Visiting the veterinarian is essential for the health of your pet. Regular yearly wellness exams allow the vet to catch diseases and problems early – when they are usually cheaper and easier to treat.
A routine physical exam includes taking the pet’s temperature, looking at its mouth (gums, teeth, and bones) and ears, feeling along the body for lumps or bumps, and scanning for a microchip.
During a general pet check-up, most vets conduct a thorough physical exam. The vet will listen to the heart and lungs and inspect the mouth, ears, eyes, and coat for skin issues, ticks, fleas, and other parasites. They will also look at the microchip information and generally scan the pet’s body for any signs of disease or injury. Vaccinations are also typically administered during a visit based on the pet’s appropriate vaccination schedule.
It is difficult for a pet owner to detect early symptoms of illness or disease, especially if the pet doesn’t display any obvious signs. Routine examinations help the veterinarian catch things that a pet owner may not have noticed, such as a gradual loss of weight in an older dog or deteriorating hips in a senior cat. Detecting these issues early on can make them easier to treat and extend the pet’s life. Likewise, routine vaccinations can prevent diseases that can be very hard on pets and even be fatal.
While a sick pet is a great reason to visit the Divine TLC Integrative Veterinary Services vet, wellness exams are just as important. During these visits, the veterinarian takes your pet’s temperature, looks in the mouth, eyes, and ears, and gently feels along the body.
These exams also provide a baseline blood test that allows the veterinarian to evaluate changes. For example, if your dog has low albumin (a protein made in the liver) values, this may indicate that the liver is diseased and needs further evaluation.
Likewise, a high urea nitrogen level may indicate kidney disease and a decreased red blood cell count can indicate anemia. During the exam, the veterinarian may also request a fecal sample, and these tests can help identify problematic intestinal parasites that can be difficult to detect otherwise. The key is early detection which can lead to a higher success rate in treating the disease. Many diseases progress faster than expected and are more challenging to treat if not caught early on.
If a pet has a disease, veterinarians have the skills and equipment to treat them. It is why it is essential to visit a vet regularly, so they can work with you to keep your pets as healthy as possible.
A general physical exam usually includes a nose-to-tail check where the vet moves along the animal’s body to inspect the mouth, paws, eyes, skin and coat, and ears. It helps them to identify early signs of illness, such as bad breath or a lump in the tail.
The vet may recommend blood tests or X-rays to determine the cause of any problems they have found. It allows them to start treatment on time and avoids further complications.
Veterinarians also give annual vaccinations based on your pet’s appropriate schedule and can advise you on a good diet, dental home care, exercise, behavioral concerns, and grooming. It is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your vet, so they become familiar with your pet, making it easier to spot potential problems.
Besides checking for signs of disease, a vet can offer tips or recommendations regarding diet and exercise, weight control, oral health, and appropriate parasite prevention. In most cases, catching diseases early is much less expensive, less invasive, and has a better outcome than treating them once they are in an advanced stage.
So, make sure to complete your pet’s yearly wellness exam. The veterinary clinic can be intimidating for animals, so they must be comfortable in their carrier before their appointment.