Routine wellness exams can help keep your pet active, healthy, and happy by allowing our veterinarians to assess and diagnose signs of disease early on or prevent them entirely. Our Harrisburg vets discuss why these exams are important and what is involved in the process.
Why Wellness Exams Matter
Our veterinarians use your pet's annual routine wellness exam to check in on your dog or cat's overall health and well-being. Wellness examinations are performed at least once a year (but often more if your pet has health issues or existing conditions).
Their cat checkups and dog checkups are excellent ways for you to help your pet achieve and maintain their optimal health with a focus on prevention as well as early detection and treatment when necessary.
By bringing your cat or dog in to see us, even if they are perfectly healthy, you are giving our veterinarians the opportunity to monitor your pet's overall health and well-being and to check for diseases that would otherwise be difficult to detect.
Scheduling Your Pet's Routine Vet Checkup
The frequency with which you should schedule your pet's routine wellness exams is determined by several factors, including your pet's age, medical history, breed risk for certain conditions, lifestyle, and other factors. If your pet is currently healthy but has a history of illness, visiting our veterinarians at least twice a year can help ensure that your companion remains healthy and happy.
For adult pets in good health yearly wellness exams are recommended.
What to Expect When You Attend a Wellness Exam for Your Pet
When you bring your pet in for a wellness exam, our veterinarians will review their medical history and inquire about any aspect of your cat or dog's health or behavior that is causing you concern. We will also inquire about your pet's general behavior, lifestyle, diet, and regular exercise levels, among other things.
When you bring your pet in for a wellness exam, your vet will review your pet's medical history and ask if you have any concerns about your dog or cat's health or behavior. Your veterinarian will also inquire about your pet's diet, lifestyle, exercise routine, thirst level, and urination.
In order to perform a fecal exam, many veterinarians require pet owners to bring a fresh sample of their pet's stool (bowel movement). Fecals are a valuable tool for detecting intestinal parasites that can have a negative impact on your pet's health.
Next, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination of your pet which generally includes the following:
- Weighing your pet
- Listening to your animal's heart and lungs
- Checking the animal's stance and gait for irregularities
- Examining your pet's feet and nails for damage or signs of more serious health concerns
- Checking eyes for redness, cloudiness, eyelid issues, excessive tearing, or discharge
- Taking a close look at your dog or cat's skin for issues such as dryness, parasites, or lumps
- Inspecting the overall condition of your pet's coat, watching for dandruff or bald patches
- Examining your pet's ears for signs of bacterial infection, ear mites, wax build-up, or polyps
- Looking at your pet's teeth for any indication of periodontal disease, damage, or tooth decay
- Palpate your pet's abdomen to access whether the internal organs appear to be normal and to check for signs of discomfort
- Feeling along your pet's body (palpating) for signs of illness such as swelling, evidence of lameness such as limited range of motion, and signs of pain
If no problems are discovered along the way, all of these checks and more can be completed quickly and seamlessly. While performing this thorough examination, your veterinarian will most likely converse with you.
We will also administer your pet's annual vaccinations during their wellness exam, according to the appropriate schedule for your dog or cat. Routine vaccinations, whether for your kitten or puppy or boosters for your adult pet, are critical components of ensuring that your companion lives a long, happy, and healthy life. You will be able to prevent a wide range of serious or fatal diseases from arising in your pet in the first place by doing so.
At The End of The Wellness Exam
Once the wellness exam is completed and your pet has had its vaccinations administered, your vet will be able to take the time to discuss any of their findings with you.
If your veterinarian has detected any signs of illness or injury, they will take the time to speak to you about more detailed diagnostics, or available treatment options.
If your dog or cat is given a clean bill of health, your vet may offer tips or recommendations regarding your pet's diet and exercise routines, oral health, or appropriate parasite prevention.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.