Regular wellness check-ups are crucial to keeping your pet in great health. Through advice from your vet at Cherry Hills Animal Hospital, you are better able to detect, treat and even prevent numerous health issues and keep your pet happy and healthy. However, if it is your first time taking your pet to their wellness exam, you may find that they act a little nervous or stressed. To keep your pet calm, it is important that you feel relaxed going into their wellness exam too. One of the best ways to do this is to have an understanding of what will happen.
Here is an overview of what to expect from a pet wellness exam:
A consultation is often the first part of a pet wellness exam. You will be asked a variety of questions related to the health, behavior, and wellbeing of your pet. If you have noticed any changes in your pet, such as weight loss or a change in their behavior, the consultation is the perfect time to mention this. This is also a good time to ask any questions you might have about optimizing your pet’s care or mention any other concerns you may have. Whether you have questions or not, your vet may suggest some changes to improve the care of your pet – these are not criticisms, but rather friendly suggestions to provide you with some extra support.
The physical exam is a nose-to-tail inspection of your pet so that they can check for any abnormalities. Your vet team at Cherry Hills Animal Hospital will feel your pet’s legs, abdomen, head, and neck areas, and use special equipment to listen to their heart and lungs and to inspect their eyes, ears, and mouth.
The following are some of the assessments we will carry out to ensure your pet is in good condition:
Vital signs, e.g., heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature
Assessment of the eyes, ears, nose, and face
Assessment of their coat and skin
Palpation of the abdomen to check for the position of the vital organs
Evaluation of the limbs
A check for lumps, bumps, or other abnormalities
Rectal exam (if needed)
If your vet notices anything that they are concerned about, further diagnostic testing may be recommended, such as an x-ray and/or bloodwork.
Your vet may also recommend some additional tests on your pet, these will include blood tests, parasite testing, and urine/fecal tests. Blood tests usually consist of two separate tests, a complete blood count (CBC) and a blood chemistry test. A CBC can identify problems such as infection or anemia whilst a blood chemistry test shows how well your pet’s organs and systems are working.
Parasite testing checks for a variety of external and internal parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and hookworms. Some internal parasites (such as heartworms) require blood tests to be detected and can be fatal for your pet if left undiscovered and untreated.
Urine and fecal tests can highlight issues with your pet’s renal system and show any internal parasite infestations and allow your vet to start treatment for your pet as soon as possible.
Sometimes your vet may suggest x-ray or ultrasound testing as well, depending on the results from your pet’s physical exam.
Vaccines are crucial for protecting your pet from a variety of illnesses and diseases. The effects of a vaccine, however, will wear off after time, meaning that it is very important to have them re-administrated after a certain period of time has elapsed. Many vets suggest administrating vaccination boosters during a pet wellness exam to avoid multiple appointments or forgetting to book an appointment for your pet later on.
Your vet may offer to boost your pet’s immunity to parasites using a variety of preventative options. They’ll be happy to advise the best options for your pet and you may be given a recommended schedule as to when these should be administered which will help to keep their preventative care on track.
If you would like more information about what to expect during a pet wellness exam, or to schedule an appointment for your pet at Cherry Hills Animal Hospital, please call our veterinary team at (303) 730-3248 today.