Comprehensive physical wellness exams are the backbone of your pet’s wellness program. Veterinarians recommend regular wellness exams for the same reason your physician and dentist recommend them – if you can detect a problem in its early stages, it's more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty and better success.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So what exactly is a pet wellness exam? Think of them like you would a yearly physical at your doctor. Regular check-ups can alert veterinarians to any pending health problems because they have a baseline, an individual "normal”, for your pet. If your veterinarian has seen your pet on a yearly basis, they can better diagnose changes and differences should they arise.
What Can You Expect During a Wellness Exam?
First, your pet will be weighed and their temperature will be taken. Next your veterinarian will review the following during a wellness exam:
- Ears, eyes, nose, mouth and teeth
- Skin and coat
- Paws and nails
- Musculoskeletal body
- Neurologic system
- Hemolymphatic system
- Respiratory system
- Urogenital system
- Gastrointestinal system
Your veterinarian will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart, lungs, and other functions and an otoscope/ophthalmoscope to look in the ears, eyes, nose and mouth. They will use their hands to feel for anomalies in skeletal structure, muscle and connective tissue, and organ structure. Every veterinarian has made surprising discoveries while examining "normal" dogs (and cats) like discovering that a pet has only one normal kidney, or was harboring an undiscovered tumor, or was pregnant. Bladder stones, for instance, can be discovered during a routine physical exam. This is just one of the many reasons annual exams are so important. Signs of disease can be invisible or asymptomatic unless you know what to look for.
We conveniently offer comprehensive physical exams along with routine preventive care and early detection services in our Pet Wellness Packages. If your pet is due for an exam, call us to make an appointment today.
Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2015