Keeping Your Best Friend Healthy and Happy
Regular wellness exams allows us to evaluate your pet’s general health and find health problems before they become serious illnesses. Since your pet cannot tell you how he or she is feeling, you must rely on regular veterinary examinations and your at-home observations to monitor your pet’s health. We may also wish to perform diagnostic tests, including blood tests and/or x-rays, to help us better evaluate your pet’s health.
Routine blood testing, urinalysis (urine testing) and other tests are recommended for all pets in their “senior years.” We may recommend routine blood testing and urinalysis for younger pets to establish baseline values, which can be used for comparison as pets age.
How often does your pet need a physical?
Every year for a dog or cat is equal to about five to seven human years, so it’s important that your pet receives a wellness exam at least every year, and more often as he enters his senior years. Your pet’s health can change in a short amount of time, so make sure your pet does not miss even one exam!
AAHA recommends healthy dogs and cats visit the veterinarian once a year for a complete exam and laboratory testing. Healthy senior dogs and cats should receive a wellness exam and lab testing every six months.
During your pet’s wellness exam we will discuss your pet’s health. Don’t forget to mention any changes in behavior or problems that you have noticed including:
- Eating more than usual
- Excessive drinking of water, panting, scratching or urination
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Does your pet have trouble getting up in the morning?
- Does your pet show signs of weakness or unbalance?
- Does your pet show an unwillingness to exercise?
We will discuss where you live and your pet’s lifestyle to determine what we need to do to keep your pet as healthy as we can. We will develop an individualized treatment and/or preventative plan to address heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, external parasites and infectious diseases.
During your pet’s exam, a veterinary technician or an assistant will take your pet’s temperature, pulse, respiration (breathing) rate and body weight. If your pet has lost weight, he may be inthe early stages of kidney disease, diabetes or another serious disease. If your pet has gained weight since his last exam, we will work with you to develop an appropriate diet and exercise plan to return your pet to a healthier weight, extra two or three pounds could mean the difference between your pet being fit and healthy or obese.
A Head to Paw Exam
Dr. Salinger or Dr.Paulic will give your pet a head to paw exam, looking at their eyes,ears,mouth and listening to their heart and lungs,feeling your pet’s abdomen for abnormalities, including enlarged organs, masses or painful areas, to detect problems with the stomach, intestines, kidneys, liver and other organs. They will also examine your pet’s legs and feet and the condition of your pet’s joints, muscles, lymph nodes and nose.
Additional testing to diagnose or verify a health problem may be recommended if any abnormalities are found during your pet’s examination.
We will determine which vaccines your pet should receive. Vaccinations are one of the most important preventive measures you can take for the health of your pet. Dogs should be immunized against distemper, hepatitis,parvovirus, and rabies. Depending on lifestyle they may also need to be protected against leptospirosis and bordetella. Cats should be vaccinated for feline panleukopenia (distemper), rabies, feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and feline leukemia.
How frequently you should have your pet vaccinated against certain diseases depends on many factors, including your pet’s unique environment and lifestyle.
Do not underestimate the importance of regular wellness examinations. These regular examinations will help your pet live a longer and healthier life, so do your part to care for your furry friend!