Wellness examinations, when performed on a regular basis, can allow your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s general well-being and can bring health problems to light before they become serious illnesses. Along with a general examination, your veterinarian may recommend diagnostic tests including bloodwork and/or x-rays to evaluate your pet’s health.
Because dogs and cats age at a more rapid rate than humans, it is important for them to receive an exam every year. As a senior (pets greater than 7 years of age), exams every 6 months are typically recommended. It is important to never miss an exam, as many aspects of your pet’s health can change over a very short period of time.
What to expect during a wellness examination…
Your veterinarian will request a complete history or your pet’s health. The following are examples of things you shouldn’t forget to mention:
- Unusual behavior
- Eating more than usua
- Excessive drinking
- Excessive panting
- Excessive scratching
- Excessive urination
- Weight gain or loss
- Trouble getting up in the morning
- Weakness or imbalance
- Exercise intolerance
You should also be prepared to answer questions regarding your pet’s diet, exercise, exposure to parasites such as fleas and ticks, and medications/supplements taken on a regular basis.
Areas to be examined…
After basic vital signs (temperature, pulse rate, respiratory rate) are taken by either the veterinarian or veterinary technician, the following areas of the body will be closely looked at by your veterinarian.
- Heart and Lungs
- Reproductive Organs
At the end of your pet’s wellness exam, vaccinations may be given and your veterinarian may discuss with you follow-up wellness care based on your pet’s specific needs.