Annual Wellness Examination

We recommend yearly wellness examinations for your pet. This will give us a chance to evaluate your pet's overall health and to detect problems before they turn into serious illnesses. Because your pet cannot tell you how he or she is feeling, we rely on a thorough physical examination and your observations of your pet in order to determine if your pet is truly healthy. For our senior pets (7 years old and over), we recommend twice a year visits.

What will happen during the wellness examination?

We will have you complete a short Pet Health Questionnaire (link to document) to determine if there are any issues that come to mind concerning your pet’s health. Be sure to consider all of the questions and mention any unusual behavior such as:

  • Excessive drinking and/or urination
  • Excessive panting or coughing
  • Changes in eating pattern
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss or gain

A thorough 12-body-system physical examination will then be done including:

  • Temperature if indicated, respiration rate, pulse, and body weight.
  • Check ears for yeast, bacteria, parasites, or growths.
  • Check eyes for any abnormalities, injuries, or ulcers. The eyes can also be window into the body and help us identify internal problems.
  • The gums, teeth, tongue, and palate are checked. We will look for dental abnormalities, fractures, loose teeth, tarter build up, tumors, infections and even anemia.
  • We will use a stethoscope to listen to your pet's heart and lungs. Early signs of heart disease can be recognized this way.
  • Check the reproductive system for swellings, discharges, and breast lumps.
  • The skin is the body's largest organ and a good indicator of nutritional health. We will check for skin conditions. We can detect allergies, infections, warts, cysts and tumors. We will also check for fleas and ticks and other external parasites.
  • The abdomen will be palpated to detect irregularities such as enlarged organs, masses or areas that are painful.
  • The legs and feet of your pet will be checked for any abnormalities.
  • In addition, we will check the lymph nodes and nose.

If any abnormalities are found during your pet's examination, we may recommend additional testing to diagnose or confirm any health problems.

We may also recommend baseline screenings of blood, urine and feces to help assess your pet's health from year to year.

Because your pet ages more quickly than you do, it is essential that you bring in your pet for an exam at least once per year, and more frequently as your pet gets older or develops health problems. Getting an exam on your pet once per year is the same as you getting a physical only once every six to eight years. Because so much can change with your pet's physical health in such a short amount of time, you cannot afford to have your pet miss even one exam!