The Importance of Wellness Exams for Pets
When it comes to pets, the best way to treat an illness is to prevent it from ever developing. That’s why Angel Animal Hospital advocates preventive care in the form of pet wellness exams for all of our patients. For a large number of pet owners in the country, this is the #1 reason—if not the only reason—that pets are brought to the vet. This is because pet exams serve as the first line of defense against ailments and allow veterinarians to make treatment and/or diagnostic recommendations. The wellness exam also aids in the creation of a wellness profile, which is used as a reference for future visits to determine if any changes are found, such as weight gain. We typically recommend that all pets have a comprehensive wellness exam at least once a year. However, more frequent exams may be recommended, depending on your pet’s age and health status.
What to Expect During Your Pet’s Exam
To help ensure a stress-free visit for our patients, we have separate exam rooms for our canine and feline patients. Every pet wellness exam begins with a series of questions by one of our veterinary technicians. We encourage you to let us know of any concerns you have about your pet at this time, such as behavioral changes or changes in eating habits. We then proceed by examining your pet from nose to tail. The exam includes an assessment of your pet’s:
- Weight: to determine if any dietary or exercise changes need to be made to help your pet reach a healthy weight, according to a Body Condition Score (BCS) chart
- Skin/coat: to determine if there are any skin infections or parasites present, such as hot spots or fleas
- Eyes: to determine if there are signs of infection or early cataracts, such as haziness on surface of cornea
- Ears: to determine if there are any signs of allergies or infection, such as skin discolorations
- Mouth: to determine if there are any signs of oral disease, such as excessive tartar buildup along the gum line
- Chest: to determine if your pet’s breathing and heart beat are normal
- Abdomen: to determine if any problems are found with internal organs, such as bladder stones
Your pet’s wellness exam may also include vaccinations and parasite control, depending on his/her age, breed, species, and lifestyle. Please feel free to ask us any questions at any time during your pet’s wellness visit.