Wellness Exams

Wellness Exams

We believe protecting your pet’s health is vitally important and we want to partner with you to be sure we are doing all that we can.  Each life stage requires something a little different and we are with you each step of the way.   Wellness care includes exams, vaccinations, parasite control and diagnostic testing, if indicated.  These are all uniquely created with your pet’s health, age, lifestyle and history in mind.

Although not all pets follow these life stage guidelines exactly, they can be very helpful in planning for wellness and preventative care.

During an exam we check the following:

  • Body condition and weight
  • Temperature, pulse, respiratory rate
  • Eyes, Ears-looking for any abnormalities, infections, etc.
  • Heart/Cardiovascular-listen to the heart to be sure no murmurs or rhythm problems exist.
  • Lungs-Listen to the lungs for any abnormal sounds such as crackles or wheezes.
  • Lymph nodes/thyroid gland-external lymph nodes are checked as well as the thyroid gland-especially important in older cats.
  • Gastrointestinal/abdominal-feel the belly to see if there are any masses, lumps, organ abnormalities.
  • Mouth and teeth-evaluate mucous membranes, look for broken or diseased teeth and gums that could be a source of pain and infection.
  • Musculoskeletal-Evaluate for muscle condition, evidence of arthritis, limping.
  • Neurological-Look for any observable defects of nerves, spinal cord or brain function.
  • Nose/Throat-Be sure air flows freely through nostril, no discharge and no difficulties vocalizing or swallowing.
  • Skin/Haircoat-check for any signs of parasites, inflammation, hair loss, infection’
  • Urinary/Reproductive- Check to be sure these system appear normal.

Each life stage requires something a little different…

Puppies and kittens:  Pets in this age group are seen a bit more often just like young children are.  They are typically seen every 3-4 week until they are past 16 weeks of age.  In these visits, we will perform a thorough exam, give appropriate vaccines, discuss parasite control, review training, and address any concerns you may have.

Young Adults-1-2 years:  Dogs and cats in this age group are still growing and maturing.  At this stage a yearly physical exam is recommended and a stool sample should be checked for internal parasites.  During the visit, we will also review any concerns you may have and discuss any challenges you are facing with behavior or training.

As a young adult, we recommend:

  • Annual exam
  • Nutritional evaluation
  • Vaccinations or vaccine titers, as needed
  • Stool testing for parasites

Prime of life 2-7 years:  Your pet is now in the prime of their life.  In addition to an annual physical exams and vaccinations, a stool sample should continue to be checked for parasitism.  We will continue monitor for any changes in weight, skin, behavior, etc.  At this stage, we will typically do a teeth cleaning. 

At a prime of life exam, we recommend:

  • Annual or biannual exam-dependent upon the unique needs of your pet
  • Vaccinations or vaccine titers, as needed
  • Stool testing for parasites

The Golden Years-Over 7 years:  Early detection is key to a long, healthy life.  As pets age, regular testing is more important.  Unlike people that can communicate their aches and pains, we can only make assumptions based on how a pet is acting at home and the finding of a physical exam.  Without further diagnostic testing such as x-rays and lab work, we are often more likely to be in the dark.  Aging is associated with changes in body function, susceptibility disease and immune suppression.  Common issues include diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, hormonal disease, arthritis, and dental disease.

At a senior pet exam, we recommend:

  • Biannual physical exam
  • Vaccination or vaccine titers, as needed and deemed appropriate
  • Stool testing for parasites
  • Bloodwork:  CBC, Chemistry panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Thyroid testing
  • Blood pressure
  • Cancer screening
  • Chest and abdominal x-rays. 
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