Why does my pet need a wellness examination?
An ounce of prevention is worth pound of cure. We believe in the value of preventative care and the importance of early disease detection to ensure a healthy long life for your pet. Call the locations closest to you today for an appointment.
Sylvan (209) 551-4527
Standiford (209) 577-3481
The focus of the wellness visit is to develop a relationship with your veterinarian, create an individualized health care plan for your pet and discuss the following:
- examination of your pet
- parasite preventatives
- heartworm testing
- intestinal parasite screening (some of which are transmissible to people)
- laboratory testing
- other diagnostics based upon your pet’s age and overall health.
A wellness exam is a perfect time to discuss your pet’s individual needs such as daily habits and behaviors, nutrition, exercise, and basic grooming needs. Our Veterinarians are experienced and educated to recognize lifestyle patterns that may be early indicators or warnings of disease such as a pet with an increased thirst or decreased activity.
How often does my pet need a wellness visit?
Because pets age more rapidly than humans, it is important that your pet receive annual wellness examinations. It is a popular misconception that pets age 7 years for every 1 year when in fact pets age between 4-15 years for every calendar year depending on the species, breed, age and overall health of the animal. Depending on your pet’s individual needs we may recommend wellness exams every 6 to 12 months.
What happens at my pet’s wellness visit?
At our hospitals our friendly and compassionate Veterinary Assistants will take a brief history, collecting information regarding your pet’s lifestyle including their diet, exercise type, any previous medical conditions, any current health concerns, and their current parasite preventive regimen. In addition, they will obtain their current weight and vitals.
Our knowledgeable and experienced Veterinarians will review your pet’s information and ask for any further information they feel may be needed.
Our physical exam begins with an overall visualization of your pet, assessing their posture, overall body condition, coat quality, and their demeanor.
The Physical Exam is often called a “Nose to Tail” exam in Veterinary Medicine
- Bodyweight - is the weight appropriate for breed and age
- Haircoat and skin - evaluating if the haircut is shiny with no evidence of parasites or skin infection
- Ears - looking for evidence of infection or masses
- Eyes - evaluating for redness or discharge, symmetrical pupils with response to light, inspecting for cataracts or bumps on the eyelids
- Mouth - evaluating the level of plaque and calculus, gingivitis, missing, broken or infected teeth, and is there difficulty swallowing
- Nose - looking for discharge, dryness or cracking
- Heart - listening with a stethoscope (auscultating) for normal sound, rhythm, and rate
- Neurologic - looking for weakness in gait, facial dropping, loss of sensation
- Lungs - auscultating for normal sounds and rate
- Lymph Nodes - looking for enlargement
- Musculoskeletal - is there swelling pain or lameness, is there lumps or bumps
- Rectum - looking for abnormalities, assessing the anal glands
Our hospitals are AAHA accredited and follow the recommendations set in the AAHA Vaccination Guidelines. We may recommend modification to these guidelines due to variances in age, health, and lifestyle of your pet.
In addition to a physical exam, each pet is screened for heartworm disease and intestinal parasites (some of which are transmissible to people) annually. Depending on your pet’s overall health, our Veterinarians may make recommendations for a broader health screening that may include a urinalysis, thyroid assessment, comprehensive biochemistry profile (screens organ function) and a CBC (Complete Blood Count). Senior pets should be evaluated for osteoarthritis and early cancer with radiographs and ultrasound.
Preparing Your pet for a Wellness Visit
Our hospitals are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable visit for you and your pet by following the recommendations provided in the Fear Free Initiative.
Please allow plenty of time to acclimate your pet to the carrier (if needed) and car. Pets can generally sense our stress levels and will react accordingly. Please follow this link on tips for safe travel with your cat or dog.
Please limit access to food a few hours prior and bring along your pet’s favorite treat or snacks. Pets who are hungry are more receptive to taking treats. This allows us to interact with your pet on a social level.
Our staﬀ will accommodate the special needs of your pet such as relaxing pheromones as Adaptil or Feliway. We provide slip-free surfaces and quiet examination rooms. Many of our staﬀ are Fear Free Certified and are trained to recognize symptoms of fear, anxiety, and phobias your pet may express along with appropriate measures to reduce those behaviors to create a relaxing and stressless visit.