a history of illness, seeing our vets at least twice every year can help make sure your companion stays healthy and happy.
For adult pets in good health yearly wellness exams are recommended.
What to Expect When You Attend a Wellness Exam for Your Pet
When you bring your pet in to see us for their wellness exam, our vets will review your pet's medical history and inquire about any aspect of your cat or dog's health or behavior that is causing your concern/ We will also ask you about your pet's general behavior, lifestyle, diet, regular exercise levels and more
When you bring your pet in to see us for their wellness exam your vet will review your pet's medical history and ask if there is anything about your dog or cat's health or behavior that you are concerned about. Your vet will also ask you about your pet's diet, lifestyle, exercise routine, level of thirst, and urination.
Many veterinarians request that pet owners bring along a fresh sample of their pet's stool (bowel movement) in order for a fecal exam to be performed. Fecals are a valuable tool when it comes to detecting intestinal parasites that can severely impact your pet's health.
Next, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your pet which generally includes the following:
- Weighing your pet
- Listening to your animal's heart and lungs
- Checking the animal's stance and gait for irregularities
- Examining your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Checking eyes for redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Taking a close look at your dog or cat's skin for issues such as dryness, parasites, or lumps
- Inspecting the overall condition of your pet's coat, watching for dandruff or bald patches
- Examining your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Looking at your pet's teeth for any indication of periodontal disease, damage or tooth decay
- Palpate your pet's abdomen to access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
- Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain
All of these checks and more can be done quickly and seamlessly if no issues are detected along the way. Your vet will likely even maintain a conversation with you as they perform this comprehensive examination.
We will also provide your pet with their annual vaccinations at their wellness exam based on the appropriate schedule for your dog or cat. Routine vaccinations, whether they be initial shots for your kitten or puppy or boosters for your adult pet, are critical parts of ensuring that your companion gets their best shot at a long, happy and healthy life. By doing so, you will be able to prevent a wide array of serious or deadly diseases from ever arising in your pet in the first place.
At The End of The Wellness Exam
Once the wellness exam is completed and your pet has had their vaccinations administered, your vet will be able to take the time to discuss any of their findings with you.
If your veterinarian has detected any signs of illness or injury, they will take the time to speak to you about more detailed diagnostics, or available treatment options.
If your dog or cat is given a clean bill of health, your vet may offer tips or recommendations regarding your pet's diet and exercise routines, oral health, or appropriate parasite prevention.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.