Routine pet wellness exams are an essential aspect of pet care and crucial for ensuring that your animal is as healthy as possible. For this reason, we recommend that all owners make their pet’s wellness appointments and any preventative care follow-ups a priority.
Your pet’s wellness exam will also be followed by an emphasis on preventive health. This is because identifying and treating a disease in the early stages and before it has had a chance to progress often means less invasive treatment and a much faster and more successful recovery.
What is included in a wellness exam?
Wellness exams can vary between veterinary practices. However, typically they will all comprise of some key elements, including the following:
A nose to tail physical
One of the easiest ways to tell if there is a problem with your pet’s health is if there is something visibly not right with him. To do this, our veterinary team will perform a comprehensive, nose to tail examination that will look at every aspect of your pet’s physical being, including his ears, eyes, mouth, abdomen, joints and paws. We will listen to his heart and check his breathing to check that there are no obvious abnormalities. If there is anything that we are concerned about, we will then make a recommendation for further diagnostic testing such as an x-ray or CT scan.
It is just as important that we thoroughly assess what is happening inside your pet’s body. The best method for this is to conduct blood testing which usually includes a full blood count (FBC), blood chemistry panel and potentially heartworm testing. The results of these tests can tell us a great deal about the health and wellbeing of your pet, including whether he is anemic, whether his immune system is functioning correctly, whether he is already fighting some sort of illness and how his organs are performing. In addition to blood tests, we may also perform urinalysis and fecal testing.
Your pet’s dental health is as important as your own, yet by the time they reach three years of age, the vast majority of dogs will have developed periodontal disease. By carefully monitoring your pet’s teeth and oral health, our veterinary team can help prevent many dental problems from occurring. We can also help your pet avoid some of the health conditions that have been linked to severe dental disease including diabetes, heart disease, liver failure and more.
Advice on Weight and Nutrition
Obesity is one of the main contributors towards the development of health problems in pets today, and to prevent your animal from suffering from obesity-related conditions, you will want to ensure that his weight is under control. It is also important to note that an animal’s nutritional requirements change as they get older. As such, our experienced veterinary team will check your pet’s weight and speak to you about his current diet should any action need to be taken.
By preventing rather than managing the disease, not only could you prevent your pet from going through unnecessary pain and suffering, you could also save yourself a small fortune in veterinary bills since preventative care is infinitely more cost-effective than treatment.
Fortunately, there are a number of different ways to protect your pet from the variety of diseases that pose a potential threat to his health. These range from vaccinations against some of the very serious, highly contagious infectious diseases such as parvovirus and rabies, to oral tablets and topical treatments for parasites such as heartworms, fleas, and ticks.
The most important thing about preventative care is that no medication or vaccination will protect your pet forever. Each is only effective for the stated length of time before further doses are required. In the case of vaccinations, this could be anywhere from 12 months to 3 years, while oral and topical preventatives typically need to be administered on a monthly basis. When choosing your pet’s preventatives, you should take special care to ensure that you choose the right variety for the weight and breed of your pet. If you need support and advice in choosing the right preventatives or the schedule with which your pet’s preventatives should be administered, our experienced veterinary team would be happy to assist you.
If you would like any more information our wellness care and disease prevention services, or if you would like to arrange an appointment for your pet, please reach out to us by visiting our offices in Geneva, OH or by calling us on 440-703-8100.